Doula FAQ

What if I get an epidural?

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.

How can I choose the right doula?

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 and also keep me entertained in case we’re there for a long time?”

Can I meet your backups?
YES! You are welcome to interview several doulas from the group, either by phone or in person. Because birth is unpredictable, there is no way to know for sure which doula would be available for backup, but in almost 25 years, I’ve missed fewer than 10 births, so it’s not likely that you will need a backup doula.
How many clients do you take each month?
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.
How much does it cost?

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 prices for services are listed on the Cost page. 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.) Until it’s safe to leave our homes, virtual support is available at a reduced fee. Please see What Does a Doula Cost for more detailed information.

What does that money pay for?

For a complete breakdown, please read the handout on a doula’s fees.

Do you offer childbirth education classes?
Yes! I prepare couples for birth by going over pregnancy tips, hospital protocols, how to advocate for yourself in a hospital setting, caring for your newborn baby, and more. In fact, my classes are virtual now, so you can attend from the comfort of your home! The only additional class you’ll need to take outside of my series is infant CPR.

These classes are included with our labor support services – or you can just sign up for the classes on their own. Head over to our Cost page for more info, or get in touch and we can go over your options together!

Get in touch!Cost

Do you have children?

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.

Were your births medicated?

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.

Do you work at my hospital?

We have a list of hospitals posted at the bottom of our Contact Us page! If your hospital is not listed, let us know in the contact form and we’ll notify you if we have anyone in that area who can support you.

Do you take insurance?

No, but many clients have been reimbursed 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.

Are you certified?

No. I was a DONA certified birth doula for 18 years, but have allowed my certification to lapse. I am continuing my education on my own and have chosen not to be certified at this time, although I will continue to adhere to the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of DONA and CAPPA.

What happens if you miss my birth?

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.

What are your refund policies?

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 or on-call time 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.

What is your philosophy about childbirth and supporting women and their partners through labor?

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.

May we call you with questions or concerns before and after the birth?

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 have the answers you need.

When do you try to join women in labor?

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.

Do you meet us at home, or at our birth place?

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.

Why/how did you become a doula?

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 25 years ago and I still love being a doula as much as I did when I saw my first birth.

What's it like to be a doula?

If you think you might want to become a doula, please read What’s it Like to Be a Birth Doula?

Have you worked with my doctor or midwife?

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.

Are the classes available in-person or is only virtual?

All prenatal classes are virtual, but I can do them in person. I charge more for in-person meetings to cover the travel time and gas. For meetings at my office, $25 will be added to the cost. For meetings at your home or a public space, $75 will be added per meeting, if less than 15 miles from my home and $100 will be added per meeting, if 15 or more miles from my office.

I'm interested in hiring a doula – what's the next step?

You should meet more than one doula before making a decision. If you’d like to have a brief virtual meeting & ask some questions, you can choose a 15-30 minute time slot on my calendar for us to meet. If you’d prefer a 90-minute educational class that covers all the bases and goes far more in-depth, simply fill out our contact form and I’ll get back to you within 24 hours (unless I’m at a long birth!)

Book a 15-30 minute talk or Contact me for classes!

Want tips on pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum? 

I offer virtual childbirth classes – so you can attend no matter where you live!

The more you know, the less fear you’ll have – and the more confident you & your partner will be in your decisions during labor. Enroll together and I’ll walk you through everything from caring for your newborn to how to advocate for yourself in a hospital setting.