Can I have a doula if I would like to have a ________ birth?
For anything besides *planned unassisted*, yes! Although many believe that doulas only support particular births, the truth is that your doula is there to support YOUR wishes and desires. We’re an information-loaded cheer leader, a master of facilitating the making of pros and cons lists, and a birth-and-baby-sherpa, all wrapped in one!
How do I pick a doula?
Most doulas, myself included, offer a free consultation or interview. You can ask the doula anything, and maybe they’ll have some questions for you, too. It’s important that everyone feels it’s a good match, and that you feel that your doula is someone who you feel good with, who you want present for the birth of your baby.
What am I paying for, and how?
You are paying for all of the services listed on the doula page — time we spend together, my time at your birth, and my ready-to-be-at-your-birth mode of sticking close to the area for the month surrounding your birth.
My fee for these services averages $600, and it is generally paid as follows:
half as retainer fee, due when you select me as your doula
half due due at the start of the on-call period (two weeks before your due date)
What happens if you can’t be at the birth?
There will always be a backup option offered to you, in case of medical or other emergency on my end. If I plan to be out of town at all during the month surrounding your due date, you will be notified before you sign the contract.
If myself AND the backup miss the birth due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control (traffic, weather, quick labor) or your failure to call/need either of us, you will still owe the full amount. The fee covers much more than the birth itself, namely the time spent on call (one doula-ism goes something like “I’ll attend the birth for free — just pay me for being on call 24/7!”).
If our failure to attend your birth is due to myself AND the backup’s lack of ability to be there (illness, another birth, etc.), you will be refunded in full. This only applies if you attempt to call the backup, as well.
This is all detailed with actual numbers in the doula contract.