life raft

Imagine hiring a labor doula. You have built a bond over weeks or months and are looking forward to your doula being YOUR PERSON when you go into labor. You know you can’t control which nurse you get, you can’t control when your doctor or midwife shows up (spoiler alert, it’s probably going to be when you are minutes away from pushing your baby out), but you can sure have YOUR PERSON by your side from the moment you call until you are safely snuggling your baby in your arms, right?

Now imagine that you call your doula. “I think this is the day!” you say. “I’ve been having contractions about every seven minutes since midnight. I’m tired, but I’m doing well. I’m probably going to be ready for you in the next hour or two.”

There’s a moment of silence on the other end. “Oh no,” says your doula. “I’m so sorry, I have the flu. I have been getting sick since about midnight, myself. I can’t risk being around your baby having had a fever for the last day. And my usual backup is at another birth! Let me make some phone calls and see who is available. I’m so sorry! I’ll call you back soon.”

Stunned, you hang up the phone. “Who on Earth is going to show up at my labor? Isn’t this the whole reason I hired a doula in the first place? She was supposed to be MY PERSON. What if I don’t like this other person? What if we don’t click? What if she’s one of those doulas who won’t work professionally with my medical team or who will argue with me about my choices?” All these thoughts swirl around your head and make it harder and harder to cope with each contraction.

The reality is that no single person can promise to you that nothing in the world can keep them from attending your birth. Another client in labor, coming down with an illness, having your kids come down with an illness, having your regular babysitters all out of town randomly, having a family emergency…stuff happens and the list of possible stuff is endless.

What if you could buy an insurance policy that guaranteed you could have YOUR PERSON at your labor? Okay, so that doesn’t exist, but Heartland Doulas has the next best thing:

Two doulas. When you call Heartland Doulas, you are set up with a team of two doulas. Two doulas to be YOUR PEOPLE. They meet you, they get to know you, they hold a perfectly structured prenatal appointment with you where they dot all the I’s and cross all the T’s and get to the root of who you are as a person and what you want and need out of your birth experience. They share a call rotation so that they can plan for vacations and birthdays and children’s school performances, confident that their partner will attend your birth if you go into labor at a time they are not available. And for all the “stuff” that happens suddenly? They back each other up.

Here’s where the insurance policy comes in. In the very unlikely event that your two doulas are unable to attend your birth, Heartland Doulas has a team of doulas who have the same training, the same birth philosophy, and the same passion for unbiased, nonjudgmental support of YOUR choices. Your backup doula is not just a random person who has availability, or a friend of ours doing us a solid, it is someone who we have hand-selected, personally mentored, and provided with professional training. We have systems in place to get your back up doula the information she needs to provide you with seamless doula care. Our business model provides us the ability to fairly compensate a backup doula, who in turn is motivated to give you the best possible doula care for as long as you need. That’s our promise of continuous care.

Consider Heartland Doulas your labor doula insurance policy. Chances of needing a backup to your backup are low, but isn’t that what insurance is for?


About Kate Herzel

Kate Herzel is the co-owner of Heartland Doulas alongside Stacy Ash, and together with their combined 20 years of experience and 7 doulas, they help people have really amazing birth and postpartum experiences. In her spare time, Kate enjoys cooking with her kids, brewing beer with her husband, and entertaining for her friends.