Cheyenne the doula answers questions about birth and pregnancy!
~~~~~Philosophy and values around childbirth and parenting~~~~~
You want a doula who matches your own philosophy or can unconditionally support your beliefs and desires around childbirth and parenting.
From your perspective, how does childbirth work best?
Childbirth works best when the parent(s) play an active role in creating an experience that feels amazing the way they define it. This tends to happen most when you have a provider or providers you trust, and when you have support. All kinds of support go well with having a baby. Birth also tends to go smoother and there is less to surprise you when you do a little education and preparation before the birth.
What are your beliefs about parenting best practices?
I believe that breastfeeding is extremely beneficial to both parent and baby, and I believe you should try to eat healthy during your pregnancy and while breastfeeding, whatever that means to you. I believe support can help anyone be successful with breastfeeding, but ultimately I trust my clients to make their own choices for their body and baby.
Are there childbirth or parenting practices you cannot unconditionally support if I choose to use them?
I report suspected child-abuse in extreme cases. I have not yet experienced a situation in which I have not been able to support my client’s decisions.
What have any of the last three families you served taught you?
I think the main thing that I learned during the last birth I attended was the power of flexibility to enhance the birth experience. My last mom went into her birth well-educated, with an outline of what she wanted, and a lot of flexibility and openness to the experience. Her openness to pain medication and interventions helped her feel successful and powerful in her decisions regarding her birth. Her definition of a positive birth experience included a healthy mom and baby, so she didn’t view it as a failure when she ultimately felt she needed an epidural. I learned that being an effective doula isn’t about avoiding medications and interventions, but providing nonjudgmental support for someone to experience a great birth the way they define it.
How are you a radical doula?
I offer a sliding scale payment plan for anyone who feels that they cannot afford the standard doula price. I do not ask for proof of income, the scale is whatever you feel you can afford. I disclose my relationship to my work: I am a white, European-descended, middle class Minnesotan, born-and-raised. I identify as queer, and my partner of 6 years is trans. I view myself as an ally to all people, especially people of color, LGBT people, people with disabilities, and other marginalized groups.
What is your definition of an ally? My definition of an ally is someone who works from their positions of power to educate themselves and others about an underprivileged group. As an ally I am continually seeking professional development on issues of pregnancy, birth, abortion, gender, sexuality, ability, race, ethnicity, culture, age, religion, body type and size, HIV/AIDS, and trauma.
Trainings and Workshops I have participated in:
See the About Page
Tell me about your volunteer and advocacy work relevant to your doula role.
Childbirth Collective – Board of Directors
Twin Cities Doula Project – Volunteer Doula
Level of training, certification, and experience factor into the fee a doula sets as well as well as the going market rate in the area.
What are your rates and services?
Sliding Scale – $600 to $1000.
$800 is a fair market price for an experienced and trained doula, and includes the services listed on my Services & Pricing page.
When are payments made?
A $50 retainer fee is due as a nonrefundable deposit when you select me as your doula and we sign the doula agreement. The remaining balance is due in full by 37 weeks. If this is a financial difficulty please contact me to arrange a payment plan. If your fee is not paid at least 75% by the time you go into labor, and you have not made payment arrangements with me, I am not obligated to attend the labor.
What is your refund or cancellation policy?
$50 of your payment is a nonrefundable retainer fee. The rest is refundable if for any reason I am unable to make it to your birth or arrange a backup doula. In the event that I am unable to attend your birth and cannot find a backup for you, I will provide a full refund aside from the retainer fee, which covers the cost of prenatal visits, handouts, and phone/in-person availability. If I am not called to attend, or given adequate notice to attend, I will not provide a refund and you will owe the agreed upon full fee for service. If your fee is not paid at least 75% by the time you go into labor, and you have not made payment arrangements with me, I am not obligated to attend the labor.
~~~~~Training, education experience and certification~~~~~
Are you currently a certified doula? With what organization?
I was trained by Liz Lull at Enlightened Mama in April, 2013. I am currently certified through DONA International
Why did you choose that organization?
DONA International is the most well known, and I believe the most comprehensive birth doula certifying agency in the world. I appreciate the opportunity to deepen my education, understanding, and experience with pregnancy and labor.
What was your training like? How long did it take? My training was a wonderful experience. I participated in hands-on workshops with many other people who were passionate about birth, and a teacher who had dedicated her life to serving other people as a doula. My training truly helped solidify my desire to be a doula.
How do you stay current in your field?
I am extremely passionate about pregnancy and birthwork. While it may not be the most regular hours, or lead to glamour and fame, being a doula is the most rewarding work I’ve ever done. As a hard worker, there are lots of jobs that I have been right for, but this is the first one that’s truly been right for me. 🙂
How many years have you practiced? How many families have you served?
I have practiced for 4 years and have served over 100 families.
~~~~~Style of practice~~~~~
How many families do you work with each month? How do you schedule your work?
3, maximum of 4
How do you practice? As a solo doula? Within a group practice? Do you have a partnership?
I practice as a solo doula and I have a backup doula. If you would like to receive my backup doula’s contact information or arrange a meeting with her I am happy to help.
What kind of back-up arrangements do you have?
I regularly work with 2 other experienced doulas to provide backup for my clients. I am also happy to work with someone you suggest if you have a preference for who the backup doula is.
Tell me about the last time you used your back-up.
Last winter I had the flu and had to send a backup to a client in labor. She was very satisfied with the experience.
Are you available 24-hours a day? When are you unavailable?
I can be available 24 hours a day.
What happens if you have two clients who are in labor at the same time?
I would call my backup doula. I do everything in my power to avoid this – including accepting clients with staggered due dates.
How much lead time do you need from the time I can to the time you arrive?
Please call me at the first sign of labor even if you do not want me to join you right away. As much notice as possible is always better. In most cases I can be there within 1 hour anywhere in the metro.
Are there any birth or home environments where you won’t practice? What are your deal-breakers?
I love pets, other children, and I’m okay with many environments. No deal-breakers.
How many prenatal meetings do you offer?
When do you arrive to support me during childbirth?
When you need me I join you wherever you are, at home, or at the birth location he beginning of active labor)
How long do you stay after baby is born?
Usually 1-2 hours or longer if needed.
How many postpartum visits do you offer?
Can you support me with breastfeeding? In person or over the phone?
Yes! I would love to! I have taken breastfeeding basics for doulas.
What is a Doula?
A doula is a person trained to provide emotional, physical, and informational support during pregnancy and birth.
What if I get an epidural?
My job is to provide you with the best information about the risks and side effects of the epidural and to support whatever decision you make. I am not the epidural police — I want you to do what you need to do to have the birth that is right for you, whether or not that includes pain medication.
I’m interested in hiring a doula — what’s the next step?
Schedule an interview! You should meet with at least one – but ideally more than one – doula before making a decision. If you’d like to set up a free get-acquainted meeting at a convenient public location please email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 612.643.0015 (local) or 507.380.3999 (cell).
What is a Full Spectrum Doula?
A full spectrum doula provides nonjudgmental, evidence-based, trauma-informed support and compassion for your decision to become pregnant, to maintain a pregnancy with the intent to parent, with the intent of choosing an adoption plan, or to have an abortion.
How can I choose the right doula?
The right doula for you is the one with whom you feel most comfortable. Only you can decide if it feels right.
What if I can’t afford your sliding scale fees?
If you can afford even a nominal fee for doula services I highly recommend it – it shows respect for the profession and legitimizes the relationship you have with your doula. That being said, if you cannot – for whatever reason – afford doula services, please contact me directly, or contact one of the following organizations:
Twin Cities Doula Project
– Volunteer doula organization providing free labor support to those that need it.
The Childbirth Collective
– Volunteer collective recognizing the importance of labor support and doula care. Provides free biweekly parent topic nights.
How many clients do you take each month?
I take no more than 4 clients per month.
Do you work at my hospital or birth center?
I accept clients at any hospital or birth center that is within my service range. I make my decisions on a case-by-case basis.
Do you take insurance?
I work with clients on Medical Assistance through a nonprofit called Everyday Miracles in order to bill your insurance for doula services. Private insurance holders, I don’t “take” insurance directly, but I have had varied success helping clients submit to insurance for reimbursement. HSA or FSA accounts will cover a doula in my experience.