COVID-19: A Letter to our Community
SisterWeb is working with clients remotely during the City's Shelter In Place order. This means that all doulas, administration staff, and mentors will work and provide support to birthing families using remote technology.
SisterWeb acknowledges and wants to reiterate that we understand several of our clients do not have any additional support people who can accompany them to the hospital during labor. In these cases, SW doulas may attend the birth in person, as long as both doula and client have been symptom-free, serving when the doula is the ONLY support person to the client, in the hospital during labor & delivery.
SisterWeb Doula AND Client must be well and have no symptoms (runny nose, fever, cough
SisterWeb Doula AND Client must both agree that they want the doula at the birth
SisterWeb Doula MUST BE THE ONLY SUPPORT PERSON. This means that the client has no other support people who will attend the birth and the doula will be the sole support person
Get approval from both the Program Director and your Program Coordinator BEFORE attending any births
Create a plan of action with your mentor(s)
We also want to clarify the expectation, intention, and purpose for requiring doulas to receive approval prior to attending births in person is to check in with mentors to discuss plan feasibility and creating a more extensive doula strategy with an experienced thought partner.
We also want to address the difficult places SisterWeb sits within the Reproductive Justice movement and create a doula organization that we hope is safe, dignified, and sustainable for everyone we employ.
We agree with and support advocacy for birth workers to have the right to attend births. We also agree that all birthing people have the right to support they feel is safe, dignified, and desired.
SisterWeb’s leadership has repeatedly returned to the discussion of the safety of doulas working in person during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we’ve had many considerations in our decision making.
We’ve consulted with our fiscal sponsor to discuss employee liability and risk to our staff (and clients), and risk of working in hospitals.
We’ve consulted with health professionals working every day in our SF hospitals, including epidemiologists, and CDC professionals
We’ve heard directly from our doulas and staff the varying levels of personal comfort and safety attending to clients and births in person
We've spoken with our SisterWeb doulas and staff about personal health and safety, comfort levels, and risk
SisterWeb’s ethical responsibility to take care of an organizational body and how that may differ from a private doula practice and other organizations, and it’s professional implications
We know that COVID-19 Information changes daily, and all of our decisions are based on what we know and what we are learning. We are confident we’ve made the best decision for SisterWeb with the information we have right now. Please feel free to share this info as you see fit.
Thank you all again for showing up in a myriad of ways for racial justice within your institutions and dignity for families of color during the sacred time of birth.
SisterWeb San Francisco Community Doula Network