Today I received an inquiry for a birth client that I had to turn away because my current client load is full during her due date. 14 years ago, I would not have believed that I would be turning away business, and today's inquiry made me wonder. Do families know when to reach out?
When I was first working in the doula world, the goal was more along the lines of making pregnant people aware that doulas exist and that we are here for them to have a better experience in bringing their baby into this world. Today's pregnant families are more aware than ever of the value that doulas bring to the table, but they don't realize that we are also available to make their pregnancy easier and more comfortable. Below you will find the 5 ways we improve birth, and your pregnancy too!
Discuss options prenatally to improve outcomes in testing. For instance did you know you should eat something before that glucose tolerance test, and that it should be protein rich and low carbohydrate? This will give you a more accurate test result and decrease the need to follow up with the 3 hours test.
Providing insight to comfort measures during pregnancy. Did you know that at 34+ weeks many moms begin to report lower back and pelvic discomfort? We can recommend products to improve comfort and make sleeping easier and better. In addition keeping track of body changes that could indicate baby positioning strategy to use during birth.
Deepening a relationship and rapport. I ask that my clients contact me after each prenatal visit during pregnancy and after every body change. This ensures communication is consistent and gives opportunity for me to get to know my client more. Over time I learn how to work better with their personality, and thought process and they learn more about the way I work as well. This provides the framework of trust and intuitive interaction for the birth -and a smoother experience.
Education is more thorough when I can provide it over a longer period of time to support the needs of the third trimester. Did you know there are key nutrients that should be available in the last 3 months of pregnancy? If I'm working with a client in their second trimester we have the benefit of counsel so that she can prepare for the third trimester adequately, rather than trying to "catch up" when I'm hired last minute.
Partners benefit from having a doula because we are able to provide the emotional support from a place of "knowing" and can reinforce the good advice partners lend as well as improve insight for partners who have a knowledge gap in pregnancy and birth. Doulas work hard to improve the dynamics of the couple they work with in order to facilitate a wonderful beginning phase of labor when the couple are working together independently until active birthing time begins. We bolster the confidence of birth partners so that they can support their lovely pregnant counterparts fully.
I find that the best time for families to contact a doula is in the 2nd trimester. If you aren't sure whether a doula is a good option for you, take the time to have an interview. If you wait too long, there may be difficulty finding one that is available for your due date.