Your birth will be unique and personal and not like anyone else’s. Ideally, your prenatal obstetric, doula and midwifery care will be customized to your vision so that the process unfolds in a way that honors your circumstances, hopes and dreams in the best way possible.
After you start thinking about doula care for your birth, it’s best to meet with me for a chat so that we can get to know one another better. Each doula brings a different set of knowledge, personal demeanor and skills to the birth experience. Some parents know right away that they have found the right person; others need a little more time to ask questions and get comfortable. Moms usually choose me as their doula because of my years of doula experience, my assistance with evidenced-based research to help inform their decisions, and my expertise as a lactation consultant.
Once we agree to work together, I will be on-call for you right away. The on-call period will end two weeks after your birth. You will be provided with a special 24 hour emergency number to contact me when labor begins as well as regular phone and email access for non-emergencies. It’s important to me that you have easy access to ask questions throughout your pregnancy.
Usually, I will have several prenatal doula appointments with you before your birth. During the initial appointments, we will go through your pregnancy and medical history, goals for and fears about birth, and labor comfort options. We will review a detailed checklist of labor, birth and postpartum options that will inform your birth plan. I will provide you with questions to go over with your doctor or midwife that we will use to refine the birth plan, and I will also provide lists of things to do before the birth and many other helpful information sheets. Between your prenatal appointments, I will draft and design your customized birth plan based on the options you selected during our conversations. These initial appointments usually take place at my office. For your final prenatal appointment, we will meet at your home, go over your birth plan making any last minute changes, discuss videos that you watched for “homework”, review labor techniques, and do a full breastfeeding and babycare preparation class.
If it is helpful to you, I will also attend childbirth classes, birth hypnosis classes or medical visits with your obstetrician or midwife and you and your partner. Together we can design whatever prenatal doula program that best suits your needs and is of greatest service to you.
During your birth, I will provide ongoing emotional and physical support for you and your partner throughout active labor, delivery and early postpartum. I typically will stay with you for about an hour or two after your baby is born to ensure breastfeeding has gotten off to a good start.
A follow up visit will take place after the birth, typically while you are still in the hospital. You may need extra breastfeeding help and can use this session as a lactation appointment. It is my experience that one good in-person lactation consultation will resolve most problems. Any additional appointments are considerably discounted. You might also use this postpartum appointment to process the birth experience and talk about both the joyful and difficult parts so that questions are answered and you feel at peace with your birth however it played out. The two weeks postpartum are part of the on-call period where moms and partners can phone or email me anytime of the day or night with newborn care concerns.
[Note that Bundle of Joy refers parents to me for doula services. Their doula contract is more limited than mine which includes all of the services above. To understand what is covered under the Bundle of Joy contract, please ask .]
Affording a Doula: If you decide you would like birth doula services, payments will take place in two installments both due prior to the birth. When possible, I will submit for insurance reimbursement for my fees. I can also provide invoices for your Flexible Spending Account or tax return. For parents without insurance, we can negotiate comfortable payment plans.