Ask A Doula: I’m a Doula, not a Chauffeur

I’ve been a doula for almost two years, and have done over ten births, but I have never run into this before. One of my upcoming clients has asked me if I would drive her to her prenatal visits! In the past, I have attended prenatal visits with my clients as a way to get to know their doctor, but I have always just met them there. Plus, I’ve never done more than one visit with a client and she wants me to go to all the visits for the rest of her pregnancy! I feel weird about saying no, because I want her to know I am available for whatever she needs. Plus, it’s on my web site that I will go to prenatal visits with them. But it would be a lot of extra driving and I don’t know if I should do it.

It’s okay to have boundaries with clients, and it sounds like this is a boundary you want to clarify. As well you should!

Driving clients places makes things a lot more complex in several ways. You will need to think about the liability if you are in an accident with your client in the car. You will also need to be concerned about the laws in your area as far as providing transportation services.

I recommend you simply draw the line and don’t drive clients anywhere.

You can respond to this client and say exactly that: because of liability and licensing issues, you can’t provide transportation, but you’re happy to meet her there for a single visit.

Also, update your web site and contracts to clarify that you will do one prenatal visit with a health care provider.

Let me repeat: It is okay to have boundaries with clients!

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