Finding the right doula can sometimes seem like a big job. This is a person that you will trust to share accurate and helpful information with you as you prepare for birth, support you during your labor, and help set the tone for your entire birth experience.
Most doulas offer a complimentary interview in order to see if you will be a good match. This is not only for your sake, but the doula’s as well. Navigating such an intimate and personal experience with someone is something doulas don’t take lightly, so we need to make sure that we are a good fit for each other.
So, what kinds of things should you be looking for in a doula? What questions should you ask during your search for your best option?
While that depends a lot on you, your personality, and your desires for your birth, here are a few things you might choose to discuss as you meet with a potential doula for the first time. Keep in mind that these might not all apply to you and your particular situation, but I hope they give you some ideas.
1: How did you get into this line of work?
Birth work is a calling. People typically don’t choose an on-call career unless they really care about the work they are doing. Understanding what led a doula into this line of work might be a way to determine if you are talking to the right person. All the doulas I know are passionate about birth and women, but we each bring our different stories and percpectives to the table. Finding someone whose story you resonate with might help you make the call between your top choices.
2: Do you have a back-up doula that you work with?
Babies, it turns out, don’t usually come when it is “convenient.” Doulas know this. In fact, our entire lifestyle is based around the fact that we are on-call 24/7. However, emergencies do happen. And knowing that there is a back-up available in the case of an emergency gives most pregnant people peace of mind. Make sure to ask your potential doula if she has a plan in place to make sure you have the support you are looking for, no matter when baby decides to make an appearance.
3: What type of additional services or resources do you provide?
Some doulas specialize in more than just birth support. Whether they are childbirth educators, postpartum or bereavement doulas, lactation specialists, or massage therapists, often there is a package deal available from doulas who offer a variety of services. My clients have access to my growing library of birth books, my top recommendations for podcasts and documentaries, and a list of my favorite people who provide services I haven’t yet trained for.
4: What do you believe about birth?
This might seem like an odd question, so let me give an example. If I were to be asked this question, my response would be that I believe birth is a normal, physiological event. I believe your experience of birth has a profound impact on who you are as a person and how you will connect with your child. I believe it is one of the most natural, powerful, vulnerable, and miraculous works that can be accomplished by humans. And I believe that how you feel during labor contributes greatly to your experience. Do you feel knowledgeable? Empowered? Supported? Safe? Asking a potential doula what they believe about birth will give you some insight into the type of support they will offer during a labor. So no matter what you are looking for, this is a great question to determine if they are it.
I hope that these questions are helpful to you as you choose a doula!
Because I offer both virtual and in-person services, you can set up a quick consult with me no matter where you live! I am happy to answer your questions, listen to your story, and decide together where we will go from here.