You might be wondering, what is “The Facebook Backup”
I’ve sat on this post for almost a year. But a recent rise in posts in online doula communities searching for a Facebook backup has prompted me to open it back up and dust it off and set it free into the blog-o-sphere. But first, a little background.
Here at Tucson Doulas providing our client’s quality, compassionate, full circle and non-judgmental support is of the highest importance. Therefore, it is critical that we have a system in place to ensure that a client is never left without qualified, compassionate, thoroughly vetted care.
When a client hires Tucson Doulas, the entire team is at the ready to provide support.
Labor clients have a two doula team assigned to them. From the date of hire, one or both are immediately available to address the client’s questions, concerns or to connect them with local resources.
Postpartum clients often work with 2 doulas depending on their needs. There is always a backup at the ready should the doula be called to a birth, suffer an illness or family emergency.
Postpartum placenta encapsulation clients have one placenta specialist assigned to them. A second is at the ready to step in if needed.
This is our built in backup system, and to us and our clients, it is essential.
First, not every doula has such a system in place. Whether by mistake or design, there are doulas who rely on the assistance of strangers when they are in need of a backup doula for their client.
I see it with increasing regularity in online doula forums, most notably on Facebook. Doulas who are in a pinch, sick, at another birth, or who have made other plans who suddenly find themselves in a pickle. They need a backup and they need one now. So in desperation, they reach out online in non-affiliated groups, often to strangers and do their best to find someone to fill their shoes. Anyone to fill their shoes. Often with no regard to if this individual shares their philosophies, knowledge base or approach to providing care.
I understand that feeling. I’ve been there before.
But I am lucky, I always surround myself with like-minded birth professionals. Professionals who I can reach out to find support as well as assistance. I’ve sought out that type of community. First with Desert Doulas, and then by creating Tucson Doulas. I have intentionally set out to bring together like-minded birth professionals as part of the Tucson Doulas team.
I’ve been aware from the start that who I choose to fill my shoes when I am unable to be present, is critically important. It is important to my business. Even more importantly, it is critical to my clients. In solo practice, I recognize that the person I choose to fill my shoes should never be left up to a desperate search on Facebook. Here at Tucson Doulas that isn’t an option for consideration.
When choosing a backup for a client there are many facets that need to be considered.
- Will the backup mesh well with the client and their other support people?
- Is the doula knowledgeable about the policies and procedures of the client’s chosen birth location?
- Will the backup have similar or differing skill sets than I do?
- How will this impact the client’s experience?
Most importantly: Is the doula fully able to support my client in all of their choices? Does this doula have biases that would prevent her from fully supporting my client?
For example, formula feeding, co-sleeping, vaccines, circumcision the list of possible biases is long.
Searching for The Facebook Backup is a desperate shot in the dark to find a warm and hopefully compassionate body to fill the doula’s shoes. After all, the doula should know better, not to mention the client absolutely deserves better!
While this may be “just another birth” to the doula, this is the birth of this family’s baby. This day will live in their memory for the rest of their lives.
Doulas, it’s vitally important that you work these issues out before you sign a contract with a client. As a matter of fact, as a labor doula trainer at ProDoula, this is a part of the essential basics that we cover in our labor doula workshops. These families are entrusting you with the biggest day of their lives, you must have a backup plan in place.
Consumers, with this in mind, make asking about the labor doula’s back up plan part of your interview process! Ask to meet the backup if the labor doula is not part of a team.
This is your big day! You will want to make sure that you are fully covered with the support you’ve come to expect, and the qualified, non-judgmental support you deserve from your hired birth professional!