Tag Archives: Indy Birth Doula

Choosing a Birth Place During a Pandemic

When it’s time to choose a place to birth your child there is a lot to consider.

Where will you and your partner be most comfortable having a baby?

Where will you be able to relax and let go of all of your stresses and your worries?

Where will you be happy to welcome a new life?

Photo Credit: Cara Mehlon Birth and Wellness

This may be different for everyone.  

During a stressful time like this COVID-19 Pandemic, there is even more to consider.

I was asked to write this as a guest post for https://deeprootsathome.com and happy to do so. This is on the minds of so many right now and I was able to ask a few families to share their thoughts as well. The stories and the photos are unrelated.

“When I was choosing my birthing place, I was often given a look of surprise when I told some people I was having my baby at home. Now that there is a coronavirus to worry about those same people are thrilled we are having a homebirth. They feel that this is a much safer option. Of course, I felt this way all along. I had a very safe and healthy hospital birth with my daughter and trust my body will do the same this time. Anything could happen but that’s why I have a trusted midwife and doula who will be by my side. “ – Julia

Most people don’t realize how prepared midwives are for emergencies during birth. One of the biggest fears associated with home birth is, what if there is an emergency?  In my experience, home births supported by trained/certified midwives have comparable or even better outcomes than hospital births. 

Family Home Birth – Photo Credit: Melissa Williams/Willow Grove Photography

When I asked a Mom who has had many home births why she continues to have babies at home, she said,

“Being able to labor and birth in water is my preference and my midwives have always been able to safely monitor me and the baby without interrupting our sacred space. I was surrounded by everyone who believed in me and my baby. We were able to stay calm and relaxed and I knew that we were well cared for the entire time. After our babies were born we were able to bond with our baby in the comfort of our family bed , we had food cooked and ready from our own kitchen and our birth team cleaned up while we enjoyed being a family. It has always been perfect for us. “ -Gene

Home Birth is a very intimate experience and having the most positive and loving birth team to support you is so important for everyone involved.

Another Mom who is a high risk pregnancy and knows she will need a C-section mentioned to me that she is feeling confident that her OB will be making the best decisions for her and her baby, she is somewhat concerned about being in a hospital setting but also knows that her birth team will be taking every precaution for her and her baby.  “I don’t have a choice due to previous surgeries and other prenatal complications so I need to be in the hospital. Since this is the path I am meant to be on, I know it will be ok.” -Abbey

Hospital Birth- Birth Boot Camp

In the hospitals in our area, all maternity patients and their partners are screened upon arrival for COVID-19 symptoms, just like everyone on staff that day and precautions are taken for expectant moms who test positive.  Visitor restrictions are in place but as for now if your partner and yourself are healthy, your  partner can stay with you for birth. Some hospitals are still allowing doulas in addition to their partner. This is not the case though at all hospitals  in our country and things could be changing depending on many variables.  Continue to discuss these possibilities with your provider. Your hospital midwives and doctors want you to have a safe and healthy birth experience, no matter what.

I highly recommend a quality childbirth education program such as Birth Boot Camp, especially if your birth place will be changing. Many instructors are offering virtual classes. https://caramehlon.com/classes/

Home Birth-Photo Credit: Melissa Williams/Willow Grove Photography

Most importantly, discuss the pros and cons with your partner, with your doula, with your childbirth educator. Share your concerns with your provider and decide how you all will feel most comfortable during labor, birth and the postpartum period.  I truly believe whatever choice you and your family make will be what is best. Enjoy your pregnancy and Happy Birthing.

What is a Doula?

What is a Doula you ask? Guess what, we don’t catch babies. Wait, what? If you are still unsure of what birth doula services include keep reading…

The word ‘doula’ — pronounced ‘doo-la’ — is a Greek word meaning ‘woman servant, caregiver, or Mothering the Mother’.

It refers to someone who offers education, emotional and physical support to a woman and her partner before, during and after childbirth.

She enables a woman and her partner to have the most satisfying birth experience possible, from pregnancy into motherhood. This type of support allows the whole family to relax and enjoy the experience.

Doulas are trained and/or certified and experienced in childbirth and are usually mothers themselves. For me, I have had two births myself and countless experiences with client’s births.

Newborn Baby/Hospital Birth

This part is very important-

While we have good knowledge and awareness of the birth process, a doula does not support the mother-to-be in a medical role.

That is the job of the midwife or OB.

A doula helps the mother-to-be to achieve the birth she hopes for, no matter if it’s an all natural birth, a medicated birth, or a c-section birth.

This makes a doula a valuable addition to the birth team. Should a birth become complicated and require medical assistance, a doula will remain calm and stay along with her client helping in other ways necessary.

She will not make decisions for those she supports, but she will assist them through the decision making process, providing balanced information so the couple can make their own choices. Often times, these decisions are made before labor begins but other times it’s a game day decision. It’s nice to have someone constant,  knowledgeable, and trustworthy to help the couple (along with their care provider) make the best choice for their family.

A doula may provide some or all of the following services, dependent on her training and skills. Often doulas are also qualified in other therapies too, so it always helps to ask!

  • Childbirth education and preparation, including birth planning
  • Discussing previous births
  • Massage and other comfort measures including relaxation techniques
  • Optimal fetal positioning
  • Suggesting and practicing positions to help ease pain and facilitate a smoother, more effective labor
  • Provide reassurance and encouragement
  • Talking through emotional blockages which may come up during pregnancy and in labor
  • Keep your desired birthing ‘environment’ consistant – aromatherapy, music, candles etc
  • Assisting you with negotiation of your preferences
  • Photography and/or video of the birth itself, as well as the precious golden hour as a family
  • Breastfeeding Information and Support
  • Support while parenting a newborn
  • And so much more!


What About The Mother’s Birth Partner?

Reports are showing: rather than diminishing a partner’s participation in the birthing process, a doula’s support complements and reinforces her partner’s role. We can help your birth partner learn relaxation techniques and comfort measures during pregnancy as well as learning some vocabulary to help understand how things are going in the birthing room before the baby’s birth day. Being prepared can be so very helpful to everyone.

What will my provider think if I hire a doula?

Most OB’s are very open to having a doula as long as we are respectful of their role as an important part of the birth team. My client’s carefully choose their provider and I respect that have chosen who is best for their birth. Midwives are also very open to having a doula present and often have a good relationship with many doulas in the community so we naturally work very well together.

So, ultimately you have learned…Doulas are awesome, we do not catch babies, and we work well with others…well most of us. Choose your birth team wisely. This is a very important day for you, your partner and your baby.