COVID and other health precautions
We take both your family's health and our own health extremely seriously. The first thing we do upon entering a family's home is set down our things and immediately wash our hands! We are fully vaccinated for all illnesses, receive annual flu shots, and stay up to date with annual boosters for COVID-19. We are happy to wear a mask in your house if you would like and/or if it makes us more comfortable given the current status of cases in Massachusetts; we do not require you wear a mask in your own home. We maintain distance as much as possible, but with the understanding that infant care does require closer contact in many instances. We are transparent with our health status and ask that you are as well. If you have been exposed to COVID or find yourself or anyone in your household feeling ill with anything at all, please let us know BEFORE we arrive at your house so we can determine the best plan.
We strongly suggest 3-4 hour minimum shifts for in-house postpartum doula daytime hours, and we request an 8 hour minimum shift for overnight. Experience has taught us that shorter timeframes do not allow families the best benefit from our services and are generally more stressful than helpful.
For remote doula services, offered via Zoom, Meet, or Skype, we suggest booking in 1-2 hour blocks.
We do our best to schedule upcoming sessions on a week by week basis, as we appreciate that new families' needs may be changing pretty rapidly in those first few months. We are usually able to be flexible, but request that you respect both our time and those of our other clients. If you need to move a scheduled session, 48 hours or more advance notice is preferred. If you provide less than 24 hours notice, you will still be charged for the planned hours.
Car seat appointments take 20-30 minutes per seat. This includes a check of your installation, and then the uninstalling and reinstalling necessary to maintain certification. We will also do a thorough walkthrough of your seat with you to ensure you know how to use it properly.
The first postpartum visit
We encourage our clients to get in touch when baby is imminent, when labor is in progress or baby has been born, just so we have a heads up that you may want to start our visits in the next week or so. Once baby arrives home, many of our families appreciate having a few days to settle in, just themselves, before inviting us to join them in welcoming their newest member. Others want us to be there right away. Be in touch and we'll schedule our first visit whenever you feel is best. If you need us to bring anything to that first visit (or any visit!), please let us know - each doula has their own mental checklist of items to bring, but if you are really jonesing for something in particular, have questions about a specific baby carrier (for example), or something is especially on your mind, please say so!
Do you have experience with...
We are always growing and learning with each new family we support. That said, we have worked with clients in all sorts of situations including those who have experienced Cesarean births, home births, hospital births; postpartum anxiety, depression, and psychosis; twins; breastfeeding/chestfeeding/bodyfeeding challenges (undersupply, oversupply, sore nipples, tongue/lip/cheek ties including release procedures and post procedure exercises...) and bottle-feeding; hip issues and Pavlik harnesses; cloth diapers and disposable diapers; good sleepers and "Velcro" babies; well-meaning grandparents, multigenerational families, folks who need space from their parents, nuclear families with no local family support, single parent households, LGBTQ+ families; first babies, second, third, and fourth babies; allergies; pets (dogs, cats, birds!); and so much more. One of the best things about a postpartum doula is that we are generalists - we know a lot, broadly, about a lot of things. And we also know when we're out of our depth. We know there's a spectrum of what normal looks like, and we can frequently reassure you that what you're experiencing is within that realm. However, if your particular situation starts to raise red flags or is beyond our scope, we do not hesitate to call in an expert in that area. As such, we have a great working relationship with a lactation counselor, an herbalist, a pelvic floor physical therapist, and many others in the perinatal/birthwork world. We are more than happy to connect you to folks who can help!
Need a specialist right now? Check out our extensive Resources page.
Please talk to us! Once you are a client of ours, you'll have our cell phone numbers, so text is best. (Jen is pretty good on email, too!) We want to know what's happening with our clients and babies not only while we're with you, but on the in-between days too! How's the nursing going? Did you manage to get out for a walk? Umbilical stump fall off yet? Baby had a long overnight sleep stretch? Baby woke every hour? Squishy baby pictures? Please please feel free to share these things with us, even if we're not scheduled to be at your house again until Thursday. Our most successful doula-client adventures are with those families who communicate with us regularly throughout the week.