Q Have you given birth?
A Yes, twice! I am happy to share my birth stories with you if you wish, as I firmly believe that positive birth stories can affect your own experience.
Q What additional training & experience have you had?
A I attended the DONA approved Birth Doula and Childbirth Education workshop at Bini Birth in July of 2015. In addition I have attended a full cycle of hypnobirthing classes and an in-depth childbirth class in preparation for my own births. I am also Level 2 Reiki trained. Most recently I completed an Advanced Doula Skills workshop "Beyond the Double Hip Squeeze" with Two Doulas Birth in Los Angeles and Spinning Babies training with Midwife Nicole Franklin Morales
I am an active member of the Doula Association of Southern California and Bini Birth doula community, attending monthly peer review sessions as well as panels on birth. I have met all of my requirements for certification by DONA and am in the process of compiling my application.
Q What is your fee?
A My fee is $1000. A non-refundable retainer fee of $500 is due upon your hiring me, at our first prenatal visit. The balance of $500 is due 2 weeks before your estimated due date (38 weeks pregnant). For a breakdown of what my services include click here. For more information about fees based on this very unique business model please click here.
Q What is your philosophy on childbirth?
A I believe that women are strong, capable and adaptable. Sometimes we don’t even know our own strengths and capabilities until we are faced with a challenge such as childbirth. I believe that most women can have intervention free births if they choose. And it is my role to support you in YOUR birth, not make decisions about your birth or even to recommend that you give birth in any particular way. I believe very strongly that education is key; the more you know about the process and stages of labor: what your body is doing, the function of the hormones and contractions, the way the baby moves down, twists and emerges, the techniques you can use to cope as your body does its work, then the better equipped you will be to adapt to changes and make decisions during the process of labor. Removing as much of the mystery as possible will free you up to feel calm and powerful as you enter into your labor.
Q What if I want a medicated birth?
A It is my job (and desire) to support you in the birth experience that you wish to have. In the prenatal period I will support you by making sure you understand the risks and benefits of any intervention you may want or need. If you feel like you have all the information you need and are making decisions for yourself and your family based on the most current information, as well as the intelligence you find in your heart, then you win! I want you to do what you need to do to have the birth experience that is the one you are dreaming about.
Q When will you join me in labor?
A I will join you when you feel like you need me. That’s the short answer. The more in-depth answer is this: First things first, I want to hear from you as soon as you think you may be in labor or as soon as your water breaks. Even if you don’t need me right away (and generally you won’t) it will be great for me to have a heads up so that I can line up childcare and take care of any life maintenance I need to do before I join you. I can answer questions and make suggestions over the phone and we can make a plan for how to proceed. First time mamas can have extended pre-labor and early labor periods where contractions are erratic, far apart and completely manageable. Ideally I will join you as active labor is starting (contractions are establishing a regular pattern, about 5 minutes apart, and progressing) but as I said before – I will come to you when you feel like you need me. Please refer to the hand out When to Call Your Doula for more information.
Q Can I call you throughout my pregnancy if I have questions or concerns?
A As soon as you hire me I am absolutely available to answer questions via phone / email / text. I will respond as quick as possible between 7am and 10pm, unless you are in labor or having an urgent medical concern in which case I am available to you at any hour. It is very important that you CALL (not text) if it is after 10pm or I may not get your message.
Q What if you are unable to attend my birth?
A There are very few scenarios where I would miss your birth: If there is a medical emergency in my household or if your labor goes so fast that I am unable to make it in time. I have a wonderful team of backup doulas who can fill in for me should I be unable to attend you. You are welcome to meet with my backup before your birth. If my backup is unavailable I will put out a call to the many doulas in my network and make every effort to find you the support you need.
Q What is your refund policy?
A If I am unable to attend your birth due to my error and cannot provide a backup I will refund your balance up to the retainer fee (which is non-refundable and covers the cost of the prenatal support I will provide, the on-call time, and the limiting of additional clients around your due date). If the circumstances are beyond anyone’s control (a very rapid labor, natural disaster, etc.) you will be refunded your balance after the retainer fee. If I am unable to attend your birth because you do not call me or you call me too late in labor, there is no refund. If I am unable to attend your birth but my backup doula does attend there will be no refund and I will handle the transfer of your balance to the backup doula.