LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Pregnancy and labor are already stressful enough for mothers-to-be, but the addition of the pandemic has added more concerns. This means finding support is even more important, and families have found help by having a doula, a non-clinical support person.
“My job is to make that room as calm, peaceful, just as celebratory as possible and I’m seeing that my work now I think is more important than ever,” said Victoria Wilson, a doula and owner of Mother Well Doula Service.
The doula’s role has changed because of COVID-19. Wilson says many appointments are held virtually, sometimes almost all meetings like in the case of one of her clients.
“Because of the pandemic, I didn’t actually see her in person ever until it was time for her to have her baby and I was a little worried about that, like how is this going to work? That’s never happened before where I’ve never actually seen somebody,” said Wilson.
Wilson says they make it work and even with the changes, she’s noticed a trend of more mothers wanting doulas now, because of the extra support.
When hospitals adopted visitor restrictions, doulas advocated being included in the process at UK HealthCare. They are exempt from the restricted visitor policy.
“The doula who is certified, has been through the training and is experienced in that role, we do consider them an important part of that team,” said JoAnne Burris, a certified nurse-midwife with the UK Midwife Clinic.
Burris says while COVID-19 is a part of the pregnancy process right now, doulas want to make sure it’s not the focus of the story in the future. That’s also where they play a key role in helping families navigate the challenges of bringing new life into the world during an unknown time.