When should I get a doula?
So you have decided to hire a doula to support you on pregnancy journey, but when does the work actually start and what can you expect?
Let me break it down…
There are many different types of doula out there, we are creatures of many gifts and talents, so depending on what you want will determine the type of doula you need.
There are doulas who support antenatally; for birth or postnatally. There are doulas that help with mental health and grief. There are doulas that will cook and clean, and pick up your other children from school. There are doulas for breastfeeding and massages, hypnobirthing, reflexology the list literally goes on and on.
So planning what support you want and the method of birth that you are choosing will really help you decide what kind of doula you wish to have in your life.
You do not see many doulas doing this role. For me personally it’s so vital in building up strong relationships with my client and helping to prepare them for birth!
There are many reasons why you might want to talk to a doula prior to birth:
So what’s the difference between this and what a midwife can offer?
Its so important to make it personal to you and what you want this birth to be. Talking one on one at a pace that is not rushed or medical can help ease you into a positive state of thinking. In your half an hour check up it can be extremely hard to get all those questions out without feeling pressure to hurry up. Also, having a familiar face that you are building a one to one relationship with is so beneficial.
For me personally I keep things flexible when it comes to booking. You can book antenatal support on a flexible approach or book a lump block of sessions. You may just want to talk about the birth plan and therefore just want a single session. Whatever you need we adapt things for you and your requirements.
The main reason for hiring a doula will be to have us there to support you in your birth.
There are many different reasons behind this choice-
What does it involve?
Its important to understand that a birth doula does not take away your chosen partners role at birth.
Each doula will have their own approach to how they can support you. The norm is that there is a standard price and that will include a meet and greet, the birth and then a follow up session after baby is born. Prices vary from doula to doula.
My approach is slightly different, I do offer the above but also offer the birth alongside 4 appoints before and 4 after. The reason being is that personally I would like to have an established relationship with my doula if I was going to have her at my birth. Those extra sessions will allow for that. Furthermore, knowing that my doula would be there when I bring baby home is a real reassurance. Mums will tend to want food and bed when they bring baby home and a doula can provide both for you.
Booking a birth doula
If you are wanting a birth doula its best to start looking around month 4/5 so you have enough time to interview your doula. You will want to make sure there is a natural connection between yourself and your doula so give yourself plenty of time to find your perfect match.
You may decide that you just want a doula to support you when baby is here. Lots of mums enjoy having a support system in place back in the home for many reasons:
How to plan for your post-natal doula.
Whatever your reasons make sure you are clear with your requirements. Like I said before, some doulas will be more than happy to help around the house others are not, so before you choose your doula make sure you have been clear with your requirements.
Most sessions will last three hours. Don’t panic it may seem long, but it will fly by especially if you are sleeping which does happen.
You can book a postnatal doula at any point, but keep in mind they tend to be high in demand, so the sooner you book the better.
So when should you hire a doula?
Whenever you want!
It’s that simple, this is your pregnancy and your choice. You may decide that having a doula is not the right fit for you and guess what; that is fine. You might be able to build your own package of support, like you can at Derbyshire Doula and keep things flexible. Just ensure you have done your research and make sure that they are trained. Putting all the stereotypes about what a doula is and does aside; there is significant research supporting doulas and the benefits that they bring to you and your pregnancy.
See link below.
Doula UK doula.org.uk/research/#
Images used from Vecteezy