Allow Ohio Doulas to be considered essential in hospital delivery during COVID-19

Allow Ohio Doulas to be considered essential in hospital delivery during COVID-19

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Fruit of the Womb Perinatal Services started this petition to Ohio State Senate and

Doulas have been proven to be an important asset in a woman's labor and delivery as well as in the early postpartum weeks. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and The Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) have supported the importance of doulas as part of a woman's healthcare team.  Doulas have also shown to help improve maternal and infant outcomes according to the Cochrane database.

The CDC recently updated their recommendations for support persons for women with suspected or positive indications of COVID-19 in April 2020 stating:

"Healthcare facilities providing inpatient obstetrical care should limit visitors to pregnant women who have known or suspected COVID-19 infections.
Visitors should be limited to those essential for the pregnant woman’s well-being and care (emotional support persons).
Depending upon the extent of community-transmission, institutions may consider limiting visitors to one essential support person and having that person be the same individual throughout the hospitalization."

We have found that hospitals have limited all mothers with or without suspected or positive indications for COVID-19 to only one support person excluding doulas as a part of the women's healthcare team, forcing women to choose between partners or a doula they have paid months prior and formed an emotional connection with. We find this both difficult and stressful for laboring women.

AWHON released this statement:

“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 woman’s 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 infectious disease outbreak. Read more about AWHONN’s position on continuous labor support for every woman here.”

We petition that Ohio Hospitals include and specify doulas as essential workers and an important aspect to lowering Ohio's Maternal and Infant health outcomes including:

-Lower Cesarean Rates

-Lower prematurity rates

- Lowering infant mortality

-Lowering Maternal Mortality Rate

-Lowering BlackWomen's Maternal Mortality Rates

- Increasing Breastfeeding rates

I and many doulas have tried to assist women virtually but find it in the best interest for many mothers who so choose, to assist them in hospital, at home, or in a birthing center.

Resources:

COVID- 19 and Doulas

https://www.dona.org/covid-19-and-doulas/ 

https://www.prodoula.com/doula-support-covid19/

 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
At 200 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!