Books are Open for Oakland and San Francisco Doula Contract Consultations

Hi Oakland and San Francisco Doula friends. I’m heading back up north for a long weekend and am available July 25th, 26th, 28th, 29th for private and small group contract consultations. They’re two hour sessions to go over contract edits or where we can begin if you’re hoping to have me draft contracts for you.

oakland doula san francisco doula doula contract

Check out the Contract Writing page to learn more about these services and email me what days and times you have open in my trip window and whether you’re in SF or Oakland.

Looking forward to working with you!

Advanced Doula Trainings Coming to Sacramento

Attention Sacramento Doulas — Rosewood Advanced Doula Trainings are coming to the midwifery practice The Root on August 4th, 2019.

sacramento doula training

I’ll be teaching a full day of workshops for doulas to help them expand their professional tools. You are welcome to attend one or both and we’re working on having them both count toward CEUs for DONA and other trained doulas.

First up is my Contract Writing for Doulas workshop. This is a 4 hour long class designed to help you dive into editing or drafting your professional contracts. We’ll go over the bare bones necessary for any contracts, issues of liability, cancellations vs terminations, fees, illness clauses, HIPAA regulations with your professional forms, and more. Though this class is designed around doula work, it can be enormously helpful for any birth worker including midwives, birth photographers, lactation specialists, childbirth educators, and nannies. I’m very excited to announce that this Sacramento workshop will be the first class to use my Contract Writing for Doulas Booklet as the guide for the class!

In the afternoon, I’ll be offering my Infant Sleep Basics for Doulas class, normally taught through the incredible Cornerstone Doula Trainings. Infant sleep and sleep training are hot button issues for many parents and birth professionals. Though often training programs and organizations steer clear of addressing this topic head on for some good reasons, it is a HUGE gap in education for birth workers who are going to be facing questions of biology, safety, anxiety, and professional liability in their practices around newborn sleep. As a former infant care specialist in daycares, nanny, postpartum doula, and (sometimes) student midwife, I’ve seen trends come and go in the 15 years I’ve worked with children, but never as much confusion, judgement, and pressure around sleep as I do currently. Thus this course was born. IT’S NOT A SLEEP TRAINING PROGRAM FOR DOULAS, nor is it a guide for becoming a sleep coach or the like. It is an overview of the current research on infant physiology tied to typical infant eating and sleeping patterns and how we can educate ourselves to better serve our clients as they make these important parenting decisions for themselves. I’m also offering the condensed version of this class for parents at The Root August 2nd from 11-1pm. Doulas are welcome to sit in on that course, though I highly recommend they consider the full workshop geared at care providers on the 4th.

To register for any class, follow the buttons below. If you have questions or concerns about the class, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Special thanks to Francesca Stanard for hosting these workshops and Kellie Edson of The Root Sacramento for the space. I look forward to bringing these courses to the wonderful doulas of Sacramento soon!


Prior to being a doula, I was an international legal researcher, focused primarily on legal issues around migrant and refugee persons and their status in international protection law. I did all sorts of legal research work from my thesis on environmental refugees, to breaking down complex UN resolutions as easily digestible information for crisis analysts, and even some temporary legal work in the US as a legal receptionist and file clerk.

When I started off as a doula a decade ago, my goal was always to gain skills necessary to help with broader policy initiatives around maternal health and the rights of birth workers.

In the past few years, I’ve begun teaching birth workers about how to write solid contracts and other business documents. I started teaching workshops on this topic and doing private consultations where I either edit their existing contracts and give doulas tools to write their own solid documents, or written them for them.

In an effort to reach more doulas in an efficient and cost effective way, I’ve written a 40 page booklet on contract writing for doulas and other birth professionals. Here is a breakdown of what’s inside :

Part 1 : Introduction and Bare Bones

Cover of the booklet

Cover of the booklet

This section is a brief overview of the booklet and how to use it to guide you through your contract writing, followed by the basic structure and necessary components of any contract. What do you need to include to cover all your basis? What sort of documents should you make sure to have? What are your options for structuring your contracts? And more…

Part II: Private Practice

This is a rundown of how to create great contracts when you are a sole practitioner. There is a long discussion on Scope of Practice and Liability considerations — two of the most daunting things for any birth worker to consider and the topics most of my contract consultation clients find most concerning. The conversation then moves to payment — setting fees and setting payment structures. I talk about the differences between Cancellations and Terminations, which is almost always overlooked in doula contracts, but is a significant source of control over your practice. Next up is a rundown of the considerations around setting your practice limitations regarding scheduling. Then onward to a breakdown of some considerations regarding sliding scale, volunteer, and trade work. Last in this section is a discussion around the importance of Peer Review in our communities and some mock examples of case studies that address many of the common issues birth workers see in their practices with some sample suggestions of how to improve your contract to avoid them.

Pat III : Other Doula Documents

This section really covers the waterfront in terms of addressing some of the other official documents doulas need to consider in their private and group practices. Back-up contracts, how to work with a doula agency, starting your own agency, HIPAA considerations, copyrighting, and more.

I’ve managed to cram quite a lot in there, but my workshops and private consults always prove to me that there is so little of this covered in doula trainings, so at least having a brief discussion on each topic, with many pages dedicated to some of the essentials seems like a fitting way to use my research skillset to help my fellow birth workers have more sustainable practices.

If you are a doula trainer and are interested in getting a preview of my booklet, just email me! I will happily send you some sample pages and let you know about my teacher referral program.

And keep an eye out for the printed version of the booklet launching in August. I’ll be using it for the first time to guide us through my upcoming Advanced Doula Trainings coming to Sacramento on August 4th. Very excited.

I'm Hysterical

My brain is a little fried from the news lately. It’s easy to get worked up and feel like there’s nothing we can do but scream. The word “hysterical” comes from the Greek word “hyster” or uterus. It translates into “wandering uterus.” In the days of Antigone, it was thought that women were empty save for a brain (generous) and a uterus. When they were being “hysterical,” it was because their uterus floated up to their brains and was causing mayhem. The cure for this was to tie a very tight rope around a woman’s waist in the hopes it would keep her stray womb at bay. Misogynist (also a Greek word), yes, but also sort of fantastical and cute compared to the resent assaults and misunderstandings about the internal machinations of womb-owning in our current medical and political bodies.

I rewatched the second season of Handmaid’s Tale, finishing up just before the news coming out of Alabama and Missouri a few days ago. When that show first premiered, half of the people I knew wanted me to watch it to get a doula’s take on it. It felt all to familiar, was my response. I watch women (and other pregnant folx) being told that they’re not good enough to take care of their own bodies or their babies constantly. The scene in the second season where June picks up Hannah from the hospital and is grilled about not being a “good mom” sounds like half of the concerns coming from the lips of the parents I work with in postpartum.

fuck these abortion bans

fuck these abortion bans

Pregnant people over the age of 35 are considered “geriatric” like their uteri are going to collapse in on their precious cargo just for having a fucking birthday. AJOG released research in 2011 outlining how 2/3 of OBGYN practice in the US is not based on high level evidence, but on doctor opinion. No shit. And it’s clear that those opinions can be racists, misogynist, and just downright wrong. So if the people supposedly in charge of understanding our changing bodies can be so brazen, can it be so shocking that 25 white men (and some particularly vitriolic women) who are convinced women are vessels and murderers don’t understand ectopic pregnancy? Or that you don’t need to cut into a uterus to remove 12 weeks of dividing cells?

We are an increasingly unscientific nation. I see that in how parents talk about research they come across (usually poorly digested in mommy blogs and the hellscape of Facebook) and feeling shamed into doing something against their intuition.

For those of us who work with folks in the childbearing year, the burden often falls on us to calm the storm, find and present valid information, and to fight diligently. And we do it as grossly unpaid and structurally unsupported persons in the shadows. Compassion fatigue is high. Burn out is fast and furious.

I’m reclaiming the word Hysterical.

And yeah, this is a shameless plug for the things I’m trying to do with Rosewood. My mission in birth work was always structural. It was always to support the people who support reproductive health and I’m finally carving out more than a marginal space in my life to do so. I want to do more to help doulas collectivize. I want to do more to help prepare birth workers with high level research. I want to help them make their businesses succeed so that they can be sages at 6 years, 9 years, 25 years of practice and not have to walk away from their passion after 2 years of begging to get paid for sleepless nights and combating structural injustices. I want to help birth workers get paid decent incomes so they can take on more volunteer and sliding scale work and serve those who need support most. I want other birth workers to feel that they can move into a position of policy and profit because they have done the groundwork and are ready to create larger platforms for others doing this essential care work.

I don’t have every answer to what’s going on politically. I shouldn’t and won’t be the voice that starts a revolution or changes the world. I had that vision of myself at some point when I was younger and working in non-profits and teaching myself international law in college. Then I was confronted with how much ego gets in the way of progress. Now, after a decade of being in birth work in many different communities, I see how being shamed into retreating too far away from ego, my fellow birth workers are setting themselves up to be taken advantage of (even if not maliciously) and why our profession stays in the margins. I believe that there can be individual triumphs, revolutions in our solo practices, and teamwork across our small communities to create incredible change for ourselves, the families in our care, those not wanting to create families who need our support and guidance, and on a much much bigger scale by showing up for ourselves and each other.

My place in this whole thing will be to help doulas set better expectations for themselves and their clients through their contracts and professional presentation. I will take my experiences of building sustainable non-profits to as many doula groups as I can in hopes that they can great organic, productive, and structurally sound collectives to protect and promote themselves and their colleagues. I will mirror these approaches in the workshops I give to parents and caregivers so they can understand and start to dismantle the influences that want to convince them their not good enough and connect with the passionate care providers who know that they are. I will do my best to listen more, allow my own biases to be dismantled, and to not shut up.

My goal for this year is to be in at least 10 different cities with these classes and consultations. I’m also writing a book on contract writing that focuses heavily on sustainable birth work and joining forces in our communities and country to make changes. If you would like to work with me, please reach out. This work can be exhausting and isolating and it’s not possible to do on your own.

Head on over to my Doula Trainings page to see what workshops I can bring to you. If you’d like me to come to your city this year, please fill out the form on my Contact page with details about you and your doula community and let’s get the ball rolling together. I offer a trade deal for anyone offering to host my workshops in their town. It’s a great way to collaborate, keep this momentum organic and unique to your particular area, and to connect with one another. Plus, you get to take my classes FOR FREE! Looking forward to working together.