Statement on COVID-19
Clients, care providers, community, and readers:
By now you most certainly know that we are in a global health crisis and that novel Coronavirus, known as COVID-19, has made its way to Tennessee and that 98 people have been infected in the state at the time of writing this (March 18, 2020). You have probably received emails from many companies explaining the steps they have taken to protect their employees, customers, and the community as a whole during this time of so many unknowns.
We also understand that you, too, have questions.
What are we doing to keep you, our families, safe? How are we ensuring that our team is being kept safe? And largely, how are we contributing to keeping our community protected?
As doulas, newborn care specialists, lactation professionals, perinatal educators, and placenta specialists, we are often in very intimate positions with our clients, being invited into the homes and birth spaces of the families we work with. We, Arielle and I, as the owners of Music City Doulas, have been keeping abreast of updates from the Centers of Disease Control and World Health Organizations, as well as the local hospitals and their understandably ever-changing policies during this pandemic where things are changing literally minute to minute.
Firstly, everyone currently working with families amidst this pandemic has now been enrolled in and has certified in COVID-19: Best Practices for Doulas, Lactation Consultants, and Perinatal Educators. This training is continuing to update as new information is learned and updates are pushed through accordingly so our team can remain up-to-date.
Our team is practicing and modeling social distancing, as recommended by Public Health officials, which includes avoiding groups, hugs, handshakes, and sharing food.
When possible, we are performing meetings online or over-the-phone. Our birth and parenting classes have been moved to an online format. You can learn more about this on the blog next week or by contacting us directly. We are also moving our prenatal and post-birth visits to online formats when appropriate.
When we do come into contact with our clients or into their homes, we are taking extra precautions. Before knocking or touching the doorknob, our team is to hand sanitize. We request that clients keep cleaning and disinfecting products available in the homes so that our team may disinfect frequently used and high touch areas, such as door handles, faucets, baby changing stations, refrigerator doors, countertops, etc upon entering and before leaving the home. Our team removes shoes and outerwear at the door and places them separately from the family's belongings before putting on a change of clothes or clean top to be worn over clothes, freshly washed in hot water and brought in a sealed bag. Hands are washed to the elbows and faces are kept separated from baby's at all times and a blanket can be used as a barrier between baby and clothes. Phones are also to be disinfected and only used if necessary. When they leave, they repeat the same process at their own homes, in addition to cleaning and disinfecting the high touch areas of their cars, such as the door handles, steering wheel, shifter, etc.
Additionally, we are making every effort to keep ONE doula with ONE family at a time. At this time, the only families with more than one doula are the families in the front lines like our healthcare providers who are very much in need of frequent, consistent, and reliable care and in that case, then two doulas are only providing care to one family at a time.
If any doula has been in contact with someone exhibiting symptoms similar to COVID-19 or has the symptoms themselves, they are being asked to stay home and self-quarantine for 14 days. Additionally, we are asking that our families make us aware if they have been in contact with anyone exhibiting signs of illness or have signs of illness themselves so that we may reschedule any shifts until well again.
We know these times are very trying and filled with anxiety and so many unknowns. We want to assure our families that we are working diligently to provide the highest level of care you have come to know and trust. We are working hard to provide you with some peace of mind and for you to feel that we are caring for your family in the same way we would want our own family cared for.
Ashley Stebbins, Co-Owner