Doula Support & Referral Directory
What is a doula?
A doula is a woman specially trained to serve as a birth and maternal companion to pregnant women during childbirth and labor. A doula is (not a friend or loved one) experienced in childbirth and provide continuous physical, emotional, informational and comprehensive labor support to the expectant mother and father (and family) before, during, and just after childbirth. She is also specially trained in postpartum, newborn and infant care to help take care of the new family after the birth.
~ Recognizes childbirth as a key life experience that the mother will remember all her life
~ Understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor
~ Assists the woman and her partner in preparing for and carrying out their plans for the birth
~ Stays by the side of the laboring woman throughout the entire labor
~ Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures, and an objective viewpoint, as well as
helping the woman get the information she needs to make good decisions
~ Facilitates communication between the laboring woman, her partner, and clinical care providers
~ Perceives her role as nurturing and protecting the woman’s memory of her birth experience.
(Kennell, Kennell and Klaus, Mothering the Mother)
What We Offer
The Natural Way Birthing Project~ Ft. Worth is offering a Doula Support and Referral Directory of doulas-in-training, low-cost or marginal fee, or FREE doulas willing to serve Birthing Project families, pregnant African-American women, and expectant mothers in high infant mortality zip codes in the Fort Worth. We will train and prescreen all doulas to ensure that they have an understanding of the goals and mission of the Birthing Project programs and serve our families accordingly.
Individuals who are not participants of the Birthing Project programs, but wish to obtain doula care can get referral info for low-cost or professional doulas, but we reserve the right to limit the FREE doula service referrals to our program participants and partners.
We will guarantee any services or contractual agreement made between the doula and the expectant mother, regardless of ability to pay.
Doula Referral Directory (for birth doulas only):
For all birth doulas who have trained with Birth Blessings Professional Birth Services, each doula has an opportunity to serve participants in The Natural Way Birthing Project programs as an independent doula contractor. Each trained doula must complete a professional, birth doula training and complete an application to be kept on file. She will be compensated up to $250 based on the doula support offered.
Doula Support Services (for expectant families only):
The Natural Way Birthing Project ~ FW’s Doula Referral Directory is a model of a Community-Based Doula (CB Doula) program. Our program doula will accompany our client in labor to help ensure a safe and satisfying birth experience. Each doula will draw on her knowledge and past birth experiences to provide emotional support, physical comfort and as needed, communication with the medical staff to make sure the information that is needed is shared to make informed decisions. She will provide reassurance and perspective and make suggestions for labor progress, give massage, guide relaxation, and help with positioning and other techniques for comfort. She is a CB Doula working with The Natural Way Birthing Project~ FW; therefore, she is independent contractor. As such, she will be working for our client, not the caregiver or the hospital.
Our doulas will meet with clients at least twice before their birth, if possible. One prenatal visit and one home visit (the client may choose an alternate location) is also our standard practice. The first visit is to get acquainted, discuss priorities, hopes for the birth, and answer any questions or concerns that might arise about hiring a doula to attend the birth. This meeting does not obligate anyone to use our services.
If our participants decide to become clients and contract our services, they may expect the following from our CB Doula:
~ 24 hour on-call beginning one (1) week before estimated due date and one (1) week after;
~ back-up arrangements in case of illness or emergency;
~ early labor support as needed in home or hospital;
~ assistance in drafting an informed birth plan;
~ provide information on childbirth education classes in the birth community
~ 2 prenatal visits (at least 1 doctor & 1 in-home visit, as needed);
~ 1 postpartum visit (especially for breastfeeding initiation support);
~ constant care, attention and support once active labor has begun;
~ every effort and attention to maintain a calm, safe birth experience;
~ assistance in unexpected outcomes in providing support, guidance and information;
~ breastfeeding support and counseling; and
We expect the following from our client:
~ participation in childbirth classes, if time permits;
~ tour of the birth facility;
~ a written birth plan;
~ open and honest communication on all issues that will have a bearing on the birth experience.
[Please NOTE that we hold whatever is told in strict confidence];
~ a willingness to trust the birth process and know that every woman’s body was designed to labor
~ a phone call to the CB Doula (to the agreed upon contact number) even if the expectant mother
thinks she’s in labor! She can answer questions and give suggestions over the telephone. At that
point both doula and client can decide if she should come right then or wait for further change in
the contraction pattern. She will also decide at that time the best place to meet –home visit or birth
location. Please allow 60-90 minutes to arrive at location of choice.
Just as important as what our doula will do is for the client, is what she will not do. As a doula, she does not perform clinical tasks, vaginal examinations, fetal heart checks, or blood pressure, etc. She does not and will not make decisions for the expectant mother. She will help get information needed to make informed choices; but, the decisions to do or not do something must be the family alone and she will aim to support that. She will also remind if something proposed or introduced is a departure from the desired birth plan.
She does not speak to the medical staff regarding matters where decisions must be made. She will discuss concerns and suggest options, but will not speak to the medical staff and make decisions regarding birth for the mother.
$300 Doula Care
Offered to all expectant, African-American women OR any expectant, Medicaid recipient OR
any expectant families birthing at John Peter Smith hospital in Tarrant County.
$400 Doula Care
Offered to all expectant families with private insurance and birthing at any other hospital in Tarrant County.
$500 Doula Care
Offered to all expectant families with private insurance and birthing at any other hospital outside Tarrant County.
To schedule a consultation for doula care, please contact the office directly at 817-841-9291. Payments plans available.