Doula support for hospital births

Doula support for hospital births

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Sacred Lane Birth Services started this petition to Office of the Governor Statehouse Indianapolis, Indiana 46204-2797 Governor Holcomb

Dear Governor Holcomb, 

This letter calls on your support for the inclusion of a doula support, to laboring and birthing people admitted to all hospital systems in the state.  According to leading women's health and birthing organizations, such as, the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN), doulas should not be considered visitors in the hospital setting, rather they are critical members of the health care team during the intrapartum and recovery period.  There is undeniable evidence that these support team members are integral to a patient's pain management and emotional support during the childbearing process, in addition to reducing risks of routine interventions negatively impacting labor and birth outcomes. We argue that both the physical and psychological risks of limiting continuous labor support are greater than infection control risks related to including doulas in typical "visitor" restrictions.  

Due to COVID-19, many hospitals are restricting laboring and birthing people to ONE visitor for the duration of their stay. While we believe this is a necessary policy, it is hindering the support we as doulas provide, because we are falling under the "visitors" category.  We appreciate and respect this effort but we have a duty to do right by our clients and these restrictions may actually be putting them at risk.

We all aim to offer the best and most evidence-based care to our laboring and birthing clients throughout our state, let us work together to see that they are fully supported during this unprecedented time of uncertainty and heightened stress. Bringing a child into this world during a pandemic is not something any birthing person should have to encounter - however, it is in times such as these that we should look to the evidence and deeply consider current exclusionary policies that may cause further unnecessary physical and emotional harm and long lasting trauma.  We have been providing labor support to clients in various local hospitals for years; during flu season, SARS, H1N1, etc and we value the safety and health of our clients, hospital patients, and hospital staff.   

As a standard, we are committed to:

* Vigilant hand hygiene.

* Staying home when showing any signs of illness.

* Using a backup doula as needed.

* Wearing PPE - Provided by doula

* Respecting hospital staff and properly

* Practicing distancing while in the hospital as much as possible.  

Our clients use doulas for specific and personal reasons, and we hope that you will continue to support parent's ability to choose their support team with true autonomy and shared decision making, including the freedom to utilize professional labor support. 


Kirsten Lane - Sacred Lane Birth Services

AWHONN's Position on Doulas with Patients During COVID-19 AWHONN recognizes that doula services contribute to the woman's preparation for and support during childbirth and opposes hospital policies that restrict the presence of a doula during a women' active labor.  "Doulas are not visitors and should not be blocked from caring for patients in the antepartum, intrapartum and postpartum period,  Most doulas have been contracted by patients weeks to months ahead of time and have established provider relationships.  They are recognized by AWHONN and ACOG as essential personnel and part of the maternity care team," said AWHONN member Nancy Travis, MS, BSN, RN, BC, CPN, CBC, Florida Section Chair. AWHONN supports doulas as partners in care and acknowledges their ability to provide physical, emotional, and partner support to women. AWHONN opposes hospital policies that restrict the presence of a doula in the inpatient setting during an infections disease outbreak.

WHO on Doula Support WHO recommendations for augmentation of labor (2014): "Continuous companionship during labor is recommended for improving labor outcomes"


0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,500!
At 1,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!