There is no hard and fast rule on this but some experienced and busy doulas may be booked many months in advance. You want time to be able to meet, get to know your doula, and prepare for the labor and birth. Most doulas meet with you two times, often in your home. Meeting in your home at least once gives your doula a chance to better know and understand you. As you spend time with your doula you will get to know her and be comfortable with this person who will help guide you through one of the most important days of your life. Some doulas will have you meet at their home, some at a central location such as Starbucks or Barnes & Noble. It is nice to have your final meeting be 2-4 weeks before your due date so the information is fresh and you feel prepared. If you think it’s too late to hire a doula, give it a try anyway and ask around. Chances are someone can be available on short notice. Most doulas are available by phone, Email, or text to answer questions throughout your pregnancy. Remember that doulas are on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Sometimes they have to reschedule appointments if they are attending a birth.