Timeline for Working with a Doula

Often folks ask us about how working with a labor doula works. I thought I would share a timeline with you as to how it works with us.

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  1. Consider having a doula… review the website bios and give Teresa a call. Teresa tells you based on your due date and location for your birth who is available and sends you our information packet.
  2. Receive the information packet and decide to attend one of the monthly Meet and Mingles to meet all of the doulas or contact the doulas who seem to “speak” to you.
  3. Interview the doulas you are interested in and hire them or hire them at the Meet and Mingle.
  4. Once the retainer and agreement has been received in our office- you are added to the doula’s calendar who has been hired. Within 24 hours she contacts you to let you know how excited she is to be your doula!
  5. You can then email, text or call your doula to let her know how you are doing along the journey- she likes to hear how your appointments with your care provider, what you are learning in your childbirth classes and any other things you want to share with her. The more sharing, the more she gets to know you and your dreams for your birth. (We would encourage you to read the blog and consider some of our classes.)
  6. At 34 weeks or soon after, you will get a prenatal form in an email. She wants you to give some thought to the questions and send it back via email filled in prior to your prenatal. Teresa has a private class space where she offers many teaching tools to help solidify things you may have learned in your classes. It is a plus having a dedicated teaching space, it is a great place to learn some new things if you did not learn them in the class you took. The place for your prenatal should be private it possible. Although you may think a coffee shop is a great place to meet, it may be fine for an interview, but your prenatal may need to be much more private. It is best to not do this in your home as the normal day to day distractions of pets, interruptions by your children or just day to day distractions are not present. So try to pick a time that you have several hours- at least two and maybe even more like three hours to be able to open up and get into some great discussions that will help you work wonderfully with your doula. This can be just you and your doula but ideally we would love to have your partner there for at least part of that meeting.
  7. As you begin to believe you are in labor, your doula would love to hear from you along the way. She may have some tips and ideas to help you in early labor. She is available to meet you at your home if you desire or to meet you when you are on your way to your birth location. That is up to you and how your labor is unfolding.
  8. She will meet you and stay with you for the duration of your labor. Being present and focused on your needs. She will stay with you usually until you are ready to move to your postpartum room or around two hours unless there are extenuating circumstances that require her to stay longer.
  9. Your doula will text you usually the next day to see how things are going. Because you could be finally dozing off, she will leave the phone calls up to you- she wants to make sure nursing is going well and you do not have any questions or concerns. Feel free to contact her for additional help she can either provide or suggest other to help with- we have postpartum massage, lactation educators, postpartum doulas and more. But often your needs can be met  by your doula and she wants to help.
  10. We offer a postnatal time to share pictures from the birth and a birth timeline. Since we are active doulas and many of us are also educators, we want to do this in a timely way that also meets your needs and works around our busy schedules at the same time. We want to see you and your baby. This is special time for us to share with you.  Based on where you live and where your doula lives, you need to keep in mind she may be on call for other moms and need to work around being close to home to head out to her next birth. Teresa loves to offer a special time with her moms in her class space. She can offer a book or handout that may be helpful during this time, breastfeeding tools that she has in her space or other tools that you may find helpful. But we all can come to your home if that is what is desired and needed. Getting out the first time seems so overwhelming, especially for first time moms, but you may find that a short drive out to a different location is exactly what is needed. Often the time you desire to set up this prenatal is delayed by having family in town. We leave the timing up to you. Contact us when you are ready. If there is some delay in us being able to meet, we can send your pictures and timeline to you prior to getting together.

This is just an idea of what is normally done. We believe in flexibility and are more than willing to do what you need. Let us know how we can assist you. Thanks!