Hiring a doula is a great way to help empower yourself and your partner during labor. They are a wonderful source of information, and have vast knowledge about the emotional and physiological processes of birth.
Our doula speed dating events allow for you to get-to-know a variety of doulas, and find your perfect fit, and backup fit - just in case. Let us narrow down how our doulas vary from other agencies or collectives. As the client, you may ask:
1. How are your doulas selected for me? What are your doulas’ philosophies on childbirth?
We hand select all of our doulas and choose only doulas who genuinely believe in supporting your personal vision for your birth. All of our doulas bring something different to the table. They do not carry any agenda with them into your preference for birth. From epidurals to au naturel, our doulas are there to support you in your decision. We contract with accepting and intuitive women who know how to best empower you during labor.
2. Are your doulas always on call? How do I contact them?
At Birth Focus, our doulas are on-call from your 38th week until you give birth. Our doulas are available for phone and email support from your hiring through your birth and into the postpartum phase. You want to feel comfortable communicating with your doula at all hours, because you never know when labor will begin.
3. After hiring, how often do I meet with them before and after the birth?
Two prenatal appointments are held in your home to prepare for the labor. Following the birth, there is a postpartum meeting held in your home for further support within two weeks of the birth. This appointment can help with breastfeeding and referrals for further help in your parenting journey.
4. How many births have your doulas attended? What are the fees?
The amount of births attended give you a good idea of the doula’s confidence in her scope of practice. The more experience, the more diversity of births she has seen. Here are the Birth Focus tiers and corresponding fees for the birth doulas:
- Tier 1 Affiliated Doula has attended 0-3 births. The fee is $400.
- Tier 2 Affiliated Doula has attended 4-10 births. The fee is $800.
- Tier 3 Affiliated Doula has attended 11-26 births. The fee is $1250.
- Tier 4 Affiliated Doula has attended 27-50 births. The fee is $1650.
- Tier 5 Affiliated Doula has attended 51-99 births. The fee is $1950.
- Tier 6 Affiliated Doula has attended more than 100 births. The fee is $2300.
- Our Director has attended 150+ births. The fee is $2800.
Keep in mind, all of our doulas have access to both directors wealth of knowledge during birth, as well as their fellow doula collective. This compounds to a diverse set of knowledge and resources for your benefit.
5. What if the doula I pick is unavailable when I go into labor? Do they have a backup?
At Birth Focus you get to know the backup doulas through our meet-and-greets events. Then, if your doula calls in the backup to your birth, you will be with a trusted member of the Birth Focus collective whom you’ve already met and chosen yourself. This alleviates any stress of having a stranger join you for your birth. Other doulas have their backups set, and you do not get to select who shows up. You will know the backup doula is a trusted member of the Birth Focus team, and someone with whom you connected.
6. How does the doula involve and interact with my partner during birth?
It is important to note that doulas work for you and your partner together, not just you. It is a team effort. Partners and doulas develop a dynamic to best help you in labor. Our doulas provide comfort with pain relief techniques that include breathing, relaxation, massage, and laboring positions. She also works with your partner, reassuring them and guiding them through methods of comfort for you. It is very helpful to not over-exhaust your partner during labor. Naps and snack breaks for your partner are the perfect time for your doula to tag in to help get the baby moving down.
7. What are your doulas’ certifications?
We assure clients that all of our doulas are trained through reputable doula organizations. Their certification is up-to-date and they receive mentorship from both directors who have each attended over 150 births. Our doulas have access to real-time coaching and support at births from the directors. This means you are potentially getting a doula at a fraction of the cost, but with access to years of experiences and knowledge. This added bonus is hard to find in less intimately connected doula agencies.
8. Are your doulas familiar with the hospital/birth center where I am delivering?
Our doulas work within the network of the NY/NJ hospitals and birth centers. Doulas for home births are available too! Your doula will know which floors the labor and delivery and postpartum are located. Knowledge of the proper entrances will help when you are showing up in the middle of labor. Not to mention, she might know where to find the good snacks or juice in the food pantry. If a doula often works at a hospital or birth center, she develops a reputation with the nursing staff and practitioners.
9. How do I interview the doulas?
If you are in your third trimester, it can be a struggle to meet with many different doulas and balance their varying structures and schedules. With Birth Focus, we make it easy and cut your time in half - or more. We hold five speed dating Meet-the-Doulas events each month. At these events you can meet up to four doulas and conduct 15 minute interviews with each of them. This saves you a lot of time and energy. You don’t have to set up individual meetings across the city, because we streamline the process for you.
These basics can help you become more comfortable with our doulas and practices. By working with a Birth Focus doula, you collaborate with the collective and, therefore, reap the benefits of our close-knit esteemed network of reputable birth doulas. Meet-the-Doulas events are a great informal way to find your perfect doula, and save yourself some time in the doula hunt.