THE ROLE OF A DOULA
The word “doula” comes from ancient Greek and means “a woman who serves.” Today, “doula” refers to a trained professional who assists at a birth by providing continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother. Doulas also provide support during pregnancy and immediately following the birth. A doula is an unbiased third party with education in childbirth and labor support, and is often able to remain objective and supportive of the mother when it becomes difficult for the immediate family. Oftentimes the role of a doula is described as “mothering the mother.”
A doula can greatly improve the quality of a woman’s birth experience through being a calming and supportive presence. Doulas also provide reassurance and perspective to the mother and her partner, make suggestions to help labor progress, and help with relaxation, massage, positioning, and other techniques for comfort.
Doulas are independent and self-employed, and as a doula I work directly for the family who hires me – not their care provider, hospital or birthing center. I live in Mandeville, and serve women planning to give birth within 60 minutes of the Greater New Orleans Area.
WHAT A DOULA DOES NOT DO
- A doula is not a healthcare provider and cannot perform medical procedures or give medical advice.
- A doula does not make medical decisions for her clients. She may help a mother and partner gather information so that they feel most able to make the best decision.
- A doula can facilitate communication between her client and medical personnel, however she cannot communicate to medical staff on behalf of her client.
- Free consultation at third party location
- Two prenatal visits in your home
- Informational support by phone & through email throughout your pregnancy
- On call 24/7 starting at least 2 weeks before your estimated due date
- Continuous emotional, physical and informational support throughout your labor
- wherever you choose to deliver
- however you choose to deliver (medicated or natural)
- however long it takes!
- Coordination with and compensation of a back-up doula, if necessary
- 2 hours of immediate postpartum support and help with establishing breastfeeding
- One postpartum visit in your home
$700 + $350 non-refundable deposit due upon signing contract
The $350 deposit is used to cover travel and childcare expenses for in-home visits, compensate for prenatals, as well as to stock my doula bag with supplies specific to my client’s needs and requests (i.e. specific essential oils or homeopathics). Paying a deposit reserves the client’s EDD on my calendar – I do not take any other clients due within 2 weeks before or after that date. The $700 fee for services is due before/when I go on call for a client’s birth. The exact date is determined on a case-by-case basis with my client (based on previous history, special health concerns/high-risk pregnancy), but is no later than 2 weeks prior to a client’s EDD. I encourage potential clients to contact me even if they may have trouble paying my fees. Ultimately, I have to place value on my time, training, and expertise, but I wholeheartedly believe that every woman who desires the support of a doula deserves to have one. I am willing to work with mothers/families to come up with a payment plan or negotiate on fees – please just communicate with me about your specific situation!
I am happy to receive payment by check, cash, Venmo (@LauraLColey), or PayPal (email@example.com). I do not accept credit card payments at this time. Some insurance companies will reimburse individuals for doula expenses, and I am happy to provide any documentation required by your insurance company (receipts, descriptions of service, etc.) However, it is the responsibility of the client to reach out to their insurance company about their benefits, and to provide me with details about required documentation.