Services: Birth Doula
Free Introductory Meeting
It is essential that you and your partner feel entirely comfortable with the doula you choose. I therefore offer all potential clients a free, no-obligation introductory meeting during which we get to know each other a bit. You will tell me what you want – and what you don’t want – in a doula, and express to me your wishes for your birth. I will tell you about myself and how I see myself supporting you as your doula. We will ask each other questions and find out if we have a good connection before we both decide to work together.
Once we decide to work together, we will plan to meet at least twice before labor to become further acquainted, to explore and discuss your priorities and any fears or concerns, and to plan how we might best work together.
I will suggest a few exercises and stretches for you to practice throughout the pregnancy, to help prepare your body for a smoother (and hopefully faster) labor and delivery. I will want to know your own best ways of coping with pain and fatigue and how you and your partner foresee working together. I might suggest a few exercises allowing us to explore this together.
If you plan a Hospital Birth, then I would be happy to help you put a birth plan together so that you can easily share it with your medical practitioner when you get to the hospital.
I usually remain with you for at least two hours after birth. At home births, I like making a nutritious meal for you and your partner, and helping to rearrange the house (laundry, dishes, etc.) until you are comfortable and your family is ready for quiet time together.
At the hospital, I will stay around to help you understand and advocate for your choices regarding newborn procedures, assist you with initial breastfeeding, and make sure that you and your partner are comfortable.
Telephone and Email Support
I encourage my clients to keep in close contact with me by phone and email between our in-person visits so I may provide supplemental information and answer questions as birth approaches. This support extends to the postpartum period, where I can direct you to a variety of resources in the community.
One 2-hour postpartum visit is included in the Birth Doula package (additional time is available for an additional fee). During this time I will help you with self-care recovery measures, offer information on baby care, and help you learn to care for and feed your baby. My preference is to have this visit with you within the first two weeks after your baby’s birth.
Availability and Back-up Doula
I will go on-call for you beginning at 38 weeks gestation. This means when you call, I will drop everything to be with you for the duration of your labor and birth. Should you go into labor prior to 38 weeks, I will do my very best to be there with you. Should I not be able to attend your labor for any unforeseen reason (such as illness), I will provide an approved backup doula.
I encourage you to call me when you think that you are in labor, even if you do not yet need me. I can answer questions and make further suggestions over the phone, and we will discuss when I should join you. Except for extraordinary circumstances, I will remain with you throughout your labor and birth.
During labor I believe in a follow-the-mother approach. Instead of showing you how to birth, I look at what you are instinctively trying to do and work with your partner to support you with it! This may include providing different comfort measures, including relaxation and pain management techniques (hip squeezes, Spinning Babies’ techniques, rebozo-use, acupressure, TENS machine, essential oils and massage techniques).
What I Do-Not Do
I cannot make decisions for you. I will help you gather evidence-based information so that you can make informed choices. I will remind you if there is a departure from the birth preferences we have discussed prenatally.
I cannot speak to your care provider on your behalf regarding matters where decisions are being made. I will discuss your concerns with you and suggest options, but you and your partner will speak on your behalf to your care provider.
I do not diagnose medical conditions in the mother or the baby, but will refer you to a health care provider when appropriate.
Due to the COVID-19 situation, I am currently offering all my prenatal, in-labor, and postpartum supports virtually. This is while the shelter in place is in place and only one support person is allowed in the hospital with mom. While this is going on, I am doing my best to prepare my parents even more for labor time and therefore offer the following included in the price above:
4 to 6 meetings, 90 min each, instead of just the 2 that are described above.
+ Discounts available for repeat clients
+ Sliding scale available based on the SF AMI
+ $200 added to services provided outside of San Francisco, to cover my driving time and expense