Postpartum Doula FAQ
My Personal Answers to Commonly Asked Postpartum Doula Questions
What training, education and experience do you have?
Since I was a teenager, I have worked in a variety of childcare roles including babysitter, camp counselor and nanny. I have five younger siblings, (including a sister fourteen years younger than me) and I have always loved babies, children and the excitement of family transitions. After becoming a birth doula, I decided to expand my practice and completed the Postpartum Doula Training Course at the Seattle Midwifery School in the fall of 2007. Postpartum doula work is completely in-line with my philosophies regarding birth as a transition not only for the mother and child, but for the entire family. I am aware of the unique changes and challenges that a new baby can bring. I know that my skills and experience can help make this transitional period more manageable and even more rewarding for every member of the family. For more information regarding my education and experience, please see the page about me.
Have you had a criminal background check, a recent TB test and do you have current CPR certification?
I always keep my criminal background checks, TB testing and CPR certifications current. These are required annually for my participation in the UWMC Doula Care program and certification by NAPS. Knowing that I have a clear record, negative for tuberculous and have the skills to perform CPR if necessary is relieving for both my doula clients and myself. If you are interested in proof for any of these, please let me know and I will be happy to provide documentation.
Tell me about your experience as a postpartum doula.
My experience as a postpartum doula has included working with a variety of families during their postpartum period. This has included:
- premature babies
- babies in NICU
- babies with medical conditions
- babies with GERD and reflux
- clients with breastfeeding challenges
- clients exclusively breastfeeding
- clients exclusively pumping
- clients recovering from cesarean birth
- clients experiencing postpartum mood disorder
- clients using a variety of diapering systems including cloth, hybrids and disposables
- siblings dealing with transition issues
- families dealing with other challenges during the postpartum period
In addition to my general doula training and skills, my strong suits are communication, adaptability and assisting with siblings, specifically their transition to being the new “big brother” or “big sister.”
What is your philosophy about parenting and supporting women and their families during postpartum?
My role as a doula is to support the new parenting and overall transition of families during the postpartum period. I do this through support and assistance with feeding, suggestions and assistance with mother’s recovery, advice on infant and parent sleep patterns, guidance on newborn care and recognizing and responding to postpartum mood disorders among other things. I pride myself on being open-minded and adaptable and make a point of establishing good communication with my clients to ensure that their needs and wishes are being met to the best of my ability at all times while I am providing doula services.
- May we meet to discuss our postpartum needs and the role you will play in supporting us in the postpartum period?
I truly enjoy meeting potential clients and discussing my services. This is a great opportunity to see if we connect and if your needs and my services are compatible. After the meeting you will have the chance to decide if I am the right doula for you and your family and then contact me with your decision. Once I am hired by a client, we will schedule a prenatal meeting to discuss the specific details of the postpartum plan and the supportive role that I can play through this period.
- What additional services do you offer?
I offer day and overnight postpartum doula services. Depending on the shift, I also offer light housekeeping, laundry, meal preparation, assistance with sibling care and transition, pet care and running of errands. If you or your family has additional needs, please feel free to inquire about having them included in the postpartum doula services. If they are within the Postpartum Doula Scope of Practice and I feel I am able to fulfill that need I will happily do so. If they are not, I will make sure to provide a referral. I am also a Happiest Baby on The Block Certified Educator and can teach the program to clients in addition to postpartum doula sessions. Specifics of all services will be discussed in detail during our consultation or prenatal meeting.
May we call you with postpartum questions or concerns before the birth?
I encourage all of my clients to contact me at anytime with any questions or concerns.
I am committed to responding quickly to phone calls and emails.
When do your services begin after birth?
The starting date and times for my services will be decided upon based on individual client preferences. We will discuss this during our prenatal meeting.
What is your experience in breastfeeding support?
My training in breastfeeding support has included multiple trainings by local professional lactation consultants, a Basics of Lactation Management Course which covered Starting Out Successfully, Difficulties, Breast Pumps and Breastmilk Storage, Breastfeeding the Premature Infant and Alternative Feeding Methods and on-going independent reading and research and community engagement.
During my attendance at the 2008 DONA Conference, I attended two sessions on breastfeeding support. The first was “Why Breastfeeding Matters: What You Need to Know and What You Can Do to Help Women Achieve Their Breastfeeding Goals” with Kathie Lindstrom and “When Mommy Really Wants To, But It Just Isn’t Working: Supporting the Mother with Significant Breastfeeding Challenges” with Jacqueline Kelleher. These lecture and discussion sessions provided valuable advanced training to increase my ability to effectively support all breastfeeding clients.
In addition to these trainings, I have also gained first-hand experience in breastfeeding support with all my previous doula clients. For challenges beyond the scope of a doula, I refer to an IBCLC Lactation Consultant within the community.
Do you work with one or more backup doulas for times when you are not available? May we meet them?
I do not generally work with a designated back-up postpartum doula. If I have a birth doula client booked during the time you are hiring me for postpartum services I will let you know. If you desire my having a postpartum doula back-up, please let me know and I will be happy to make arrangements with another postpartum doula.
What is your fee? What is your refund policy?
My current postpartum doula rate is $35 per hour.
Customized packages and discounted rates for set blocks of hours and additional service may be available and extended payment plans can be arranged. Please feel free to contact me for a individualized quote.
Hours and packages may be purchased as a gift. Please contact me for arrangements.
Prenatal meetings that take place after the initial complimentary “meet-and-greet” consultation are charged at the postpartum daytime hourly rate and generally last one to two hours. In general, hourly charges begins upon my arrival at your home at the arranged time. If you request errands to be run for you before a scheduled session, the hour begins upon arrival at the first stop.
Compete details regarding retainer fees, payments and refunds are included in the Doula Agreement (Contract) which we will review and sign together during our first meeting.
If you have any addition needs during the postpartum period, or if you have additional questions about my services, please feel free to contact me to set-up a complimentary “meet-and-greet” consultation.