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Chesapeake doula recommends virtual services amid coronavirus outbreak

With visitor restrictions at hospitals changing due to COVID-19, Kasha Toffah is equipping expectant moms with a birthing plan in case she can’t be there in person.

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Giving birth can be an extremely physical and emotional experience for women. Some choose to have a doula, a trained professional who provides continuous support to a mother before, during, and after childbirth. 

“It's extremely important just to have that support and have that understanding,” says Kasha Toffah, who owns Wholesome Hearts Doula Services based in Chesapeake. “And oftentimes... I'm here to talk about things that you can't talk to about with your husband, you can't talk to about with your mom.”

But amid coronavirus concerns hospitals are restricting visitors, leaving the possibility of a doula being in the room during childbirth up in the air. 

“It was almost like a gut punch, you know what I mean?” Toffah says. “Because... [I] have been with some of my clients since about 10 weeks. And we've been on this journey together this long time and preparing and really digging deep into things together.”

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Faced with the chance of not being allowed to enter the hospital when her clients go into labor, Toffah began recommending an alternative service: a virtual doula. 

“Birth planning, kinda going through what the birth plan looks like... It would just be a call... and we can still be able to discuss those things,” says Toffah. “Still having me here virtually is important to them as well and important to me.”

While many pregnant women are worried about having a baby during a public health crisis, Toffah hopes her efforts to be there for her clients -- one way or another -- gives them a little peace of mind. 

“I just hope that they have all the tools that they need, all the education,” says Toffah. “I give chances to ask questions, and my goal is essentially just to make sure that they know their options and they know what's available to them.“

To learn more about Kasha Toffah and Wholesome Hearts Doula Services, visit https://doulamatch.net/profile/23342/kasha-toffah or email wholesomeheartsx3@gmail.com. You can also visit her Facebook and Instagram pages.

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