FAQ

July 5, 2016

How does a Mourning Doula work with you?

A Mourning Doula is there to protect & serve you, providing pertinent information & support as you navigate your way through determining what choices will be made for managing your loved one’s remains.  They will support you in creating the outcome you want, while advocating and informing, so you are not taken advantage of during a time of emotional stress.  This includes all disposition options – traditional funeral, natural funeral, home funeral, direct burial, cremation, direct cremation, as well as a wide variety of other alternatives, if you are so interested.  They will help you understand what is and isn’t allowed in your area, or help you find answers to such questions, if you have unique wishes.  They will also provide informational and emotional support as you choose every last item, ranging from caskets or urns, to services and all the little add-ons – you will be surprised at how many add-ons you are offered in your time of grief, and all too frequently they can be offered in such a way as to be confusing when you are in an emotional state.

They will usually begin by learning a bit about your loved one, and your family and circumstances, so they can determine a solid starting point.  They will then ask you questions to help determine what you are looking for, to understand your needs, fears, and concerns.  They will support you as you determine your best-fitting path, and they will inform you of all your options, including alternatives to costlier choices, such as how to purchase specific items of the same quality for lower cost.

Some Mourning Doulas offer additional service add-ons (and some include at the basic rate) including the option to have the Mourning doula stay in your home during the days leading up to burial,  assisting with basic tasks, possibly preparing food and performing light housework, and providing company.  For home funerals Mourning Doula may support you throughout the wake period, again providing physical, emotional, and informational comfort and support.

Will a Mourning Doula save me money?

The average client who has worked with a Momdoulary trained Mourning doula reports saving an average of $2200 on funeral options, after deducting the cost of retaining their Mourning Doula.   However, the Mourning Doula can only provide informational support and advocacy – if you insist on choosing higher cost options, the doula cannot guarantee savings.  However, they will help you discover how to attain best price on a number of different element, while ensuring you receive full disclosure regarding cost, so you cannot be taken advantage of, or experience sticker shock after the fact.

Does the Mourning Doula get a kickback or fee from funeral homes, crematories, cemeteries, etc?

The Momdoulary Doula’s promise strictly prohibits our Mourning Doulas from collecting 3rd party referral or affiliate fees without disclosing that up front to you. The majority of our graduates make it a point to NOT affiliate with such places.How much does it cost to work with a Mourning Doula?

What does it cost to work with a Mourning Doula?

Mourning Doulas set their own rates, and they vary from location to location.  However, nationally we typically see rates ranging from $400-700 for basic service (small town vs. bigger city accounts for the range).  That would include a home visit, supporting you as you are assessing options and making arrangements, as well as attending viewings and the burial to support you throughout, and ensuring your plans are carried out so you do not have to be distracted during your time of mourning.   Mourning doulas often take care of other details, such as dropping off clothing to the funeral home, directing guests to the guest book, and ensuring people know where to go following the service.  They are basically there as your assistant, helping ensure your wishes are carried out, while forming a level of protection and comfort for you during this tender time.    Graduates of our 6-in-1 Training are also certified as Life Coaches and Professional Organizers, and sometimes offer a la carte services that you may want to call on after the dust has settled, if you need assistance in managing the material items of the deceased, or wish coaching in terms of life direction following the sudden changes that life can bring.   Mourning doulas in no way replace a therapist, and do not practice clinically.

What is the Scope and Standard of Practice of a Mourning Doula?

Please see our full Standard of Practice here.

What a Mourning Doula **DOESN’T** do:

A Mourning Doula is not a funeral planner or coordinator.  They do not sell or retain services for you directly.  They can act like a personal assistant, but more importantly, as a support and informational professional, there to walk you through your goals, ensuring you are fully informed, and advocatedfor you so you are not taken advantage of.

Mourning Doulas are also NOT mental health professionals or therapists.  While they have been introduced to theories of grieving and conflict resolution, they are not certified to offer mental health services or practice clinically . Rather they are there to provide physical, informational, administrative, and emotional support as you move through the mourning period, much the way a birth doula provides the same during childbirth.

Who Works With a Death Doula?

Death Doulas provide physical, emotional, and informational support at the end of life, oftentimes when someone chooses to die at home, though they also have been known to assist at hospitals and hospices.

What Does a Death Doula do?

A Death Doula provides ongoing comfort and support to the dying; they stay by their side, providing physical comfort – perhaps hand-holding, talking with them, reading to them, informing them of what is happening, and advocating for them when necessary.  They provide human comfort and support allowing the dying to die in their own way.  Some people want hand holding, and hair stroking at death; others want to talk; others to be read to; yet others to be sung to.  The support varies from individual to individual.

What DOESN’T a Death Doula do?

A Death Doula does not provide clinical or nursing support; nor do they provide support in assisted suicides.  Their role is solely to provide physical, emotional, and informational support.

Who works with an End-of-Life Doula?

Death doulas work with healthy individuals and the terminally ill.  It is not uncommon for families having their first child to retain an End-of-Life Doula, or those who are newly married, so that they can set things in order responsibly.   However, certainly those with a terminal diagnosis or simply getting on in years, or those who had a recent health scare, also retain Death Doulas.

What is the Point of an End-of-Life Doula?

An End-of-Life Doula will provide informational, physical, and emotional comfort and support while you focus on two major areas of exploration:

  1. End-of-life care – ways in which to maximize the likelihood of your wishes being carried out

  2. Funeral & memorial – exploring what options you prefer, and helping you explore how to ensure that happens

The End-of-Life Doula helps in a non-biased way.  If they have any affiliation with a business that could benefit from their work with you, they must disclose that up front.  Ultimately the End-of-Life Doula is not there to sway you on whether you donate organs, fill out a DNR or not, or how you want your remains handled.  Their goal, rather is to help you comfortably navigate the options, so that you can rest, secure in the knowledge that you have taken steps to ensure your wishes are carried out.   The majority of individuals find that having addressed this head-on actually helps them embrace life more fully, in a much more positive way.
Unfortunately, far too many people neglect to take these steps, and fall whimsy to all sorts of crazy policies that don’t serve them or their family.   Taking these steps now can save physical pain, emotional distress, and finances at a later date.

How Does the End-of-Life Doula Work With You?

Graduates of our 6-in-1 program are also trained in life coaching and professional organizing.  Many people find that when they begin exploring these questions, they want to make some big changes in their lives in the here and now, in order to free their time and mind-space to live more fully.   Thanks to their coaching and organizing skills, the Death doula can help you create the circumstances to allow your best life ever to unfold now.   We like to see it as this:   We acknowledge the reality of our mortality so that we may embrace life more fully, and up the level of our carpe diem 🙂

What Does the End-of-Life Doula DO and NOT DO?

End-of-Life doulas are not financial advisors, attorneys, medical practitioners, therapists, or funeral coordinators.  Rather, they provide informational, physical, and emotional support as you navigate these questions.  They DO help you understand the options out there, and they may even accompany you as you meet with pre-planning agencies, helping ensure that you are not emotionally swayed by language designed to make you feel vulnerable, when pre-planning.   They also can show you ways in which to reduce costs, that many are not aware of.  Additionally, the End-of-Life Doula can introduce you to some of the latest options in memorials and disposition, of which many are not yet aware – options that you may find more fitting for you and loved ones you leave behind, as well as ones that may save you significant money, while creating a more personalized and fitting send-off that allows your loved ones to honor & celebrate you as they move through their grief at your loss.

Will an End-of-Life Doula save me money?

The average client who has worked with a Momdoulary trained End-of-Life doula reports saving an average of $2400 on funeral options, after deducting the cost of retaining their End-of-Life Doula.   The savings tied to medical care when a DNR or durable power of attorney are put into place, ensuring that a patient isn’t left lingering on when they would not have wanted to can be astronomical, and the measure of the emotional and potential physical pain saved cannot even begin to be measured.   Keep in mind, though, that when it comes to disposition planning, the End-of-Life Doula can only provide informational support and advocacy – if you insist on choosing higher cost options, the doula cannot guarantee savings in funeral costs.  However, they will help you discover how to attain best price on a number of different element, while ensuring you receive full disclosure regarding cost, so you cannot be taken advantage of, or experience sticker shock after the fact.

Does the End-of-Life Doula get a kickback or fee from funeral homes, crematories, cemeteries, etc?

The Momdoulary Doula’s promise strictly prohibits our End-of-Life Doulas from collecting 3rd party referral or affiliate fees without disclosing that up front to you. The majority of our graduates make it a point to NOT affiliate with such places.

How much does it cost to work with an End-of-Life Doula?

End-of-Life Doulas set their own rates, and they vary from location to location.  However, nationally we typically see rates ranging from $200-500 for basic service (small town vs. bigger city accounts for the range).  That would include a meeting, assessing options,  providing leg-work where appropriate, as well helping you understand steps and forms you may need to manage.   End-of-life doulas often take care of other details, and can act as your assistant making phone calls for you, helping you track down the answers you need.  Again, End-of-Life Doulas are also certified as Life Coaches and Professional Organizers, and sometimes offer additional a la carte services that you may want to call on if you need assistance in implementing changes in your life that you recognized you want to make, thanks to the process of life review many find accompanies end-of-life planning.  Please keep in mind that End-of-Life doulas are NOT funeral pre-planners; they can help you assess your options, but have no affiliations with funeral homes or attachment to specific services – their goal is to remain non-biased, allowing you to explore whatever options may best suit you.

What is the Scope and Standard of Practice of an End-of-Life Doula?

Please see our full Standard of Practice here.

What are legal and licensing Requirements for Doulas?

There are currently no legal requirements for the licensure of doulas.  In an effort to raise the bar on excellence, and to create a consistent expectation for training and experience, Momdoulary, LLC has established a certifying protocol which certifies that our graduates have successfully completed their training in the Momdoulary Method and Delivery of Service techniques, in addition to completing training in Blood-borne Pathogen Training, and Food Handler Safety Training, to better ensure the safety of both our graduates, and those they serve.   We provide the most rigorous training in the industry, with over 300 hours of training, plus coaching support for our graduates.   Our graduates have to complete challenging training, develop extensive resources, pass a 6 hour Board Exam, reviewed by a Board of industry professionals, and provide reviews which demonstrate they have mastered the Method.  Additionally, they are required to sign the Doula and Coach Promises, as well as acknowledge they are required to stay abreast of industry laws, requirements, and changes.  Graduates must maintain their membership in order to continue as certified in good standing, completing the annual education session that accompanies it.   Consumers may file a grievance with Momdoulary, LLC, if they have worked with a graduate certified in our method, whom they feel has behaved in a way that violates the Doula and Coach promise.   These measures help consumers know that the doula they are retaining has achieved certain standards of training, and uphold certain standards of practice.