Families requesting in-hospital birth support continue to jump through big, shiny hoops in the city of Barrie.
A letter of request must be sent to the nurse manager who then takes it to a committee for deliberation and decisions.
For the average person or couple - permission may or may not be granted however, If there are extenuating circumstances - past loss or trauma, anxiety and depression, then disclosing this to the committee may get your doula in the door. However, the act of writing, requesting and disclosing personal and confidential information to a battalion of strangers has a high risk for further trauma and psychological damage.
Even with permission granted, there are times where Doulas and Partners have not been allowed in. Meantime, Toronto-based hospitals have been welcoming Doulas for more than a year without issue. The majority of Ontario hospitals have new guidelines in place and have welcomed doulas all throughout the last nine months. Just not in Barrie.
There is an added issue at hand. With no known reason for arbitrary decisions that are not rooted in evidence-based care or health unit guidelines and are made by staff and not by the governing Board, there is more community unrest and distrust in the medical model of childbirth in facilities like the one in Barrie. We hear about it every day. Because of this, many people are opting to birth outside of the hospital setting and are also not utilizing the services of local midwives. More people than ever before are feeling forced to birth without assistance or intervention and there are definite risks associated with this practice.
Meantime, The Doula Group continues to polish hoops with their clients.