WINNIPEG -- Visitor access at all Manitoba hospitals have been suspended due to COVID-19, and the new rules are affecting the birth plans of some expecting mothers.

Nathalie Laramee, owner of Bump to Baby Doula Services, said since heightened measures went into effect in hospitals, she hasn’t been able to attend births or post delivery visits with her clients.

“It’s like having this almost one year relationship, (and) just all of a sudden, nope,” said Laramee. "You can’t see each other, and you can only communicate via social media or text message, so it was hard.”

Laramee said hospitals have a one support per mother policy, so if a mother is with her partner, the doula can’t go in with them. She said doula’s are a support for both parents during pregnancy, and it can be a very challenging and emotional time.

Laramee understands the need for heightened measures, but believes doulas should be tested for COVID-19. If clean, they should be granted access to medical facilities so they can provide support to their clients.

“All the health care workers are in, the doctors are in, the support staff is in, and they get tested everyday before they walk in the door, so test us,” said Laramee.

She said this is a time where people need to support each other more than ever.

“Let us be there, let us (perform) our role, let us support people who need the support.”