When do you hire a doula?
What does a doula do?
First off, let’s quickly review what a doula does for their clients so you can better understand when would be the best time to hire one onto your birth team.
A doula’s support is scientifically shown to increase birth outcomes for birthing persons and babies (read more)! Yet, people are often unaware that doulas do much more than just support birthing people & their partners during the birth of their baby.
Birth doulas provide emotional, physical, and informational support to their doula families throughout pregnancy and into early postpartum.
As a doula myself, I support my doula families throughout their pregnancy by providing information on topics they are unsure about or unaware of. For instance, if they are having a difficult time with first-trimester nausea, I provide resources, tips, and tricks, on how to overcome and prevent nausea in pregnancy.
Finally, Doulas are advocates for families. I believe whole-heartedly that parents have the right to make informed decisions about their birth and baby and support them in those decisions.
Researchers have found that people who have continuous support from a Doula during their childbirth experience see a:
- 39% decrease in the risk of Cesarean
- 15% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth; the largest effect was seen with a doula
- 10% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief
- Shorter labors by 41 minutes on average
- 38% decrease in the baby’s risk of a low five minute Apgar score
- 31% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience
So, When do you Hire a Doula?
You can hire a doula anytime during your pregnancy but there are multiple benefits to hiring a doula early on in your pregnancy. Although, if you are in your third trimester and you are worried it’s too late to hire a doula to your birth team, Don’t worry! You can still greatly benefit from hiring a doula’s support in your third trimester.
How does Hiring a doula Early in Pregnancy benefit you?
The informational and emotional support that doulas provide early in pregnancy can be very beneficial to the parent’s feelings about the pregnancy journey. Many parents will turn to google with questions on pregnancy, birth, and postpartum and the answers they receive can be conflicting and cause further confusion.
A Doula is a trained professional specializing in pregnancy & birth. So, instead of relying on google to find answers, you can simply reach out to your doula and they will quickly provide you with unbiased resources! Having this informational support early on in pregnancy can be super beneficial for parents. This is also true for finding books, podcasts, videos, and more! There is SO MUCH information out there about topics relating to pregnancy through parenthood.
This overflow of information can be really overwhelming for parents, especially first-time parents. Doulas help you navigate resources & find you ones that are most relevant for your pregnancy, birth, and postpartum goals.
Another way doulas can super helpful during your pregnancy is by helping you find local resources! While writing this article, I was emailing back and forth with a few of my own doula clients in order to help them find chiropractors, birth and newborn photographers, and postpartum support. It is important to me as a doula to make finding resources as easy as possible for my clients. Parents expecting a new baby already have so much on their plate preparing for their little one’s arrival.
Streamlining the search for relevant resources for each family is a fantastic way I can lessen the overwhelm of preparing for a new baby for them. If you are feeling that overwhelming feeling and are wondering “when do you hire a doula?”, I would suggest looking into one as soon as possible.
Can you Still benefit from Hiring a Doula late in pregnancy?
The simple answer is, YES! You can most definitely benefit from a doula’s support during late pregnancy and your labor/birth experience. Above, I listed some f the statistics of doula support during labor and birth. These are all relevant to you if you hire a doula later in pregnancy. While you would miss out on some of that informational support during early pregnancy, your doula can still help you become educated on all of your available options when it comes to birth choices, help you find local resources, and connect you to birth education options.