As the owner of the Doula agency, Rock the Cradle, I get all sorts of questions from expectant parents, from what kind of services do we offer to what a Doula actually does to where is the best place to give birth. One question I also get a lot is “When is the best time to hire a Doula?’’ so in today’s post let’s look at the benefits of finding your Doula earlier rather than later.
I’ve noticed that people call all throughout their pregnancy:
- First trimester: These people are the very early adopters. Some people are not even pregnant yet and are calling to find out more information about the services we offer. Or they’ve just recently become pregnant and are delving into all the information there is out there about pregnancy and how to hire a Doula and they contact us to get the help that they need.
- Second trimester: During the first trimester you might be sick, you might be exhausted and navigating the medical system, so it might not be top priority to get informed about doulas. But by the time the second trimester comes around, you’re feeling better, you have more energy, you’ve been seeing your doctor, you’ve had your tests, everything’s going well, so you then move on to the next step, which is finding your Doula!
- Third trimester: These are the people who might not know that Doulas exist until very late in the process or they just keep putting their search for a Doula off. Sometimes expectant women call around 35, 36, 37 weeks and say, “I just found out about these services” or “I’ve changed my mind and I really would like to have a Doula present to help me, do you have anyone available?”
Is there a right or wrong time to hire a doula? No, because wherever you are in your pregnancy and motherhood journey, you are in exactly the place you are supposed to be! You will benefit for the knowledgeable and caring support of a Doula at any time.
What are the benefits of hiring a Doula earlier than later?
There are many benefits to choosing your Doula earlier in your pregnancy.
- You have more time to get to know your Doula. For example, if you call around 20 weeks into your pregnancy, you still have half of your pregnancy to work with each other and you can benefit from more support.
- Doulas are not only wonderful resources, they also have wonderful resources. They know osteopaths, chiropractors and all of the people who can help you with some of the things that you might be experiencing during pregnancy.
- They can provide guidance. Having the advice of someone who’s more experienced regarding birth is very helpful. Perhaps you’re still navigating the medical system and need some advice. Who are the good doctors out there? Is it possible to get into a birthing centre when you’re in your 2nd or 3rd trimester? Your Doula knows ;professionals in your area to contact and can refer you.
- If you are an anxious person, having someone to call when you have questions is extremely beneficial. Although we don’t diagnose any medical conditions, don’t perform vaginal exams or do anything clinical, we do know pregnancy. And we do know when some matters are less serious or more serious, and help you to navigate your options.
- Earlier on in the process, you have lots of time to explore different options with your Doula. She can lay options out for you, and help you with the decision-making process. For example, does hypnobirthing sound like something that you’d like to explore? How does the epidural affect birth? Do you have to push on your back? Having a doula there can help you with these types of questions.
- Doulas take anywhere from one client per month to four clients per month for those who work full-time. If there’s someone that you really want to work with, then you want to get into their schedule earlier than later, before she’s booked up.
As you can see, there are MANY benefits to hiring a Doula early on!
Are there risks to hiring your Doula too early?
No, there aren’t any risks. We do know, however, that during the first trimester, miscarriages can happen. This may be one of the reasons why people wait until after the first trimester to reach out. This doesn’t mean you can’t do the research and start looking into Doulas and figure out who you’d like to work with during the first trimester.
Can you hire a Doula later on in your pregnancy?
Of course! Some people only find out about Doulas in their third trimester, so please do reach out even if you’re in your 32nd or 36th week! Here at Rock the Cradle we have a full team, so we’ll be able to find the right doula for you. We also have an extended network of Doulas who we know and trust fully.
I say it’s never too late to hire a Doula!
What’s the process of hiring a Doula?
Once you’ve decided you want a Doula, the internet’s a great place to start. Most Doulas have websites, Facebook pages, and Instagram accounts that you can explore and get an idea of how they work and what services they offer.
Ask people you know for referrals and don’t be afraid to call around. You might not know exactly what you’re looking for at first but hiring a Doula is all about finding a good fit, so it’s important to make sure you click with this person and that there is a good vibe between all of you.
A lot of agencies, including Rock the Cradle, have monthly open house meetings where you can meet the team and learn about the services offered. At the moment, because of Covid-19, most of them are virtual. Don’t worry, you can still get a good feel for that person’s energy over Zoom!
Get the support you need
Final takeaway: There are a lot more benefits to hiring a Doula early on, but you will still benefit from hiring a Doula later on in the process!
If you’d like to know more about the support we can provide, join our team at one of our monthly Open Houses every 3rd Wednesday of the month at 7:00 p.m. EST. You can check out our website www.rockthecradle.ca for more information.
Here’s to a beautiful and positive birth,
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