Is it too late to hire a midwife/doula — The Bump
Natural Birth

Is it too late to hire a midwife/doula

I'm 25 weeks and have recently decided that I would like to try an unmedicated birth, possibly using the Hypnobabies technique. I am giving birth at a hospital and wondering if hiring a midwife/doula would be a good idea to hopefully negate some of the hospital interventions that seem to be so common. 
I know alot of people that have already had a midwife for awhile now so I'm wondering at one point is too late to look into hiring one. What do you ladies think? When did you hire yours?

Re: Is it too late to hire a midwife/doula

  • I think this is exactly the time you would hire one. I think it would be helpful if you are having a hospital birth. I just looked into hiring one, but I am with midwives and they said we are welcome to get one, but it's not necessary as they already support the natural birth process/procedures.

    I had sticker shock, but again, if I was just having birth in a hospital, it would be worth it, I think.
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  • This is the perfect timing to hire a doula, which would work with you at your house and the hospital. A midwife would have to be approved for the hospital you plan to deliver at or you would have to change delivery location. most midwives do prenatal care as well so may have clients already booked up for your due date however if that is what you want it doesn't hurt to look, I transferred from an OB (and hospital) to a midwife (and birth center) at 32 weeks last pregnancy and don't have any regrets.

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  • Thanks for the responses ladies, there's an "open house" for doulas coming up next week at the hospital I'll  be delivering at so I'm definitely going to check it out.

  • I'm expecting my second child and since we decided to start trying (September 2015) I knew I wanted a completely different birth experience if ever given the opportunity to birth again. I'm going ALL NATURAL in a hospital setting. Because of my decision I started looking for a doula around 10 weeks and finally hired our doula around 20/21 weeks. I personally don't think it's too late. Most doulas typically meet with you 2-3 times with the last meeting around 36 weeks then their on call around 37 weeks until baby is born. The first meeting you'll probably talk about your birth plans, your fears and how to overcome them (a separate birthing class might help such as Hypnobirthing, Bradley Method). She'll ask you what your birth preferences are membrane stripping, frequent cervical checks, lights dim, walking around, music, aromatherapy, fetal monitors, IV hookups vs. hep lock, if you want to snack during labor. A lot of these you might not have a firm answer on because you have no idea how you'll respond to birth but it's good to get the ball rolling. The second and/or third meeting you'll go over laboring positions, massage preferences, she'll discuss ways your partner can assist while in the room and just provide comfort for whatever decisions you make, even if you do end up getting an epidural. I think doulas are a Godsend and I'm very pleased with mine so far. Some doulas may offer additional services such as writing a birth story, placenta encapsulation, lactation assistance, food preparing services, etc. Also, be sure to ask if she has a back up (and if you can meet her) and if she has any other clients around your due date, just so you'll know what to expect. I met with about 3-4 in a month. It was a very tough choice but my husband and I found someone we both like.

  • You would hire a midwife instead of an OB- they're the alternative to a traditional doctor. If your hospital has midwives on staff you could see about getting transferred from your OB to a midwife if you're low-risk and interested in that. If not, hiring a doula is also a great option! Doulas are your advocate or additional support person, but they don't generally have medical training and can't take the place of a midwife or OB. You would definitely want to ask the doula if they've worked with your hospital/OB/midwife before and ask your hospital/OB/midwife what their policies are and who they recommend for doulas. The midwife group I'm using takes "late transfers" though I'm not even sure at 25 weeks you'd be considered late- I believe 28 weeks+ is considered late. Also I just hired a doula last week! It's totally normal to hire a doula late second or early third trimester and definitely never too late (though keep in mind doulas are usually not covered by insurance so sooner is better if you'd like to put together a payment plan)! I'm planning to birth at a free-standing birth center with a midwife and have hired a doula for support/photography/placenta encapsulation- feel free to PM me if you want to chat!!
  • So glad I searched the board today as I was just thinking about hiring a doula myself. I'm delivering at a hospital, so I think it would be great to have another advocate on my side (not that DH isn't good enough-- I just think we may have been rushed/pressured into things while in the hospital for DD and I would like to avoid that happening this time around). 

    @noelietrex , have you had your placenta encapsulated before? If so, did it help? 

    I didn't suffer any postpartum depression or anything like that the first time around, but know that along with being beneficial for helping with that, it's also good for your body. Would love more info on it if you have done it!
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  • @jwittwer I haven't as I'm a FTM. It's the usual practice at the center I'm delivering with though and my doula offers it in her services. Since this has been a healthy, normal pregnancy I've basically heard it can't hurt and may help with PP depression, milk supply, and hormone regulation. Even if it doesn't it was included with the cost of other services and could offer a placebo effect. At worst it contains some nutritional value and is mixed with beneficial herbs for PP. I see no reason not to go for it.
  • You still have time but start looking for some in your area and set up am "interview" so you can find someone you like with availability. 
    I hired mine around 15 weeks but I was eager, she's been a great resource this whole time and helped DH and I get prepared. I highly recommend it to anyone who's going for a med free birth or FTM. The knowledge of someone who's attended 30+ births has made me really relieved during the process. 
  • Worth exploring- really it will depend on availability within your area. 
  • @PinkLady2015 ;I have an OB and am delivering at a hospital - I was seriously considering switching hospitals and to a midwife that were more natural-birth-friendly - However we had already planned on hiring a doula. It's the same person who will be teaching our hypnobabies class. When we spoke to our doula about switching doctors/hospitals, she actually recommended against it in our case - Reason being, she is VERY familiar and highly respected by the staff at my current hospital so she has more "pull" with them.  In her words, the staff at our current hospital "isn't opposed to - but doesn't know how to do" natural births so you have to really push for exactly what you want. However since she is so well respected by the staff there, they let her do "anything she wants" when it comes to advocating for her clients.  If you do go the doula route - I like PPs ideas of asking the hospital staff for doula recommendations - then hopefully out of some of their recommendations, you'll find someone you like.  When we took our hospital tour, I mentioned to one of the nurses who we are hiring as our doula, and they told me themselves that they highly respect the person we hired as the doula. Score!

  • kimey1kimey1
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    edited April 2016
    Hope you found your doula @PinkLady2015 !
    I found my doula on Previously I also looked on the DONA website:
    I actually hired my doula at week 36! I was interviewing a bunch of doulas around week 34 after a false alarm that really made me determined to have a doula. The 2.5 week gap caused the doulas I was interested in to be booked already so I had to find a new doula, but I found her and I had my prenatal appt today. Since I'm almost 38 weeks now I only scheduled 1 prenatal visit, but DH and I had attended childbirth classes and child safety classes at the hospital we were at before so it was nice to just bond and practice massage techniques. 

  • We hired our doula not long after we found out we were expecting, and our first meeting isn't even until 25 weeks. If you had someone particular in mind, it may be harder to hire them later... since they usually only handle a specific amount of clients per delivery month.

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