Pacific Association of Labor Support | Supporting the Professional Doula since 1989
11.24.20 UPDATE: Sign the Overlake petition!
Dear Overlake Administration, We are writing to express our deep disappointment and concern about the updated visitor policy announced, Monday, 11.24.2020. In that policy obstetric patients are limited to one support person. I, as a laboring person, now have to choose between my primary support/partner and the presence of the doula I fired to support our family through this time of transition. NO other hospital system in the greater Seattle area have barred doulas from serving their clients during this pandemic. We believe that these policy changes will negatively impact the most vulnerable populations as doula work is social justice work.
• Health care providers and caregivers (e.g., physicians, dentists, psychologists, mid-level
practitioners, nurses and assistants, infection control and quality assurance personnel, pharmacists, physical and occupational therapists and assistants, midwives and DOULAS
(emphasis added) attending facility-based or home-based births, alternative healthcare
providers, social workers, speech pathologists and diagnostic and therapeutic technicians
We applaud and thank you for your dedication to protecting the lives of healthcare workers and the public. Our doula, as a fellow essential worker, understands the seriousness of COVID19, as do we. We also know that World Health Organization supports the rights of birthing families to have a companion of choice in labor, stating a companion of choice “can bridge gaps between a woman in labor and the healthcare workers around her, offer massage or hand-holding to help relieve pain, and provide reassurance to help her feel in control.” Our doula is our companion of choice. In this current environment, we lack the extended family and community support we would have otherwise would have had access to. Research supports the positive impact of doulas. We are well aware that denying us, and other birthing families access, to the support of our choosing has the potential to negatively impact birth outcomes, immediate and long-term. The stress of this policy change is currently negatively impacting us, and certainly other families. Nationally, an estimated 6% of birthing families choose doula support (Listening to Mothers Survey, 2018), though locally we estimate that number to be 2-2.5x higher. In 2019, 3,537 deliveries took place at Overlake (hca.wa.gov 2019 Preliminary
Delivery Statistics). Even at 6%, that equates to 212 doula supported births at Overlake. 212 doula supported births seems like a small number relative to control of the pandemic but means everything to our family. As a patient of Overlake, I urgently request that you revise your visitor policy for Obstetrics patients to include professional labor support. Sincerely,
The jury has been back on the positive impact of doulas on birth satisfaction and improved outcomes for 30+ years. From research articles, scholarly reviews, recommendations from ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) as well current pregnancy and parent magazines, doulas are here to stay. Check out what they have to say.
PALS is the original doula organization dedicated to the development of the professional doula. Our goal is to doula you on your professional path and connect you with a rich and diverse community for ongoing support and skill development.
For other birth professionals, being a PALS Doula means community, development, and accountability to our organizational guidelines.
PALS Doulas (formerly the Pacific Association of Labor Support) have been supporting birthing families in the community since 1989. We continue that tradition by connecting you with our many available certified and certifying doulas.
All doulas listed on this website are members in good standing with current, active certification or pursing certification with PALS Doulas.
“While the doula probably knows more than the partner about birth, hospitals and maternity care, the partner knows more about the birthing person’s personality, likes, dislikes and needs. Moreover, the partner loves the birthing person more than anyone else there. The combination of partner and doula, along with a caring staff gives the birthing person the best chance of an optimal outcome.”
-Penny Simkin, author of The Birth Partner
Request a Doula
Are you looking for a doula? Click here to complete a simple form and we will send available PALS Doulas name and contact information to YOU
We’ve been connecting and supporting doulas for 30 years. We are here to answer your questions. help you find the right training for you, and assist you in certifying.
We are committed to removing barriers to and increasing accessibility to membership and certification with PALS Doulas for ALL Doulas in Washington State regardless of training organizations; as such we offer a variety of full and partial scholarships. Click below to apply or to donate in support of PALS Doulas. As a 501(c)6 organization we are sustained through the support of our members (via membership and certification fees) and generous support of community members.
“Only with trust, faith, and support can the birthing person allow the birth experience to enlighten and empower them. Thier strongest feelings [in terms of their birthings], positive and negative, focus on the way they were treated by their caregivers.”
-Penny Simkin and Annie Kennedy, PALS Founders
We’re committed to providing a safe place for everyone to grow, birth, and find their best health. By caring for you and your family we strive to help prepare you for the transition to parenthood and the new addition to your family.
All people and families are welcome. We’d be honored to be a part of your journey.
If you dream of serving birthing persons and families, the Simkin Center for Allied Birth Vocations at Bastyr University delivers knowledge, tools, and skills you can immediately use in your community. Since 1988, the Simkin Center has helped more than 8500 students meet their educational goals and go on to become leaders in their professions.
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Community-based support for the families who need it most.
We help parents and children develop the confidence and skills they need to become their own best advocates. Our network of trained birth doulas and community-based early parenting support create positive early childhood outcomes that last a lifetime.
Serving Seattle since 2008.
Our comfortable, family-friendly classroom is located in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle. We believe every family is unique. We strive to provide a safe and productive environment for all families.
If we improve birth today, future generations will thrive! EVERY SINGLE BIRTHING PERSON is deserving of respect, care and unconditional support.
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