What are some benefits to searching for and hiring a birth doula early?
1. Having someone to share your news with (other than your partner): Okay, this may not be a solid reason to invest so early, but it is a nice perk if you tend to wait until the second trimester to share your news with family, friends and the public.
2. A source of information during your early decision making: An active doula stays on top of the birth culture in your community and can be a great guide as you navigate the many options (place of birth, caregiver, childbirth classes, etc.)
3. Sharing Updates: Someone to discuss your prenatal visits with and to answer any questions you may have as well as help with the best ways to communicate your needs with your care-provider.
4. Access to a lending library: Birth nerds love to research and share knowledge. Most of us have an extensive library of books and dvd's with up to date, relevant and even timeless information covering the entire childbearing year. Use it!
5. In the unfortunate event of a miscarriage or unexpected outcome: Some doula's (myself included) have been trained to support women (and their partners) during these heartbreaking times. This catches everyone off guard a lot of times and can leave an expected mother and father shell-shocked and unsure of what steps to take. One of the many values a doula can bring early on includes being a source of comfort, resources and advocate during such a difficult time.
6. More options: Most experienced and active doulas tend to book early and you do not want to be limited in choices. With that being said, do not get into the trap of having too many options that you can't (or won't) make a decision. (Review the other benefits if you do not think it matters.)
7. Time is on your side: You will have more time to get to know your doula; more time for your partner to feel comfortable with an extra person on the team (especially if it was your idea or if it took a while for him to get on board about having a doula); more time to address any fears or concerns that can come up during labor such as; more time to practice comfort and relaxation techniques (that are often taught during prenatal visits).
8. Peace of mind: There is so much going on your mind during your pregnancy. Selecting someone to walk along side you not only for childbirth but also throughout the pregnancy can feel like a major accomplishment checked off of your to-do list. I have witnessed so many women exhale with relief when they have made their decision, and they say that their minds are free to make other decisions.
Can you think of any other reasons hiring a doula early on could be beneficial?
You are fearfully and wonderfully made,