Doulas provide families with emotional, educational, and physical support through labor, birth, and beyond. Research surrounding their work has proven time and time again what we see to be true in our center each day – doulas greatly benefit a birth and postpartum experience, in more ways than one.
But with so many amazing doulas in your area, how do you decide who is the best fit for you and your family? After reviewing profiles and completing logistical inquiries (availability during estimated due date, cost, etc.), set an interview and get to know the doula on a deeper level.
If you’re looking for a doula, use the following tips to help you discover who is right for you:
Ask about the doula’s birth journey. Each doula has their own birth journey – a path that led them to support women in this role. They bring with them a unique set of trainings, backgrounds, experiences, values, and navigating philosophies on what that support looks like. Find out their story and how it impacts their work as a doula.
Take special note of the doula’s personality and energy. Reflect on how you felt talking with the doula – did you feel safe? Were you and your partner comfortable and at ease? They will be with you at one of the most special, transformative, and vulnerable moments of your lives. It is important that the doula brings positivity and peace to your family before and after birth.
Share your birth plan and what’s important to you. Be honest. Share the hopes and fears you are feeling at that moment about birth and the support you hope to receive from a doula. If you don’t know what that support looks like, say that. Even if you do not know, the doula will share what she will bring to your experience.
Do they have a backup doula? If so, learn more. You might have your birth plan set, but in every case, it is crucial to respect the spontaneous beauty of birth and the possibility of you being with the backup doula. Take time to learn about who the backup is and the opportunity to meet in the future. If you end up with your backup doula, you’ll be glad you established an initial connection.
Ask for the doula to share birth and postpartum stories. Doulas have a special gift connecting with people, especially through storytelling. Listen to how the doula describes the experience, the family, her role, and the delivery location – you’ll learn much about who the doula is and how they provide support.
We hope these few tips help make the process of looking for a doula easier. Use these as starting points for conversations and let them guide you. You’re sure to find what you are looking for!