Speak Up! // Mothers-to-be must demand their rights

By Malky Klein, DONA certified doula

It’s 4:30 a.m. and I am awakened by the ringing of my phone. It’s time! A beautiful neshamah is about to enter this world, and I will have the honor of assisting the soon-to-be newborn’s mother. To make sure that everything will go smoothly, I had called the hospital the day before to confirm that all I needed was an ID and my doula certificate. I was assured that I was good to go.

With hastened steps, I grab my doula bag, call a taxi and head to the hospital. By now, it’s 5 a.m. Soon-to-be Mommy is anxious and is happy to hear that I’m arriving. Soon-to-be Tatty meets me at the reception desk, and immediately informs me that security won’t let him upstairs to join his wife. I am disturbed by this and try to reassure him that they will let him up soon.

At 8:30 a.m. we are still in the lobby, waiting for security to let us through. The frantic Mommy is all alone, with only her cell phone to reach her husband and doula. She is in pain, but the nurses are occupied and check in on her only once every half-hour.

Finally, after hours of waiting, the husband and I are ushered into the labor and delivery area. But our story doesn’t end here, because we still have to be admitted. It’s 9:30 by the time the husband is led into his wife’s room. As for me, I have yet to meet the head nurse, who will inspect my doula credentials and determine whether it passes muster with the hospital’s COVID guidelines.

This is just one example of what happens very often these days. Pregnant women are finding themselves confused, dependent on the whims of others. They have lost the right to make their own choices. I’ve spoken to countless women who gave birth at home out of fear of being along in the hospital.

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