1. I see from your website that you are training to become a certified doula, what does this training entail?
I am working with toLabor (The Organization of Labor Assistants for Birth Options and Resources/ www.tolabor.com) for my certification. This entails completion of workshops, birth classes, attendance and essays for six births, and a written exam. Eligible births include paperwork from the birthing mother and her primary care midwife/doctor.
2. How do your rates compare with a certified doula?
One does not need certification to practice as a Doula due to the non-medical nature of this service. Each doula sets her/his rates according to their personal needs. A $100 refund is available if you opt to participate in my certification and will be refunded after your paperwork is accepted by toLabor.
3. What do you charge?
I currently offer a sliding scale of $200-400, with a non-refundable $100 due at the signing of our contract. The sliding scale depends on several factors including ability to pay and the number of pre and post-natal visits. Payment in full is due prior to your due date. There are always exceptions to the rule, click here for more details.
4. What services do you provide?
Included at any level of payment are discussion/creation of your birth plan, informational handouts regarding a range of topics like the facts on medical interventions, birthing videos, resources for birthing classes, and at least one pre-natal visit and one post-natal visit. Also included are attendance and support at your birth wherever you choose, as well as breast feeding information and assistance. I will also offer support and attendance when communicating with your primary care provider, midwife or doctor, and can increase the number of pre and post-natal visits depending on need. As an herbalist in the Wise Woman Tradition (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wise_Woman_Tradition), I can also offer assistance regarding herbs that are safe to use and especially beneficial during pregnancy should you wish to have this information.
5. How far away from me do you live - is this a feasible distance to rely on your timeliness in a possibly quick-arriving child?
I currently work in the DC, Maryland, Northern Virginia area. During our contract period, I will be on-call for 2 weeks on the front and back end of your proposed due date. This means that I will have made arrangements to drop whatever I’m doing to attend your birth. Please note the contractual stipulations regarding this topic. In order for me to arrive in a timely manner, it’s important that we’re in communication about where you are in your labor. Don’t be shy if you feel it’s time, better to call me for a false alarm than to call me when it may be too late for me to get there!
6. Do you have any other mothers in your care due within 2 weeks of me?
I have not yet given birth and will revisit this question in November :-). I’ve come to this work through my recognition of its importance in improving the experience and protecting the rights of women and their families. I believe all of us are in a constant process of birthing ourselves and that the birth of a child is a rich metaphor for all of life’s challenges.
8. How do you feel about natural, un-medicated birth?
I believe our very existence is testament to what women are capable of. I believe that a natural, un-medicated birth is what nature intended and has prepared our bodies to do. I also believe it is important to remain flexible and flow with the situation at hand. No matter what environment one has chosen for giving birth, emergencies can happen. Educating and preparing oneself prior to the actual birth goes a long way to maintaining one’s empowerment within the experience no matter the outcome. Every woman I’ve spoken with has echoed the same sentiment; that once their baby was crying in their arms, nothing else mattered. It’s good to have a plan, and to also accept the situation as it unfolds.
9. Are you on good terms with the Birthing Center, have you worked there before?
As a new Doula, I am still in the process of creating these relationships. I will visit any midwife’s office, hospital or birthing center to introduce myself and meet the staff that will be in attendance at your birth when possible. At least one pre-natal visit is included in my fees and we can meet at a location of your choosing.
10. How many births have you attended?
To date, I have attended one birth. This occurred several years ago when a good friend requested my assistance at her scheduled C-section. I was not allowed in the operating room and attended her prior to and after her surgery, and in her home. This experience solidified my belief that however a baby gets here, the end result of a happy, healthy baby and empowered mother is more important than pre-conceived ideals.