kentucky doula

The Ideal Doula Client

As more doulas start practicing in the Lexington, KY, area, it makes my doula heart warm to know that there are going to be more ideal doula + client pairings. In a previous blog post, I talked about finding the right doula, so in this post I want to share what my ideal client looks like. First, here are some of the things that I do not take into consideration when deciding if I want to work with someone. It is incredibly important to me to serve all people, regardless of their race, color, national or ethnic origin, age, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression. You’re a pregnant human being who wants to explore birth doula services? Let’s talk.

Some people assume that I prefer to work with home birth clients using a midwife. Not true. As long as you’re comfortable in the environment, I am equally content to work at a home or hospital birth, with a midwife, OB, or family practice doctor. Another common misconception is that I’m only helpful as a birth doula if someone wants a “natural” or unmedicated birth. If your preference is to get an epidural (stat!) or you know that you’re going to have a Cesarean birth, I’m as helpful and supportive as I would be to someone wanting to labor and birth without pain medication.

I have had successful doula + client relationships with such a variety of people that I’ve learned to be really open to the type of person or couple that I will work with. One factor that does seem to help my relationship with a client is their relationship with the care provider. A client having trust in their provider typically results in a better birth experience for everyone involved. And as in most relationships, personality compatibility is important, too. I want to know that we’re going to feel comfortable sharing your intimate space and time together.

Are you my ideal client? Am I the right Lexington, KY, doula for you? Read my client testimonials and contact me to set up an in-person conversation so we can find out!

All my bags are packed (but am I missing something?)

With our first pregnancy, my hospital bag was packed weeks in advance. It was full to the zipper with things I thought I’d need based on books and online articles I’d read. I overpacked and stressed myself out about it. With my next pregnancy, I threw things in a bag in between contractions. Packing, along with many other aspects of birth and baby raising, can be easier the second go-around. So, while by no means a complete list, here are items a lot of people find useful:

  • Nursing tanks/bras: Good for easy access to skin-to-skin time.
  • Slippers: For walking around the hospital in labor and use around the room postpartum.
  • Flip flops: Sure they clean the shower before use, but still…
  • Going home outfit for you and baby: Think comfortable maternity wear and seasonally appropriate onesie/jammies.
  • Your own pillow: Preferably with a pillow case that will set it apart from hospital's.
  • Snacks: For most women, eating and drinking during labor is safe and so helpful.
  • Toiletries, and glasses if you wear contacts

For birth partner:

  • Sweatshirt: Hospitals can be really cold. My husband had to have a friend bring one (and still hasn’t returned it four years later- sorry, Jarrod).
  • Snacks: Hospitals feed mama after the birth, but dads need nourishment, too.
  • Breath mints: Mama does not want to smell said digesting snacks while she’s birthing.
  • Phone chargers:  Most phones get quite the workout during labor, delivery and postpartum.
  • Car seat: The hospital won't let you leave without one installed and will watch you load up baby.

When you hire me, I will provide a more comprehensive list, but in all honesty, you’ll need less than you think. The hospital provides a lot of birthing and postpartum essentials and you’ll spend most of your recovery time in the bed because rest is best.

Every birth is different

You will probably receive tons of unsolicited advice and sharing of personal experiences when you're pregnant. For some reason, people see that belly and think it's a comment box. While most of the time, they have good intentions, it can be overwhelming and not the least bit helpful.  The truth is, just as every human being is unique, so is every pregnancy and birth.  Even if you're not a first time mom, you can't expect for things to be the same with a subsequent birth.

So when you're making preparations during your pregnancy, do your best to put aside others' opinions and your preconceptions and really think about your current needs and desires. What do YOU want from a care provider? What do YOU need to do to feel prepared mentally and physically for the birth? As a doula, I wholly embrace the uniqueness of each birth and each birthing person. I do not have any expectations of you, but will support the ones that you have of yourself. Your birth experience is just that- yours. 


Choosing the right doula

Inviting someone into your birth experience is not to be taken lightly. It's one of the most intimate life events. So how do you go about choosing the right doula? It may sound strange for me to recommend other doulas, but I suggest that you hold in-person interviews with at least two, preferably three, doulas. The purpose of an interview is more about feeling out the connection between you and the doula than it is about discussing details of their services. For example, I lean towards being introverted and quiet in new relationships. I believe that this helps me be an excellent listener and a good birth partner. I'm by no means uptight and I love to laugh, but I can't recall being described as the life of the party (maybe because I'm too busy with the chips and dip, or wine and cheese).

The price of doula services are another factor to consider. Some doulas in and around Lexington, KY, will post their fees on their website. You can also check Depending on your circumstances, About Birth and other doulas in the Central Kentucky region may work with you on setting their fees. Personally, I believe that having a doula is not a luxury. The services that I provide hold great value and I didn't set my price without consideration of the market value of birth doula services in our area. However, I will do my best to come up with alternative arrangements to be your doula if we're the right fit.

If you're in the middle of your search, I wish you the best of luck in the finding the right birth doula. Please contact me to schedule a free consultation if you'd like to learn more about working with me.