Your primary Doula will meet with you and your partner 3 times before labor to become acquainted with you; explore and discuss your priorities and any fears or concerns; present evidence-based information on the risks and benefits of common interventions and procedures used during childbirth; discuss your birth plans; and plan how we might best work together. Your Doula will also inform you of times when she will be unavailable for labor support, i.e. vacations, scheduled days off. To cover those times, a backup Doula will be supporting you during labor. You will be assigned a primary Doula as well as a backup Doula. You will meet with the back up Doula during one of our monthly open houses.
I prefer that you call me when you think you are in labor, even if you do not yet need me. This gives me time to clear my calendar for the next 24 hours. I can answer questions and make suggestions over the phone, and we can decide if I should come to you then, or wait for further change. I usually need approximately one hour to get to you from the time you ask me to come. We will also decide where to meet (home or hospital). Except for extraordinary circumstances, I will remain with you throughout your labor and birth.
After the Birth
I will remain with you for one or two hours after the birth, or until you are comfortable and your family is ready for quiet time together. I will also help with initial breastfeeding. I am available to answer questions about the birth or your baby. I will schedule a follow-up meeting within a few weeks of the birth to visit you and the baby, review the birth, and get feedback from you about your experience.
Limitation of Services
As a doula, we do not: 1. Perform clinical tasks, such as taking blood pressure, fetal heart checks or vaginal exams. I am there to provide only physical comfort and emotional support and facilitate communication between you and the staff. 2. Make decisions for you. I will help you get the information you need to make an informed decision. I will also remind you if there is a departure from your birth plan. 3. Speak to the staff on your behalf. I will discuss your concerns with you and suggest options, as well as encourage you to voice your opinions, questions and concerns to the staff.
As a doula, we can help you prepare for your birth, but we cannot guarantee that your birth will go as planned. If you plan a vaginal delivery and a cesarean is performed after the onset of labor, we will continue to provide support during the cesarean surgery (as allowed by hospital and/or doctor policies) as well as immediately after, to help with your comfort and breastfeeding. We will also follow-up with you after the birth. If you and your doctor decide that a planned cesarean is necessary, I will provide support during the cesarean (as allowed by hospital and/or doctor policies) and immediately after, as well as one additional time during and after recovery, up to 4 hours.
Failure to provide Services
I will make every effort to provide the services described here. If my failure to attend your birth is due to an error on your part (failing to call, for example) myself or backup doula will continue with postpartum support. This can include assistance with breastfeeding, selfcare, and/or baby care, etc. Any other circumstances out of my control that result in my absence at your birth will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.