© 2024 Ideastream Public Media

1375 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44115
(216) 916-6100 | (877) 399-3307

WKSU is a public media service licensed to Kent State University and operated by Ideastream Public Media.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
To contact us with news tips, story ideas or other related information, e-mail newsstaff@ideastream.org.

Postcards From The Pandemic: Technology Helps A Doula Help Moms

Doula Megan Benander DeHaven with her son, Nolan, and daughter, Heidi. [Megan Benander DeHaven]
Doula Megan Benander DeHaven with her son, Nolan, and daughter, Heidi.

For months, doulas have been banned from area hospitals because of the pandemic. The Cleveland Clinic recently began allowing doulas back into labor and delivery rooms, but many local hospitals still don't allow them in. That's meant doulas have had to figure out how to support their patients at a distance.

Megan Benander DeHaven, a birth and postpartum doula and hypnobirthing instructor at CleBaby, said technology has helped her help moms. 

Helping Moms Give Birth Through Zoom

Since COVID, being a doula has changed dramatically. A couple that we were with, her water breaks on March 18 and the hospital shut down on March 18 to doulas. 

So we haven’t been able to do, like, hip squeezes, pain management techniques, comfort measures physically with them. But we’ve been able to watch on Zoom and say, ‘Hey dad, lower on the back with the hip squeezes’ or you know, offer suggestions by viewing what they’re doing.

A couple set up a tripod and had us on Zoom the entire time. Another couple the dad texted us the entire time. Another couple there was a combination of calling and texting. So it really, truly varied the amount of support that we’ve given throughout this COVID.

Getting Comfy in Class

Hypnobirthing classes have really picked up. Moving them online has had some great positives. They can get comfy at home!

Some negatives, I would say is yesterday I taught them some techniques to try on the backs of moms, but I would have loved to do it in person to show them how to do it. But I’ve been able to correct them if I don’t see what they’re doing is correct. 

Back to Work

Helping couples deliver through Zoom is not something I was ever thinking that would be possible, but I’ve been so happy that we’ve been able to help any way we could. So we’re just really, really excited to get back into the hospitals.