Many postpartum doulas have clients that are considering cancelling or already have. They don’t want to but are very concerned for the health of their newborn baby. During this time of need here are a few suggestions that we have come up with from postpartum doula trainers that may be helpful.
- Consider only working for one client at a time with a two-week break (wait time) in between when that contract ends, and you have a new client. That way you can make sure you have not contracted the virus before moving on to the new client.
- Some families have asked doulas to live in with them for the period of their contract to limit exposure. You could shorten your contract to have you live in for just a few weeks and work longer hours. If you could work a 10 to 12-hour day you can teach them a lot of things or help them rest during that time and maybe get them off to an even better start. Another possibility would be to live in and work 2 shifts a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon/evening. Doulas who are doing overnight care could do an 8pm to 8am shift or something similar and knock out an 8-week contract in 3 weeks as a live in. Be creative.
- Be extra careful and severely limit your activity to just your home and their home. This includes restricting your other family members to do the same. Follow the social distancing guidelines, wash hands frequently, wear disposable gloves or ones you can wash when going out. Also wear gloves when working for your client. Wearing masks are also now being suggested by the CDC. I also am keeping my house very clean and wiping down doorknobs and cupboard handles and things that are touched often with your hands on a daily basis. I wash clothing and bed linens frequently. Wipe down and sanitize the inside of your car frequently especially steering wheel, door handle and knobs you touch often. Take vitamins, eat healthy and get sleep yourself. You want to keep your immune system in tip top shape. PS. If you can’t find disposable gloves consider Playtex rubber gloves you can wash frequently and disinfect so each time you go back to their home, they are sterile.
- Extend your contract and allow them to claim any unused hours up till 6 months to 1 year. I know this is not ideal, but the family is likely to still need support during the first year.
- Offer to run errands for them or shop for them. They might be more comfortable with a professional doula who is responsible and has a code of ethics to follow then just someone who delivers.
- You can offer to help with infant feeding, calming and coping tips, emotional support or any education via Face time, Zoom or any other virtual method. Remember how well a doll can work when you are demonstrating them virtually.
- Make yourself available for email questions and phone conversations as part of your time.