Note* Industry standard is 3-6 clients per month. Doulas a use to juggling clients and when they are due. An EDD is just an estimated date of delivery, NOT a guarantee. Doulas focus on months, not dates. Anywhere between 37 and 42 weeks is considered full term.
Note* Doulas offer between 2-3 prenatal visits. However, some may offer more or less depending on circumstance and need.
Note* This will differ per Doula
Note* There may be a clause in the contract that states, after a certain amount of hours, she has the right to reserve to call another Doula to support for long births extending over 12 hours or more.
Note* All Doulas should have a Back-Up policy in the event she is at another birth or sick. Remember, life happens!
Note* It is their birth too! Partners experience birth on so many levels that deserve respect and honor. How does the Doula involve the Birth Partner in the entire process from beginning to end, is very important to know.
Note* Some Doulas only go "On-Call" for your birth at a certain number of weeks gestation. This is very important to know in the event of a preterm labor and delivery.
Note* Doulas can also be massage therapists, acupuncturists, chefs, Ayurvedic practitioners, placenta practitioners, belly binders and so much more. What other skills, if any, will she have to offer throughout your course of care with them as your Doula?
This is good to know when it comes to hospital culture, policy and procedures to dealing with women of color, especially Black within the confines of western medicine. Are they being heard? Are their wishes being respected?
Medical inductions can change the trajectory of labor. Does a Doula offer support and is she familiar with the induction procedures at the local hospitals. Can she provide education in that regard.
There are biases in western medicine when it comes to women being plus size. This can impact the level of care she recieves greatly. Does the Doula have experience in supporting the birthing parent when facing such discrimination?
Does the Doula have experience in supporting all family structures. Are there any baises or prejudices present? Does the Doula have experience in advocating for this community within hospital settings? If so, ask for an example.
If the Doula isn't an CLC or IBCLC, does she have resources to give that offer home visits? It's best to identify one BEFORE going into labor. Remember, the lactation consultant is apart of the birthing team
There are many parents who have chosen to birth solo or life circumstances have led them here. What does the Doula support look like? How extended is your community?
The length of time one has been in this field is not the indicator of a good Doula. However, are they supported by or apart of any reputable organizations that are nationally recognized, is another valuable way of looking at this.
Vaginal Birth After Cesarean.
How has this experience shaped her as a Doula?
As stated above, it is 1-2 weeks is customary. However, the Doula may have another policy in place for her practice.