When discussing the start date with the client, we do take into consideration whether it’s a first baby, a multiple pregnancy and, if this is not the first baby, previous arrival dates.
As first babies can be late, we would recommend a start date of 3-6 days after the due date. However, if a C-Section is planned, it is sensible to allow for 4 nights’ hospital stay. Some clients book on a full retainer and are aware that this is costly, but this is their decision.
If the start date comes and goes, you should be paid 50% of your rate until you start, and this should be stated in the contract.