How to Create a Doula Contract

doula contract

October 2021 Newsletter from Lifespan Doulas

How to Create a Doula Contract

#1. Understand the purpose of your contract. It is essentially a tool for communication. Your contract (or “Letter of Agreement”) commits to writing the terms of the doula-client relationship, especially around services provided, fees, and terms of payment. You are seeking to create transparency and mutually agreed upon expectations. 

#2. Do a little research. Look online for sample contracts. Many doulas make their contracts publicly available on their websites. Hopefully, your doula training organizations provided a sample contract as part of your training. Use these samples as a jumping off point, but put your own brand and personality into the document. My book, The Doula Business Guide, provides detailed guidance about contracts and other risk reduction strategies for doulas.

#3. Review the contract verbally with your client and key decision makers and provide an opportunity for questions and clarification. Remember, it’s all about communication, and folks have variable strengths and capacities in how they best process information.

#4. Think of your contract as a work in progress. Over time, your business will evolve. Services offered may expand or narrow. Fees and terms will likely change. New client boundaries may need to be put in place. This is all to be expected.

#5. Endeavor to establish a trusting relationship. This is the doula way. While some doulas may feel more comfortable consulting a lawyer, most find it is not necessary. If you do seek a lawyer’s input, try to keep your contract language simple and non-threatening and the legalese to a minimum. 

Acupressure points to stimulate labor

Birth Doulas, are your clients looking for natural ways to avoid a pitocin-induced labor? Medical inductions are on the rise. Read our latest blog and watch a short video.

  • How can acupressure in labor be beneficial?
  • Can acupressure cold start a labor?
  • How does one use acupressure in labor?
  • Warnings

End the Isolation: Networking & Connection Opportunities for EOL Doulas

Doulapalooza is an upcoming online conference sponsored by National End-of-Life Doula Alliance (NEDA), on October 15-17. Join NEDA for $50 to access the conference and receive a directory listing and other member benefits. If you are feeling isolated in this work, the conference is an opportunity to connect with others who won’t think you’re a bit odd for your interests around death and dying. In addition, NEDA is promoting the establishment of regional groups of EOL Doulas, both nationally and internationally. 

you are not alone

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NYPCO) has formed an End-of-Life Doula Advisory Council to provide information and resources to its members and the general public about end-of-life doulas. A variety of educational resources have been developed by this group, accessible at the link above.

Calling all Birth and Postpartum Doulas …

Barbara Robertson of The Breastfeeding Center of Ann Arbor needs your feedback on her latest initiative. She is creating a new course to help birth and postpartum doulas better support their clients with breastfeeding. Please take a minute to fill this out this survey. And thanks in advance for your feedback!

Do you know someone with dementia? Save the Date!

November 17 (Wednesday 7-8pm EST) 
With Lori Smith

my mom in late stage of dementia

Lori brings 24 years’ experience working in a variety of elder care models, including adult day care, home care, long-term care, and memory care. For the past 12 years she has specialized in family dementia care and educating families to help them keep loved ones at home for as long as possible. Lori recently completed Lifespan Doulas’ End-of-Life Doula Training program and is eager to share her tips for navigating the dementia journey at the end of life.

Whether you are a doula or have a loved one who suffers from this disease, you will likely benefit from Lori’s practical and down-to-earth perspective. Above is a picture of my mom, a few months before her death from dementia. This topic is near and dear to my heart and I am eager to host this session. Open to all!

Join Zoom Meeting
Passcode: 961574
Or call: 646-558-8656 (Meeting ID: 873 0736 1846)

End-of-Life Doulas in the News & Blogs of Interest

Join our “Top 5 Questions about Becoming a Doula” FREE monthly webinar!

Pre-register Now (to gain access on Zoom)

October 6 (Tuesday 7:30-8:30pm EST)

October 18 (Monday 7:30-8:30pm EST)

  • What is the doula’s role and what types of services are offered?
  • Is certification important and how does the certification process work? 
  • Do I have the right background to become a doula?
  • Can I make money as a doula?
  • How do I get started on my path?
  • Is there any liability associated with doula work?
  • Bring your questions. We have answers!

Or, watch a recording of a recent webinar (scroll to bottom of page): 

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Patty Brennan

Patty is the owner and visionary force behind Lifespan Doulas. For 40+ years, she has been a doula, midwife, educator, author, nonprofit executive, and entrepreneur. Patty has personally trained over 3,000 people to become doulas. She is the author of The Doula Business Guide: How to Succeed as a Birth, Postpartum or End-of-Life Doula, 4th Edition, and accompanying Workbook.