B*E*S*T Doula Service in Los Angeles

Frequently Asked Questions

These are the questions I'm asked most often
 
What if I get an epidural?
I'm interested -- what's the next step?
How can I choose the right doula?
How many clients do you take each month?
Can I meet your backups?
How much does it cost?
What does that money pay for?
Do you offer childbirth education classes?
Do you have children?
Were your births medicated?
Do you work at my hospital?
Do you take insurance?
Are you certified?
What happens if you miss my birth?
What are your refund policies?
What is your childbirth philosophy?
May we call you with questions or concerns?
When do you try to join women in labor?
Do you meet us at home or at our birth place?
Why/how did you become a doula?
What's it like to be a doula?
Have you worked with my doctor or midwife?

Q. What if I get an epidural?
A. Our job is to provide you with the best information about the risks and side effects of the epidural and to support whatever decision you make. We are not the epidural police -- we want you to do what you need to do to have the birth that is right for you, whether or not that includes pain medication.

Q. I'm interested in hiring a doula -- what's the next step?
A. You should meet more than one doula before making a decision. If you'd like to set up an interview in the comfort of your home, please fill out the
interview request form and you will be contacted within 24 hours (unless I'm at a long birth or my computer is down).

Q. How can I choose the right doula?
A. The right doula for you is the one with whom you feel most comfortable. Ask yourself, "if I were stuck in an elevator with one of these doulas, which one would make me feel the safest?"

Q. How many clients do you take each month?
A. I take no more than 4 clients per month, but can and have attended 8 births in a month without missing any. That leaves room in my schedule for former clients who are having another baby and for last minute clients who suddenly find themselves in need of a doula.

Q. Can I meet your backups?
A. YES! You are welcome to interview several doulas from the group, either by phone or in person. You can read more about the
doulas of B*E*S*T.

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Q. How much does it cost?
A. There is a wide range of fees for doulas, depending on the number of births they've attended and the number and type of services they offer.  The fees range from $600 for a newly trained doula - $2500 for a very experienced doula. We are happy to help you find a doula who meets your price requirements. We can sometimes help you find a brand new doula who charges just enough to cover her expenses (gas, parking, childcare, etc.)

Q. What does that money pay for?
A. For a complete breakdown, please read the handout on
a doula's fees.

Q. Do you offer childbirth education classes?
A. We offer free workshops on various topics twice a month in addition to the extensive preparation we offer at our prenatal visits. You may also want to take a childbirth class in a group setting, to allow you to meet other women who are having babies at the same time you will be having yours, for networking and a sense of community.

Q. Do you have children?
A. Yes. I have experienced pregnancy, labor, birth and raising children. Each of my birth experiences were as different from each other as they will be from yours.

Q. Were your births medicated? A. My birth experiences took place a long, long time ago and have no effect on your birth or how I work with you. Each birth is unique and my job is to focus on your needs and your experience, not my own.

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Q. Do you work at my hospital?
A. There is a list of hospitals on the
interview request form. If your hospital is not listed, please list as 'other' and we will let you know if we have anyone in that area who can support you.

Q. Do you take insurance?
A. No, but many clients have been reiumbursed for doula services, up to 70% of the fee paid. We will provide an invoice which you can submit to your insurance company after your birth.

Q. Are you certified?
A. Yes. I am a DONA certified birth doula and most of the doulas in my group are also certified through DONA, the largest and most well established doula training and certifying organization.

Q. What happens if you miss my birth?
A. When you hire any doula from B*E*S*T, you hire EVERY doula from B*E*S*T. We all back each other up so that no woman ever has to give birth without a doula.

Q. What are your refund policies?
A. I will make every effort to provide the services described herein. If I fail to attend your birth due to my error and am unable to provide a backup doula, there will be no charge for my services beyond the retainer fee, which covers the cost of the prenatal visit(s), handouts, and my “on-call” availability. If it is due to circumstances beyond anyone's control (for example, natural catastrophic events or an extremely rapid labor), we will split the agreed upon balance. If it is due to your failure to call me, I will keep, or you will owe me, the agreed upon full fee for service.

Your doula regularly attends c-sections and will provide support through that process as long as the hospital will allow it.  If you are having a scheduled c-section and your hospital will not allow your doula to be there, B*E*S*T will give you a coupon for $400 toward your next birth or provide 4 hours of postpartum care to make up for lost support time.  You are free to use this any time, whether in the hospital immediately following the birth or later, in your home.  This only applies to scheduled c-sections where there has been no labor support prior to surgery.

The fee for doula services covers the prenatal visits, on call time, limiting the number of additional clients, etc.  You and your doula are both hoping for a birth that lasts a reasonable amount of time.  If you are lucky enough to have a very short labor, everyone ‘wins’ and if you have a very long labor, your doula will be there for as long as you need her to be and not charge you any more money.

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Q. What is your philosophy about childbirth and supporting women and their partners through labor?
A. I believe that most women are able to give birth with little or no medical intervention and that any intervention should be that woman's choice, assuming there is no legitimate medical need for the intervention.

My job is to help a woman and her partner achieve the birth they want and to support the couple's wishes and goals. I don't make decisions for my clients and expect them to give birth in any particular way -- I give my clients the information they need to make good birth choices and support their decisions.


Q. May we call you with questions or concerns before and after the birth?
A. During your pregnancy, I am always available for telephone and/or e-mail support. I am available to answer questions after your birth, but I'm not a postpartum doula and will refer you to someone more qualified to help with newborn care if I don't know the answers you need.

Q. When do you try to join women in labor?
A. I prefer that you call me when you think you are in labor or as soon as your bag of waters has released, even if you do not yet need me. Together we will decide if I should come right away or wait for further change. I can answer questions and make suggestions over the phone. We will also decide whether to meet at your home or the birth place.

Q. Do you meet us at home or at our birth place?
A. That will depend on the circumstances at the time. I generally meet with clients at their home and we labor together before transporting to the hospital or birth center. If your labor is moving quickly and you go to the hospital before I can arrive at your home, I will meet you at the hospital.

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Q. Why/how did you become a doula?
A. I saw a segment on the Today Show in 1996 while getting ready to go to work. When I came home from work that day, I researched doulas and signed up for training. The next day, I gave notice at work, where I'd been happily working for 6 years! That was more than 18 years ago and I still love being a doula as much as I did when I saw my first birth.

Q. What's it like to be a doula?
A. If you think you might want to become a doula, please read
What's it Like to Be a Birth Doula?

Q. Have you worked with my doctor or midwife?
A. It is likely that we have worked with your care provider, but if we have NOT worked with the one you've chosen, it does not necessarily mean that your doctor or midwife is not doula friendly. There are many wonderful doctors and midwives in the greater Los Angeles area, with new ones arriving and starting or joining existing practices all the time. If you have a care provider with whom we have not worked, we are happy to attend a prenatal visit with you to meet him or her.