Informed Birth Choices Doula Services Agreement
IBC Doula Services Promise
We promise to accompany you through labor to help you achieve a satisfying birth experience. IBC doulas promise to draw on our knowledge and experience to provide physical, emotional, and informational support to everyone present at the birth.
On Call Period
The on-call period for the contracted birth doula will being two weeks prior to your due date and end two weeks after your due date. If a birth happens prior to the on-call period IBC will still strive to provide doula services as stated. Please allow a two hour response time for voice mail. **Please arrange with your doula the best number with which to reach her.**
There will be one prenatal meeting to review your birth plan, and give us a chance to discuss in detail your preferences regarding your birth. We can review or discuss anything covered in your childbirth classes. We will want to know your own personal ways of coping with pain, fatigue and difficult situations and what internal resources we can draw upon to assist you with the birthing experience. We will also want to know how you and your partner foresee working together, and the roles of others who may be attending the birth. We can discuss together what fears and concerns you might have regarding the birth. As your doula, our role is to help you have a satisfying birth as you define it. The more we explore this in advance, the better we will be able to fulfill this role.
We are available for phone consultations and email questions in late pregnancy, and we encourage you to call with questions or updates. Once we enter the on-call period, we ask that you check in every few days to let us know how you are doing.
When Labor Begins
When you think labor has begun, call your IBC doula. This allows us to begin making arrangements for attending your birth (childcare, time to eat, etc). We will then check in every few hours by phone, so we can provide information, ideas for comfort techniques, and reassurance. Together we will decide at what point in your labor you are ready for us to attend you. Once you make that decision we should be there within two hours, and remain with you until after the birth.
When You Are In Labor
We will offer help and advice with comfort measures. This may include guiding your breathing, enhancing relaxation, encouraging movement, suggesting effective positions for labor, and massaging. We can assist with gathering information about the progress of labor to ensure you have the knowledge needed to make informed decisions about your birth. We can also serve as an advocate for your needs with the medical staff. Our most critical role is providing continuous emotional reassurance and comfort.
We will remain with you for 1-2 hours after birth, until you are comfortable, and the family is ready for quiet time together. We will also help with initial breastfeeding as needed. We are available by phone to answer questions about the birth of your baby and will schedule a postpartum visit, typically within two weeks of the birth. During this visit, we can provide breastfeeding support, baby care tips, referrals to community resources, and a chance to discuss the birth experience.
What IBC Doulas Do Not Do
We do not perform clinical tasks, such as blood pressure, fetal heart checks, vaginal exams, etc. We provide only physical and emotional support and advocacy. We do not make decisions for you. We will help you get the information you need to make your own informed decisions. We will also remind you if there is a departure from your birth plan, and will verify if this is, in fact, your informed decision.
We will not speak to medical staff regarding matters when health care decisions are being made. We can discuss your concerns with you and suggest options. We can support you in discussions with staff as your advocate, making sure you have the opportunity to discuss concerns, but you or your partner will speak on your behalf to the medical staff.
IBC and IBC doulas will not claim any medical responsibility for injuries or incidental and punitive damages suffered by the client. The clients recognize that the doula is not responsible for any medical interventions used by other caregivers nor is in any way responsible for the outcome of the labor or the health of the mother or baby.
Failure of a Doula to Provide Service
We will make every effort to provide the services described here. Sometimes this is impossible for unforeseen reasons (illness, family emergency, etc.). To ensure that you will have a doula when you call we will arrange for a ‘back-up’ doula during your on-call period. This doula would only be used in case of illness or personal emergency.