PALS Doulas strongly opposes hospital policies that restrict the presence of a doula with their client during labor at any time. Numerous studies have documented the benefits of doulas in improving outcomes when they provide continuous support to families throughout the birthing process. At this time when families are under increased stress to labor with limited access to extended support structures, Doulas are continuing to provide this valuable service.
“Doulas have often spent months with families, preparing them for the journey of becoming parents. We are not “just visitors”. We should be treated with the respect accorded to any perinatal professional, and access to our clients supported by hospital staff and administration as our client’s needs.” PALS Doulas Board Member Jen Hamilton, CD(PALS) CLE, Seattle, WA.
PALS Doulas supports all doulas working with families as partners in care and acknowledges their incomparable role to promote the birthing person’s autonomy while providing physical, emotional, and partner support. All doulas are being encouraged to use best practices (hygiene, self-screening, virtual visits, appropriate social distancing as warranted, etc.) to ensure the health of the families they support and themselves during this time. PALS Doulas opposes hospital policies that restrict the presence of a doula in the inpatient setting during an infectious disease outbreak.
Doulas were recognized as essential care workers in Washington State by Gov. Inslee on March 23, 2020. You can read the full text here.