Heather L. Edwards, CD(DONA)
DONA International Certified Birth Doula
5 Two Oaks Court, Portsmouth, VA 23703
757.484.5717 (Home) 757.268.1709 (Cell)
Contract for Birth Doula Services
I have been trained and am certified through DONA (Doulas of North America) International. In addition to
certification, I maintain status as an active member of DONA. I draw on my knowledge and experience to
provide emotional support, physical comfort, and as needed, provide you, my client, with the information
you need to make informed decisions about situations as they arise in labor. I can provide reassurance and
perspective to you and your partner, make suggestions for labor progress, as well as help with relaxation,
soothing touch, positioning, and other techniques for comfort. I am independent and self employed. As your
doula, I am working for you, not your caregiver, hospital, or birth center.
II. Working Together
Our relationship typically begins with a no-obligation phone interview. This is when I will explain my
services, address any questions or concerns you have pertaining to the doula’s role, and get to know a bit
about you and your ideal birth. If we decide we could be a good team, we will then set up a face-to-face
meeting. It is ideal for all members of your birth team to attend this initial meeting. While I realize that this
may not be possible, it helps to ensure that we are all a good fit. After we have committed to working
together, and I have received a signed contract and retainer, we will keep in touch primarily through phone
and E-mail. I am available 24 hours a day via phone or e-mail to discuss questions and concerns, though
brief exceptions may occur while with other laboring clients. During your prenatal period, I will assist in
writing a birth plan, if desired, or become familiar with your birth plan. I also want to know how you typically
cope with pain and fatigue, and how you and your partner(s) foresee working together. I am open to further
meetings to build our relationship, especially if we meet early in your pregnancy. I have a growing list of
resources and may offer suggestions and materials that you may find useful. At the minimum, checking in
after each caregiver appointment is a must, as it keeps me abreast of you and your baby’s health and
progress, as well as further opportunities for us to establish a comfortable rapport. I will also inform you of
times when I am unavailable for labor support (if they occur). To cover those times, I will arrange one or
more back-up doulas whom, time and circumstances permitting, you may also meet.
I prefer that you call me when you think you are in labor. Even if you feel that you do not yet need me, I can
answer questions and make suggestions over the phone. It also gives us a chance to decide if I should
come right then if you choose to labor at home, wait for further change, or meet you at your birth place. I
usually need approximately 90 minutes to get to you from the time you ask me to come. With the
exception of extraordinary circumstances, I or my back-up will remain with you throughout your labor and
birth. After the birth I usually remain with you for approximately an hour to an hour and a half. I try to
preserve the first few hours with your new baby as quiet time for you to bond and get to know your new
family member. I will always ask before I leave, and will stay as long as you need. I can also help with initial
breastfeeding questions, concerns, and positions.
I will continue to be available for phone and E-mail contact to answer questions about the birth or your
baby. I will contact you by phone a few days after the birth. At that time, we will set up an in-home
postpartum visit for 2-3 weeks after the date of birth. At this visit, we will address any concerns you may
have about adjustment, review your birth, and admire your baby. I will also give you a CD with your birth
pictures (if requested), and get feedback from you about my role.
III. Services I Do Not Provide
As a doula, I will not perform clinical tasks, such as blood pressure, fetal heart checks, vaginal
exams, or administer IV’s.
As your doula, I will not make decisions for you. I will help you get the information necessary to
make an informed decision. I will also remind you if there is a departure from your birth plan.
As your doula, I will not speak to the staff instead of you. If there are decisions that need to be
made, I will discuss your concerns with you and suggest options, but you or your partner will speak
on your own behalf to the clinical staff.
IV. Failure to Provide Services
I will make every effort to provide services as they are described here. Sometimes this is impossible. If
failure to attend your birth is due to my error, I will only keep the nonrefundable retainer and refund the rest.
If it is due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control, such as rapid labor or natural disaster, you will not be
obligated to pay the final installment of the fee. In other words, you will pay two thirds of the full fee. If you
choose not to call me for labor support (meaning you did not call BOTH my home and cell phones and
leave messages), the full fee is due. I realize that birth is unpredictable but in the event that you end up
having a cesarean section, whether after laboring, or scheduling in advance for any reason, the full fee is
also due. My role as your doula is still important, perhaps even more so, and there are many ways I can
support you and your partner before and after delivery in the event your baby is born surgically. Because of
the time-sensitive nature of doula work, I block off time on my calendar for you, which then limits my
availability to both serve others, as well as provide income for my family. If you choose to terminate this
agreement before your on-call period begins, half of your total fee will NOT be refunded. If you decide to
terminate this agreement after your on-call period has begun, no portion of your fee will be refunded, and
the full fee is due. If labor should begin before my on call time, or after the on-call period, and I am
unavailable, every effort will be made to provide you with a back-up. If this is not possible, your fee will be
refunded with the exception of the deposit. My on-call period begins at 37 weeks and 5 days, and ends 5
days after your estimated due date. If your estimated due date changes by more than 5 days at any time,
you must notify me so that I can adjust my calendar.
One or two prenatal meetings to discuss your pregnancy, birth plans, and any concerns you have;
Help creating a birth plan, if needed;
Unlimited phone and E-mail support from date of hire through the postpartum visit and beyond;
Community referrals and resources, if needed, to assist you in pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding,
newborn care, and possibly other community resources;
Continuous labor support in your home, hospital, birth center, or a combination of these places;
Immediate postpartum support for 1- 1 1/2 hours following the birth, including assistance in
Photos during labor and delivery, if desired, that will be put onto a CD for you;
In-home postpartum visit two to three weeks after the birth to discuss the birth, welcome the baby,
and address with any concerns you may have.
* If you so choose, you may have access to my lending library of birth, breastfeeding, and parenting-related
books. All materials are due at the postpartum visit. A list of available resources is included in this contract.
In an effort to keep materials available to all clients, only two items may be borrowed at a time.
My fee for services described here is $500, paid as follows:
$170 non-refundable retainer fee, due when you sign this agreement, securing me as your doula;
$165 due on or before the 31st week;
$170 due on or before the 37th week of your pregnancy, securing my on-call status for you.
You may pay by check, money order, cash, or credit card via PayPal. If you would like to pay with a credit
card, your payment must be made in a lump sum by 36 weeks, and there will be a service fee of 5% or
It is my commitment to provide services to any family in need of them. I am willing to discuss an alternative
financial arrangement if the one outlined above is not feasible for you.
I / We have read this contract describing Heather Edwards’ services as my/our birth doula and my/our
responsibilities as client(s). I/we agree that it reflects the discussions that I/we have had with her. All
questions have been answered to my/our satisfaction. I/we agree to the terms and limitations of service and
payment of fees outlined above; if alternate payment plan has been agreed upon, alternative payment
schedule and agreement is attached.
Print Client’s Name
Client’s Signature Date
Print Partner’s Name
Partner’s Signature Date
Doulas’s Signature Date
My EDD is:
My on-call period:
My second and third payments are due on or before:
[ ] Enclosed is my non-refundable retainer fee of $170.
Please mail signed letter of agreement and retainer fee to:
Heather Edwards, 5 Two Oaks Court, Portsmouth, VA 23703.
My services are not secured until I receive these from you.
Active Birth: The New Approach to Giving Birth Naturally by Janet Balaskas
Birth as an American Rite of Passage by Robbie Davis-Floyd
Birth Book, The: by Dr. William Sears and Martha Sears RN
Birth Partner, The: Third Edition by Penny Skimkin
Birthing From Within by Pam England CNM, MA and Rob Horowitz, PhD
Breastfeeding Book, The: Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Your Child From Birth
Through Weaning by Dr. William Sears and Martha Sears, RN
Breastfeeding Your Baby by Moody, Britten, and Hogg
Complete Book of Breastfeeding, The by Marvin S. Eiger and Sally Wendkos Olds
Essential Exercises for the Childbearing Year by Elizabeth Noble
Family Nutrition Book, The: Everything You Need to Know About Feeding Your Children From Birth
Through Adolescence by Dr. William Sears and Martha Sears RN
Feeding Baby Green: The Earth-Friendly Program for Healthy, Safe Nutrition During Pregnancy,
Childhood, and Beyond by Alan Greene, M.D.
Gentle Birth Choices by Barbara Harper, RN
A Good Birth, a Safe Birth by Diana Korta and Roberta Scaer
Having a Baby, Naturally by Peggy O’Mara
Homebirth in the Hospital by Stacey Marie Kerr, MD
HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method by Marie Mongan, M.Ed., M.Hy.
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
Listening to Your Hormones by Gillian Ford
Making More Milk by Diana West, IBCLC
Mother of All Pregnancy Books, The by Ann Douglas
New Mother’s Guide to Breastfeeding by The American Academy of Pediatrics
Nighttime Parenting: How to Get Your Baby and Child to Sleep by Dr. William Sears and La Leche
Nursing Mother’s Companion, The: Revised Edition by Kathleen Huggins, RN, MS
Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide by Penny Simkin, Janet Whalley,
and Ann Keppler
Prenatal Parenting by Frederick Wirth, MD
Pursuing the Birth Machine by Marsden Wagner
Pushed: The Painful Truth About Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care by Jennifer Block
Real Food for Mother and Baby: The Fertility Diet, Eating for Two, and Baby’s First Foods by Nina
So You’re Going to be a Dad by Peter Downey
Spiritual Midwifery: Fourth Edition by Ina May Gaskin
Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth, The by Henci Goer
When Survivors Give Birth by Penny Simkin
Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, The by La Leche League
Woman’s Experience of Sex by Sheila Kitzinger
Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom: Creating Physical and Emotional Health and Healing by
Christiane Northrup MD
The Business of Being Born
The Stages of Labor
Birth Into Being
The Timeless Way