When Labor of Love Doula and Childbirth Services began as a group almost two decades ago, we were the ONLY group in town. Now there are several groups.
But how are we different in terms of our group in the area of labor doulas?
1. We are a true mentoring- apprenticing group of doulas who work together as a sisterhood of support and back up. We are not working for other groups at the same time or on our own, nor are we a referral only group. We meet together to share new ideas and concepts we have learned. We come together for our Meet and Mingle once a month to offer you a time to meet us all and select a doula who is the right fit for you. We are not competitive with each other. We truly feel that you should select the doula who is right for you. We are all very similar and yet all very different in personalities although our approach remains the same. We provide a real sense of community and shared spirit.
2. We provide back up if and rarely as it is needed within our group of doulas only. We allow you to let it be known who your preference is for that backup if the need arises, and try our best to meet that desire. You will never be without a doula. And we find more than 93% of the time it will be the doula you hire. You are able to meet the potential backups by attending our monthly tea.
3. We have over 1000 births as a group of doulas. There are several labor doulas who are actively taking births every month! We have one doula in our group who has been doing this for over twenty years, Teresa. She has over 660 births of experience. She eagerly shares her wisdom from that experience with all of the other doulas in the group. In fact, she is the go to call if something arises in your labor and you are with a different doula. No matter the time of day, she is there to offer any input she feels may help in your situation. We have four doulas in our group, Teresa, Delandra, Charlotte and Renee, who have over 100+ births of experience each. Experience is one of those things that can not be manufactured. It is what causes your doula to be able to quickly assess needs that she may be able to help you within labor. We often have newer doulas, who have been mentoring with our group for several months who offer a lesser fee that is more in line with limited budgets. But when you hire one of them, you get this experience full available to them if it is needed. And we usually have an apprentice doula, who is able to offer a second pair of hands for those who are willing to allow her to apprentice their births with a mentoring doula. This is how we take the training from their initial certifying organization to a different level. Each of our doulas has apprenticed with a mentoring doula at some time in their training. Learning by doing is a great way especially if there is an experienced guide showing the way.
4. Our fee is all inclusive. We are fully available to you for phone calls, emails or texts if you have hired us. We love to hear how things are going and offer guidance when it is desired. We provide one or two prenatals depending on your specific desires. We do not charge extra if your birth is long. We may offer to bring in an apprentice or experienced doula if the primary doula needs some extra hands for a long birth, but that is up to you. We offer continuity of care. And we love to meet with you after the birth to share the photos we may have taken the notes from your birth to help you with bridging your memory with some events you may have forgotten.
5. Our fees reflect experience levels. They are reflective of experience in our group. Some doulas in the metro area charge what the market will bear regardless of their experience. We do not. Perhaps they bring other skills to the table that cause them to have a higher fee. But it is important to know that fees are not reflective of experience overall in this town. So, if the experience is important to you, ask the woman you are interviewing how many births she has actually attended to ascertain her level of experience.
6. All of our labor doulas are trained by a national or international doula certification group. Most of our doulas have completed their certification. But our training and education do not stop there. We encourage our doulas to continue to read new books on birth, attend workshops and conferences and seek another level to their certifications and training. Many of our doulas wear other hats as well. We have childbirth and parenting educators, a massage therapist, child safety experts and lactation specialists who are labor doulas.
So, although the model of being a group of doulas (and educators and other birth professionals) has sprung up around town, note that we are not all modeled the same. You can make the right choice for you as to what model works best for you and your family. There are some wonderful doulas in this town outside of our group. And although over the years some of our labor doulas have moved on – changing careers, shifting dimensions of being a birth professional or moved elsewhere, we will continue the model of care that we have had going forward into our second decade.
We have more than just labor doulas – we have postpartum doulas, childbirth and parenting educators, bodywork therapists and a placenta encapsulator within our group. Our group is currently made up of six labor doulas, one apprentice labor doula, three postpartum doulas and a placenta encapsulator. Many of us teach the multiple classes we also offer.