To Whom It May Concern: Let me in your OR

March 7, 2011.

Dear _________,

I’m writing to introduce myself as the doula for one your clients. I’m very much looking forward to collaborating with you or a member of your team the night that ______ gives birth.

As a doula, I am a birth coach who focuses on supporting the emotional experience of parents in labour. My intention in the labour room is to be a non-intrusive support to ____________ and to help them cope with the overwhelming sensations and feelings that often accompany childbirth. I have a great respect for the health care team and always defer to them for consultations and advice for clinical decisions. I’ve received welcome reviews from nurses, doctors and midwives because of this and look forward to learning from you during ______’s birth as well.

I hope that we’ll have your support in allowing me to be present in the OR to support __________. I have been present in the OR for cesarean deliveries in the past and understand the respect for space and safety necessary should my presence be welcomed in an OR delivery. As recently as February, I was even invited in to the OR by an anesthesiologist who had worked with me at a previous delivery.

Doulas have shown to make a significant difference in the outcomes of both vaginal and cesarean deliveries for parents and are now encouraged to attend deliveries in the OR in both BC and Nova Scotia. The benefits of doula support have been documented for sometime; the most recent publication I have found is the 2011 Cocharane Report on Continuous Support for Women During Childbirth which outlines the impacts of doula support on lowering the likelihood of interventions and increasing the satisfaction and sense of support that parents experience during their birth.

I understand that it is a privilege for me to attend a delivery in the OR and that it is the preference or decision of the anesthesiologist on call the day of _______’s delivery. However your support in this request can make a significant difference in the decision and we hope that you’ll extend your support for our request to your colleagues. In the event of an emergency, I understand that I may be asked to leave to ensure space constraints do not jeopardize the safety of the OR; in a situation where I am asked to leave the OR by yourself or the anesthesiologist, I will leave the OR without resistance or questioning.

All of us share the same priority of keeping Mom and babies safe, however there is a lot we can do to deepen the extent to which parents’ feel supported and comfortable during their birth while maintaining a safe situation. I offer my sincerest gratitude to you for considering our request and invite you to contact me anytime if you have thoughts, concerns or questions that you’d like to discuss before the delivery.

Looking forward to meeting you soon!

Warm Regards,

Amanda Spakowski