How it works
First things first: we need to meet! If you're unable to meet in person before hiring me, we should speak on the telephone to make sure we have compatible personalities (you should feel comfortable with me, after all!). Usually I meet mommies-to-be in their home or in a comfortable public place such as a coffee shop. This is a free meeting where you can ask questions about me and about what a doula does and why you should hire me to support you in your birth. I will ask you a few questions to get to know you as well. I will probably bring with me a copy or two of my contract for you to review, and I may recommend another service or some educational material. This meeting usually lasts about 30-60 minutes.
After you decide to hire me, we will decide on a date or two to meet again. I will be available for email, phone and text during normal business hours unless there's an emergency, in which case you're encouraged to wake me up or "disturb" my non-birth activities! I usually collect half of my fee upon contract signing, and if that didn't occur at our first meeting we will do that now. At this meeting, we will discuss the some details of your birth plan, go over any birth education that needs to be covered (I can also add a miniature childbirth education class for an additional fee), review some positions that may be helpful before and during labor to optimize your baby's position for a more effective birth, and any other topics which need attention.
We may set up another meeting to finalize the birth plan and to discuss anything which needs more attention and review positions for optimizing your baby's position, and collect any remaining fees. I like to collect my full fee prior to the birth.
At 38 weeks gestation I go on call for you, 24/7 phone support. You will contact me to inform me of any new information, let me know how your appointments go with your care providers, and let me know if you're having any feelings of nervousness or need assurance or just need to chat. You'll definitely call me if you have any signs of labor (water broke or leaking, contractions or cramping, bleeding (if it's heavy, please call the paramedics and your doctor before calling me!). I will join you at your home or birth place when you need my physical presence.
I will remain with you until your baby is born and you are successfully breastfeeding. After the birth we will set up a time for me to visit with you and your baby, review and process your birth, and collect any remaining unpaid fees. If you are choosing to encapsulate your placenta I will begin that process within 48 hours of the birth and will deliver the capsules at the postpartum visit.
After the postpartum visit, I hope that you send pictures (or become Facebook friends so I can see your little one as he or she grows!), let me know how things are going from time to time, and pay me the compliment of referring me to your mommy-to-be friends!