So What Does a Virtual Doula Really Do?
The impact of COVID-19 came as a surprise for most of us. But babies are still being born, families are still getting pregnant, people are still struggling to breastfeed - and so, my work continues. Yes, it's true; doulas generally practice face-to-face support with their clients and if you told me I would have been offering only virtual services in 2020, I would have laughed. But, here we are!
What I've really had to focus on over the past couple of months is the fundamentals of my job: instil confidence and reduce fear. That, I can do sitting on your couch, chatting over zoom or virtually in another country. So, here is the break down of my new virtual doula services.
Virtual Prenatal Classes:
These have been going off without a hitch! After scheduling your private (live) class at a convenient time for you, I e-mail over a link where you can access our class through Zoom. The class is running 2-2.5 hours, includes a workbook (which can be picked up or e-mailed) and as always, partners are encouraged to attend. I am located in Ontario, Canada, but realistically these classes can be conducted anywhere in the world!
Here is the agenda for the class:
- discuss expectations of your care provider, medical staff and partner
- discuss potential fears around labour and delivery
- birth preferences handout (looking at options around birth and postpartum available in your area)
- what to pack in your hospital bag
- stages of labour and what coping techniques you could be using in each stage
- cervical dilation
- non-medical coping techniques (breathing, imagery, vocalizing, movement, 3 R's)
- how your partner can be most supportive in labour
- labour positions
- medical pain relief options and interventions
- any COVID-19 updates and hospital policies (as necessary)
Cost: $75.00 (+tax)
Virtual Postpartum Support:
This service is offered as a 1 week package where we chat over Zoom or another platform of your choice every day. The call is limited to 1 hour each day and includes e-mailed notes of everything we discussed! You also have unlimited contact via text, phone or e-mail. Virtual postpartum support is the key to staying connected regardless of the space between you and your support system.
Things you may want to check in about:
- breastfeeding/infant feeding concerns
- questions around infant sleep
- expectations around your physical and emotional recovery
- newborn related questions/concerns (ie. swaddling, safe sleep, how to soothe etc)
- cloth diapering consult
- connect and communicate with a professionally trained and certified doula, child birth educator and infant feeding specialist
Cost: $150 for 1 week or $25 per call (1 hour maximum)
Virtual Birth Support:
Birth is not a spectator sport and so it wouldn’t make sense (nor would it be helpful) if you’re doula stays on a Zoom call with you from early labour to the birth of your baby. So here’s what virtual birth support might look like:
PRENATAL APPOINTMENT: we will meet for a “comfort measures class on steroids” (thanks ProDoula!). During this class I’ll focus on teaching your support person exactly what they need to do and say in the different stages of labour. We’ll go over the importance of rest between contractions, labour positions and how to help the birthing person maintain mindfulness through those really intense contractions.
IN LABOUR: We’ll chat over video in early labour to recap comfort techniques and expectations. We’ll touch base periodically over the phone and check in virtually as you feel change physically and emotionally. Not sure when to head to the hospital? That’s okay! A virtual call will allow me to observe a few contractions, how you handle them and the time in between. Based on that information, I can let you know if it’s a good time to head in. I’ll stay connected to your support person as you get settled at the hospital and as they need guidance and suggestions. And when that beautiful baby of yours is born, I’ll be there again over a video call to support that first latch/feed or answer any questions you might have.
Cost: $300 (+tax)
Interested in any of these services, click HERE to be redirected to my services page.