With the province of Ontario slowly re-opening certain businesses, we feel it is important to be transparent about our services at NCFD. Rules and guidelines are changing on a daily basis. And, as always, fake news and misinformation are running rampant.
As of right now, certain Ontario hospitals are allowing one support person at a birth. The hospitals are not specifying the relationship of this support person. They could be your spouse, your mother, your doula, etc. These rules vary greatly by hospital and birthing centre and we strongly encourage you to inquire with your medical provider. For the rules surrounding a home birth, please inquire with your midwifery clinic.
Okay, great! The hospital says doulas can be present. We’re good to go!
Not so fast… We still need to consider the guidelines of the Government of Ontario:
- Physical/Social Distancing: Keep a 2-meter (6-foot) distance between people who are not part of your household. The minimum fine of ignoring social distancing rules is $750.
- Non-Essential Service: Doulas are not considered an essential service at this time (some rare exceptions do apply for charity-based organizations). As a non-essential business, failure to comply with these new regulations can result in up to 1 year in jail or a fine of up to $100,000.
Given the above restrictions, our doulas are not providing in-person support at this time. We will re-visit our decision once non-essential businesses are able to provide in-person services.
But I really need a doula!
Not to worry – we have virtual doula services! These services have a strong emphasis on educating parents on their birthing options, non-medical pain relief, what to expect during each stage of labour/birth, pain relief options at the hospital, etc. We can add more prenatal meetings than we would have in person. Prenatal and postpartum visits are done through Zoom. Labour and birth support may be done through text, phone or video calls.
What happens if my due date is in late summer or fall?
At this time, you are only able to purchase virtual support packages. If the restrictions loosen up as we approach your due date, we can always upgrade your package to in-person birth support.
What about postnatal or night doula support?
As with birth doula services, we have virtual packages available for when your baby (babies) arrive earth-side. Since we cannot physically support you, we are emphasizing education, when to call your doula, how to cope at night, etc. Video calls are also a great way to get some lactation help!
May 27th update: We are hoping to re-open our in-person support for postnatal/night doula services in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for more information!
We want all families to feel as safe and empowered as possible. No matter what your birthing and parenting preferences are, we are here to support you. Know that we miss you all dearly and that we are counting down the days until we can be there with you in this new world! But also remember that we believe in you, that we know you’re trying hard in spite of the struggles and that we will get through this together.
Click here to learn more about how Ontario is stopping the spread of COVID.