BIRTH DOULA SERVICES
Having a baby is not an event to be taken lightly. To see the impact this day has on families, just ask your grandma or neighbor or grocery clerk and listen to what she remembers about the act of becoming a mother. All over the world, women are supported by other women while they give birth. In our society, we lost this once birth was taken to the hospital – but like old things new again, women are reclaiming this ancient rite and wrapping themselves in the support and care a birth doula offers.
Birth is a transformation -- literally and figuratively. The mother begins as one person, and through a complex sequence of events, she produces another little human, who amazingly escapes from her body like a butterfly from a chrysalis. The experience of birth is one of hard work, no matter how it is done. Only the woman can fulfill this task, but she does not have to be alone while she works.
I listen to women, and I want to know how you envision your birth. I am not here to impose my ideas of what birth should be like. I will provide the evidence-based information, and as your individual choices unfold, you can make the decisions that are best for your family. I will bring my heart and hands to support the expectant family, and you and your partner can move along your own unique path toward parenthood. I will bring my knowledge of the emotional needs of a laboring woman, while you join your confident body and amazing baby to coordinate efforts toward birth.
Optimally, meaning if there is enough time, I like to meet with you 2-3 times before birth in order to sketch out the kind of experience you are hoping for. Once labor begins, I can meet you at home to labor longer (in accordance with your healthcare practitioner’s advice), or I can meet you at the hospital. I stay with your family, supporting both mother and partner, until the baby has been born. Generally I snap a few photos, help the new baby breastfeed, see that mom and partner get something to eat and drink, and then I leave you safely tucked away in comfort, ready for rest. Generally there is one postpartum visit, although in special situations there may be more than one if mom and baby need extra help with breastfeeding or other issues that may arise.
As your doula, I want to help create memories of this birth that you can look back on for decades and feel gratified, satisfied, and snuggly about -- the kind of memories that keep us warm when we get old. I believe every woman who wants a doula should be able to have one, regardless of her financial situation. I strive to know all of the doulas in our community, and I am happy to suggest a doula that fits your needs and budget.
Birth Doula Services: $1200
Sometimes it happens that you suddenly are in need of a doula! Maybe labor isn't going as planned, or your partner is sick and can't be as involved, or you just have a crisis of confidence -- that's what this service is about. The price is greatly reduced, and the flip is, unlike traditional doula services, there is no promise a doula can make it. But what have you got to lose? If I am available, I can come to where you are laboring and offer a full spectrum of support according to your needs. I will support you through your baby's birth, ensure breastfeeding is initiated, and settle you into comfort and contentment before our time is done. If I am unavailable, I may be able to secure another doula for you.
If you want this service, please contact me ASAP so we can exchange information -- under no obligation; it basically allows your call to ring through when my phone may be off.
Last-Minute Doula Services: $450 + $50 deposit
During your first birth, you have the freedom of only worrying about and caring for yourself. If you go on to have more children you will see this will never be the case again! A Sibling Doula is helpful when your other children may be present at the birth of their new brother or sister. Uniquely designed to anticipate your child's needs, as a Sibling Doula I ensure he or she is nurtured, comfortable, and feeling secure during birth. This takes the pressure off of you and your partner, so you can labor confidently, knowing your other "babies" are just as snug and happy as the one you are working on meeting.
Sibling Doula Services: $50 deposit, plus $25/hour
POSTPARTUM DOULA SUPPORT
A postpartum doula helps continue the idea that, mother cares for the baby, while the doula cares for the mother. As a Certified Breastfeeding Counselor through Lactation Education Resources, I have 90 hours of lactation education. As a peer breastfeeding counselor of 13 years, I have 7500+ hours of direct breastfeeding experience. Breastfeeding is definitely something I can help with! I can also help with baby care, baby-wearing, sleep ideas, and just generally being an extra pair of confident hands, day or night.
Postpartum Doula Support: 3 hours/$99
What are my qualifications as a doula?
What questions do you ask a doula?
Often parents aren't sure what to ask when interviewing a doula. Consider these suggestions:
- What training or certifications do you hold? What do you do to keep your status current? DONA-certified, Lamaze-certified, Certified Breastfeeding Specialist (LER); I attend continuing education conferences and workshops on topics related to pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding to count toward re-certifications.
- What was the class-size of your doula training? This is an important question to ask. We know when there is a smaller instructor-to-student ratio, there is greater opportunity for learning. I attended a DONA-approved doula training with 12 participants and one instructor.
- What is your relationship to local hospitals? Have you ever had a conflict with hospital staff? I used to work for a hospital, and I understood fully their policies and procedures, as well as my role within them as a doula. I have worked with many hospitals, doctors, and nurses with never an issue. My goal is to unify your birth team as we help you with your goals. I humbly and happily work within my Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics as a DONA Certified Birth Doula.
- What services to you provide? Complete doula services, childbirth education within the frame of prenatal meetings, and free breastfeeding education and support for as long as you breastfeed.
- How many births have you attended over what span of years? 200 since 2004.
- What kinds of births have you attended? All kinds -- hospital, home, birth center; cesarean births, VBACs.
- What schedule conflicts do you anticipate? I stay home with my kiddos, so I don't have another job that I report to.
- Do you work with a contracted back-up in the event you are not able to attend a birth? Are we able to meet her? Yes! I am one of the only doulas I know who always has a contracted agreement with a back-up doula -- I pay her for her time regardless if she is needed at a birth or not. She is invited to our prenatals, so should she be required, she is part of our birth dynamic and not a stranger.
- How many prenatal and postpartum visits do you offer? 2-3 prenatals, and 1 postpartum (more if breastfeeding struggles occur).
- What is your fee, payment schedule, and refund policy? $1150. I ask for a nonrefundable deposit of $600 when we sign our contract; the remainder of the payment ($550) is due at our first prenatal. If for some reason I miss your birth (very rare, and all doulas know this sometimes happens), the deposit is retained to cover the prenatal meetings and on-call time, with no additional fees due. If after a missed birth you wish for me to come to the hospital, a fee of $300.00 will be due at/by the postpartum visit
- What is your role? How will you complement our birth and help us navigate this experience? As a doula I support the mom and her partner in the choices that arise; I also offer guardianship of their experience.
- Wait, what does that mean, guardianship of our experience? I find every family has individual concerns in addition to having a safe and satisfying birth. Whether it is a fear of how you will be treated, or the need for extreme privacy during birth, my role is to protect the laboring couple's wishes and space, while also offering information and support. Your job is to let labor unfold and make the decisions you feel are best for your family. Our prenatal meetings are the perfect time to explore this.
- Do you have recommendations from past clients? May we speak with them? Always -- just ask!