Frequently Asked Questions
Interested in hiring a doula from our team as your doula for pregnancy, birth or postpartum but have some questions? Below are some of the most frequently asked questions that we have received. If you have additional questions, please don't hesitate to email Shannon at email@example.com.
What areas do you serve?
We service the following counties in Ontario:
We have experience with Stratford General Hospital, London Health Sciences Centre, Woodstock General Hospital, Bluewater Health (Sarnia), The Scarborough Hospital, North York General Hospital, Michael Garron (East York) General, Sunnybook, St. Michael's Hospital (Toronto), the Toronto Birthing Centre, St. Joes (Toronto) and Mt. Sinai (Toronto) working with both obstetricians and midwives.
Are you certified? Where did you do your training?
Shannon completed her training through Doula Alliance in January 2015, and is a certified Birth and Postpartum Doula. She has also completed an extensive four week course in hypnobirthing from The Calm Birth School, and received training in postpartum yoga, maternal mental health, cesarean birth, acupressure and breath awareness for birth. Shannon is also a Certified Meditation Instructor, having completed her training with the University of Holistic Theology in July 2016.
All of the doulas on the Sweet Stella's team are certified with various doula training organizations, and also receive regular continued education and mentorship from Shannon.
How many clients have you worked with?
Since beginning our practice in August 2014, we have supported over 80 families during pregnancy, birth and postpartum.
We have provided support for breastfeeding, prodomal labour, postpartum depression, stillbirth, infant loss, hypnobirth, cesarean birth, high-risk pregnancies, anxiety and grief, emergency cesarean birth, as well as preterm labour and crisis support.
On any given month, we typically support one to ten births and two to ten postpartum clients.
We are committed to helping you shape the birth experience that you want and providing you with unconditional support.
Do you have a backup doula in the event that you are unavailable for my birth
Yes, we do! As we are a team, you can rest assured that we always have a backup on call for you. Your backup doula will attend your first prenatal appointment to ensure you are comfortable with her as well.
How many clients do you take on at one time? Do due dates ever overlap?
There are times that due dates overlap, primarily because babies work on their own time line and their arrival can never really be accurately determined (unless it is scheduled in advance, of course!) Thankfully, we have a really incredible back-up doula system and you will never be left without support.
What is your philosophy about labor, childbirth and parenting?
It's only best if it's what is best for you. These are words that Shannon heard along her own journey, and ones that the team wholeheartedly believe in. Our role as your doula is to provide mental and emotional support, along with physical comfort during labor. It is never to impress on you what is right or what is wrong, but to support your decisions as a parent and encourage you to be an active participant in your care.
How does payment for your services work? Do I pay it all at once, or are there options?
For our birth packages, there is a non-refundable $500 retainer due at the time of booking your doula services. After the retainer is paid, you have two options:
- payment in full at time of contract signing
- two equal installments of the remaining fee for your individual package, due at 28 weeks gestation and 36 weeks gestation
For our postpartum packages, there is a non-refundable $225 retainer due at the time of booking your doula services. After the retainer is paid, you have two options:
- payment in full at time of contract signing
- two equal installments of the remaining fee for your individual package, due at 36 weeks gestation and 6 weeks postpartum
All custom packages are subject to their own individual payment terms and schedules.
Payments may be made via cash, Email Money Transfer or credit card. We use the Square software for invoicing to ensure proper paper trail and receipts.
Should you require a further breakdown of payment arrangements, we are happy to work out those details with you individually.
Are doula services covered under insurance?
Some insurance providers will allow for doula expenses to be submitted under your Health Spending Account. Please check with your policy and provider.
Are doula services tax deductible?
You can submit your receipts with your income taxes for birth doula services under the medical expenses portion of your return, and postpartum doula services under the childcare expenses portion of your claim. Please check with your accountant for further information.
Can you provide references?
Yes, absolutely. Our clients have been gracious to provide us with written testimonials, most often published to our individual Doula Match profiles and Facebook page. Should you require references, please let us know!
What is your refund policy?
$500 (or $225 for postpartum) of the total birth fee for services is a non-refundable retainer. In the event that your doula fails to provide adequate services, or a back-up for services, due to any fault of her own, the fees less the retainer is refundable. Failure to notify her of labour, precipitous or exceptionally dangerous labour or cesarean births are not grounds for refund.
Custom packages are non refundable.