What is a Doula Prenatal Visit?
Don’t let the doula prenatal visit overwhelm you!
You’ve taken your doula training and you’ve found your first client! Excitement takes over your body. Your hard work has started to pay off and you are happy to be reaping the rewards.
But then your brain freezes as a flood of questions come to mind:
- How soon should I schedule the doula prenatal visit?
- What do I need to discuss?
- Do I meet with the client in their home or somewhere more neutral?
- What do I need to bring?
- What if I don’t know the answer to their questions?
If you’re looking for a step by step guide for how to navigate your doula prenatal visits, you can find a resource for that here: The Doula Prenatal Visit. But first, let’s back up a bit.
For you, the doula prenatal visit is an opportunity to meet with the client face to face. The goal is to help clients explore their options and desires for birth.
Knowing where your clients are coming from helps you to understand what is important to them and why. You may be the first person to openly discuss their hopes, desires, and even their deeply held fears without judgment or opinion.
Equally as important is creating a safe space for your clients to share these feelings with you.
That is the art of the prenatal visit.
For the client, the doula prenatal visit has a different meaning. For example, clients look to you as a resource. You are their personal expert for all things pregnancy and birth. Unlike others they may encounter, you come to them free of judgment. Because of this, you quickly become their trusted expert and confidant.
- The client will look to you to help them identify and understand their options for birth.
- They will look to you to help them formulate questions, identify, and to clarify their goals.
- You will be their go-to when it comes to exploring if their provider or birth location will support their preferences for birth.
- They will ask you questions they may feel too embarrassed to ask their provider, friends or family.
The prenatal visit also provides an opportunity for the client to become more comfortable in your presence. Birth is highly intimate and vulnerable. The doula prenatal visit helps the client to become more at ease in your presence.
Learning how to navigate the doula prenatal visit is at the top of the list for most doulas. While it may feel awkward and scary at first, with a little hard work and self-education, you’ll be the master of the doula prenatal visit!