Fee: $600-800 sliding scale
Some may ask why a sibling doula is about the same cost as a regular doula service. I really like to get to know my little clients and spend the same amount of time prenatally as I would any other client. I am also dedicated to being on call for you 2-3 weeks before and two weeks after your “due” date. This means I turn away other clients around the time you are “due” (I take 2-3 clients a month). I’m also usually still there for the majority of the birth, have to find childcare, etc. So it’s really no less work! I’m just so fortunate to enjoy it so much!
If you feel that your older child may want to be there for the birth but don’t want the extra stress of being responsible for him/her, have me come along!
To help prepare him/her for the birth
- Meet with the child several times before birth
- Help them understand what to expect
- Depending on age, read them books like My Brother Jimi Jazz, and Welcome with Love
- Show them pictures of the baby developing in the womb
- If you like, show them videos of a baby being born to prepare them and gauge their reactions
- Explain what’s going on to them during the birth
- Take them to the waiting room or elsewhere if they are feeling overwhelmed or frightened
- Reconnect with all of you postpartum to see how you all are coping with the new addition to your family
- Provide the older sibling(s) with a “Big Brother/Sister” photo book that documents their experience of the birth (click link to see an example)
Amy is an outstanding sibling labor doula! She has a very natural way with kids. She is so patient and kind and fun. Our daughter, Sofi, was immediately drawn to her! Amy is excellent at helping prepare an older sibling for a new baby. She relates all the aspects of birth really well to a young child, in a way they can understand. She has a wealth of resources for parents, from books to videos to her own personal experiences.
Amy was so great at our birth… she kept Sofi involved, but also out of the way. She was giving Sofi tasks like getting mommy juice, and she was playing with her, and making sure Sofi had enough to eat, too! Amy goes above and beyond her role, you can tell she loves what she does. She took the most incredible pictures for us, and she made an extremely special book for Sofi that tells the story of her sister’s birth from Sofi’s perspective. It is amazing and such a treasure to be able to look at years from now! She also went out of her way to cook us a super-yummy meal post-partum! Amy is truly a calming and positive person to have in the room at any birth, and that type of presence is really important for the older sibling(s)! We will absolutely be recommending Amy to any expectant mothers we know!
One of the most rewarding elements of my second birth was having my 2.5 year old daughter with us when her sister was born (see the full story). We had prepared her throughout the pregnancy and she was very comfortable with the midwives at Mountain Midwifery Birth Center. By teaching her about “birth noises” and other things she would see, she wasn’t frightened and knew she could trust the people around her. We hired a doula to be responsible for her (because we would obviously be busy) and left it completely up to her as to whether or not she wanted to be in the room.
As it turned out, she was there when I pushed her newborn sister out in the water! She was instantly in love and held her even before Daddy got to. She still tells me the story of her sister’s birth over and over and is extremely protective of her. It’s HER baby too! I think it helped her to see where she came from and bonded us together as a family.