Letter of agreement describing labor support services, limitations and fees
As a doula: I accompany women in labor to help ensure a safe and satisfying birth experience. I draw upon my knowledge and experience to provide emotional support, physical comfort and communication with your health care provider to ensure that you have the information needed to make informed decisions in labor. I can provide reassurance and perspective to you and your partner, make suggestions to help labor progress, and offer comfort measures. These include massage, relaxation and visualization techniques, suggestions for positions including the birth ball, hot and cold packs, help with backache and back labor pain, music, acupressure and other client specific needs. I can also give you access to my pregnancy and birth lending library and videos. I am independently self-employed, and as your doula, I am working for you, not your caregiver or hospital.
As a doula: I do not: perform clinical tasks, such as blood pressure checks, fetal assessments, vaginal exams, etc. I am present to provide for your physical comfort, emotional support and advocacy. I won’t make decisions for you, or speak for you unless requested. I will help you get the information necessary to make an informed decision.
Prenatal Conference: We will meet with a no obligation initial interview I prefer to become acquainted, to explore and discuss your priorities or concerns and to plan how we might best work together. At that time, we can discuss fees. This initial meeting does not obligate you to use my services.
I will also inform you of times when I am unavailable for labor support, although I will do my best to ensure my availability for your labor and birth. To cover those times, I will arrange for a qualified back-up doula whom you may also meet. We may also decide on at least two other meetings and will certainly stay in touch by telephone.
If you choose to select me as your doula, I will want to become familiar with your plans for labor, birth and postpartum. My role is to help you have a satisfying birth as you define it. The more we explore this in advance, the better I will be able to fulfill this role. 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 hope to educate you regarding the stages of labor and your natural coping methods as a means of replacing fear with knowledge. We also explore the differing pain medications available for pain management. My position is for support for the new family: mom, dad and baby.
My availability: I consider my on-call period to be from two weeks before the due date and until the baby comes. If there are limits of my availability near you due date, I will let you know. During my "on call" time, I will be staying within one hour of your birthplace and will stay in touch by phone or email often.
I check my cell phone often especially when I'm on call. In the rare instance when I need to turn it off during an on-call period, I try to check voice mail messages at least every hour. My cell phone number is 541-815-5165.
Late Pregnancy: I would like to attend at least one prenatal visit with you during your last few weeks in order to meet your doctor and introduce myself as your doula. I am available for phone consultations and e-mail questions in late pregnancy and encourage clients to call with questions or updates. Once we enter the on-call period, I will stay in touch every few days.
When you are in labor: I prefer that you call me right away when you think you are in labor, even if you do not yet need me. I can answer questions and make suggestions over the phone. We will decide at this time whether I should come to your home right then or wait for further change. I usually need an hour to get to you from the time you request my presence. I will then plan to remain with you throughout your labor and birth, accompanying you to the hospital, giving support and advocacy until baby arrives and until breastfeeding is begun.
After the birth: I want to be sensitive to the special bonding time that occurs immediately after birth, allowing the family some time alone. However, I will remain with you if you desire during the first two hours especially to assist you with breastfeeding. I usually take several "new family" pictures which I'll bring when I come for a postpartum visit. I am also available for phone contact to answer any questions you may have for up to 6 months postpartum. I will provide two postpartum visits, the first usually at your birth place and the second at your home within the first two weeks following the baby’s birth. This is a good time to debrief, answer new parent questions, give help with breastfeeding and get feedback from you about my role.
My fees for these services: The fee you will be paying is $800.00. If you are enrolled in my childbirth class and I'm serving as your doula, your fee for doula support includes the class; (a savings of $125.00). I ask for a deposit of $400.00, which is typically paid during or shortly after the initial prenatal conference. I will not consider myself obligated to the birth or on-call until I have received this deposit. The remainder of the fee, $400.00, is requested within two weeks after the birth or paid at the second postpartum visit. It can also be can sent to me at:
1032 NE Quimby
Bend, Or. 97701
If I am unable to attend your birth: I will make every effort to provide the services described above. However, sometimes this is impossible for a variety of reasons. If my failure to attend is due to my error, there will be no charge for my services, and I will refund your deposit. If it is due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control e.g. an extremely rapid labor and birth, or your failure to call me, I will keep the deposit, but there will be no further charges.
I/we have read this letter of agreement describing the doula’s services and agree it reflects the discussion we had with her. I/we recognize that although Sarah Larson is a certified childbirth educator and doula, in the unlikely and unfortunate event of a trauma at birth for either the baby or mother, I/we agree to hold harmless and otherwise indemnify Sarah Larson of any and all liability.