In June the doulas of the San Francisco General Hospital Volunteer Doula Program invited BADP volunteers to join them at the hospital for an educational meeting about induction terminations. Alexandra Smelick who volunteers with both doula organizations reported a great turnout from both.
At the meeting, two SFGH doulas as well as one nurse spoke movingly about their experiences supporting women through induction terminations. Induction terminations are offered at SFGH in cases where it is indicated for lethal fetal anomalies or where maternal health is compromised by the pregnancy. In most cases, women having induction terminations are terminating a desired pregnancy.
Similar to birth doula work, a doula supporting a woman through an induction termination needs to tune into the woman’s requests, needs, and desires so she can advocate for the patient. There are important differences, though; for example, it’s helpful for doulas to know that patients may want their support with regards to decisions that hospital staff are responsible for raising with them, such as baptizing a baby, cremation, taking a lock of hair, making footprints, etc.
The SFGH volunteer doulas expressed lots of enthusiasm for the SFGH/BADP partnership and many indicated a desire to be trained as BADP doulas so that they could help provide doula services to more women experiencing induction terminations.
Our leadership is working hard to creatively partner with the SFGH Volunteer Doula Program as well as other Bay Area organizations that support women throughout their reproductive lives, such as the upcoming trainings
. Watch this space for the exciting news of those collaborations, and please get in touch if you work with an organization we should know about.