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Boston Doula Circle Guide to Virtual Support for Clients

(May be copied for public use with attribution to

Additional Items to bring in your hospital bag:

  • iPad and charger or a laptop and charger. Headphones/earphones/earbuds with microphone x2

  • Please consider bringing wired earphones/headphones, as some types of wireless hospital equipment are impacted by bluetooth signals

What to do today:

  • Contact your phone service carrier and ensure your data plan is large enough to handle video chat for many hours

  • Optional: Install the Zoom app on a laptop/iPad and all smartphones (both birthing person and partner).  See below for step by step

  • Optional: Create a Zoom account. See below for step by step

While laboring at home with remote support:

  • Your doula will give you a link to our Zoom meeting.  Join the meeting on your laptop or iPad

  • Feel free to turn off/on your mute and video as needed

  • When you plan to leave for your birthing place, please join the same meeting via phone, so you and the doula can stay connected during this time

When you arrive at the hospital:

  • If you have time and are able to, please call back into the meeting with a laptop or iPad.  If you are not able to connect to the hospital WiFi, consider setting up your smartphone as a WiFi hotspot.  Try to find the widest camera angle possible, so the doula can have a full picture of the room.  Please leave this video on continuously.

  • There may be brief periods when hospital staff is in the room, and it is helpful for the doula to speak to you directly without everyone in the room listening.  At these moments, the doula may ask you to call her by phone for a more private conversation.  You may want to use earbuds/headphones at these times.

Other things to consider:

  • Consider getting a pair of CozyPhones/SleepPhones or something similar.  These may be more comfortable than having earbuds for a longer period of time.

  • If you are planning to bring an iPad, you may need to consider getting a stand or a case that will allow the iPad to be free-standing without holding it.

How to join a Zoom meeting:

  • For computers, tablets, or smartphones. Click on link provided by BDC in your email.

  • A new tab or window will open with options on how to join:

  • For easy access without creating an account or downloading an app, select the option “Join from your browser” at the bottom of the screen

  • If you have already downloaded the Zoom app or have a log-in, follow the prompts provided to join the meeting using your account

Optional — Downloading the Zoom App on a Computer:

  • Before starting make sure to have a functioning computer with working audio (and ideally video)

  • To access the download link, visit

  • Click on the “Download” button under “Zoom Client for Meetings” and follow your computer’s instructions for installing the app

  • Once installed, open to launch the Zoom app and a dialogue box will appear

  • Click on “Sign Up Free” to create your account

  • Please repeat the download steps 1-3 for your phone and/or tablet.  You will only need one account.

Optional — Creating a Zoom Account:

  • When you go to, click the “sign up it’s free” button on the far right of the top bar.  Follow the instructions to create your account. 

(Note:  Downloading the app and creating an account are NOT required to participate in a Zoom meeting.  You can go straight to the video chat with your doula by clicking the meeting link provided in your doula’s email message.)

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