What is a Virtual Doula?
I am a birth doula.
I am a virtual birth doula.
I support families through conception, pregnancy, birth, and beyond.
At Birth You Desire (BYD) we are uniquely set up with this situation as we have been offering virtual doula services for over five years. When we started virtual support, this was a new unprecedented service. It was designed because we believe our clients come first and it is paramount that we are able to get to them no matter what happens or where they are. Historically, we have had the opportunity to service clients who elected virtual support due to being out of state or overseas. We have supported clients when travel has been restricted due to ice storms or in snowstorms when roads have been closed.
With today’s COVID-19 epidemic many doulas are trying to find a way to support their client’s virtually and calling it virtual support. Virtual means different things to different people. For us, virtual support means that in the event that your doula is restricted from meeting you in person, the doula will be there with you 100% on video virtually. You will still have support, continuously, during labor. The doula will not leave you alone.
No matter the medium, in person or virtually, a doula can be by your side as you navigate all the options and choices available at birth.
Prior to pregnancy, your virtual doula can assist with conception and family planning options. Our doulas help you build your network of help so that conception and early pregnancy are as smooth as possible. Once you are pregnant your doula can help with visualizing your birth experience and then choosing your provider and birth location based on your birth goals. These providers include an OB or Midwife, as well as alternative care providers like acupuncturists, chiropractors, lactation consultants, etc. The doula will also help you to understand what the scope of doula work is, and the different ways they can support you.
In the second and third trimesters, your doula can help to find the right birth class(es) for you and your partner. In your prenatal visit(s) you will design and practice comfort measures so that you are ready when labor starts. We help you to bond with your baby, know their position, and work in tandem with them to align for birth. Your doula will guide you in building a birth plan and communication skills with your providers.
In labor, your BYD virtual birth doula will be by your side with continuous video support in active labor. This is different than many other virtual practices that only answer questions in labor intermittently. We are with you virtually through your whole experience.
As we are at your side, your doula can watch for important signs in labor, suggest when to leave for your birthplace and how to communicate with your medical team, translate medical jargon, and when to leave for your birthplace.
The doula will be there to provide emotional and mental support. To ask you questions like “what are you thinking about right now?” and answer questions like “what will happen now?” Together, the laboring team can feel heard, supported, and treated as individuals.
The doula will be able to guide you and your partner through the best positions for the alignment and descent of the baby as well as strategize positions for optimal birthing and comfort. Together with your team, the doula will help with comfort techniques (counter pressure, massage to name a couple) and if pain management is requested your doula can stay in the room with you verbally coaching you through your epidural placement or other techniques like TENS units.
After birth, your doula can walk you through getting to know your baby, offering the breast, and basic childcare questions. There will be time to process your birth story and discuss recovery strategies. This support continues during your postpartum visit and follow-ups.
Welcome to the world of virtual doula services! Being prepared brings peace of mind in these times of uncertainty. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Not all of our doulas are available for this service. Contact us for a list of doulas who are available. We prefer to use our own Zoom video conferencing (HIPPA compliant) and FaceTime for these meetings.
Learn more on the Birthful Podcast with Jakki Devereaux.