COVID-19: Virtual Support

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, most hospitals in the Twin Cities have limited birth support to one support person. This leaves families birthing in hospitals having to make a difficult choice: do they want a partner, family member, or friend present, or do they want their doula with them? Both choices are valid, and The Olive Tree is here for you no matter what. Doulas are masters of creative solutions!

***update 6/30: HCMC, all Fairview/M Health hospitals, North Memorial, Maple Grove, Regions, and Methodist are now allowing both one support person plus a doula! 

Your Options for Birth Support

You still have lots of options for your birth support! These include:

  • hospital birth

    • Hennepin Health (HCMC), Fairview/M Health (Riverside, St. John's, Woodwinds, Southdale, Ridges), North Memorial (North Memorial, Maple Grove Hospital), and some HealthPartners (Regions, Methodist): doula and one partner/family/friend in-person

    • Allina (Abbott, United, Mercy), and some HealthPartners (Lakeview, Hudson):

      • one partner/family/friend in-person with virtual doula support
        (I am still able to join you in your home prior to going to the hospital)

      • in-person doula support with partner/family/friends present virtually

  • birth center birth

  • homebirth

NEW: Virtual One-on-One Classes

I highly recommend taking a full childbirth education course, and many are available online--email me for recommendations!

That being said, many families are looking for a little extra education to prepare for birthing in our current circumstances. I am happy to offer bite-sized virtual one-on-one classes on the following topics:

  • birth planning

  • comfort techniques for labor

  • induction prep

  • pain meds

These classes are completely individualized, one hour long, and $30 each (discounts available if you register for multiple classes). If you have questions about another topic, please reach out! If I can't help you, I know someone who can. To sign up for one of these classes, please email me at

What I'm Doing to Stay Safe

The safety of the families I serve and my own family is of utmost importance to me. Here are the safety measures I'm currently practicing:

  • Self-isolating: I only leave my home to spend time outside with my family and to attend my own (or my children's) medical appointments. My spouse is doing all of our shopping and other errands, which are limited to those that are essential, and we utilize curbside pick-up, drive through, or delivery whenever possible. We are both working from home. 

  • Masks: I and my spouse both wear cloth masks any time we're going anywhere. I wear a mask any time I am with my clients. 

  • Virtual and/or socially-distanced meetings: Whenever possible, I am asking my clients to consider virtual prenatal and postpartum meetings. All interviews are currently conducted over video chat or phone call. When meeting in-person (with the exception of your labor/birth), I am only bringing the bare minimum of personal items and will remain at least 6 feet away from you whenever possible.

  • Hand washing and other disinfecting: I have always been vigilant about hand washing (ask my kids!), but I am even more conscious now. I also clean any personal items, like my phone and keys, with 70% alcohol when I get home, and change clothes after being in any shared space.

  • Following facility requirements: As always, I am following all facility hygiene and protection requirements when attending births, such as wearing a mask and gloves, limiting contact with shared surfaces/items, and anything else requested.

  • Staying aware of current recommendations: I pay close attention to recommendations from reliable sources (CDC, WHO, MDH, among others), and follow those recommendations to the best of my ability. 

The Olive Tree

Denika Anderson, MA, SBD

full-spectrum doula serving the Twin Cities & western WI | (612) 865-3778

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