What is a Birth doula?
As a doula, we accompany people in labour to help ensure a safe and satisfying birth experience. Discover Birth doulas have received education as a doula from DONA International (which has over 8,000 members in 54 counties) or other recognized training organizations. Many of our doulas also possess additional certifications, such as childbirth educator, registered nurse, and other. Be sure to ask your doula about other certifications she possesses. Doulas draw on their knowledge and experience to provide emotional support, physical comfort and communication with the staff (as needed) to make sure that you have the information you need to make informed decisions as they arise in labour. We can provide reassurance and perspective to you and your partner, make suggestions for labour progress, and help with relaxation, massage, positioning and other techniques for comfort. We are independent and self-employed. Your doula will be working for you, not your caregiver or hospital.
Choosing a Doula:
Each doula will meet with an expectant couple once on an interview basis. This meeting is free of charge and requires no additional commitment. This meeting allows each party to become acquainted and share philosophies to determine if there is a suitable match. Birth is a profoundly personal experience and you must feel comfortable with your choice of doula.
Once you have chosen your doula, they will meet with you and your partner before your birth to go over some basic childbirth education and to assist you in your preparation of your birth plan. These sessions will be conducted at your house, or can be conducted at a place of your choosing.
Once retained, and with receipt of your deposit, we will inform you of your doula’s contact numbers. To cover those times that she may be unavailable, we arrange one or more back-up doulas whom you may request to meet. You and your doula will certainly remain in touch by telephone as your due date approaches.
When you are in labour:
We prefer that you call your doula when you think you are in labour even if you do not yet need them yet. They can answer questions and make suggestions over the phone. You will decide if they should come right then or wait for further progress/changes. We usually need approximately one hour from the time you ask us to come (depending on place of birth). We will also decide where to meet (home, hospital, birth centre). Except for extraordinary circumstances, your doula or their back-up will remain with you throughout your labour and birth.
Your doula will usually remain with you for approximately 1-2 hours postpartum, until you are comfortable and your family is ready for quiet time together. They can also assist with initial breastfeeding if necessary/requested.
They are available for phone contact to answer questions about birth or your baby and would like to get together with you within one to two weeks to see how you are doing, review the birth, and get feedback from you about her role. If your package includes more postpartum support, they will coordinate based on your needs and their availability. If for some reason you need immediate support and they are unavailable, please contact us to arrange to have another doula come and assist you.
What Birth doulas do not do:
As a doula we do not:
- Perform clinical tasks such as blood pressure, fetal heart checks, vaginal exams, etc.
- Make decisions for you. (We will help you get the information necessary to make an informed decision. We will also remind you if there is a departure from your Birth Plan.)
- Speak to staff instead of you regarding matters where decisions are being made. (We will discuss your concerns with you and suggest options, but you or your partner will speak on your behalf to the clinical
Failure of a doula to provide service:
We will make every effort to provide the services described here. Sometimes this is impossible (for example, a rapid labour). If our failure to attend your birth is due to our error, there will be no charge for our birth services and we will refund half of your birth fee (remaining is used for prenatal visits and one postpartum visit). If it is due to your failure to call us, a quick labour, or other issue outside of our control, no refund is issued. Birth can be a very unpredictable event, and although we will provide physical and emotional comfort to be best of our ability, we cannot guarantee you a problem-free birth.
Fees (price is based on location of residence):
Basic Package includes: $1150- $1300 plus HST
- 2 prenatal visit in your home
- Attendance at your birth (regardless of length)
- Two hours of postpartum care to discuss your experience and answer some breastfeeding and baby care questions
- Add a childbirth class and save 10%
- Add an extra prenatal visit for $100 plus tax
What is a Postpartum Doula?
A postpartum doula is trained to help new famailies in the early weeks with their new baby. From help with breastfeeding (infant feeding), education on newborn care, running errands, helping with older siblings, nighttime support, self-care recovery measures, adjustment to new roles and anything else a new family needs help with, parents find the additional support invaluable.
Studies have shown that a doula’s presence reduces postpartum depression and increases a parent’s ability to bond with their baby. We will do an intake to assess your family’s needs and partner you with the best doula(s) for your situation. If at any time you would prefer another doula, we will attempt to replace your doula (minimum 1 week’s notice required). At times this is impossible as our team may be fully booked. In that case we will work together to find a mutually agreeable solution.
Choosing a Doula:
We will meet with each expectant couple once on a consultation basis. This meeting is free of charge and requires no additional commitment. This meeting allows us to become acquainted and share our philosophies to determine if there is a suitable match. Parenting is profoundly personal experience and you must feel comfortable with your choice of team.
Once retained we will inform you of all contact numbers of any doulas involved in the care of your family. We always attempt to limit the number of doulas involved in your care, however with short notice or large bookings this may be impossible due to other scheduling commitments of our doulas with other families.
What Postpartum doulas do not do:
• Perform clinical tasks such as blood pressure, check temperatures, assess or diagnose any medical conditions, etc.
• Make decisions for you. (we are there to support your choices and decisions, though will provide you with information to assist you)
• Take over care of the baby/siblings, however will assist with all your duties relating to your children.
• Do heavy housecleaning such as mopping, cleaning bathtubs, or yard work.
• Provide medication or formula outside of the written instructions on the label or written out by the care provider
Failure of a doula to provide service:
We will make every effort to provide the services described here. Sometimes this is impossible (for example, your doula gets called to a birth during her shift). If our failure to attend a shift is due to our error, there will be no charge for the hours missed. If it is due to your last minute cancellation of services, no refund is issued. 48 hours notice is required for changes.
We agree to work for you on a pre-determined schedule, subject to availability and mutually agreeable hours. For billing purposes, an hour is considered to begin when the doula arrives at your home on a previously arranged time. If the doula runs errands for you on their way to your home, the hour begins when they arrive at their first stop.
The retainer/deposit is equal to two weeks of service. The retainer reflects our commitment to be available to you as well as your commitment of payment for securing our services. You will then be billed at the end of each week for the week’s hours. The retainer will be used for the final two weeks of work. Bookings of less than two weeks of service will be paid in full.
Overnight support allows parents to get much needed sleep, which is associated with greater well-being. The doulas will make every attempt to keep the baby(ies) as quiet as possible so you can get the most sleep possible. We will adjust our techniques as the baby(ies) get older. When the baby(ies) is/are asleep the doula may have a little cat-nap. You can expect the doula to always be attentive to the baby(ies) neds and be regularly checking-in on the baby(ies). The doula will clean bottles and prepare bottles if we can do that without waking you. This is sometimes difficult if they kitchen is near your room. We keep a constant dialogue between the doulas and the parents so we’re all utilizing the same techniques. At any point that you share something you want us to do, or not do, you can expect this to be share with other involved members of the team and a team manager who oversees all contracts. Overnight shifts are typically 10pm to 6am unless otherwise agreed upon with the doula. When a doula is asked to stay late, extra time will be billed at the same hourly rate.
If a regularly scheduled postpartum shift falls on a statutory holiday, the client will have the option of canceling the shift or paying 1.5x the regular rate. The doula is not required to work on statutory holidays and doing so is at their sole discretion.
All Birth Doula fees are subjected to taxes. Clients may submit their payment online in full or provide a credit card for us to have on file to process fees as per a payment plan. Interac transfer is also available and can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Postpartum Doula daytime fees are subject to HST. Overnight support is NOT subject to HST. Clients will submit deposit of 2 weeks of service as a non-refundable retainer. This deposit is required to reserve postpartum doula care. Clients booking less than 2 weeks of services will pay their booking in full. Clients will then be billed at the end of each week, starting the week service begins. Once we’ve been given notice, we will begin to use the deposit for the last 2 weeks of care. The deposit may extend over 2 weeks of care if hours are used less frequently than the first two weeks of care. Clients may submit their payment online in full or provide a credit card for us to have on file to process fees as per a payment plan. Interac transfer is also available and can be sent to email@example.com.
Postpartum clients MUST use their hours within 3 months of their birth date. Any hours remaining after this time will expire. If the client would like to extend their postpartum contract, they can submit a registration form for additional time and their hours will need to be used within 3 months of submitting their renewing form.
Clients registering for both birth and postpartum doula care will be subject to both deposits as their initial payment and may submit their payment online in full or provide a credit card for us to have on file to process fees as per a payment plan. Interac transfer is also available and can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Birth and postpartum doula care will NOT be confirmed until payment is received.
Cancellation and Refunds
For Birth Doula Care
If a client wants to cancel their birth doula care:
The client will be eligible for a 75% refund if given 120 days notice from their due date or more.
The client will be eligible for a 50% refund if given 90-119 days notice from their due date.
The client will be eligible for a 25% refund if given 60-89 days notice from their due date.
Proof of their due date may be requested at the time of the refund.
No refund or modification of services are provided in the following circumstances:
– cancellations within 60 days of the due date
– in the event of a planned or unplanned cesarean delivery
– in the event that you do not call your doula or do not give her enough notice for her to make your delivery
– in the event that backup is needed
Pregnancy and birth on rare occasions include unfortunate outcomes such as stillbirth or miscarriage. Doulas are trained at helping parents through these situations and we would encourage you to call your doula to help you through any unexpected outcome. A doula can provide reassurance and resources to assist you through these difficult times. If you have booked a doula before 14 weeks of pregnancy and you have a miscarriage, we will provide a full refund if no prenatal visits have taken place. After 14 weeks we strongly encourage your continued use of services as booked or partial refund can be provided if they are within the cancellation parematers above.
For Postpartum Doula Care
If a client wants to cancel their postpartum care:
The client will be eligible for a 50% refund of their initial booking if given 60 days notice from their due date or more.
No refund is provided for cancellations within 60 days of the due date and you agree to be responsible for the booking order submitted.
Once a client has started care with their postpartum doula, 48 hours notice will be required to reschedule a shift. If 48 hours notice is not given, the client will be charged for the entire shift.
For Group Classes (Prenatal, Baby Care, Infant CPR)
If a client wants to cancel their class registration:
30 days notice is required to qualify for a refund.
No refund is provided within 30 days of the first class date.
For Private Classes
If a client wants to cancel their private class:
The client will be eligible for a 100% refund if given 60 days notice from the agreed upon class date.
The client will be eligible for a 50% refund if given 30 days notice from the agreed upon class date.
Personal information is collected for use by Discover Birth for contact purposes including our newsletter, which we use to regularly be in touch with our clients about important information regarding their care, upcoming events and recent studies regarding topics on pregnancy and parenting. Personal information may be shared with doulas in our practice who are, or become involved in the clients’ care. Contact information including name, phone number, email address and due date will be shared with the partners who are providing free services for you, unless otherwise stated by the client.
Your contact information will not be sold or shared with any group outside of Discover Birth or added to any email subscription list outside of Discover Birth’s email list.
Q. What happens if my doulas misses the birth?
A. If your doula is unable to attend your birth because of unforeseen circumstances, you may make use of your back up doula. No refunds are provided in the event that a backup doula is used. No refunds are provided if you choose not to have a backup doula attend your birth.
No refunds are provided if your doula misses your labour because you do not call her or your labour is very fast.
COVID-19/Coronavirus update 7/22/2022
We are closely monitoring changes that are occurring during the pandemic. Here are some guidelines for our clients to be aware of:
- Classes planned for in-person will continue to run unless the local public health department advises to cancel small gatherings. No refunds will be provided if you choose not to attend the live or virtual option.
- Birth doulas: If doulas are restricted at the hospital level we recommend you request special permission from the hospital administrator to have your doula present. If they are not allowed into the hospital, they will be happy to support you at home in early labour until you choose to go to the hospital. They will be able to support all home births as usual as permitted by the midwifery team. Clients with midwives may wish to consider this option. Doulas not permitted entry to the hospital can provide Skype/Facetime/Zoom virtual support throughout the entire duration of the labour. If preferred we can provide additional postpartum support in lieu of birth support. Refunds are not available due to hospital restrictions.
- Prenatal visits may take place virtually by request of clients or their doulas
- Postpartum doulas: we will be available as contracted. Doulas will not come to a client’s home if they have any signs of illness. We will adhere to the current government guidelines around resuming service. When possible a substitute doula will be offered if possible.
- If you or your family members have any symptoms of Coronavirus (confirmed or suspected), or have been in contact with someone confirmed as having the virus please contact your doula or the main office immediately to discuss options for the continuation of your care. We may need to adjust our offering or substitute the doula caring for you. We only require 4 hours notice in order to qualify for rescheduling at no cost. We may require a negative test to return to the home.
Last update: July 22nd, 2022.