Doulas make their way back into the delivery room, finally

EASTERN SHORE, Md. – After a few defeats earlier this year, during the pandemic protocols were in place excluding doulas from the delivery room. However, as of August 25th, TidalHealth Peninsula Regional created a new policy welcoming them back in. “They finally came up with something that is accessible to a lot of the doulas on the Eastern Shore,” says a doula out of Berlin, Summer Frederick.

After doulas on the Eastern Shore went through hardship after hardship to get in the delivery room their calls have finally been answered. “We all came together and really used our voices and I think that really enabled some change and I’m grateful that the hospital listened to us,” says Frederick.

TidalHealth Peninsula regional announced, they’re now welcoming certified doulas to take part in the birth experience for expecting mothers. In a statement,  Diane Hitchens, Senior Director for Women’s and Children’s Services says, “We welcome certified trained doulas who can provide specialized support to benefit all pregnant women in our community while in labor and throughout the postpartum period.”

Frederick tells us, she was actually able to be there to help deliver her client’s baby who originally thought wouldn’t be able to happen. “So to be able to be there and give her hands on physical support for her un-medicated birth and give her the exact birth outcome that she wanted was so special to me, I was really excited,” says Frederick.

We’re told the process is simple, doulas just fill out a form, confirm they’ve been certified by a verifiable organization, and that’s it, they’re ready to help mothers bring babies into the world. Frederick states, “So I guess it just means that we can move with what we love doing and our purpose, and we can do it easily and a lot of doulas can be there no matter what certification they have or where they’re certified through.” She adds, “To be able to get back to work and get back to having the support that they deserve, and that they need.”

We’re also told, TidalHealth is working to align with the Maryland Medical Assistance Program’s Doula Pilot Program to provide doula services to Medicaid recipients who are pregnant or postpartum in several areas of the state, with hopes that it will expand to the Eastern Shore.

If you’re a doula looking to get back into the delivery room, just click here for the online application and information about protocols.

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