As a doula, your primary focus is providing emotional, physical, and informational support to mothers and families before, during, and after childbirth. However, running a doula business also requires dealing with the legal and administrative aspects, which includes having the necessary forms and contracts in place.
Here, we outline some of the key documents you'll need to ensure the smooth operation of your doula business.
1. Client Service Agreement or Contract
A service agreement or contract is the cornerstone of your relationship with your client. This contract outlines the services you'll be providing, your fees, the boundaries of your role as a doula, and the expectations for both parties. It also addresses issues such as cancellation policies, payment terms, confidentiality, and liability. It's recommended to have this contract reviewed by a legal professional to ensure all bases are covered. You should sign a contract before you start serving clients. Here are some great sample contract templates offered by Newmom.me.
- Sample Contract Template - Birth/Labor Doula
- Sample Contract Template - Postpartum Day Time Doula
- Sample Contract Template - Postpartum Night Time Doula
2. Client Intake Form
The client intake form is used at the start of your relationship with a new client. It should gather all the relevant information you'll need about your client, including contact information, health history, estimated due date, care provider information, and any other pertinent details. Check out sample client intake forms offered by Newmom.me.
3. Birth Preferences Worksheet
This worksheet can help your clients articulate their wishes for their birth experience. It might cover areas like pain management preferences, who they want present during labor and birth, positions for labor and birth, and preferences for unforeseen circumstances or interventions. This is not a binding document, but a tool for communication and planning.
4. Postpartum Plan Worksheet
Much like the birth preferences worksheet, a postpartum plan worksheet helps your clients think about and communicate their needs and wishes for the postpartum period. This might include preferences for baby care, meal planning, visitor policies, and self-care.
5. Confidentiality Agreement
Respecting the privacy of your clients is critical in your role as a doula. A confidentiality agreement reinforces this commitment, giving your clients confidence that their private information will be respected and protected.
6. Informed Consent Form
An informed consent form ensures your client understands the role and scope of a doula, the services to be provided, any risks or benefits, and that they agree to these terms. This can be integrated into your service agreement or treated as a separate form.
7. Payment Agreement Form
Clear communication about payment is crucial. This form will outline the cost of your services, what is included, when payment is due, and acceptable payment methods. Like informed consent, this can also be part of your main contract.
8. Release of Liability Form
While doulas do not provide medical care, it's still important to have a release of liability form to protect yourself from potential legal claims. This form should make it clear that as a doula, you provide emotional and informational support but not medical advice or care.
In conclusion, having the proper forms and contracts is not only crucial for legal reasons, but it also helps set clear expectations with your clients. Keep in mind that these forms and contracts may need to be adjusted based on local laws and regulations, so consulting with a legal professional is always a wise step. After all, your main goal as a doula is to focus on supporting your clients in one of the most beautiful journeys of their life - having the right paperwork in place ensures that you can do just that!
At Newmom.me, we’re here to transform the motherhood narrative and make this process of finding support so much easier on you. We have a carefully curated, easy-to-use, and customizable platform where you can search by the type of service you need, location, and availability. You can easily sign up to review profiles of Lactation Consultants, Doulas, Mother’s helpers, and other services. Let us help you embrace motherhood with a full heart.