I'm often asked when is the best time to hire a doula. The truth is, it's never too late - I have been hired as late as 39 weeks to support a family birthing in Keller! Some doulas have gotten phone calls from women in labor that are looking for support right then! I have also been hired as early as "hey! I'm pregnant! I'd love you to be my doula!".
The earlier you hire me as your birth doula the more you get out of my services. I'm available to you for longer as a resource for providers and evidence based research.
Why would I hire early?
I just recently got a call from a past client letting me know they're expecting again! After I let them know how excited I am for them and they told me they needed me on their birth team again (Yay! It's always such a great honor to be asked back for future births!) we started chatting about their birth plans. They had a great birth in Flower Mound for their first child but they are looking for a different experience this time. We chatted about birth centers in Denton, Argyle, Keller, Allen and Plano. They haven't decided where they want to birth, or if maybe home birth is what's best for them but because they hired me early and I'm available to them I can provide more resources! I have compiled a list for them of all the best midwives and doctors in their area so they can have all the information to find the best birth team for their dream birth!
The longer I know you, the better I know you! I generally chat with clients over the phone or in texts at least as often as they are seeing their care provider, often more than that! I love getting to know my clients well and the stronger our relationship is the better support I am able to offer to you when you're in labor! We call this Relational Support in doula-world and I think it is one of the most important parts of our job!
Each month I only take on one or two clients. My calendar usually fills up quickly! If I am unavailable to be your birth doula I'm always happy to pass along the names of other amazing doulas I personally know and recommend in the Dallas, Fort Worth area that have availability for your due date. Booking early can help you to get your birth team settled and start building that relationship with your doula that makes the experience so positive.
I know personally I ran into this with one of my births before I was a doula. I was on the hunt for a doula and I quickly learned that there are so many great options out there. I talked to my husband and we figured out what we were looking for and what our budget was. From there I contacted at least 8 doulas before I found one that had availability for my due date! That's great that so many families in the DFW Metroplex are using doulas for their births but as a consumer it sure was an extra challenge.
When are you normally hired? What's that process like?
Obviously not everyone hires me right after they learn they're pregnant and I'm rarely hired in the final month. The average time that I meet expecting mothers for a consultation is around the 20 week mark. When an expecting mother reaches out and says that she'd like to talk to me about doula services I do my best to meet with her that week! We can do either a phone consultation or an in person interview! Some people like to chat on the phone first then set up a meeting in person and that's just fine too!
I generally meet about half way between you and me for our initial conversation. Sometimes I need that meeting to be in Denton if that's all that my schedule allows or if I have a client I anticipate going into labor soon in the area. Other times I'm meeting clients or providers in your area so I can come to your town, it all depends! I have met families for doula consultations in McKinney, Allen, Keller, Frisco, Denton, Sanger, Decatur and Fort Worth. I'm sure there are other cities that I'm forgetting, but chances are we can find a place to meet!
Where do you meet for Consultations/Interviews?
Starbucks is undoubtedly my favorite meeting location, it's easy and they're everywhere! I'm also a little addicted to coffee! I also meet families that are bringing older children along to the consultation at Chick Fil A's or other kid friendly places so they're more comfortable. I'm very flexible and open to suggestions. Since Denton is my stomping grounds I love to meet in local coffee shops or cafe's, as I learn new cities and their unique local businesses I try to use those places too!
Consultations are always free and last about 45 minutes to an hour! You can reach out to me here to set one up! I would love to meet you and chat about how I can be a doula for your upcoming birth and help it to be an empowering experience!
Rebekah Lewis is a birth doula, placenta encapsulation specialist and postpartum belly binding specialist serving families in the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex. She makes her home outside of Denton, Texas with her husband and two daughters. She serves the greater North Central Texas area including all of Denton County, North Tarrant County, Gainesville, Decatur, McKinney, Allen, Frisco, Plano and surrounding areas.