Letter of Agreement

Your doula will provide emotional support, physical comfort, and information to help you make informed decisions during labor. Your doula can provide reassurance and perspective to you and your partner, make suggestions for labor progress, and help with relaxation, massage, positioning, and other techniques for comfort. Your doula is independent and self-employed. Your doula works for you, not your caregiver or hospital.

Prenatal: Much of the work we will do together takes place before labor begins. Your doula prefers to meet with you and your partner either virtually or in person before labor to become acquainted, to explore and discuss your priorities and any fears or concerns, and to plan how you all might best work together. Your doula will help you create your Birth Plan, including your preferences regarding pain management options and the use of pain medications. Your doula will also want to know your own best ways of coping with pain and fatigue and how you and your partner foresee working together and with her.

Backup: Your doula will inform you of times when she is unavailable for labor support and will arrange one or more backup doulas. Backup doulas may or may not provide all of the additional services, such as photography or birth letter, but will provide standard doula services listed herein.

Doulas do NOT:

~ Perform clinical tasks, such as blood pressure, fetal heart checks, vaginal exams, or other medical procedures that fall under the legal definition of practicing medicine.

~ Provide information, dosages, or advice concerning prescription or alternative medication, or medical advice pertaining to you or your baby.

~ Make decisions for you. Your doula will help you get the information necessary to make an informed decision. Your doula will also remind you if there is a departure from your birth plan.

~ Speak to the staff on your behalf. Your doula will discuss your concerns with you and suggest options, but you or your partner or a family member or friend will speak on your behalf to the clinical staff.

When you are in labor: Your doula should be called when you think you are in labor or as soon as your bag of waters has released, even if you do not yet need her. Together you and your doula will decide if she should send the shadow doula (if there is one) right away or wait for further change. Your doula or her backup will usually be with you within two (2) hours from the time you ask her to come (longer if you live or are giving birth more than 15 miles from the doula’s home address and/or if the drive occurs during rush hours or rain). Your doula can answer questions and make suggestions by phone. You and your doula will also decide whether to meet at your home or the birth place. Except for extraordinary circumstances, your doula or her backup will remain with you throughout labor and birth.

Hospitals: Hospitals have varying rules regarding doulas and other support people. Before you sign this agreement, please check with your hospital regarding policies for attendance of doulas in labor, delivery, surgery (c-sections) and recovery. If hospital policy does not allow your doula to attend your labor and/or delivery, your doula will not provide a refund.

Disclosure of Communicable Diseases: You agree to disclose any communicable diseases you have so that your doula can take appropriate precautions.

C-sections: Your doula regularly attends surgical births (c-sections) and will provide support through that process as long as the hospital will allow it. If you are having a scheduled surgical birth 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 surgical births where there has been no labor support prior to surgery.

After the birth: Your doula usually remains with you for about one hour after the birth, until you are comfortable and your family is ready for quiet time together. During that time, your doula will take photographs of your new family and help with initial bodyfeeding if baby is stable. Your doula is available for phone contact to answer questions about the birth of your baby. Your doula will provide an optional postpartum visit, at your request and convenience, to see how you are doing, to review the birth, to admire your baby, and to get feedback from you about her role.

Long or short labor: The fee for doula services covers the prenatal education, 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.

Waiver of Liability: As the express condition of your doula’s performance of services under this agreement, you agree, on your own behalf and on behalf of all persons or entities you may bind under California law, to waive and hereby do waive any rights, claims or causes of action that you may have against your doula now and in the future with respect to your pregnancy, birth, postpartum period or the services your doula may provide and/or fail to provide to you. You expressly understand that, as doulas, we are not medical professionals and therefore cannot and will not provide you with medical care or advice.

Dispute Resolution: We agree, in the unlikely event that a dispute should occur between us, that all disputes shall be resolved pursuant to California law within the County of Los Angeles and that, except as otherwise indicated below, the parties to this agreement are not entitled to and shall not receive attorneys’ fees and/or expenses arising from any such dispute.

Responding to Subpoenas and Other Requests for Information: If your doula is required to respond to a subpoena of her records relating to services your doula performed for you, or to testify by deposition or otherwise concerning such services, you agree to reimburse the doula for her time and all expenses incurred in responding to any such demand, including, but not limited to, loss of earnings, appearing at depositions or hearings, or retaining an attorney.

Options and Fees:

NOTE: All prices reflect virtual meetings. 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 trip, if less than 15 miles from my home and $100 will be added per trip, if greater than 15 miles from my office.

Virtual Interview: A free, 20-30 minute virtual meeting so you can ask some questions, get more information and see if we might be a good match.

Introductory Class – Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Newborn Tips: This introductory class takes about 1-1/2 to 2 hours and costs $100. You will learn a lot about pregnancy, birth, and newborn care. If you want the packet of samples that I will discuss, I will ship it to you for $25. This introductory is the first class of the series and will help you decide if I am the right doula and educator for you. If you choose to continue with the classes and you make your decision within 48 hours of the Introductory class, the $100 will be applied to the $500 cost of the classes.

Virtual Childbirth Preparation Classes: In addition to the Introductory class, these three (3) Childbirth Preparation Classes (about six to seven hours of one-on-one childbirth education) will educate you and allow us to get to know each other in greater depth, teach you tips on how to get the birth you want in a hospital setting, what hospital protocols are necessary and how, when, and why to avoid to the unnecessary ones. You won’t need to take any additional childbirth education classes other than Infant CPR. The cost for the complete package of three Childbirth Preparation Classes is $500. If you have a pregnant friend or friends who join you for a “group” class, each friend gets a $50 discount and you get a $50 discount for each friend.

Virtual Labor Support: If you don’t want an in person doula or your hospital doesn’t allow additional labor, I am happy to provide unlimited virtual support for as much time as you need. The flat rate for this support is $1,500, which includes the cost of classes whether you have taken them or not.

Combo In-Person PLUS Virtual Labor Support: Also called the “best of both worlds” option. A newer doula will provide hands-on support while your highly experienced doula will be available for unlimited support virtually throughout your labor. The flat rate for this support is $2,000, which includes the cost of classes whether you have taken them or not..

In-Person Labor Support: In-person labor support is currently dependent on your hospital’s Covid-19 policy. If two doulas are allowed to attend your birth, a shadow doula will be included at no extra cost unless you only want one doula. The shadow doula will support you when you need their support and the primary doula will join you when you are in active labor. The fee for in-person support is $3,000, which includes the cost of classes whether you have taken them or not. If only one doula is allowed to attend your birth, a shadow doula will attend your birth (See Combo option above) and the primary doula will provide virtual support. If you only want tracy hartley to attend your birth in-person, the fee for support is $5,000. This option is not available if you have not paid for and taken all 3 Childbirth Preparation Classes.

Payments: Payments can be made through PayPal to tracy@bestdoulas.com or Venmo to @tracy-hartley-2 or paid by a check mailed to the address below. All classes must be paid for in full in advance. All fees for labor support are due, along with a signed copy of this letter of agreement, a month before your estimated due date to reserve my services for two weeks before and two weeks after your due date. These fees are not refundable unless there is some unforeseeable emergency on your doula’s part that prevents your doula or her backup from attending the birth. If your doula is not called to attend or given adequate notice to attend or if your hospital does not allow access to your doula, your doula will not provide a refund. This includes precipitous labors or Covid related restrictions to hospital policy. If the fee has not been paid in full two weeks before your due date, your doula is not obligated to be present at the birth.

Client Details

The more information I have, the better able I will be to provide labor support. This agreement is made between tracy hartley of B*E*S*T Doula Service (doula) and:

Contractual Agreement

(NOTE: The cost for all support options is in addition to the $500 cost of the required childbirth preparation classes, whether or not you've taken them)


B*E*S*T Doula Service | 712 North Cordova Street, Alhambra, CA 91801 | (818) 448-0817 | (877) 436-8528