A Doula can make all the difference in helping you achieve a beautiful natural birth. We would not recommend choosing a hospital birth without a skilled Doula. This is someone who is a skilled and experienced facilitator in natural pregnancy and natural gentle birth, and who is also knowledgeable of current medical and hospital protocols and procedures.
Doula service includes availability for advice, suggestions, referrals, answering questions throughout the pregnancy. This can be by phone or by email. A helpful resource library is also available for Doula clients. With the Doula service offering we can impart education and knowledge of much of what is “non-medical” that we ordinarily cover at prenatal visits with our home birth clients.
The basic Doula service includes two prenatal in-person visits, labor and birth and immediate postpartum attendance, and one postpartum visit (breastfeeding support). One of the before birth visits can include attendance with you at one of your scheduled prenatal exam visits if you choose. If women desire, we are available to come to the home for the “early labor” part to help decide when is the best time to go to the hospital for the birthing.
A Doula is not meant to “replace” the very important support of your partner/husband/birth companion but rather to support the two of you throughout the process.
We will be on call for you from 38 weeks to 42 weeks: (2 weeks before and 2 weeks after your due date).
We are independent and self-employed, working for you, not your caregiver or hospital. We will be available to you on call by cell phone 24 hours a day from the 38th week of your pregnancy until the baby is born.
- Free Consultation. A meeting to discuss your main goals and to decide whether we will work well together.
- Prenatal Meetings(2). We will discuss birth preferences, concerns, questions, positions, and comfort measures; up to 2 hours each meeting.
- 24-Hour On-Call services, from 38 weeks to the start of labor.
- Phone and email support, as needed, during pregnancy and immediate postpartum.
- Referrals to medical, psychological, and/or complementary health services, as needed. (We have an incredible support network of holistic health workers who are familiar with the special needs of pregnancy, birth and postpartum).
- Attendance at labor/birth. Starting as soon as you are feeling the need for a doula, and continuing until up to 2 hours after your baby is born.
- Postpartum meeting. From 2 days to 10 days postpartum, we can offer in-depth help with breastfeeding or other new mother/baby questions. This is a also good time to review your birth experience and your unfolding journey as new parents. Up to 2 hours.
It is not the role of a Doula to provide the following:
- Perform clinical or medical tasks, such as prenatal care, blood pressure, fetal heart checks, vaginal exams, postpartum care, newborn care, etc.
- Make decisions for you. Your Doula helps you get the information necessary to make an informed decision, and will remind you if there is a departure from your Birth Preferences, but you are responsible for making your own decisions.
- Speak to the staff on your behalf, regarding matters where decisions are made. We will discuss your concerns with you and suggest options, but you or your partner must speak on your behalf to the medical staff. (Although it is true that at times a Doula DOES become a natural liaison between mother and hospital staff.)
When you are in labor:
Please call when you believe labor has begun, even if you are not sure, so we can make arrangements to attend the birth. It is best to call anytime you think you may be having signs of labor, even if you are not totally sure about it, or feel you are not needing help yet. We can answer questions and make suggestions over the phone which can have great benefit for you. We generally need between 1-3 hours to arrive at your home or the hospital (depending on location) from the time you notify that you are in active labor.
Attendance at the birth:
We draw on years of education and experience to provide emotional support, physical comfort, and information you need to make informed decisions in labor. We can provide reassurance and perspective to you and your birthing companion, make suggestions for labor progress, and help with relaxation, massage, positioning and other techniques for comfort. In the event of a cesarean birth, we will be available to support you through the surgery and for at least 2-3 hours after the baby is born.
After birth we remain with you until shortly (up to 2 hours ) after the doctor/midwife has left, and you are comfortable, breastfeeding (if you desire), and your family is ready for quiet time together. We support you and the baby in maintaining essential skin to skin contact from birth throughout those critical early hours. Research has shown that this is best for establishing breastfeeding, best for the baby, and also best for you.
Our fee for the services described herein is $750.00, to be paid as follows: $300.00 as a non-refundable deposit/retainer, due upon entering this agreement, and the remaining $450.00 due in full by your 36th week of pregnancy. We can accommodate needs for special payment arrangements when agreed upon in advance.
Although every study performed on labor support providers has shown that their presence results in a shorter labor with fewer medical interventions, it is impossible to make any guarantees about your labor. Regardless of the outcome of the birth, all fees herein are due and payable, and no refunds will be given except as stated below.
We will make every effort to provide the services described herein. Sometimes this is impossible. If our failure to attend your birth is due to an early labor/birth (before 38 weeks of gestation), our failure to arrive within 3 hours (after being called), or failure to provide a back-up labor support provider we will refund $300 (with $350 to be applied to prenatal visits, on-call services, and postpartum visits). There will be no refunds under any other circumstances; for example, in the event that we are unable to attend your birth because of a rapid/precipitous labor/birth, planned or unplanned cesarean section, or your failure or choice not to call during labor, the full fee will be due and collected.
Requirements of Client:
- All labor support clients are required to be receiving medical care by a licensed health care provider (doctor or midwife). If, at any time, you refuse medical care, we have the right to refuse labor support services that conflict with the scope of practice of the doula (such as attendance at a birth without medical care); in such a case, no refund will be given.
- All labor support clients are required to take a full childbirth education course. HypnoBirthing is our highest recommendation. We offer our HypnoBirthing Class at a discount to all of our doula clients!