How To Pick The Right Doula
If you live in a city like mine, when you google doulas in your area you will get A LOT of results! Every one of those doulas is different. We all have different personalities, we all have different philosophies on birth. You can find doulas who specialize in home birth, and doulas who specialize in planned cesarean birth. So how do you choose the right one for you?
So, here are my 5 Tips For Picking the Right Doula For You
Read reviews. Doulas have places for reviews set up on multiple platforms. Facebook is the main source for reviews because it's the easiest place for clients since they usually are already on facebook. Many doulas have yelp pages or a listing on DoulaMatch.net and there could be reviews on there as well, but don't be immediately turned off if there are less reviews on those platforms since it's often one more step clients might not have time for right away. And be sure to look for key words that resonate with you. Like I mentioned earlier different doulas have different personalities and their clients will share those things with you in their reviews.
Ask your friends for recommendations. Your friends know you well. If they have had a doula and they liked her, or they know a doula they trust who they think could be a good fit for you they can share her information with you. Or, God forbid, maybe they had a poor experience with a doula, you'll know to steer clear. We trust our friends, and they love us. They won't lead you wrong.
Interview more than one doula. Seriously. I would even say interview with at least three. Not every doula is the same. Our contracts are all different. Our packages are all different. We have different personalities and perspectives. I know I keep saying that last bit, but you are inviting this person into your birth space and if you don't mesh well with her, or worse you don't really like her that can really have a negative effect on your birth experience.
Ask lots of questions. Now, to clarify, during your interview don't ask specific birth related questions, those questions should be reserved for your prenatal. But, ask her about herself. Ask her how she got started in birth work. Ask her when she comes to a birth. Ask her the specifics about her contract. Ask her what her birth philosophies are. Ask her how she will incorporate your partner.
Notice I didn't mention asking her how many births she's had. When I still hadn't had any births I was sooo nervous about what mommas would think when I interviewed with them. I booked my first two births without having attended a birth ever. When I asked my first client if she remembered me saying that I had never attended a birth, she said that she hired me because she liked my heart and the spirit she felt from me that resonated with her. The review she wrote me after she had her home birth made me cry like a baby. Newer doulas have a lot of training behind them, and even more passion for birth work. Don't discount them because they don't have as many births under their belts.
Trust your gut. Maybe one doula has more reviews, or your friend loves her, or she's been a doula for longer, but another doula seems to get you better, or you like her personality better, or you think she'll be a better fit for you and your growing family. Maybe you have two other interviews scheduled, but you know for sure the one you had tea with this afternoon is the right one. Trust your gut. It won't let you down.
Inviting someone into your birthing space is a big decision, but if you take your time, do you research, and trust your gut, you can be confident that you're making the best choice for you!
Grace & Peace