How to Hire the Right Doula for You
Positive Birthing experiences start with facts and information to help mothers make informed decisions
It's not enough just to hire a doula
It's not enough to check off your to-do list, yes I hired a doula.
Every doula is different...
In the skill, knowledge and experience she offers you, in the kind of support she offers (during pregnancy and birth), in her personality and character.
If you know you want to hire a doula and would like to have a positive, calming, and empowered prenatal and birth experience, it is important that you find the right doula for YOU.
Let's start with the basics every doula should offer.
(from the DONA website)
Position ideas for comfort and labor progression cross over with hands-on comfort measures like comforting touch, counter pressure, breathing techniques.
Doulas help families to feel supported, easing the emotional experience of birth and also helping to create a space where the hormones of labor can work at their best. Whether a birth is completely unmedicated or medically very complex, every family can benefit from nurturing and connection at this tender, incredible time in their lives.
The birth partner’s experience matters in birth. Support the birth partner in being as involved as they’d like with the birth. Physical and emotional support make a huge difference for everyone involved.
Evidence-Based Information and Advocacy
Trained to help families connect with evidence-based resources so they can ask great questions and make informed decisions about their births. Serve as a bridge of communication between women and their providers, lifting them up to help them find their voices and advocate for the very best care.
interviewing and finding the right doula
the best match for YOU personally
As experienced a doula may be and as recommended by friends and other moms a doula may be, she won't be the right doula for you unless she meets your personal needs and you connect with her.
QUESTIONS TO ASK A DOULA
The first important question is to YOU as an expecting mom.
How does this doula make you feel?
Below, I have included several questions from the baby center website as well as personalized questions I would ask if I were hiring a doula for myself.
Are you available around my due date (for how many weeks before my due date and if up to 2 weeks after) and if in the event of emergency you are unavailable for my birth, who is your back up and when can I meet her?
What constitutes an emergency for you under which you would not be able to join me during labor/birth?
What is your training? Are you certified? If so, by what organization? And what was required in order to receive this certification? How many births have you attended prior to and after becoming certified?
**If you have any concerns about your health during your pregnancy or medical concerns about pregnancy/labor/birth, this is a good time to bring them up to inquire whether she has experience working with mothers in the past with medical needs.
Does she have experience attending VBACs (vaginal birth after cesarean), births with breech babies, cesarean births, high anxiety mothers, etc. and how she approaches those sensitive situations.
Are you familiar with my doctor/midwife/hospital/birth center? Do you get along well with my caregiver? How comfortable are you attending a hospital birth?
When do you join me during labor? What if I need emotional support during early labor before things become intense, are you available then (by phone or in person if needed)? Is there a limit to how many hours of support you offer during labor/birth?
How comfortable and how available are you with communicating frequently with me during my pregnancy?
If you are expecting emotional support through out your pregnancy, to help dispel fears, to answer questions throughout your pregnancy, have expectations of being able to communicate fairly quickly (within a few hours of a text), this is a very important question to ask.
Which labor-coping techniques do you think tend to be the most helpful?
**If you have a specific technique or method in mind that you plan to try, ask about her experience with it.
How would you work with and involve my partner?
How do you feel about the use of pain medication during labor?
What's your fee? and how can I pay for it? How many birth clients do you take per month and why?
What does your fee cover? How many visits or hours? Do you have anyone else due near the time I'm due?
Can I talk to a few of your recent clients?
Can I talk to medical professionals you've worked with in the past?
Will we meet again to address any concerns or questions I have and to review our birth plan or birth preferences list?
What does being on-call mean?
What happens if I have a c-section?
If I have difficulty latching my baby, can you help me?
What if I go early, before 38 weeks?
*If you are planning a Home Birth / Birth Center birth
If I am transferred to the hospital, or need a cesarean, will you go and stay with me the whole time even if just for emotional support?
How soon will I see you again after the baby is born?