What is a doula?
Put simply, a doula is a non medical care provider. Doulas provide information, emotional and physical support, and advocacy. Doulas do not diagnose or treat ailments. Unless otherwise noted, I will use the term doula to refer to birth doula specifically. That describes the role of a doula during pregnancy and through the birth process. While doulas are not medical care providers, data has shown that they do have a positive impact on health.
Who needs a doula?
Anyone who wants a doula shoula have one! Doulas work in the hospital, in homes, and at birth centers. We work with single moms, big families, blended familes, and any other type of family you can imagine. We attend births with obstetricians (MDs and DOs), midwives (CNMs and CPMs), naturopaths, and more. We attend planned cesarean births, completely unmedicated births, and everything in between.
How I doula
There are as many approaches to doula work as there are doula and client combinations. With that said, here are some key points on my general approach and philosophy:
- I work for my clients, and nobody else; not providers, hospitals, other members of the birth team, etc.
- I want every client to feel like things are happening for them – not to them – at all times.
- I do not make choices for my clients; I help clients get information to make decisions that best fit them.
- I recognize that nobody is more invested than my clients in the birth of their baby. Because of this, I fully support the choices they make even when they are not the choices I would make for myself.
- I honor the family dynamic and philosophies of my clients and want to learn about them.
- I work diligently to understand how clients hope to use my knowledge and experience and I serve my clients in that manner.
- I provide the best care I can for each birth, and that looks very different each birth I attend.
- I am continually learning and growing. I love this aspect of doula work.
I have special interest and/or experience with:
- Rainbow babies (birth after pregnancy loss)
- VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean delivery)
- Survivors of trauma
- Single moms
What is included in my doula fee?
- several visits prenatally
- resources for understanding tests, procedures, and monitoring during pregnancy
- help with birth plan/preferences
- support throughout the entire labor process
- birth tub service
- help with establishing breastfeeding
- several postpartum visits
- continued emotional support and resources beyond birth
Services provided for an additional fee:
- full childbirth education series
- custom childbirth education classes
- childbirth education refresher courses
- sibling preparation class
- placenta processing
All of these services are also available to families outside of doula service
Why do I charge what I charge
I have been an active doula since 2009 and I love it. I really, really love it. I feel my work is a calling and I attend the births I am meant to attend. There are costs associated with my work and I need to recoup that. There are also a lot of intangibles that occur. Mostly, though, my clients pay for my extensive experience and compensate my family for my absence. I am super locked-in when I am at a birth, but my husband and family keep moving while I am gone. It can take up to four other adults to step-in and handle my non-doula obligations while I am away. They deserve something for that. Especially since sometimes I have to pay those other adults. I keep my fees as affordable as I can, and I try to be helpful with payment plans. I am also open to barter for some or all of my fee.