When is the right time to hire a Doula?
Ideally you will know fairly early in your pregnancy that you would like the support of a Doula for your birth. The earlier you decide the more choices you’ll have. Not only do you want to check availability, but you may want to interview several Doulas before deciding. Your Doula should feel right, if they’re not someone you feel comfortable with then maybe you should shop around a bit.
However, we all know this isn’t always the case; circumstances change, as do our visions for our ideal birth. So what do you do if you find yourself in the third trimester looking for a Doula? You’ll be limited by availability, but many Doulas will still take clients this late into a pregnancy. You need time to meet with your Doula at least once before your birth, though most Doulas prefer the consult and two prenatal meetings structure. It is possible for a Doula to walk into a birth never having met the family, but practically unless the Doula works for the hospital and is already on-call, there can’t be any expectation for this to happen.
So to answer the more specific question here: How late do I take a client? I prefer if you contact me before your 36th week, as it gives us ample time to schedule prenatal visits and get to know each other before your labor. I will add, however, that if you find that you are regretting your decision not to hire a Doula later in your third trimester, don’t be afraid to contact me! Pending availability, I am happy to work with you! There is no shame in taking control of your birth experience, no matter when. If I am able, I will do my best to support you!