Letter of Agreement for Doula Services

Breakdown of Services

All potential clients are entitled to a free consultation whether or not a contract for services is signed. 

Birth Doula Package: 
One free consultation
Two prenatal meetings
Anytime support via phone/text/email during your pregnancy
On-call availability for labor beginning at contract signing
Continuous support during labor, birth, and immediate postpartum
One optional postpartum meeting
Discounted placenta services

On-call lactation support (extra charge applies)

Description of Services

Initial Consultation:  The initial consultation is a free meeting to determine if we are a good fit.  If you decide to move forward, contract, intake paperwork, and retainer fee are due within (one) week of the consultation.  I cannot guarantee availability for your estimated due date after one week from the consultation date.

Prenatal Meetings:  We will meet twice during your pregnancy.  Meetings can be scheduled at any point in your pregnancy as determined by you, but I recommend completing both meetings by 37 weeks of pregnancy.  Time length of meeting ranges from one (1) to three (3) hours.  During our meetings, we will cover birth planning and preferences, supplementary childbirth education (as needed or desired by client), informed consent and decision making, comfort measures and coping, lactation, postpartum, and any other subject as requested by the client.

Availability: I am available for support, resource and referral requests, information, planning, and any other service-related need via phone, text, or email at any time during our time working together, beginning at contract signing.

Additional Meetings:  Services are tailored to fit your needs and situation.  In certain circumstances, there may be a need for an additional meeting.  Examples of additional meeting circumstances are: bodywork or Spinning Babies sessions for fetal presentation issues, labor progression or natural induction, stalled labor, or to meet your provider.  There is no additional charge should these circumstances arise.

Labor Support:  When you are in labor I will join you at your request.  I encourage clients to call for labor support when they begin to feel their coping methods are no longer effective, or when they need assistance coping with contractions.  There is no stipulation on stage of labor for labor support; I will join you regardless of what stage of labor you are in.  In cases where the client is at the beginning of early labor, I may come to help resolve an issue and leave until assistance with coping is desired.

To minimize time to arrival and allow me to join you quickly when you’re ready for labor support, please contact me as soon as you think you’re in labor.  Please call a second time when you are ready for me to join you.  Please allow up to two hours for me to arrive from the time you call; although in most cases, time to arrival is one hour or less.

Continuous Support:  In most cases, I will provide continuous support throughout your labor.  I may leave your birth space and come back (upon agreement with clients) in the following situations:

  • Client receives an epidural when birth is not imminent and wishes to sleep, under the assumption client will achieve multiple hours of sleep.  In this case, I will go home, sleep, and return when client is awake and ready for labor support again.  This plan will be discussed and agreed upon prior to departure.

  • After twelve (12) hours of continuous labor support, I may call a back-up to provide doula care to allow for a break.

  • Prodromal Labor; Pre-labor:  if client is not in labor, or is in very early labor, a bodywork session will be offered, and I will leave and return at the on-set of labor.

Immediate Postpartum:  I will remain with you for 1 (one) hour after your baby is born for lactation support, assistance with newborn care, photos, food, and to get you settled in.

On-Call Lactation Support: As an add-on to doula services, I am available for on-call lactation support during the first four (4) weeks postpartum.  On-call support includes 24/7 availability for troubleshooting of normal breastfeeding issues, including but not limited to: latch issues, supply issues, and nipple pain/discomfort, via phone/text/email, or in-person support as needed within twenty-four (24) hours of request.

Optional Postpartum Meeting:  Postpartum is a busy time!  I highly encourage all clients to schedule a postpartum meeting for a final check-in to ensure all needed referrals and resources are provided, as well as to process your birth story and check in on newborn care/feeding.  Clients may choose to use or decline the postpartum meeting depending on individual needs and circumstances.

Limitations of Doula Services 

Scope of practice: As your doula, I am not a medical staff and do not provide any medical services, including but not limited to: 

  • Clinical Tasks (such as vaginal examinations and fetal heart tone assessment)

  • Medical advice or diagnosis

  • Assistance during a planned unassisted childbirth (planned birth with no medical provider present) 

  • Medical assessments or clinical tasks during postpartum visits, such as Cesarean or Circumcision care

 

Advocacy

I will not question medical diagnosis or advice.  I will encourage you to ask questions and advocate for yourself if there is a deterrence from your birth plan or a situation arises that you are uncomfortable with.  I will assist in facilitating an opportunity to discuss medical procedures or interventions.  Should a medical staff or care provider attempt a medical procedure that you have indicated you do not want, or have not given informed consent for, as your doula, I am not permitted to ask the provider to stop the procedure; however, I will inform you immediately upon noticing to give you the opportunity to make such requests.  I will not make decisions for you or your partner, but will provide resources and information to help you make your own informed decision.

Referrals

Resources and referrals (local and national) will be provided for any additional needs outside of the herein listed services/scope of practice.    

Continuity of care, termination of a contract, and refund policies

Back-up doula:  In the rare occasion that I am unable to attend your birth, a back-up doula is guaranteed to attend your birth.  A primary and secondary back-up doula will be assigned to every family.  You have the option to choose your back-up doula, or review my list of doulas I use.  In most cases, you will have the opportunity to meet with both myself and the doula who attended your birth at your final postpartum meeting.

Inability to attend:  If I am unable to attend your birth due to an extraordinary circumstance, including but not limited to: natural disaster, extreme weather, car accident, your back-up doula will be called to attend your birth.  Myself and/or your designated back-up doula will make every attempt to get to you during your birthing time.  If neither I nor your back-up doula are able to attend your birth due to extraordinary circumstances, no refund will be given due to on-call time and closing of availability on your estimated due date.  In this rare circumstance, free placenta encapsulation or services (tincture, canvas print) will be offered as well as four (4) additional postpartum hours provided.

Rapid labor:  Please plan for the two-hour window detailed previously when requesting my presence for labor support.  If I arrive within the two-hour window, and you have already given birth, no refund will be given. 

Failure to call:  If you do not call me to attend your birth, no refund will be given.  Please note that you must call when you are ready for me to join you, not text.  Your postpartum meeting will be fulfilled however no additional meetings will be offered. 

Failure to attend:  If I, or my back up doula fail to arrive at your birth due to our own mistake (scheduling error, missed phone call, etc.) a full refund will be given. 

Termination of contract by doula:  I reserve the right to terminate a contract at will and assure this right will be used only under extreme circumstances.  The client will be notified in writing, and referred for alternate birth support as requested.   Refunds for doula terminated contract are as follows: 

  • If the termination occurs prior to any services being rendered, a full refund will be given. 

  • If the termination occurs before birth, but after prenatal meetings, there will be no refund of the retainer fee.  The remaining amount will be refunded if the client has paid in full.  If the client has not paid in full, no further charges will be assessed.

  • If the termination occurs after birth, but before the postpartum meeting, no refund will be given.

Termination of contract by client:  Due to closing of availability for estimated due dates, and on-call availability, refunds are not given for client terminated contracts except in the following situations: 

  • Termination of contract within 48 hours of contract signing

  • Termination of contract due to loss of pregnancy prior to services being rendered (before first prenatal meeting)

Because we, as doulas, close our availability to other birthing clients around your estimated due date, clients are expected to fulfill their agreement for doula services regardless of fulfillment of contract if the contract is terminated by the client.  Special consideration will be given for extraordinary circumstances, such as partial services rendered before birth (preterm birth), loss and/or stillbirth, and grievances, in which the total amount due may be pro-rated or refunded on a case-by-case basis.  Please note there is no refund based on birth outcome, including but not limited to unplanned or planned Cesarean birth.

Should the client, for any reason decide to file a grievance, grievance procedures through the doula’s certifying agency (DONA International) will be provided. Please note that doula fees are non-refundable, except in the situations listed above.  

Member of DONA International

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