Congratulations, you’re expecting! And to make things easier for you, you’ve decided to get a doula. After you’ve gotten one, you might be surprised that they mentioned something about scheduling a prenatal visit. 

Wait, what’s going on? Aren’t doulas just supposed to be there during the birthing process itself? What are you going to talk about, exactly? Why do you need a prenatal visit in the first place?

If these thoughts are running through your mind right now, we’re here to tell you that you shouldn’t worry. In fact, having a visit from your doula way before you actually give birth is something good!

So in this article, we’ll cover what a doula prenatal visit is, what’s it for, what happens in one, and so much more. Let’s get to it, shall we?


A prenatal visit is the opportunity to meet you face to face.

Now, this is the primary reason for the need of a visit – the chance to talk to you in person. Why is there a need for this? Well, there are a few reasons.

First, you would want to get to know your doula. After all, you wouldn’t want just anyone showing up when you’re giving birth and helping you out, right? You would want to be able to trust this person who is supposed to assist you on this very special moment. If you do not feel comfortable with your current doula after the meeting, you should request for a different doula if you got one from an agency, or just simply look for another one. Don’t just settle on the first one you see online.

Second, it’s also for the doula. For them to help you best, they must also get to know you as a person. They need to know what you like, what you don’t like, your preferences for the birthing process, and so much more. That way, the doula will be able to meet your needs from before you give birth even up to when you are nursing your newborn. This is also the opportunity for the doula to demonstrate their knowledge and expertise to you to reassure you that whatever concerns you may have will be fully addressed.


Where do you meet your doula for the first time?

This one is entirely up to you, but we suggest doing it somewhere you will feel very much comfortable in. After all, you’re pregnant! Also, do it somewhere you will feel safe, a place where you can just get your concerns off of your chest and not feel judged.

So if that place is your home, and you have no apprehensions about letting your doula into your home, go for it. It can be in your front yard, your porch, in your kitchen, your backyard… it’s entirely up to you! 

Of course, if during your first meeting you’re not comfortable with the idea of letting a stranger in your home, that’s not a problem either. You can meet somewhere public, like a cafe or a restaurant. Make it your favorite place to eat or dine in so you are sure to be relaxed while getting to know your doula.


Should you bring someone along with you to meet your doula?

Preferably, you should bring your partner with you while meeting your doula. While you are the only one giving birth, your partner also has a role to play in terms of helping you out while you are pregnant, all the way when you get home from the hospital. Even after the doula contract is up, your partner is still with you. That’s why you should bring them along. Try scheduling a time when both of you will be available. 

Now, some moms ask what if they have other children already. Should they be brought along? Well, it’s entirely up to you. But what we generally recommend that if you will be distracted by your children, it’s probably better for someone to babysit them first. That way, you can focus your attention on your doula.


How long should you meet you doula?

Again, this is entirely up to you. There’s no hard rules to prenatal visits. But during this time, please do make sure that anything you want to know, you ask. And every concern that you have should be addressed. Do not leave the meeting feeling like you didn’t get some questions answered. That’s the whole purpose of this face to face meeting, after all. 


If you would like a little more idea for a general schedule, well, we can suggest maybe ten to fifteen minutes of getting to know one another. After that, dive right into the thick of things. 


What should you ask your doula during the prenatal visit?

Your doula will be your go-to for any concerns, especially for ones you might be too embarrassed about to ask your doctor, friends, and family. That’s why you shouldn’t be shy about asking everything you need to know! In no particular order, here are some things that you should definitely talk about during this meeting:


The contract

Sorry if this is a bit unrelated to your birthing, but first things first, after all. You need to discuss the scope of work of your doula. That way, you’ll know what to expect from them.


Any concerns about pregnancy

If this is your first time, you might have a lot of questions that your previously pregnant friends may not know the answer to. Since your doula has plenty of experiences, they most likely have the answers to your burning questions.


Birth preferences or birthing plan

Ask your doula about the different procedures you may undergo as well as their risks and benefits. Some of these are ultrasound, membrane sweep, vaginal exams, pain management, water birth, cesarean birth, and so on. Also ask about who will cut the cord when your baby comes out and if you want to have skin to skin contact with your newborn right away. 


Hospital staff and policies

Tell your doula as well about your hospital. They may know someone there who can make your life easier in terms of hospital admissions and rules. They may also know doctors that they can recommend if you don’t have one yet.

And of course, one of the things you will have to worry about on the day of giving birth is the parking! Ask your doula about that, as well as other things you might need to consider on the day of your birthing.


Everything else!

Seriously, ask your doula anything you need to know about being pregnant, giving birth, and what would happen after. After all, doulas are there to support you. Like we mentioned above, don’t be shy. The more you know, the more prepared you will be.


Schedule your prenatal visit with us at Northeast Doulas.

Ready to go meet your doula? Well, we at Northeast Doulas are excited to meet you! All the knowledge that we have will be at your disposal. We will also offer all the support that you need so that you will have the most relaxed pregnancy, birthing, and postpartum. 


Contact us today and let’s get started.