You just saw the two pink lines on the pregnancy test. There’s initial shock, excitement, and a whole range of emotions. Now it’s time to make lots of decisions. You have to research care providers, decide how to announce your pregnancy, and figure out how to cope with all the first trimester symptoms. But where do you start?
The first question we want to ask you is, “Who’s your doula?!”
In our experience, many expectant couples wait until they are well into their second or even third trimester to hire their doula. An even smaller amount, though, decide to hire their doula as early as 6-12 weeks pregnant. Have these couples found the secret to getting the most out of their professional labor support person? We think so!
Here are four ways hiring a doula early can benefit you:
1. It makes sense for your budget: Many doulas require a minimum down payment to secure their services but the remaining balance is not due until your final month of pregnancy. Because of this, most couples can easily budget for doula services as soon as they see those two pink lines (and even smarter ones start saving when they are trying to get pregnant).
Are your friends and family already planning your baby shower? Tell them that a gift certificate for birth and postpartum doula services is at the top of the list!
2. You will have knowledgeable assistance choosing the best care provider for your birthing goals and your values. Laying the foundation for your birth starts with choosing your provider. Since we have experience in all local hospitals and with a wide array of local obstetricians and midwives, we can help give you ideas of providers that may align with the type of birth you are hoping for. And not only do you need to decide what care provider is best for your needs, you will need to decide if a birth center, your home or which hospital is the best location to achieve the birth experience you hope for. Do you want a provider that is very experienced with natural, un-medicated birth? We know who those providers are. Are you more concerned with a doctor who has a great bedside manner and you want to really enjoy the process of birthing at the hospital? We can give you some helpful recommendations.
3. You have emotional support right from the start. Once you sign the contract and pay your deposit, your doula is available to you every step of the way. They can help with any questions or concerns. Many doulas even provide you with an exclusive community of other pregnant women online and/or in person to be able to process your pregnancy with. As your doulas, we can be there for you through any unexpected turns in your pregnancy, and help you work through the range of emotions and anxiety that often surface throughout your journey to parenthood.
4. Your doula can provide you with the education you need to prepare for each trimester of pregnancy and your birth: We know that the earlier you start preparing for birth through reading, breathing exercises, and mental preparation, the better your birthing experience will be. Hiring your doula early means getting tips and education for every trimester, not just the third! Most doulas also provide you access to their lending library of books and resources throughout your entire pregnancy, and signing up early also guarantees that you can get great childbirth education to help equip you and your partner. Additionally, if you need resources and referrals such as a prenatal chiropractor, prenatal massage therapist, or even where to go for prenatal yoga, your doula can point you in the right direction.
So, what are you waiting for? Don’t let the long list of questions that follow the sight of those two little pink lines overwhelm you. Simply look in the mirror and ask yourself one question…WHO’S YOUR DOULA?!