WE HAVE LAUNCHED OUR PETITION ON CHANGE.ORG
Birth Doulas provide continuous physical, mental, emotional and informational support during pregnancy, birth and the early postpartum period. A Doula is a non-medical support to the birthing person and partner, and a birth companion of choice that is an essential part of the care team.
With the onset of Covid-19, in March 2020, and the introduction of the ‘one birth partner only’ rule, Maternity hospitals in Ireland have essentially prohibited Doulas from attending births, as clients were forced to make the difficult choice between their partner and their hired Doula.
The Doula Association of Ireland is asking that the Doula profession be included in the return to work roadmap and be granted access into hospitals to support their clients during labour and birth.
We have contacted every Maternity unit in the country and the majority which issued us an answer allocated Birth Doulas into the category of “visitors”.
All of the members of the Doula Association of Ireland are professionally trained, Garda vetted, and insured to work as Birth and/or Postpartum Doulas. Doulas are not visitors. We are professional labour companions asking to be treated as such.
Pregnant people and their families deserve an answer as well as dozens of professionals which comprise an important section of the birth industry and who are currently out of work with no prevision for returning.
PROPOSAL FOR UPDATED HEALTH AND SAFETY GUIDELINES FOR BIRTH DOULAS SUPPORTING CLIENTS IN HOSPITAL:
Birth Doulas shall:
1. Wear a mask at all times in the hospital.
2. Have designated clothes for wearing in the hospital.
3. Observe strict hand hygiene upon entering the hospital and the delivery suite, and every 30 minutes after that.
4. Practice hand sanitizing before entering a room and before leaving it.
5. Limit movement within the hospital to essential need.
6. Use disposable items whenever possible.
7. Minimise the number of personal items brought into the hospital to absolute necessities.
Birth Doulas shall NOT:
1. Attend births if they show any signs of an infectious illness.
2. Attend hospital births for 14 days upon returning from any travel, even within Ireland, or being around larger crowds.
3. Attend births at two different hospitals within a 14 day period.
4. Bring in any props of their own and shall only use whatever the client has brought or the hospital has provided.
Recommended Additional Training:
HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT US:
— Share this link on your social media pages and with your friends and family. The more signatures we get, the louder our voices will be heard.
— You can donate any amount to our Hardship Fund so we can continue doing our work and supporting the most vulnerable in our community.