So, here is the deal, I have a client who is due on July 3rd.  We have already had our first prenatal meeting and we are planning our 2nd.  I just got a call from a mama who is due the same day.  We are meeting on Monday for the first time to discuss options. 
What is your take on this?  I am tentative about taking them both on, realizing that there is a very very small possibility that they could deliver on the same day.  I realize that this is when a back up doula is very helpful but because I am just starting my business that it is not a luxury that I have.  The birth is not about me, but about these couples preparing to have someone there who may not be able to make it.  I feel that is a disservice to them.  On the other hand, statistically the chance of me being there for both births is extremely high.  This is the first baby for both of them and they both plan on doing it as naturally and organically as possible.

Please share any thoughts you have, I am needing some input.  Thanks! :)

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Replies to This Discussion

Corie, I have been a doula for 15 years and only once have I ever had two clients go into labor at the same time (and those two ended up pushing at the exact same time!! yes, I used my back up!!!)! I sometimes joke that women who are due at the same time never go into labor at the same time. It's those women who are a month apart who are problematic! Having said that, I have had a lot of sequential births-- one client goes into labor and while at the labor, I get a phone call that the somebody else is in labor. That has happened more than once. I have frequently had clients due at the same time.

all this is to validate your own statement that the odds are on your side....but there are no guarantees, and I think it is ok to say that you have someone with a due date very close to hers, and without back up, you are reluctant to take her on as a client.

you can also say yes, and then work on finding back up. (if there are other doulas in your community?)

don't know if this helps or not. just my two cents/perspective!
Georg'ann
birth doula in Bloomington, IN
Hi Corie, I too have been were you are. My 2 moms were due within a week(5 days) of each other, delivering in the same birth place and I had a Saturday Childbirth Class (all day) to teach. I did take on both births--had back up, but she could not make it at the last minute due to sick child. I did the first birth--14 hours, spontaneous vaginal delivery. I was so excited, tired but on that birth high. I headed home(30min) and was home for 2 hours(noon) and got a call Mom #2 was in active labor. Yikes! I headed out again, and was with her until midnight---slow labor progress. Her midwife transferred her from the birth center to the hospital to augment labor(breast stimulation did not work) At about 3am she got an epidural, and slept for 4 hours. I am exhausted at this point and wonder how I was going to do my Class in 3-4 hours. This is when I called my back up and her sick child delayed her attending. Each of my mom's knew of the situation and were in agreement. I had to leave my 2nd mom to do my class. Fortunately 2 midwives were there to give her continuous support. Mom was fine with me leaving and understood. She delivered vag. at 11am .. Of course I felt very badly I was not there...and I was exhauted when teaching my class. I will never attempt to do this arrangement again. One mom at a time allowing 2-3 weeks between EDC. I take first come and recommend another doula. It was about me that time--what was I thinking?? Super doula, I am not. I could not be effective also to Mom #2 because I was very tired.
Just somethings to think on-- Let me know what you do...
What I do with my clients is let them know that I do not have a back up. If by chance I do not make it to the delivery, I do not charge them the remainder of my fee and it's usually half of what my full fee is. I really think you will be OK in this situation but it's always best to let the families know.

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