The Doula Association of Alberta (DAA) has reviewed the Alberta government's newly released "Open for Summer" plan, and has noted the following information, as it relates to birth professionals and Alberta birthing families:
- Birth and postpartum doulas may continue caring for families in private residential settings, provided PPE and public health guidelies are followed.
- In Stage 2, group activities such as childbirth education and breastfeeding support groups will be expected to resume in indoor settings such as community centres and libraries.
- In Stage 2, doulas could resume client engagement activities in public settings such as coffee shops, restaurants, or local meeting facilities, both indoors and outdoors.
- No changes have been announced with respect to birth or postpartum doula access in acute care sites in any outlined Stage of the plan. The current policy of one support person in inpatient settings only remains in effect; an additional designated support person may be considered by unit leadership to meet the needs of some birthing circumstances.
Alberta doulas are eager to resume normal operations in hospitals across the province, where more than 90 percent of all births take place. As such, the Doula Association of Alberta will proceed, as scheduled, to discuss professional doula access at acute care sites with stakeholders including Alberta Health Services, representatives of the provincial legislature, and local association liaisons on June 2, 2021.
Further updates to accessibility and public health guidance will be released as soon as any changes are confirmed.