Many families ask about a birth philosophy. Our philosophy on birth is that it is a normal, natural process that your body was perfectly designed to experience. Our desire as doulas is to support you in a way that allows and encourages you to achieve your goals and desires for birth, whatever they may be, as well as one that keeps mom and baby healthy.
As a doula, our role is three fold. We want to support you informationally, offering knowledge, research, dialogue, and whatever else is necessary to help you make informed decisions throughout your pregnancy and birth. In addition, our support is of a physical nature, serving you in ways that compliment any other support people involved in the birth. We can take a back seat role and provide suggestions for massage, position changes, comfort measures, etc. We can also take a lead support role in order to give any other primary support people a chance to rest and catch a nap or a meal. Sometimes we find ourselves filling the tub, blowing up the birth ball, heating up some soup, and keeping the water cup full – and it’s all about the presence. It is all dependent on what kind of role you want us to play, and so often it all evolves as we let it play out. The third role that we play is as an emotional support person. Helping you to not just ‘get through’ the birth, but to experience and appreciate it for the amazing journey that it is.
We welcome any and all calls in the months, weeks, and days leading up to your birth. Our cell phones are never far from us, including the night hours, and we are happy to answer any questions that we can. As labor begins, we are happy to meet you wherever you decide that you would like us to join you. Very often, moms choose to labor at home as long as possible, in an environment that is comfortable and peaceful for them. It’s great to have a doula present with you when things start to get more challenging, serving as an emotional, informational, and physical support person.
Postpartum, we meet with families at least once, and sometimes more often, within a week or two after baby is born. Women carry their labors around with them in their ‘back pockets’ for the rest of their lives, so it is important to be able to frame a positive birth memory. This postpartum visit helps immensely with this act. As a mom, and with your primary support person, you will make decisions along the way that impact your experience. Some of these decisions you will feel good about, and some may seem frightening. We want you to know that you made the best decisions possible with the circumstances that crossed your path. We are also there to answer questions, check in on breast feeding (if that is in your plan), and provide referrals for postpartum support, if needed.
Our fee for doula services is $800, $350 of which is a non-refundable retainer fee and the remainder of which is spread out into two additional payments prior to your baby’s birth. We feel strongly about not limiting someone’s ability to hire a doula based on financial restraints, so we are happy to talk with you personally about spreading payments out into a plan that works for you, if needed.
The doula support bundle includes:
– Commitment to your ‘Due Month’ on our Doula Calendar: We are officially on-call for you two weeks before your due date until you deliver
– Unlimited email and phone support throughout pregnancy and early postpartum
– Prenatal Birth Consultations with your Doula: including the option of meeting in your home
– Unlimited monthly B4Birth Information Sessions leading up to your birth and an opportunity to meet all the BBC doulas
– Back-up doula coverage from the BBC Team
– Continuous Labor Support: We stay with you during labor, birth, and the immediate postpartum
– An in home Postpartum Visit
– Referrals for local resources to help meet your needs
During our prenatal visits/planning sessions, we’ll talk about your goals and hopes for your birth. It will be our time to work through comfort measures and birth positions together and will be an opportunity to put a birth plan to heart, mind, or paper – whichever you would like; our presence at your birth from the point at which you would like us to join you; time immediately postpartum (a few hours after the birth) to help you with initial feedings, getting comfortable, a hot meal, etc.; and at least one postpartum visit at home to follow up after the birth. We also like to include the option of volunteering to operate a camera (it’s amazing what a doula can do with warm compresses in one hand and a camera in the other) as a way to help you remember your own birth experience.
As far as births and due dates are concerned, we typically each take at least 2 clients a month, and sometimes up to three moms a month if necessary. Always a back-up doula in place – just in case we happen to be traveling, kids are ill, or another birth happens at the same time.
Congratulations, again, and we look forward to talking with you!
Julia, Christy, Laura, Alison, Sue , Dalia & Nella