Birthworker TIP: Developing your contract
D eveloping your contract can be challenging! Your contract of services offered is not just a protection for you, it is a protection for your clients. Two parties sign a contract, you and your clients. That means that you are protected against issues like last minute cancellation and late payments. The clients are protected against a doula not returning their phone calls when they are in labor. Especially for newer doulas, finalizing a contract that feels comfortable & clear can be overwhelming. Here are some tips to make sure you are prepared and confident!
Developing Your Contract
Don’t spread yourself too thin!
- Often new doulas are so eager to take on as much as possible - keep that enthusiasm! However, this work is demanding and important - and with a contract in place, you have certain expectations to fulfill. Advice: avoid making promises you can’t keep in your contract.
Do you have a COVID clause?
- Discuss what happens when your clients test positive (usually parents are open to switching to virtual care but you need to discuss it ahead of time) or if you test positive (send a backup doula you would have introduced in advance or provide virtual care depending on which they prefer)
What is a COVID Clause?
- Do you mention backup in your contract and provide clear guidelines for when backup might be used?
- All doulas should have several backup providers who are equal to or have more experience in case you become sick, have an emergency or are at another birth. Speaking confidently and transparently about backup at your meet and greet and having it in your contract helps your clients become accustomed to this idea
- Do you discuss when your services become virtual? Best practices suggest your care should become virtual if:
- Your client tests positive
- Their hospital doesn’t let you in or government regulations don’t allow
- Lockdown gets enforced
- Does switching to virtual include a refund?
- At this point best practices suggest no need to refund. You are still providing continual support and care. You could offer a few hours of postpartum care in-person when safe additionally if you like!
Creating or updating your contracts can be a hassle. Join our founder, Jada Shapiro, for our Doula Business Workshop and get all your questions answered!