Terms and Conditions for Birth Doula Services

TERMS OF SERVICE – BIRTH DOULA SERVICES

Philosophy of Care

Childbirth is unpredictable and can be challenging. I believe the best support is that which engages and prepares parents emotionally and informationally. Parents deserve support regardless of the path in which their new baby arrives. My support is inclusive and compassionate. Care is LGBTQ friendly and embraces families of all walks of life.

Choosing a Doula:

I will meet with an expectant couple once on an interview basis, either in person or over the phone. 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.

What is a Birth doula?

As a doula, I accompany women in labour to help ensure a safe and satisfying birth experience. 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. I can provide reassurance and perspective to you and your partner, make suggestions for labour progress, and help with relaxation, positioning and other techniques for comfort. I am independent and self-employed and will be working for you, not your caregiver or hospital.

Before Your Birth:

Once you have chosen me as your doula, I 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 Kinnect Studio, pending availability.

When you are in labour:

I prefer that you call me when you think you are in labour even if you do not yet need me. I can answer questions and make suggestions over the phone. We will decide if I should come right then or wait for further progress/changes. I usually need approximately one hour from the time you ask me to come (depending on place of birth). We will also decide where to meet (home, hospital, birth centre). Except for extraordinary circumstances, either myself or our back-up will remain with you throughout your active labour and birth.

After birth:

I will usually remain with you for approximately 1-2 hours postpartum, until you are comfortable and your family is ready for quiet time together. I can also assist with initial breastfeeding if necessary/requested.

I am 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 my role.

What Birth doulas do not do:

  • Perform clinical tasks such as blood pressure, fetal heart checks, vaginal exams, etc.
  • Make decisions for you. (I will help you get the information necessary to make an informed decision. I 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. (I will discuss your concerns with you and suggest options, but you or your partner will speak on your behalf to the clinical staff)

Failure of a doula to provide service:

I will make every effort to provide the services described here. Sometimes this is impossible (for example, a rapid labour). If my failure to attend your birth is due to my error, there will be no charge for my birth services and I will refund a portion of your birth fee (remaining is used for prenatal visits and one postpartum visit). Birth can be a very unpredictable event, and although I will provide physical and emotional comfort to be best of my ability, I cannot guarantee you a problem-free birth.

Fees and Payment:

Payment may be made via cheque, E Transfer, Visa or MasterCard.

Birth Doula Fees:

A deposit of 50% of the total fee is due at time of booking, and is required to secure services and reserve your date. The remainder of the fee is due at the last prenatal appointment. Birth care will NOT be confirmed until payment is received.

Cancellation and Refunds

If a client wants to cancel their birth doula care and has paid in full:

  • 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.

If any prenatal appointments have taken place, the refund will be prorated accordingly. Proof of your due date may be requested at the time of the refund.

No refund or modification of services will be 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 me or do not give me enough notice for me to make your delivery
  • in the event that backup is needed

Confidentiality

Personal information is collected for contact purposes including my newsletter, which I use to regularly be in touch with my clients about important information regarding their care, upcoming events and recent studies regarding topics on pregnancy and parenting. Contact information including name, phone number, email address and due date and other relevant personal information may be shared with another doula who is, or becomes involved in your care.