A meeting is offered and recommended before the onset of labour, to create a birth plan and explain the various options of pain management and other choices the mother/family may wish to consider. These include the use of gas and air, epidural, pethadine and other methods of pain relief, as well as water birth, massage, various positions, and acupressure techniques.
I agree to come when the mother/family wishes, at the home, birth centre or hospital. This can be at the beginning of the labour or later when the labour is well-established. Phone consultations and email exchanges are welcome at any time.
Normally a 10-hour shift is the outer extent of doula services, unless adequate provision is available for a quiet place in which one can rest and recover. I can plan to be available for longer periods if this is arranged in advance, so that I can bring personal items that I would need for an overnight stay. I can also arrange for an additional assistant in case the labour is very extended. If the mother/family wishes and such provision is possible, I would agree to be present from the labour right through to the birth, with only necessary and minimal breaks.
It is always the decision of the mother/family as to how much ministering-to-needs in the form of deep-breathing, exercise, nutritional advice, massage, and other supportive actions will be requested. It is my strong personal wish to accompany the mother from the labour all the way through to the birth. The role of a doula is informed and caring assistance and support during the labour (and birth, if desired by the mother and family). My expertise and experience is in labour support only. NO medical advice will be given; this role is for midwives and doctors only. I will not be held responsible for any eventualities or difficult circumstances surrounding the birth experience. I would discontinue my services only if the mother or family prefers to break off for logistical or other reasons, but this would be against the prescribed role and mission of a doula. I am prepared and trained to accompany a mother during all aspects and interventions of labour, also including a C-section operation, if the hospital permits this.
My services as a birth doula include at least one meeting before the labour begins, and then being on call before and after the due date for as long as possible, so that I can be present as soon as desired by the mother/family. I will try to make myself completely available one week before and one week after the due date, in case the baby has his/her own ideas about when to come into the world. You may call me at any time if you think you are starting your labour, and I will come to you as soon as possible.
All special requests will be considered and discussed.
The regular fee for my services as birth doula is negotiated in advance for each family. The preferred method of payment is in cash, but bank transfer is also possible.