Choosing a doula.
You are welcome to call me or schedule a face to face meeting at my home to become acquainted and ask any questions you may have regarding my services before choosing to hire me as your doula, to explore and discuss your priorities and any fears or concerns, and to plan how we might best work together. I would recommend that you interview at least 3-4 different doulas to get a feel for our services, our personalities, and choose the best fit for you. If you choose to hire me, then I will want to become familiar with your birthing philosophy, your birth preferences, including your preference of labor management options. I also want to know your usual ways of coping with discomfort or fatigue and how you and your partner foresee working together. If questions come up, you may also call, text, or email any questions or concerns and I will respond as quickly as I am able.
I will also inform you of times when I am unavailable for labor support. To cover those times, I will arrange for a back up doula whom you may also meet.
When you are in labor.
I prefer that you call me when you think you are in labor, even if you do not yet need me, so I can make arrangements for my children. I can answer questions and make suggestions over the phone. We will decide together if I should come right away or wait for further change. I usually need at least 30-60 min. to get to you from the time you ask me to come. We will also decide where to meet—at your home or the birthing facility of your choice. Except for extraordinary circumstances, I or my back-up doula will remain with you throughout labor and birth.
I usually remain with you for 1-2 hrs. after birth, until you are comfortable, breastfeeding has been established, and your family is ready for quiet time together.
I am available for phone contact to answer questions about the birth of your baby and would like to get together with you within 1-2 wks. after your birth to see how you are doing, to review your birth, to admire your baby, and to get feedback from you about my role and services.
What doulas do not do.
As a doula, I do not perform clinical tasks such as blood pressure, fetal heart checks, vaginal exams, and others, even though I may be trained and experienced in those assessments. I am there to provide only physical comfort, emotional support and advocacy.
I do not make decisions for you. I will help you get the information necessary to make an informed decision and will also remind you if there is a departure from your birth preferences.
I do not speak to the staff regarding matters of decisions that need to be made. I will discuss your concerns with you and suggest possible options or questions to ask, but you or your birth companion will speak on your behalf to the clinical staff.
Failure of a doula to provide service.
I will make every effort to provide the services described here. Sometimes this is impossible (for example, with a rapid labor). If my failure to attend your birth is due to my error but we have met for the prenatal visit(s) OR if it is due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control or your failure to call me, I will keep the retaining fee, but will refund the second installment payment. If your labor progresses rapidly and I am enroute when baby is born, I will keep all of the base fee.