Self-isolating is essential to curb novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and prevent its spread to the physically vulnerable in our communities. It’s how we protect our neighbours, friends and families and prevent our health system from becoming overloaded. However, during these uncertain times and with higher rates of isolation, a trusted and familiar support person is needed now more than ever.
An unintended impact of social distancing protocols means that many hospitals and State governments are now enforcing ‘one visitor per patient’ policies or encouraging people to attend out-patient appointments alone. The reality of this is that skilled birth professionals are unable to work at a time when the health system is most overstretched and clients and midwives are in need of additional support.
That’s why this World Doula Week we have been raising awareness about our doulas and the vital, continuous support they provide to pregnant women facing isolation – and why our doulas are needed more than ever before!
One Birth for Humankind doula, Erika Munton, believes that during these uncertain times, continuous support is essential for parents – particularly mothers – to support positive health outcomes for families. She has 20 years of experience working with pregnant women, working as a facilitator, educator, coach, birth worker and founder of pregnancy and parenting support organisation Birthready.
Erika said that the issue with self-isolation and social distancing is that many mothers and families are feeling lonely. Many can’t normalise their experiences, talk to others in similar situations and feel heard or supported during their pregnancy, birth and parenting. Mothers in particular need to understand her options and make informed and empowered decisions that will benefit her, her baby and her family.
Pregnancy, birth and parenting is a significant lifestyle change. Many parents do experience stress, post-natal anxiety or depression and when isolating it often becomes harder to identify those in need for additional support. Erika says that in her experience, she often plays a special role in family settings to help them adjust to the many changes that come from having a baby.
While we might not be able to spend as much time together in-person during the COVID-19 crisis, we’re setting up phone calls and having video conferences to keep women connected, supported and informed during their pregnancy and parenting.
Please donate to support our doulas to deliver life-changing support.