What if I need to cancel?
Life has a way of happening, doesn’t it? It can be SO frustrating when we’ve booked an appointment and something completely out of our control happens and we need to cancel. You all know how frustrating it can be to be told you still need to pay! Have you ever thought “hey, that’s not fair!”? We feel that way sometimes too. We wanted to help our clients better understand our cancellation policy so you might have a little more info into why our terms are in place as they are.
Choosing the life of a doula
People become doulas and childbirth educators because of a passion for serving families. It’s a spirit of service that calls us to this work and we LOVE IT. Passion however doesn’t pay mortgages, and since our spots in our classes and our doula spots are VERY limited, we budget our own lives and finances on these spots. When one is cancelled last minute, it often means the difference of being able to pay a household bill or NOT. This line of work is not terribly lucrative, even for the most experienced and successful doulas and childbirth educators, and every client counts.
Not MY fault
We work from and with our hearts, and our feelings go out to any client who has a valid reason for a cancellation. This might include a partner getting sent away to work on a weekend you were supposed to take a prenatal class, getting a cold or flu right before a class, having a baby stay in a breech position and needing a planned cesarean. The list goes on and there are literally a thousand things that can, and have, come up for our clients. We recognize the feeling you feel is “but, this isn’t my fault”, which is totally true. It also isn’t ‘our’ fault either, but cancellations (and if refunds were offered) would be shouldered by us as a heavy burden. As you can imagine, if we refunded everyone who had a valid reason, we would be out thousands of dollars each year per doula or educator. As people who already make modest wages, we just aren’t able to shoulder everyone’s reasons for needing refunds.
As doulas, we often purchase concert tickets or event bookings that we also lose out on when we get called to a birth! We fully understand the frustration!
What are our terms?
When you book with us, you click the “accept terms of service” button upon registration. There is a link that will bring you to the full terms and we recommend you print those out for your records. It’s your contract between you and us. It includes things like “what happens if we miss your birth and it’s OUR fault”, which of course includes that you would be refunded for the birth portion (but truthfully, up until the writing of that post, that has never happened).
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
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.
- 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:
- Three weeks notice is required to qualify for a refund.
- No refund is provided within three weeks 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.
What CAN we do?
Of course we do this work so families get value for the support we provide and we want that for you. It’s why we’re in this business! We are always open to finding ways of helping you if there is anything we can do to remedy the situation. In the case of a prenatal class series, if you miss one class, the educator can review the missed content by phone or sometimes by having you arrive a little early before your next class, or give you homework so you can catch up on the missed content. We encourage you to come for as much of the class as possible, even if it means leaving early or arriving late. If a partner is unable to attend we encourage you to bring anyone else that might keep you company (if you prefer), such as a friend or family member, especially if they’ll be at the birth (though that’s not necessary)!
In the case of postpartum support, on rare occasion you might book for a more support than you end up needing. Since postpartum doulas can provide support around the house, we’d encourage you to review what types of things would be helpful in alleviating some of your stress. Is it holding the baby while you nap, running some errands for you, doing groceries, tidying up the kitchen, meal planning? There are SO many ways doulas can help even if everything is going swimmingly well with baby.
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.