Services the BirthFocus affiliated doula agrees to:
· Provide phone/email support from date of hire until final post-partum visit is complete
· Provide on-call support from 38 weeks to 42 weeks (or until the client has given birth)
· One – two prenatal visits (each approx. two hours in length) in the client’s home (if client hires after the 36th week one prenatal visit will be guaranteed and if a second prenatal is unable to be accomplished to to delivery of the baby, an additional postpartum visit will be added)
· In-home labor support, or at the chosen place of delivery, to begin within two hours of request from laboring woman or partner
· Continuous emotional, physical, and informational support at home and in the chosen place of delivery throughout the birth of the baby (within the DONA Int’l Standards of Practice)
· Offer breastfeeding support immediately after birth or post-partum if transfer occurs within two hours of birth
· Attend a post-partum visit (approx. two hours in length), in the home, within 2 weeks of the delivery date to discuss the birth, provide referrals, and answer any questions
Services not provided by BirthFocus affiliated doulas:
· Doula will not make decisions for a client and/or her partner; but, instead, doula will help client obtain information necessary to make informed decisions
· Doula will not speak to hospital staff (i.e. Doctors, Midwives, Nurses, any hospital employee) on client’s behalf. Doula will discuss client’s concerns and suggest options, but the client and the client’s partner will be responsible for speaking to hospital staff
· Doula does not provide full-body massages; but, may offer “comforting touch” during labor as client requests
· Doula does not conduct any medical procedures, or conduct vaginal exams
· To inform her doctor or midwife that they have hired a doula
· To not schedule (or participate in) any prenatal visits with her chosen doula prior to receiving a “Confirmation of Doula Services” email from BirthFocus
· To keep in contact with doula after each doctor or midwives visit, beginning at 36 weeks
· To keep doula informed of clients medical condition, including any test results so that the Doula may answer any questions client may have
· To provide doula with a copy of her birth plan if she is using one
· To call doula with earliest onset of labor (including rupture of membranes), even if the client does not need the doula to come over yet (and if it is before the on-call period)
· That if the client relocates after the signing of the contract the doula will make every effort to honor the terms of the contract. The client agrees that a) BirthFocus has the right to renegotiate the fee to cover added travel expenses if client moves within 15 miles of original location and b) BirthFocus reserves the right to terminate the contract before the doula services are provided without a refund
· that she/they are hiring a labor support doula/post-partum doula who works within the DONA International Standards of Practice. Should client utilize any other services (including, but not limited to, pre-natal massage, pre-natal/yoga sessions, childbirth education classes) client will enter into a separate contract with said doula and BirthFocus will not be held liable for any of these services
The fee for labor support services is based on the experience of the doula. All doulas provide the same service and work within the DONA International Standards of Practice. BirthFocus Doulas are contracted through BirthFocus, LLC and do not work for hospitals, birth sites, or other health care professionals.
A deposit of ½ of the fee is due with this agreement. All payments must be made to BirthFocus, LLC. Balance of payment is due by the 34th week. The deposit is non-refundable within 45 days of the due-date and/or after the first pre-natal visit has occurred. If agreement is cancelled outside of the 45 days, up to half of the deposit will be refunded.
If you live outside of the five boroughs there will be an additional fee to cover the cost of transportation of the doula to/from your home during labor. The doula is responsible for all transportation for prenatal/postpartum visits; however, if the doula labors with you at home it will be expected that she will be reimbursed for the carfare.
If the client chooses a backup doula that is of a different level than the primary doula, and the backup doula attends the birth, then the client will either a) receive a reimbursement of the birth portion of the fee within two weeks of giving birth if the backup doula is from a lower level or b) be obliged to pay the difference in fees within two weeks of giving birth. Should the backup doula attend the birth, the primary and the backup doula will attend the post-partum visit together.
The on-call period begins at 38 weeks and continues until the birth of the baby. The primary doula is available to the client 24/7, via phone and email. When the client begins labor she should contact the primary doula (who will then alert the back-up doula) that labor has begun. There will be some negotiation between doula and client and when the client requests the presence of the primary doula, the doula will meet the client in her home or at the hospital/birth center, as agreed, within two hours of the request.
If the client cannot reach the primary doula she should leave a voicemail and continue to call every 20 minutes (at times, doulas are on the train and cannot get to their phone). If after one hour, or in an extreme emergency, the client has not heard from the primary doula, then the client should call the back-up doula and arrange a plan. If the client cannot reach the backup doula within one hour (or less if an emergency) the client should call the BirthFocus Director and proceed to the hospital if it is an emergency (rapid labor, any medical concerns, ruptured membranes and lack of fetal movement, etc.). If client requests, the BirthFocus Director will attend the birth or send another doula from the practice and of the same level of the primary doula to attend to the client. If there is not a doula of the same level as the primary doula available and a doula of another level attends the client is not obliged to pay a remaining balance; but will be reimbursed if the attending doula is of a lower level than the original primary doula.
Should the client begin labor, and/or give birth, before the 37-week on-call period, the same protocol as above applies.
failure of the doula to provide services/refund policy:
The doula team the client chooses will make every effort to attend their labor. If neither the primary doula nor the backup doula is available to attend the birth, one of the BirthFocus doulas will be made available upon the client’s request. The same financial agreement applies and the same services will be provided on same terms as above.
By this agreement, the client agrees to contact the doula when she thinks she is in labor, allowing approximately two hours for her to reach the home or the place of delivery. If the doula does not attend the birth due to the client’s failure to call her, the client understands that there will be no refund given and no post-partum services offered. If a BirthFocus doula does not attend the birth due to reasons of her own, the client will receive a partial refund, minus the non-refundable deposit (as this deposit covers the administrative fees, on-call services, and pre-natal visits).
The client may cancel this agreement in writing up to 45 days before her/their due date (and prior to the first prenatal visit), with the understanding that the client will receive up to 50% of the deposit back.
cesarean section/induction policy:
In the event that the doula is unable to attend the birth due to circumstances beyond her control, such as extremely rapid labor and doula misses actual birth or a scheduled c-section, the client understands that no refund will be given and that the doula will provide 6 hours (Tier 1/2), 8 hours (Tier 3/4), or 12 hours (Tier 5/6) of postpartum care within two months after the delivery.
In-person support at the beginning of an induction, if requested, is provided and then the doula will return to the hospital as labor progresses within two hours, upon request from client.
It is highly recommended that the client participate in a childbirth preparation class. The doula cannot adequately explain the entire scope of the physiology and process of labor and birth, hospital/birthing center/homebirth procedures, medical interventions, comfort measures, coping techniques, newborn care, etc., in two appointments. Therefore it is highly recommended that the client seek out this information and be as informed as possible and prepare for their birth.
release from liability:
In entering a contract for doula services with BirthFocus, LLC we acknowledge that during the performance period of this contract, services may be provided to me/us in my/our home, traveling to a medical facility and hospital. I/we understand that BirthFocus, LLC, and the contracted doula, have a limited role pursuant to the descriptions of tasks outlined in the above-referenced contract, wherever services are provided to me/us. BirthFocus,LLC, or the contracted doula, have not represented to me/us that contracting for their services, guarantees in any way a risk free, emergency free labor and birth experience. I/we understand that BirthFocus, and my/our contracted doula does not make medical or nursing decisions on my/our behalf, to include the decision when to seek medical care at a hospital or when labor support services are provided in my/our home. When services are provided in a medical facility, I/We acknowledge that BirthFocus, nor the contracted doula, is responsible for the performance of clinical tasks to include medical or nursing decisions regarding the inclusion or exclusion of treatments available to me/us and my/our baby. In consideration of the above acknowledgements, I/we (both jointly and separately) on behalf of myself, ourselves, my/our heirs, administrators, personal representatives, executors and assigns to release and forever discharge BirthFocus, LLC and the contracted doula from all damages or causes of action, either law or in equity, which I/we have or acquire or which may accrue to me/us, my/our heirs, administrators, personal representatives, executors or assigns as a result of using the Doula services of our Doula mentioned, I/we intend this to be a complete release and discharge her from all liability whatsoever.
This constitutes the entire agreement between myself and BirthFocus,LLC. No other agreements shall apply.