I am often contacted by women who are wondering if it’s the right time to call. Is it too early? Too late? When do people normally book a doula? Well, unsurprisingly it varies greatly! In this blog I’ll examine working with a doula - and when the best time is to book one……
In my opinion, the most important thing in hiring a doula is the connection that you develop with her, not the date that you start to work with her. My first client hired me at 39 weeks and at her birth the midwife commented how beautiful our connection was - and she was then shocked to discover that we’d known each other for 10 days!!
So it’s never too late to book a doula - you don’t need to form an immediate strong bond but you should be looking to feel comfortable around her, have confidence in her and feel that her approach aligns with your hopes for your pregnancy and birth. A good doula will still meet with you a few times before your birth to go over your wishes, deal with any worries that you may have and cement your connection. Women who book a doula later in pregnancy are typically looking for a supportive reassurance.
It’s common to get towards the end of pregnancy and start to feel uncertain, that everything is feeling too real and you are about to give birth and become a parent and you’re not really sure about any of it. And that’s when doula support can be so valuable. If you’re feeling this way, please be reassured that it’s normal and you can still get effective support surprisingly quickly.
Just as it’s never too late, it’s also never too early! I’ve been booked by clients who are really very early in their pregnancy and these clients often have different motivations to those who book very late. Women who book early are generally looking for continued support during their pregnancy as well as their birth, they’re looking for guidance and education, nurturing and a deeper connection. They often want to understand a bit more about things as they crop up during their pregnancy and value having the continuous, independent support that comes from a doula.
The advantage of working with a doula from earlier in your pregnancy is that you have more doulas to choose from (since not so many will be booked up yet), and the benefits of working with a doula can increase over time, making the birth easier to support because you know each other so well.
I love working with women at whatever stage they’re at. My support is flexible because, no matter how ‘far along’ a client is, everyone needs something different from their doula and it’s part of the doula’s skill to understand what that is and to provide it. Your pregnancy, birth and journey to parenthood is a precious and powerful time, finding the right support will help you to stand in that power and find the path that’s right for you.
So it doesn’t really matter when you hire a doula - it only matters that you do hire one.