What is a Doula?
A Doula is a professionally trained labour support person who is hired by a mother and her partner to provide continuous physical, emotional and informational support, before, during and after birth. A Doula provides support to a mother and her partner through pregnancy and until the post partum period.
The Doula will meet with the couple (in person or by phone) to discuss their needs and provide information about the Doula service. This meeting is important in determining whether the Doula can meet the support requirements of the couple.
Pre-birth planning sessions
The Doula may assist with Birth plan preparation and can demonstrate breathing and relaxation techniques and comfort measures for pregnancy and labour. The Doula will provide information, support and referral when required. The Doula will not provide medical advice to the couple.
Importantly, most often the Doula will become a friend and sounding board for ideas, inspiration, concerns and planning. The Doula’s role is to listen and provide support suitable to each individual, and to foster mutual respect.
The Doula may also offer light massage, belly castings and personalised blessing way celebrations (an empowering celebration to help prepare mums for birth and a new baby) at an additional fee.
The Doula will meet with the couple at the home, hospital or birth centre once labour has started (or when woman is ready for support) and remain with them throughout the labour, as far as practical. In the event of long labours (over 24 hours) a back-Doula may be required at an additional fee, which will be negotiated with the couple prior. The Doula will provide continuous emotional support by providing reassurance and encouragement to the couple. The Doula can make suggestions for labour progress; help with breathing and relaxation techniques, massage, and positioning and comfort measures. A Doula may also facilitate communication between the mother and her partner and the care providers. While she will not interfere with the clinical management chosen by the couple, the Doula will often assist the mother and partner to ask questions and get the information they require to make informed choices. Importantly, the Doula will know the individual support requirements of the couple and work with this information toward a healthy outcome for mother and baby. The Doula will also point out departures from the birth plan, respecting at all times the decisions of the mother and her partner during labour.
After the Birth
The Doula normally remans with the couple for 1 – 2 hours after the birth, or until they are comfortable and ready for some quiet time together. After the birth, the Doula is available for debriefing about the birth and any support. The Doula will often meet with the couple 1 – 2 times after the birth, or as negotiated prior to the birth.
The Doula maintains client confidentiality at all times, unless you have given permission otherwise (testimonials/birth stories and experiences etc).
Limitations of the Doula service
Doula’s do not perform medical/clinical tasks such as blood pressure checks, foetal monitoring or vaginal examinations. Doula’s will not provide medical advice.
Doula’s do not make decisions for the mother and her partner.
Doula’s do not speak to the staff instead of the mother and her partner regarding matters where decisions are being made.
Doula’s will offer suggestions and present options; however they will not make clinical assessments or decisions concerning the pregnancy, birth or the newborn. The Doula will help the couple get the information necessary to make informed decisions and remind them if there is a departure from the birth plan.
Decisions and actions are the sole responsibility of the labouring woman and her partner. Therefore, professionally and personally the Doula will not take any responsibility for the outcome of the labour and birth.
It is your responsibility to know when you are ready for prenatal and postnatal visits, and if there are any areas of concern or curiosity during pregnancy or through debriefing that you would like to address with your Doula.
It is your responsibility to inform the Doula as early as possible when you believe that you may be in labour, to ensure that the Doula is able to arrive on time and is available to travel. Once you decide that you would like the Doula present at your labour, please let the Doula know. The Doula will generally arrive within the hour, unless there are special circumstances such as travelling interstate.
It is your responsibility to remain in honest and open communication with your Doula and the Doula likewise will remain in open communication with the couple at all times.
The Doula will normally work with a back-up Doula in the unlikely event that back up is required. Arrangements can be made for you to meet the back-up Doula if required.
Fee for Doula Service includes
Initial Consultation (phone or in person)
Pre-natal visits (3 x 2 hour visits) and phone support (note that visits are held in your home, unless by other arrangement)
Continuous labour support (up to 12/24 hours) and then back-up arrangements apply (to be negotiated).
1 – 2 Post natal visit (1.5 hours)
Use of resources including video/dvd and library
Childbirth preparation and education; birth planning
Relaxation and meditation during prenatal visits (including previous birth debrief)
#1 Doula Service - Includes all of the above.
#2 Doula Service + Birth welcoming Photography
#3 Doula Service + Birth welcoming Photography + Placenta Encapsulation Joy Package
#4 Doula Service + Birth welcoming Photography + Placenta Encapsulation Joy Package + Postnatal Healing Package (tea, bath herbs and essential oil roller) + Organic Facial + 1 hr Massage.
#5 Doula Service - Complete Package + Birth Welcoming Photography + Placenta Encapsulation Joy Package + Postnatal Healing Package (tea, bath herbs and essential oil roller) + Organic Facial + 1 hr Massage + Yoni Steam + Belly binding.
Terms of Payments
A $100 deposit is required to secure the Doula Service. An invoice will be provided on signing of the Agreement. Full payment is required by 38 weeks, unless otherwise negotiated. Flexible payment plans is available, including instalments.
Refunds for the Doula service are not available. However, in the unlikely event that the Doula is not available during your labour because of personal circumstances and the backup doula is not available to attend, a refund of the birth fee $500 be provided to you. At all times, The Birth Yurt Doula will provide a professional and fair service exchange.