So, you’re sold on the idea that a Doula would make a great addition to your birth or postpartum team? Great! I’m a little biased but I believe that every family deserves a Doula’s support to have the most satisfying birth and new-baby-moon possible!
But where do you find great Doulas and how do you choose one that’s right for you?
Finding a Doula:
There are several organizations that certify Doulas.
They typically have a searchable directory of members in your area.
Local Doula groups might also be a helpful starting place to begin your search.
They can be made up of doulas from varying organizations and may or may not have a set scope of practice that they all abide by.,
Ask friends for reccommendations!
If they loved their doula they will be happy to share that information! Even if they’ve never used one they might know doulas who are also their massage therapists, chiropractors, yoga teachers, or friends! Poke around and see who in your community is also a doula, you might be surprised!
You can always try Doula Match . Think of it as the “eharmony” of finding a doula. Nifty profiles showcase experience, a photo, and testimonials.
Yelp! might also have some reviews of local doulas but look for them in the “midwife” section as they aren’t able to designate them any other way.
Choosing a Doula:
Narrow the Field-
Once you’ve gathered some names of Doulas you are interested in try to limit the number of Doulas you interview! Talking to 2-3 that you feel drawn to (or 4 tops!) is plenty to keep track of. More than that can feel overwhelming to remember (even with notes) and harder to recall the feeling you had when you talked with her a certain doula.
Is this Doula going to be around for your birth? Go ahead and ask to be sure! It will save you the heartache of finding someone you love only to find out they will be on vacation or already are booked up! You may find a Doula who is busy but has a great back-up doula and might be willing to have a couple of clients due around the same time.
Experience with your Situation and Hopes-
You must figure out whether or not your birth goals or postpartum needs match with her experience. Does you Doula have experience supporting breastfeeding mothers of multiples? Has she supported familes at a waterbirth? Might she have experience helping moms have a medicated hospital births? If this is not apart of her background, is she willing to work with you anyway? You might be her first family having a homebirth and it could still be a wonderful experience for you all! Just make sure that you are up front about what you need from your doula.
What about Cost?!-
This is an important aspect in choosing a Doula. The cost of services should not be the most important factor. Although it IS a factor that should be considered. Be realistic. What can you afford? Would your doula be willing to take payments, have your friends and family contribute to your doula fund in lieu of onsies with obnoxious sayings? Doulas want to work with familes that want to work with them! Be honest about your financial situation and ask about your options. Doulas are notoriously nice people. If they can’t accomodate you at a rate you can afford they might be able to suggest someone equally as fabulous who can!
It’s important in choosing the person that you are inviting into your family,for a short period of time, that you have some kind of spark! A doula enters the sacred space of a birthing mother or the life of your family with a newborn. Do you feel a sense of trust with a doula you’ve just interviewed? She might be a new doula who “just feels right” to you or an experienced doula whose warmth makes you feel calmer in her presence. Whatever part of you goes back to a feeling that this person “fits”, GO WITH THAT FEELING! It does not matter that your best friend used another doula, that you met the most experienced doula intown but didn’t click, or that a doula seems perfect but hasn’t had children. Doulas, like expecting families, come from all kinds of different backgrounds, have unique personalities and varying belifes. If YOU feel like you can trust a certain doula and relax knowing she will be there for you, you’ve found a winner!
I hope you find the Doula that’s right for you!
Happy Birthing and Happy New Baby!