As a doula, I accompany you in labor to help ensure a safe and satisfying birth experience. I have been certified as a birth doula by DONA International. I draw on my professional training, knowledge and experience to provide emotional support, physical comfort and, as needed, communication with the staff to make sure that you have the information you need to make informed decisions as they arise in labor. 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. As your doula, I am working for you, not your caregiver or birthing facility.
I will meet with you and your partner at least twice before labor to become acquainted, to explore and discuss your priorities and any fears or concerns, to discuss your birth plan and to plan how we might best work together. I also want to know your own ways of coping with pain and fatigue and how you and your partner foresee working together.I will also inform you of times when I am unavailable for labor support. To cover those times, I will arrange one or more qualified back-up doulas whom you may also meet.We may also decide on other meetings and will certainly want to remain in touch byphone and/or email.
I prefer that you call me when you think you are in labor, even if you do not yet need me. I can answer questions and makesuggestions over the phone. We will decide if I should come right then or wait for further change. I usually need approximately one to two hoursto get to you from the time you ask me to come. We will also decide where to meet—at your home, the hospital or thebirth center. Except for extraordinary circumstances, I will remain with you throughout labor and birth.
I usually remain with you for one to two hours after birth, until you arecomfortable and your family is ready for quiet time together. I can also help with initial infant feeding, if desired. I am available to answer questions about the birth or your baby and would like to get together with you within a few weeks to see how you and your baby are doing, to review the birth, and to get feedback from you about my role.
As a doula, I do not:
- Perform clinical tasks such as blood pressure, fetal heart checks, cervical exams, and others. I am there to provide only physical comfort and emotional support.
- Make decisions for you. I will help you get the information necessary to make an informed decision. I will also remind you if there is a departure from your birth plan.
- Speak to the staff on your behalf. I will discuss your concerns with you and suggest options, but you or your partner will speak directly to the clinical staff.
Failure 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, for some reason, I am unable to attend your birth (for example, family emergency) I will provide a backup doula for you. If my failure to provide you a doula during your birth is due to my error, there will be no charge for my services and you will be given a full refund, less the deposit.
My fee for the services described here is $1200, to be paid as follows:
- $500 deposit, due when you select me as your doula
- $700 due by 36 weeks (unless baby is born before this time or unless other arrangements have been made)
I/We have read this letter describing the doula’s services and agree that it reflects the discussion we had with her.