Tips for Choosing a Doula
So you’re pregnant, or not, and you are thinking about hiring a doula to accompany you through the pregnancy, birth and/or postpartum period. Where do you begin?
You’ve already googled “doula in NYC” more than 100 results popped up. What next?
One of my first tips is to have an idea of what you’re looking for in a doula.
Next step: make some calls and send out some emails!
A basic email or phone call will do. Something like: Hello My name is Laura and I am due January 1, 2011 and looking for a birth and postpartum doula. Could you please tell me a little bit about the services you/your group provides and your fees. It is important to contact a few, if not more, different doulas/doula groups. Most likely, you will hear back from the doula or doula group fairly quickly.
Once you have make initial contact and get some details, set up a few “meet and greet” meetings.
Have a list of questions you’d like to ask the doula. It is important to go in with an open mind because choosing a doula is sort of like choosing a best friend, except this new best friend will be your go to resource during your pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum periods. So, try to go with your gut and make sure you aren’t choosing a doula based only on experience, price, recommendations and popularity. Both you and your partner should feel 100% comfortable and confident with your choice.
Some ideas for questions to ask the doula(s):
How/why did you become a doula?
What is your philosophy about labor support and postpartum support?
What do you think your most important role at the births you attend is?
How do you plan on supporting me and my partner through the process?
What role do you play when it comes to interacting with my midwife/doctor/nurses?
Have you ever worked with my chosen provider?
What is your fee and what does that include?
After your meet and greet meetings, just go with your gut.
Who do you feel most comfortable with?
Who do you want to invite into your pregnancy and life?
One important tip: your doula is not going to determine how your birth turns out. In fact, no one can. You and your baby are the ones in charge of this life changing experience so choose wisely, and remember that you have choices. Trust your instincts, you will know exactly what to do and how to do it.
Best of luck!