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Birth Doula Services Agreement

What is a birth doula?

A birth doula accompanies people in labor to help ensure a safe and satisfying birth experience. Your birth doula has completed training approved by DONA International. Your doula will draw on professional training, knowledge, and experience to provide emotional support, physical comfort, and, as needed, communication with the staff to make sure that you have the information you need to make informed decisions as they arise in labor. Your birth doula can provide reassurance and perspective to you and your partner (if applicable), make suggestions for labor progress, and help with relaxation, soothing touch, positioning, and other techniques for comfort. Your birth doula is independent and self-employed. Your birth doula works for you, not your healthcare provider nor any hospital or healthcare center/birthing center.

Before labor:

Your birth doula will meet with you (and your partner and/or other birthing support, as applicable) at least one (1) time and up to three (3) times before labor to become acquainted, to explore and discuss your priorities and any fears or concerns, to develop/review your birth plan, and to plan how you might best work together. Your doula will also want to discuss your own best ways for coping with discomfort, pain, and fatigue as well as how you and your birthing support foresee working together.

Your birth doula will inform you of times when they are unavailable for labor support. To cover those times, arrangements will be made with one or more qualified backup doulas whom you may also meet upon request.

You and your doula may also decide on other meetings and will want to remain in touch by phone/text and/or email.

When you are in labor:

In-person Birth Doula Support

Please call your birth doula when you think you are in labor, even if you do not yet need doula support. Your birth doula can answer questions and make suggestions over the phone. You and your doula will decide if you’re ready for doula support right then or if you should wait for further progress/changes to have your doula join you. If you are within the 50-mile service area, your birth doula usually needs 1 to 2 hours to get to you from the time you ask the doula to come. You and your birth doula will also decide where to meet—at your home, hospital, or birthing center. Except for extraordinary circumstances, your birth doula will remain with you throughout labor and birth with minimal necessary breaks to continue providing support (for example, using the restroom or eating a snack/meal).

Virtual Birth Doula Support

Please call your birth doula when you think you are in labor, even if you do not yet need doula support. You and your doula will decide how frequently your birth doula should check in with you or your chosen support team contact person, and your birth doula will be available to you via intermittent phone/text and/or video chat throughout labor and birth.

After birth:

Your birth doula usually remains available to you for one or two hours after birth, until you are comfortable and ready for quiet time. They can also help with initial lactation and feeding, if necessary.

Your birth doula is available to answer questions about the birth or your baby as needed. A postpartum visit will be planned within the first week or two following delivery for your doula to see how you and your baby are doing. You and your doula can also review the birth, and it would be great to get feedback from you about your birth doula’s role.

What doulas do NOT do:

Your birth doula will NOT:

  • Perform clinical tasks, such as blood pressure checks, fetal heart monitoring, vaginal exams, or other similar tasks. Your birth doula is there to provide only physical comfort and emotional support.
  • Make decisions for you. Your birth doula will help you get the information necessary to make an informed decision. Your doula will also remind you if there is a departure from your birth plan preferences.
  • Speak to the healthcare team on your behalf. Your birth doula will discuss your concerns with you and suggest options, but you (or your partner and/or other birthing support, as applicable) will speak directly to healthcare staff.

Cancellation:

Once you have signed this agreement and either remitted payment online or paid the retainer (see Payments section), the time for weeks 38 through 42 of your pregnancy will be reserved so that your birth doula will be available to you during labor and delivery. If you request to cancel this agreement prior to starting prenatal visits, Atala Doula Services will issue a full refund for all payments rendered for birth doula services. If you have received any prenatal visits with your birth doula and decide to cancel this agreement, a $700 retainer fee will still be owed to cover prenatal birth doula services as well as the time that had been reserved for your birth, and Atala Doula Services will refund any payments in excess of that amount.

Failure to provide service:

Your birth doula will make every effort to provide the birth doula services described in this agreement. Sometimes, this is impossible (for example, with a rapid labor). If failure to have a doula attend your birth is due to your birth doula’s error, there will be no charge for services, and Atala Doula Services will issue a full refund for all payments rendered for birth doula services. If a doula does not attend your birth because you fail to contact them or because the birthing environment or birthing team jeopardizes the doula’s health and/or safety, full payment must still be rendered. If a doula is unable to attend your birth due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control (natural disaster, state of emergency, pandemic, etc.), you will owe only the $700 to cover prenatal birth doula services, and Atala Doula Services will refund any payments in excess of that amount.

Fees:

Birth doula services fees are outlined here: https://ataladoulaservices.com/services/birth-doula-services/.

Payments:

Payment Options

Online payments are preferred using the Shop/Service Payments page found here: https://ataladoulaservices.com/product-category/doula-services/. Online payments are processed via Stripe or PayPal.

Payments will also be accepted via cash, check, money order, Venmo, Square, or other payment transfer application upon request. A $700 retainer must be paid upon signing of this agreement in order to secure birth doula services, and the balance will be due by 38 weeks of your pregnancy to ensure on-call availability.

Payment Plans (online payments only)

With online payments, Atala Doula Services offers an easy monthly payment plan option via Paythen (processed via Stripe). Payments can be broken up into 12 monthly payments for totals up to and including $1000 or 24 monthly payments for totals over $1000.

If you opt to utilize PayPal for your online payment, you may be offered the option to divide your payment into installments via PayPal’s Pay Later option.

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