Twin Cities Doula Project has a couple of missions: 1) to provide free labor support for moms who can’t afford a doula but want one, and 2) to provide opportunities to attend births to doulas who can’t be on call 24/7, 7 days a week, or who just want more experience. We believe that it is important for you to have an understanding of what the Twin Cities Doula Project is and isn’t, and what we can and can’t do for you. This way, you can make an informed decision on whether or not you want to sign up with us.

About doulas

—A doula is a trained professional who provides physical, emotional, and informational support to a mother during labor and the birth of her child. Doulas are not healthcare providers and do not perform any tasks requiring medical or nursing education (e.g. cervical exams, fetal heart rate monitoring, etc.). They do not speak for you when decisions need to be made nor do they make any medical choices on your behalf. Doulas take no personal or professional responsibility for the outcome of your birth.

About TCDP doulas

—TCDP doulas are all trained but have varying amounts of experience. Some are certified and some aren’t, but all have taken DONA’s 16- or 20-hour doula training course and have a full toolbox of knowledge on how to physically and emotionally support a mother and family in labor. A few are midwives! We have a second mission of mentoring new doulas, so there is a possibility that two doulas (think: two sets of hands!) would come to support you in labor. In that case, both would take an active role; no one would be observing.

About the Twin Cities Doula Project

—TCDP operates on a rotating call system. Because not all TCDP doulas can be on call constantly, we share call, with a different doula on call each day. This means that if Jane is on call Monday, Jan on Tuesday, and Joy on Wednesday, Jane will attend your birth if you go into labor on Monday, Jan will come if it’s Tuesday, and Joy will come if it’s on Wednesday. Should your labor start on one day and continue to the next day, we will try to keep the same doula with you, but if she has a commitment she can’t get out of, another doula will come and take over. Your first doula will stay for awhile after your second doula comes to help make the transition smoother.

—TCDP will attend births at any of the central metro hospitals and birth centers: HCMC, St. Joe’s, UMMC/Fairview Riverside, Abbott Northwestern, United, Regions, St. John’s, NMMC, Park Nicollet Methodist, Health Foundations, Morning Star, and Minnesota Birth Center. We cannot take moms who are planning to give birth farther away in the suburbs. At this point, we are only meeting moms at the hospitals, not at home in early labor.

—TCDP holds monthly meetings, which you and a support person are welcome to attend, both before and after your birth. Unless otherwise stated, meetings at 7:00 PM and alternate between the second Wednesday of each month at Everyday Miracles and the second Monday of each month at Blooma Yoga in Saint Paul. We ask that you RSVP and let us know if you are planning to come. At the meetings, you can get to know some of the doulas and maybe other moms, talk about staying healthy in pregnancy, learn about what birth is like, particularly in a hospital setting, prepare and practice for labor, and if you wish, develop a birth plan or list of birth preferences. If you can’t get childcare, please bring your children with you (a heads up would be appreciated). We may also be able to help with transportation.

—TCDP maintains non-identifiable information about you and your birth preferences in a password-protected website that is accessible only by TCDP doulas. Your name, address, phone number and any protected health information (i.e. information that could specifically identify you) are kept strictly confidential. This database allows TCDP doulas to learn about you and what you want during labor in order to provide the best possible labor support. TCDP also collects information on your labor and birth outcomes. The doula who attends your birth provides TCDP with this information but does not include any identifiable protected health information about you. By signing below, you agree to allow us to collect this information about you to be used to further the success and development of the TCDP program.

—A Mama Liaison doula will be assigned to support you, by calling a few times during pregnancy and a week or two postpartum. If you need more support, you can call the TCDP number for phone support and information at any time.

—We will do everything we can to get you a doula for your birth. We have at least one doula on the schedule for each day, and we have a back-up doula for some days and are working to fill the other days. Because we are all volunteers, we aren’t always able to fill the call schedule on and around holidays. If the on-call doula can’t make it because she’s at another birth, we will call the back-up first, and then the rest of our TCDP doulas. There is always a minimal chance we wouldn’t be able to find a doula to support you, but so far, we haven’t had this happen.

What we expect of you.

—Please let us know if your phone, email, or address changes. We may be contacting you closer to your due date to check in with you. We will leave voicemails or verbal messages with whoever answers, and/or send texts and emails, identifying ourselves as TCDP.

—Please let us know right away if there are any updates on when/where you might be giving birth.

—It is your responsibility to contact us when you are in labor. Our doula on-call has cleared her schedule so that she can be with you. You can call or text us at 612-548-1-MOM. LEAVE A VOICEMAIL if no one answers. Email is also a good way to get a hold of us, if it’s not urgent.

—We may ask you to fill out a short survey about TCDP and/or your doula, which we will use to improve our services. We may also ask you to share your birth story and/or birth pictures with us to be used on our website. While it is up to you whether to share your birth story and pictures, it is important that we are able to collect data on your birth outcomes and your satisfaction with your doula.

Please sign below to affirm that the above information about Twin Cities Doula Project was disclosed to you via email or phone conversation before you signed up. Your mama liaison has also given us a signed copy with the date and time of the phone conversation during which you discussed and consented to the above participation agreement.

Client Name Signature Date

Confidentiality Release
By signing below, you agree to allow us to collect non-identifiable information about your labor and birth outcomes to be used to further the success and development of the TCDP program.

Client Name Signature Date

Release of Information
By signing below, you give permission to Twin Cities Doula Project and its volunteer doulas to share information regarding your care with other providers involved (e.g. public health nurses, postpartum doulas, care providers, etc.).

Client Name Signature Date
Witness name Signature Date

Download the Client Participation Agreement (docx)