What is a Doula?
As a birth doula, I support women in labor to help ensure a safe, satisfying, and memorable birth experience. my role focuses on providing physical comfort as well as emotional & informational support. I also help facilitate communication between you and your providers/hospital staff to make sure you are able to make informed decisions as they arise. I can provide reassurance and perspective to you and your partner, make suggestions for labor progress, and help with relaxation, massage, positioning, and other techniques for comfort. I'm also trained to assist with breastfeeding. I am passionate about the world of pregnancy and childbirth, understanding that these are moments create memories to last a lifetime. I believe that women's bodies were designed to give birth, that life is a gift, and that birth tends to be best experienced when a mother and her partner feel supported, heard, and cared for. I am fully certified through DONA International, and have been practicing as a doula since August of 2008.
I will meet with you 1-2 times before labor (typically one of these is a home visit) to get acquainted as well as to discuss your birth preferences/birth plan, various options during labor, as well as any concerns or fears you might be feeling as labor approaches. We'll also talk about relaxation and coping techniques, and I will learn how I can best support you and your partner together.
In addition to our prenatal visits, I'm also available for phone and email support any time you have questions or concerns during your pregnancy.
I am considered to be officially on-call for you from your 38th week until you deliver.
I will also inform you of any dates and times that I know of (if and as they arise) where I would be unavailable for labor support. To cover those times, I will arrange for a back-up doula to be on-call.
When You Are In Labor
Please call me when you think you might be in labor, even if you do not yet need me. I can answer questions and make suggestions over the phone. We will decide if I should come right then or wait for further change. I usually need approximately one hour (in addition to travel time) to get to you from the time you ask me to come. I am happy to come to your home while you labor, or meet you directly at the hospital, whichever you prefer. Also, except for extraordinary circumstances, I will remain with you throughout your labor and birth.
I usually stay with you for approximately an hour after delivery to see that you are comfortable, answer postpartum questions, and help with initial breastfeeding if desired.
Lastly, I will follow-up with a postpartum home visit, typically within 1-2 weeks after delivery to see how you and your baby are doing, answer questions, bring any photos I have taken, and process your birth experience with you.
As a Doula, According to the DONA International Code of Ethics, I do not:
Failure of a Doula to Provide Services:
I love serving women and couples in labor and will make every effort to provide the services described here. On rare occasion this is sometimes impossible (for example, with a very rapid labor). If I were to be unable to attend your birth (and unable to provide a back-up) and the failure was due to my error, there would be no charge for my services and I would refund the retaining fee. If it were due to circumstances beyond anyone's control (ie. rapid labor), or your inability/choice not to call me, I will keep the retaining fee, but there will be no further charges.
My fee for the services described here is $700 , and can be paid as follows:
$350.00 as a *non-refundable deposit/retainer fee, due when you select me as your doula. (* Exceptions for extenuating circumstances may be made, at my discretion.)
$350.00 due at your postpartum home visit, unless other arrangements are made.
I have read this letter describing our doula's services and agree that it reflects the discussion I/We have had with her.
Adapted from DONA Birth Doula Workshop Manual/Doula Business Letter of Agreement doc. 2006.