The purpose is to give you and your doula a chance to discuss your birth goals and expectations. It also gives you and your birth partner time to enhance the relationship with your support person. A lot of "what if's" will be answered in this visit. This is also the time when your doula will help find additional local and informational resources.
Taking your doula with you to meet your provider is a good opportunity to get a feel of all the elements that make up your birth team before the big day. It also helps your doula to know what resources are already available at your chosen birth location. This additional meeting allows your doula to be on a first name basis with all members of your birth team which improves communication during your birth.
Upon hire you are assured doula support.
Starting at around 38 weeks your doula goes 'on-call' for you. At anytime during this period, your doula will be available. Texting is a great way to keep in touch.
Once your doula has joined you, upon request, she will remain supporting you through labor and delivery. After delivery she will remain at a respectful distance, but be close by.
The first time you feed your baby, your doula will be there to assist in the process to ensure it goes as smoothly as possible. If breastfeeding, this will take place soon after delivery when your doula is still with you.
When you are settled in at home, your doula will come visit. The purpose of this visit is to answer any questions that you may have about your birth, get back any loaned items, and allow your doula to soak in the sweet smell of newborn. We like to call this part the 'after action report'.