Letter of agreement describing Doula services, limits, and fees
- Two prenatal visits to discuss desires and preparation for birth.
- One postpartum visit to ensure all is well and answer questions.
- Phone support as needed during pregnancy and immediate postpartum.
- Assistance in creating a birth plan.
- Labor support at home, birth center and hospital as needed.
- Emotional, physical, and informational support during labor and birth.
What is a Doula?
A Doula accompanies women in labor to help them have a more satisfying birth experience. She provides 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. A Doula 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. Doulas are independent and self-employed. Your Doula works for you, not your caregiver or hospital.
Choosing a Doula
I prefer to meet with you and your partner at least once before labor to become acquainted, to explore and discuss your priorities and any fears or concerns, and to plan how we may best work together. The fee is $650. This includes at least two prenatal visits, your labor, and one postpartum visit. This meeting does not obligate you to use my service, but if you do select me, then I will want to become familiar with your birth plan, including your preferences regarding management options and the use of pain medications. I will also want to know your own best ways of coping with pain and fatigue and how you and your partner for-see working together. I will inform you of times I am unavailable for labor support. In these instances or in the event that I, your primary Doula, am unavailable due to unforeseeable circumstances, I do have a back-up Doula who will attend your labor.
Please contact me when you think you are in labor, even if you do not yet need support. I can answer questions and make suggestions over the phone. At this point, together we will decide if you need immediate assistance or if we should wait for further change. Approximately one hour is needed to get to you from the time that you ask me to come. We will also decide where to meet–at your home, birth center or at the hospital. Except for extraordinary circumstances, I or my back-up will remain with you throughout labor and birth.
The Doula reserves the right to be relieved by back-up in the event she becomes ill or for any reason she is unable to properly support you during your labor. After 20 hours of labor support the Doula may also call in back-up. A back-up will only be called in when your primary Doula feels that it is in your best interest.
Your Doula usually remains with you for one or two hours after birth, until you are comfortable and your family is ready for quiet time together. Your Doula will also help with initial breastfeeding, if necessary.
I am available for phone contact to answer questions about the birth or your baby, and would like to get together with you within one to two weeks to see how you are doing, review the birth, to admire your baby, and to get feedback from you about my role.
What Doulas Do Not Do
As a Doula we do not:
- Perform clinical tasks, such as blood pressure, fetal heart check, vaginal exams, and others. We are there to provide only physical comfort, emotional support and advocacy
- Make decisions for you. We will help you get the information necessary to make informed decisions. We will also remind you if there is a departure from your birth plan.
- Speak to the staff instead of you regarding matters where decisions are being made. We will discuss your concerns with you and suggest options, but you or your partner will speak on your behalf to the clinical staff.
Failure Of Doula To Provide Service
Every effort will be made to provide the services described here. Sometimes this is impossible (for example, with a rapid labor). If your primary or back-up Doula’s failure to attend your birth is due to our error you will be given a full refund.
The fee for the services described here are $650, to be paid as follows:
$100 non-refundable deposit.
Client must follow payment arrangement that we agreed upon.
____________ must be paid every ____________
$325 due by 2 weeks before the due date. If the baby is born before this time, your payment is due within 10 days after the birth. If an induction or C-Section is schedule, payment is due before the scheduled date.
Please note it is against our policy for a Doula to attend the birth of a client who has not made their final payment by the required date two weeks prior to the clients due date, unless the baby is born before this time arrives, 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.