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  • Writer's pictureNutured Birth Ottawa

Ask an Ottawa Birth Doula: When is it the right time to call my doula?


Woman holding her phone texting her ottawa birth doula.


When labour finally starts, when will I know it is the right time to call my doula?


This is an excellent question! As doulas, we recognize that joining our clients at the right time is very important. If we join you too early, our presence may slow down your labour. If we join you too late, we won't have as much of an opportunity to help you establish the mindset and comfort measures that will see you through the rest of your birth journey. Honoring undisturbed early labor while ensuring timely support during the critical transition into active labor is a bit of an art!


Although we are eager to provide you with support, we do not want to come to you too early. It might seem counterintuitive, but coming to you too soon can inadvertently disrupt the natural flow of your labor. Instead, we honor the sacred space of early labor, allowing you and your partner to spend this important and intimate time togehter. An undisturbed early labor supports the production of oxytocin, the hormone that plays a central role in the birthing process. And when it comes to labour, the more naturally produced oxytocin the better!

Ideally, our preference is to meet you at the cusp of active labor. How will you know you've reached this stage? Although other symptoms can indicate you are moving into active labour, often it's when you find it challenging to talk through contractions. By joining you at this time, we can offer the support you need when you need it the most, while also making sure we have enought energy to support you throughout your entire labour, no matter how long.

Meeting you at the end of early labour or very beginning of active labor provides the opportunity for us to help you establish comfort measures. Well established comfort measures help carry you through the rest of your birthing experience. Comfort measures may include relaxation techniques, breathing exercises, and position changes tailored to your specific needs. Additionally, based on the cues of your labor, we will help you determine when it's the right time time to either call the midwife or make the journey to the hospital or birth center.

It's important to note that every doula has their own set of cues and criteria for joining you in labor. These might include the spacing or intensity of contractions, your comfort level, or other individual factors. As Nurtured Birth Ottawa doulas, our overarching principle is to ensure you feel well supported. If you feel the need for support, we will be there! We will adapt to your own unique needs and preferences.

Do you have questions about our birth support? Consider scheduling a doula discovery call! This is a free call which provides you the opportunity to have your questions answered by one or our team members.


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