Doula package - Services, Limits and fees
Letter of Agreement Describing Doula Labour Support
Services, Limits and Fees
What do I do as a Doula?
As a doula, I accompany women in labour to help ensure a safe and satisfying birth experience. I draw on my knowledge and experience as a doula and mother to provide emotional support, physical comfort and, as needed, communication with other caregivers 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 (if present), make suggestions for labour progress, and help with relaxation, massage, positioning and other techniques for comfort. I am independent and self-employed. As your doula, I am working for you, not your caregiver or hospital.
Choosing a Doula
I prefer to meet with you (and your partner or other support person, if applicable) at least once before labour to become acquainted, to explore and discuss your priorities and any fears or concerns, and to plan how we might best work together. The first meeting does not obligate you to use my services and we can discuss my fees at that time. Prior to the birth I would like to become familiar with your Birth Plan, including your preferences regarding labour management options and the use of pain medications. I also want to learn about your own best ways of coping with pain and fatigue and how you and your partner (if applicable) foresee working together.
I will also inform you of times when I am not available for labour support. To cover those times, I will arrange one (or more) back-up doula(s) that you may speak with or also meet. Of course, you have as much choice over your back-up doula as your primary doula. We will also decide on other meeting times and will certainly want to remain in touch by telephone.
Consultations with me which are not part of the doula services are R250.00 per hour.
When you are in labour
Please call me when you think you are in labour, even if you are not sure. I can answer questions and make suggestions over the phone. We will decide if I should come right over then or wait for further changes. I usually need approximately one to two hours to get to you from the time you ask me to come. We will also decide where to meet - at your home or the hospital. Except for extraordinary circumstances, I or my back-up will remain with you throughout labour and birth.
I am available for phone contact to answer questions about the birth and your baby and would like to get together with you within one to two weeks to see how you are doing, to review the birth, to admire your baby, and to get feedback from you about my role.
I usually remain with you for one or two hours, until you are comfortable, your questions are answered and your family is ready for quiet time together. I would also be happy to help with initial breastfeeding if necessary.
What Doulas do not do
As I Doula, I do not:
• Perform clinical tasks, such as taking blood pressure, fetal heart checks, vaginal exams, and others. I am there to provide only physical comfort, emotional and informational support and advocacy.
• 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 the staff instead of you regarding matters where decisions are made. I will discuss your concerns with you and suggest options, and I will help you identify key questions that may help you with your decisions, but you or your partner is the best person to speak to the clinical staff.
As a Doula I will not prescribe, diagnose or treat any medical problems that may arise and will not be liable for interpreting diagnostic procedures. This is the role of your provider.
In the event of a rapid labour or emergency situation, I will call the necessary specialists and hospital. In the event of an emergency delivery I will do what measures I am capable of to try to keep you and the baby safe and comfortable until EMS arrives. This will fall under The Good Samaritan Law.
Failure of a Doula to provide service
I will make every effort to provide the service described here. Sometimes this is impossible (for example, with rapid labour). If I, or my back-up, fail to make it to your birth due to either our error, or your inability to call me in an emergency, you will not be liable for the balance of this fee. If it is due to your failure to call me, payment will be owed in full.
Scheduled Caesarean Clause
Occasionally a woman will have something arise during her pregnancy that necessitates a scheduled Caesarean birth. If this decision is made two weeks or more before your due date, you may choose to cancel my services with no further payment owed beyond the deposit. Alternatively, you may choose to have me come with you to the hospital, accompany you during surgery or wait in the recovery room, and assist you with breastfeeding and adjustment in the first hours after your birth. An extra postpartum visit can also be scheduled at no further charge. In this instance my full fee will be payable.
My fees for the service described here are R3 000 to be paid as follows: There will be no travelling expenses.
R1000 as a retaining fee, due when you select me as your doula ( non refundable).
Balance paid in full by the time you are 36 weeks pregnant.
Please deposit into my account or EFT to V. A. Oosthuizen, Nedbank Ltd, Account Number 1001908589, branch code 15192500.
I/we have read this letter describing the doula’s services and agree that it reflects the discussion we have had.
Client __________________________ Client’s Partner ________________________
Virginia Anne Oosthuizen.
Certified WOMBS doula.