My birth doula pricing is detailed here to allow you to make an informed decision about my services, in the same way that I intend to help you make informed choices about your birth care. A complimentary 30-minute consultation is available to all potential clients as an opportunity for us to interview each other and determine the best avenue for meeting your labor and birth desires.
Consultations may be in-person at a public venue (Panera, Lasaters Coffee, etc.) or from the comfort of your home via Zoom video chat. (I've become very fond of Zoom chats because of how easy they are to fit into busy schedules.)
Doula work has been my calling since the late 1990’s! Having supported 250+ families, I’m one of the most experienced birth doulas in Middle TN.
Currently, I offer a standard doula package with 2-3 prenatal visits, birth support, and 1 postpartum visit. Effective November 2017, my asking price is $1600, which is a reflection of my training and experience, especially as compared to the going rate for doulas in the Middle Tennessee area.
It's a long overdue adjustment, as I was already charging $800 back in 2010 (before moving to TN) and have supported close to 200 additional births since then. Those are labors and births I've personally been present for. I don't count the hundreds of families I have consulted with, taught and encouraged along their birthing journey, or the doulas who consult with me on how to best support their own clients, even sometimes texting me during labor.
I would like the opportunity to be well compensated, yet I also don't want to leave behind families who may not be able to afford that price. That is why I offer a client-directed sliding scale. The minimum total fee for my doula package is $800, with a $400 deposit due regardless of the final total you choose to pay.
What do you think my services are worth? What can you pay towards that number? I hope all of you will agree that my services are worth $1600! [insert cheesy smile emoji] And I trust that those of you who are able to pay the full fee will do so, allowing me to continue offering my skills at a lower rate for those who cannot.
- Doula Care Essentials (click for details)
- 1 birth planning consultation via video chat/phone (2 hours)
- 1 prenatal visit in your home personalized to your needs (3 hours)
- 1 additional in-home visit may be added upon request
- Support during labor, birth and early postpartum
- 1 postpartum visit to review your birth and check in on your adjustment (2 hours)
- Payment Schedule: $400 as a deposit, balance due by 36 weeks. Custom payment schedules available upon request.
A non-refundable retainer/deposit of $400 secures your due date on my calendar; any unpaid balance is due at 36 weeks. There is no change in my fee if your labor is long. I accept 4 clients per month on average. If your month is already full, we may be able to make special arrangements or I can refer you to one of my wonderful colleagues/back-ups.
As a BONUS, families are granted FREE 9-month access to the Evidence Based Birth® Savvy Birth Online parents dashboard, an online resource exclusive to clients of EBB Instructors. Explore the EBB Essentials class on 6-steps to getting evidence based care, access the full library of popular videos, audio lessons, EBB Signature Articles and 1-page PDF printables, and participate in more than a dozen mini-courses on key topics.
Now, The Essentials
The most common definition of a doula is "a person trained to provide emotional, physical and educational support to the pregnant woman and her support team prenatally and during labor and birth." The focus is on the pregnant woman yet extends to include her husband, other family members and friends who will be present during the labor and birth. I don't take their place, I complement it. (Those closest to you are experts on you. I'm an expert on birth. Together, we combine our resources to become the perfect team for you.)
According to current research, "if you have continuous labor support (that is, someone who never leaves your side), you are statistically more likely to have better outcomes and your baby is more likely to have better outcomes!"
How do I accomplish that? What does that continuous support look like? There are a variety of skills an experienced birth doula will use while helping a woman through labor. The list below highlights techniques and tools I use with every client, regardless of the service package they have chosen. I call them the Doula Care Essentials.
Every client of mine has these features of birth support available to them
- Medical terminology “translation” into everyday terms
- Professional referrals throughout childbearing year (chiropractic, photography, placenta encapsulation, lactation, craniosacral therapy, massage, acupuncture, CPM and CNM midwives, obstetricians, etc)
- Insight into local birth options
- Assistance in creating a birth plan
- Phone and email support throughout pregnancy
- On-call availability from 38-42 weeks
- Backup doula provided if needed
LABOR AND BIRTH
- Unlimited hours of support (flat fee for support, no overtime costs)
- Assistance by phone during pre-labor and early labor
- Continuous hands-on support at home and/or hospital (beginning in active labor)
- Partner support & instruction (including dad, friends, other family members)
- Maintaining a positive birthing environment
- Non-pharmacological comfort measures
- Explanation of risks/benefits of common interventions
- Calming touch and massage
- Reminders of birthing positions
- Self-advocacy reinforcement (helping you speak up for yourself)
- Emotional encouragement
- Access to labor tools such as birth ball and rebozo
- Relaxation guidance
- Holistic pain relief techniques such as acupressure
- Availability of aromatherapy tools
- 2 hours support immediately after birth
- Assistance with initial breastfeeding
- Review and processing of your birth experience
- Birth notes / timeline when possible
- Unlimited text, email, and phone support for 1 month after your birth
- Peanut ball positioning for labor
- Kaya birthing stool
- Optimal Fetal Positioning tips
- Birth pool setup for home birth
- Christian spiritual support (if desired)
Birth work has been my passion for nearly two decades now. Pregnancy is such an amazing time in a woman's life — unlike anything else she'll experience — and I get to be a part of that. It's a blessing and a privilege. And it's hard work!
"What exactly does a birth doula do?"
I offer professional support for laboring mothers and their partners, which includes physical comfort, information and ideas (drawn from my knowledge as a childbirth educator and 16 years of experience as a birth doula), and emotional support during labor in any birth setting – hospital, birth center, or home.
Fun fact: the modern usage of the word doula is derived from an ancient Greek word that literally means "a female slave." It comes from the feminine form of the word that is used in the New Testament of the Bible when Paul refers to himself as a bondservant. Yes, I'm here to serve you!
In my career, I have worked with new and experienced mothers, natural birth, hydrotherapy, water birth, cesareans (planned, unplanned, emergency), induction, medicated births, vaginal birth of twins, VBAC, VBAmC, mVBAC, preterm birth, high-risk pregnancies and births, mothers over 40, families conceiving with ART and IVF, open adoption, trauma survivors (Childhood, Sexual, Birth), and more.
Over 250 families have chosen me to be their doula, their “tour guide in a foreign land.” I’ve consulted with hundreds more through my community education efforts in public forums and in private conversations.
Since moving to Middle Tennessee in 2011, I’ve attended births at Vanderbilt, Baptist/St. Thomas Midtown, Centennial, Gateway/Tennova, Blanchfield, Baptist Health Madisonville (KY), NorthCrest, Summit, Hendersonville, Sumner Regional. I’ve supported births at Baby+Company Birth Center in Nashville, and will consider traveling to Infinity Birthing Center* and The Farm*.
If your chosen birth place is not listed, contact me to confirm that it is within my service area. My travel radius covers locations within 1.5 hours of zip code 37035.
*An additional travel charge may apply.
Next, my Calendar and Reviews
Now that you know the essentials of what I provide as a birth doula, take a peek at my calendar to see if I'm open for your birth month. (I take up to 4 clients per month.)
You may also want to visit my reviews page to hear what past clients have to say about my birth doula work. Or do a Google search for “Heidi Duncan Doula” to find more. (There are 25 reviews on my Google profile alone.)
My FAQ page addresses the most common doula interview questions.
You should soon be ready to request a free consultation where we can meet in person and discuss working together.
My availability calendar is maintained via DoulaMatch.net; however, always confirm with me before assuming that I'm booked for your due date.