I Interview For No Cost, As I Know It Is A Big Decision.
I HIGHLY recommend first time parents to take a childbirth education class, whether it is my HypnoBirthing Series, at the Birth Education Center of Okinawa or the classes offered by the hospital. It is the upmost importance to be educated and informed.
Knowing how your body works in labor, techniques for breathing, labor positions, etc., makes a huge difference. I have a small library of books you are free to borrow from.
Understanding Your Investment into Doula Services
Hours - Couples having a baby may imagine that a doula will only be spending a few hours with them during the labor and birth. The reality is an eight hour labor would be considered pretty zippy. Most first time mother's labors last longer than 16 hours, and some of the longest continuous time spent providing labor support may be up to 38 hours or more. I've attended a labor that lasted over 72 hours . This translates to an average of 42 hours invested with a woman for her labor and birth. Additionally, there are the hours spent in prenatal and postpartum meetings as well as up to another hour or two in phone calls. With a doula that charges a fee of $650, that fee translates to an hourly rate of about $15/hour, before expenses.
Clients per Month - When I makes a commitment to be available to support you in labor, one will have to limit the number of clients put on their calendar so as to avoid birth conflicts and to ensure that they're reasonably rested when you go into labor. The rule of thumb for birth professionals providing in-home services is that one client per week is a full schedule. Since most clients are first-time mothers, a doula may find that three clients per month is a full-time workload.
Consultant Factor - The rule of thumb is that a self-employed professional's income is only half of what they earn, after deductions for vacation and sick time, child care expenses, further education, and business expenses. As one may imagine, communication expenses are high - business phone, cell phone and computer connection. In addition there are also routine professional, office, supplies and unusual transportation expenses.
Putting It All Together - Although I am dedicated to this work, being on-call all the time requires a very high level of personal sacrifice, including a willingness to be called upon after half an hour of sleep to support a labor for the next 40 hours. Doulas may end up spending holidays and missing special events with their families supporting a labor, never knowing what will be encountered at a particular labor.
Bottom Line - There is so much that goes into working with a family. Helping prepare, educate, support and empower. Whether I'm with you for 24 hours or over 72 hours. You are getting a lot for your investment. I do understand individual payment needs may vary and am always willing to work something out. Discussing payment options with a potential doula is important as most doulas will offer payment plans, fees based on a sliding scale, or even barter.
Benefits of My Doula Services
- May of 2010 Became a certified DONA Doula, CD(DONA)
- October 2010 ReceivedPracticioner Certification in HypnoBirthing The Mongan Method, (HBCE)
- 2010-2012 Volunteer of OSD *Operation Special Delivery*
- July 2012 Advanced Doula Training Spinning Babies Workshop
- July 2013 Established and past President of Japan Birth Resource Network
- September 2014/2015 Hosted and participated in DONA Birth Doula Workshop taught by Linda Herrick ACBE.
- Founder of The Birth Education Center of Okinawa 2015
- September 2015 Attended TENS Unit Training and Sexual Abuse Workshop
- 2016 Started Evidence Based Birth Program
- 2016 Co-Founded and current President of the Military Birth Resource Network
Currently I've had the honor and privilege of supporting over 130 families since my training. From that I have experience with twins, VBAC's, single mothers, caesarians, homebirths, birth center births and hospital births, stillbirth, both military and civilian. I've also served families at off base Japanese birth clinics in Okinawa.
What My Services Entail at no extra charge:
- Meeting two or more times with mother and partner to discuss priorities, fears, concerns and questions.
- Discussion of how you and your partner believe I can be most helpful.
- Follow-up on your relaxation, I also offer a relaxation session at one of your prenatal visits if so desired
- Assist with your Birth Preferences(Plan) and answers to any questions regarding putting one in place
- Teaching and practicing labor positions and techniques.
- Phone/email contact as desired or needed.
- A reliable method for you to reach me
- I'm happy to accompany you to a prenatal visit with your care provider if you wish
- I am here for whatever your needs are.
- I will meet with you where you decide and stay with you throughout labor and birth. If you decide that you need some privacy I will give you your space.
- I will use my knowledge and experience to provide you with continuous physical comfort and emotional support.
- I will help your partner by offering reassurances, assistance, suggestions and information.
- I will act as a liaison between you and the staff; if it seems appropriate or necessary-establishing rapport, reminding them of your birth prefernces and asking questions so you have the information necessary to make good decisions.
- I will stay until you are comfortable and your family seems ready for quiet time together. Usually 1-2 hours after.
- I will help you with breastfeeding, if you so desire.
- Make sure you, husband/ partner have a meal if hungry.
- I will contact you by phone to answer questions, check on your well being and arrange to get together 7-10 days after your birth.
- I will meet with you at least once after birth: 1) to review the birth experience with you, compare notes and clarify events; 2) to admire and answer questions about your baby; and 3) to get feedback from you about my own role.
As a Doula,I DO NOT:
- Perform clinical tasks, such as blood pressure, fetal heart checks, vaginal exams, etc. I am there to provide only physical comfort measures, emotional support and advocacy.
- Make decisions for you. I will help you get the information necessary to make informed decisions. I will also remind you if there is a departure from your birth preference.
- Speak to the staff on your behalf. I will discuss your concerns with you and suggest options, but you or your partner will be making choices and decision pertaining to your care. Doulas should not be making decisions for her clients.
- Share your personal information with others. I keep and observe DONA's code of ethics.
What About My Husband or Birth Companion?
A Doula's role is never meant to replace or omit the husband or Birth Companion from your birth experience. In fact, a doula is there to help enhance that experience and allow him/her to enjoy it without all the pressure. Nowadays, it seems that companions are expected to know and remember everything they learned in the birth classes. But when it is real life and not the textbook scenarios, sometimes that information and training is hard to retrieve. With a doula as part of the Birth team, the companion can do things at his/her comfort level. Doulas can encourage the birth companion in using different comfort measures or stand in for them when they need a break. Having a doula ensures that someone is ALWAYS at your side. Especially when laboring in a hospital setting - nurses need to ask a lot of questions that can be distracting while you are trying to focus. (ie. "When did she use the bathroom last? What time did she eat? When was her last position change? How much as she been drinking? How long did she sleep?" Questions they really need answers to but you haven't been keeping notes on things you normally wouldn't be thinking about.) Having a doula frees the birth partner to just concentrate on being with his woman. A doula can keep track of all the little details and work with your care provider in giving them the answers they need to ensure the best care possible.
Doula Fee Starting at: $750
Military Discount. Please Inquire.
Discounts available for those who take HypnoBirthing Classes with Doula services.
*It is my commitment to provide services to any family in need of them. I am willing to discuss alternative financial arrangements. Therefore, payment plans, discounts, and/or bartering are available if needed. Just ask! Payments for services can be made via PayPal, check or cash.