What is a fear-release session?
If you choose our virtual or momentous birth package, which includes your HypnoBirthing class (or if you’ve taken a hypno-based birth course in previous pregnancy), a fear-release session will be included in your doula support. Typically held between 32-36 weeks of pregnancy, this session allows both mom and dad to release subconscious fears that may be keeping you from fully embracing your most positive birth expectancy (a concept we discuss in our first prenatal session and in Hypnobirthing class). This session, in our experience, helps many moms feel more confidence and openness as they approach their birthing-day.
How much does a doula cost?
While all doulas price themselves differently based on services offered and other factors, our doula collective offers several package types based on a sliding range. Our largest package includes your Hypnobirthing course ($1675-1900) – highly recommended for any first time parents or moms preparing for a unmedicated birth – all the way to our most modest package, which would be our virtual support ($850-1150)
All package prices and add ons, such as placenta encapsulation and yoni-steaming services, can be found on the home page.
How do payments work?
After choosing your package and the amount that feels most aligned on the sliding scale, a deposit of 50% will reserve your doula and the remaining balance will be requested after our 2nd (in-person) prenatal meeting.
How does co-doula support work?
We deeply believe that the best care for you is in the hands of doulas who are able to care for their own families and health. That said, you also deserve to have a personal relationship with the doula/s supporting such a delicate and important season of life. With both of these important details, we created the co-doula model.
When you hire us, you are getting two doulas in one; you’ll have a primary doula who will be your main point of contact and who you’ll call when you first go into labor. You’ll also have a support doula who will be on rotation with your primary doula during those 5 weeks of on-call service, who you will meet at your 2nd prenatal appointment (generally in person), and she will also serve as a second resource for you.
They will have their own 12 hour rotation schedule, so it’s helpful to note that your support doula may be the one attending your birth. Who attends your birth will depend on when you go into labor, and the length of your labor – but the point is that you will know whomever arrives.
This type of support is especially vital if you have a labor that exceeds 12 hours (which is fairly common with hospital inductions), because your doulas will work in tandem to rotate in supporting you throughout labor.
The purpose of this type of support is for the benefit of your family and your doula’s. You’ll have the opportunity to build a personal relationship with two doulas during your pregnancy so no matter what length of labor you have, or when you go into labor, you’ll have two doulas who are invested in caring for you in tandem.
Other models of care might look like hiring a solo-doula with a backup doula, with whom you may not know or an agency, where you might meet your doula on your birthing day. There is no “right” option. There is only the best option for you.
Does The Austin Doula team specialize in a particular type of support?
Our entire team is trained to support moms who are preparing for their labor and birth using Hypnobirthing tools, but that doesn’t mean all of our moms birth exclusively outside of the hospital. While about 65% of the moms we support chose to work with a midwife in a home or birth center setting, many of our moms work with an OB who is supportive of their decision to birth naturally.
Everyone on our team leans more toward spiritual and natural-minded, so we are best fit for moms who believe in their body’s natural ability to birth (or want to learn how to) and who desire support that empowers them in their personal sovereignty. That said, we will absolutely support a mother who feels that the hospital is the best personal option, and we will help her design the best personal birth plan, which might include medical interventions. We are not opposed to interventions; just the lack of informed consent with intervention.
How do I find an aligned OB or midwife?
The first plan of action in determining the right care provider for you is knowing what’s available and what models of care exist. The very best way to explore these options, especially as a first time parent, is to jump into a birth education class, of course we’re partial to Hypnobirthing, and then, start interviewing doulas who can help you find the right fit. Our team provides a list of questions to review with your care provider so you know you’re on the same page.
How do I find an aligned doula?
Every doula is different in personality and specialization. But first and foremost, you’ll want to hire a doula you feel aligned with in values. For example, if you’re a spiritual person, you’ll want to ask your doula if this is a personal value. Or perhaps you simply want someone who’s knowledgeable in a certain area (i.e. hospital birth, natural birth, lactation, etc.), you’ll want to ask them about their experience. And of course, if you desire an unmedicated birth, it will important to have a doula familiar with supporting mom with comfort measures tools (i.e hypnobirthing support, TENS unit, counter pressure, etc.)
Most important, if this is your first baby, or you’re not entirely sure what would be helpful for you, it’s a good idea to start with a birth education class. See our post on “how to chose a birth ed course that’s right for you.”
Do you offer postpartum support?
We have a couple of postpartum doulas on our team who can support you with overnights and day care for the first 6 weeks, but we have limited availability, so recommend booking at least 2 weeks of care as soon as you decide you’ll want support. Our postpartum doulas are experts in newborn care, lactation, and can support with sleep and home care in those first vital weeks. Postpartum doulas are generally not left to care for your newborn if you’re to leave the home, but a newborn specialized nanny would be a good option. The rate for postpartum support in Austin ranges from approx. $26-$44 an hour. Our team charges anywhere between $26-$34 an hour.
If you would like a referral for a nanny or babysitter, we work with a local agency to help find the best fit for your family.
Do you offer birth photography? How does it work?
We DO offer birth photography, and generally, will be booked as an add on to your birth package. We offer a video + photography package (including 20-40 professionally edited photos) for $500 and a photography package (including 15-30 professionally edited photos) for $350. Your doula can capture a couple photos without this add on, but if you would like someone dedicated to taking photos.
If you are interested in having a dedicated birth photographer, apart from your doula team, we have partners who range in price from $950-$1900. As your doula, we are happy to connect you with a birth photographer who will fit your budget and preferences.