What services can I provide for you?

As a doula, I am able to accompany you (and your partner) through the process of preparing for birth and support you during labour, birth and bonding. I can also support you in the first weeks after birth and will visit at least twice in the first 6 weeks of baby arriving. I do not give medical advice, nor do I undertake examinations or perform any other clinical task. I cannot make decisions for you. I can only act as a spokesperson for you (if this has been clearly stated in your birth plan). I am independent and self-employed. I am working for you, not your caregiver or hospital.

My role is to be led by you, providing the support that you may need along the way. The kind of support I give is often emotional, practical and informational and will be offered unconditionally and without judgement. Our conversations and all correspondence I keep strictly confidential.

I draw on my knowledge and experience to provide you with emotional support and physical comfort measures. If the need arises, I can help you communicate with your midwife and medical care givers to ensure that you have all the information you need to make informed decisions during pregnancy, labour, bonding and early parenting. I can provide a continuous friendly face for you (and your partner), make suggestions for planning and preparing your birth and bonding environment and building rapport with your midwives and medical attendants.

I am able to make suggestions for labour progress, help with relaxation, positioning and other comfort measures. I can help safeguard your bonding period and am available for consultation after the baby is born. I do not come between you and your partner but rather support both of you. During labour my aim is to ‘hold your space’ so unless you request my physical support, my role is to ‘be’, not necessarily ‘do’.

How do I provide this service to you?

I prefer to meet with you and (if applicable) your partner at least twice before labour starts and as early in pregnancy as possible. The first meeting is usually used for getting to know each other, to explore and discuss your priorities, any fears or concerns, and to plan how we might best work together. I will keep you informed of the times I am unavailable for consultation but you can call me 24 hours a day from 38 weeks of pregnancy (or sooner if you go into labour or if you are expecting twins or more). You can phone me and email me as often as you like during pregnancy.

During the second meeting we usually look at your birth preparation and I acquaint you with some of the comfort measures I have found helpful in the past. At this time, I will emphasise how your partner and you can work together and how you can help your baby to engage well in readiness for birth. I would like to become familiar with your birth plan, including your preferences regarding management options and your views on pain relief. I also would like to know about your natural coping-mechanisms and how your partner and I could help with these.

How can I support you during birth?

It’s useful if you could call me immediately (at any hour of the day or night!) when you believe that you may go into or are in labour. I need to know about bowel movements, shows and how you feel physically and emotionally. I need also to know about any sensations you may be feeling.

After assessing the situation over the phone, we will decide together on the best course of action. Even if you plan to go into hospital, I usually meet you at home first, unless the baby comes in a hurry or an emergency situation has occurred. Please keep in mind that I may need 60 minutes to arrive locally. If you live further away it may take 90 minutes.

Except for circumstances out of my realm of influence, I will remain with you throughout labour, birth and bonding. If you transfer from home to hospital or within the hospital, I will do my very best to stay with you.

I will do my best to safeguard those precious first minutes of physiological bonding after birth and can later support you with (breast) feeding if you would like some help.

I would like to get together with you within one or two weeks after the birth to see how you are doing, admire your baby and listen to your and your partner’s side of the story. Postnatal visits must be used within the first six weeks of birth.  As part of this agreement I am available for consultation by phone (or email) during the first six weeks after birth. If you would like postnatal support from me, we will discuss and arrange that with a separate document.

If you want to use natural/complementary remedies during pregnancy, labour and early parenting I suggest you contact a professional therapist. If you’d like me to give you any such remedies, please include this in your birth plan.  I am a qualified massage therapist and can use massage through labour if you wish.

My agreement with you

I will make every effort to provide the services described in this document. It may be that external circumstances may limit my availability (for example rapid labour). If failure to attend your birth is due to my misjudgement or unavailability, only the retaining fee (deposit) is payable. You may make further payments according to your discretion or further services made. But, if it is due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control (e.g. you call me too late, or you choose to keep vital information from me) the full fee applies.

My support extends to unforeseen emergency or elective C-Section. This means I will stay with you, in theatre if possible, and continue to provide emotional and practical support during the birth and immediately postpartum. If you and your partner choose an elective section late on in your pregnancy or if you decide you no longer require my services less than 2 weeks before your due date, I quite understand but a daily rate of £140.00 will apply from the on call date to the cancellation date. This is because I have already gone on call for you and/or worked with you for some weeks/months and turned down other work in order to be available solely for you. If your cancellation is due to factors beyond your control, or due to some negligence on my part, we will reach an appropriate agreement.

My fees

£1200 (includes all antenatal support, labour and birth, at least 2 postnatal visit and 6 weeks telephone/email support if needed after the birth).

No tips are expected – however, some clients like to show their appreciation of the support I have given. If you feel this way after your baby is born, any extra payment you would like to give enables me to afford to support women who are in difficult and vulnerable circumstances via the Doula Access Fund.

Retaining fee £300 required at booking.

The remainder of the full fee: payable at the agreed on call date.

I/We have read this contract describing our doula’s services and agree that it reflects my/our expectations.

Date ______________________________

Client ______________________________

Client’s Partner ___________________________