General

COVID-19: What Birthways is Doing, What You Can Do, and How to Make the Most of Home-based Supports in the Face of this Pandemic

Doula-PPE

Updated 11.16.2022

Birthways continues to ensure the highest standards of care and safety in providing in-person support to expectant and new families. We use standard and pathogen specific precautions to prevent the transmission of any infectious illness, including COVID-19 and its variants.

Since the beginning of this pandemic our founder, Karen Laing, has played an active role in creating best practice guidelines and ensuring our doulas, educators and lactation consultants get the support they need to follow these guidelines. She also provided the first training for Board Certified Lactation Consultants in the U.S. on this topic through USLCA.

We implement best practice measures as outlined by the CDC to protect our employees and the families we support. In the presence of a known pathogen in any individual or in the event of community spread infections, we will follow guidelines to prevent transmission, follow quarantine or isolation guidelines, and will keep you informed of any exposures. We ask that you do the same to keep our staff and other families safe.

Birthways has been doing this work for over 25 years and our team members are in the habit of upholding routine precautions including:

  • Mandatory handwashing and hygiene practices following best practice guidelines.
  • Self-reporting symptoms of illness in advance of any scheduled care so that any cancellations or backup plans can be implemented.
  • Restrictions on working with households that may have infectious illness.

If you’re pregnant or are home with your newborn, we recognize that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak may feel overwhelming and stressful as you prepare for and then settle in with your baby. We want to ease the worry and help make this transition as special and sweet as it can be, in whatever ways we can. Practicing with care to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is a way that we can take care of you and your family, as well as our extended community.

What Birthways is Doing

  • We are excited to announce that we will resume some of our on-site and in-person offerings while continuing to provide the convenience of online classes and virtual appointments. Talk with us about your preferences as you schedule appointments or sign up for classes.
  • Birthways is staying up to date with hospital and birth center policies so our doulas can best support you at your chosen birth location.
  • We have appropriate PPE and policies and procedures in place to ensure that providers who care for families directly are at low risk of exposure to COVID-19 both at work and outside of work.
  • We provide benefits, such as health insurance, sick pay, and paid and unpaid extended leave benefits so that the hardship of staying home through quarantine or self-monitoring periods is minimized.

What Your Doula is Doing:

All Birthways doulas:

  • Have received training to minimize the transmission of any infectious illness, and follow careful hand hygiene, household surface disinfection, and food preparation guidelines. We will be in communication with you should your doula have symptoms or any exposures, and we will plan for any backup plans as needed.
  • Will follow local ordinances and public health recommendations as it relates to reducing the spread of Covid-19 or responding to any other public health threats.
  • Wear face coverings or if/when face covering mandates lift, will continue to use face coverings when appropriate or requested, and will follow best practices as determined by the vaccination status, age, immune status, or other risk factors of the household members. Doulas wear coverings to protect you, their own health, and that of their families and other clients.

What We Ask Of You, Our Birthways Families

Your home is our work environment.

  • Contact us immediately regarding any symptoms that you or anyone in your home is experiencing, if you have any known or suspected exposures, and if you must travel somewhere that increases your risk of exposure.
  • While our doulas will wear face masks in your house if you request it, we ask that you also wear face masks during the doula’s shift if they request it.

Karen Laing

Karen Laing is a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Teacher with experience in trauma and caregiving. She's spent the last 25 years supporting families through major life transitions such as birth and postpartum care. She founded Birthways over 20 years ago to support expectant families and provide training and support for birthworkers. She created WisdomWay as a means to continue supporting all caregivers with mindfulness-based training and certifications. She speaks nationwide on mindfulness, parenting, caregiving, and mental health.
Founded in 1997

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