Finding and hiring the perfect doula is more than just finding the person with the most qualifications. As with any care provider, you want to be able to trust your doula to honor your wishes during labor.
Because of the intimate nature of birth, you will also want a doula that you feel comfortable around. This is someone who will comfort you in some of your most vulnerable and uncertain moments. If you aren’t comfortable talking to them during an interview, how are you going to tell them what you need during labor?
Here are a few things that will help you find the doula that’s right for you.
Ask the Uncomfortable Questions
Don’t find out too late that your doula is not a good fit for you. In your first email/phone conversations with a doula and during the first interview, seek to be as blunt as possible. Ask lots of questions, especially the uncomfortable ones. Be specific about your particular plans for birth.
- How experienced are you in dealing with hospital staff?
- How would you support me during labor if I chose an epidural?
- What if me and my doctor chose induction?
- What specific things would you do to support me during labor?
- Have you ever attended a cesarean section? How so you think you would react in that setting?
- Would you attend an unassisted birth?
If a doula acts uncomfortable about the questions you are asking, it could be a red flag. Don’t skirt around the issues. If you hit a sensitive topic, talk about it more. You may find that this doula is exactly what you’re looking for. Or, you may find that she’s exactly what you’re trying to avoid.
Shop Around for the Right Doula
If you don’t already know a doula personally, it may take some time to find the right doula. Shopping for a doula can be a little like going on a lot of first dates.
Even if you hit it off with the first one, you should still interview a few more, just to get a feel for who’s available in your area.
There is another benefit to shopping around: finding a back-up doula. Even if a doula is not your top choice, you may ask her to be your back-up.
If you don’t have a back-up doula, ask your main doula for recommendations. And, make sure you interview them. There is a real possibility that your back-up doula will show up at your birth instead; be sure it’s someone you can still enjoy at your birth.
Go With Your Gut
Above all else, you should go with your gut feeling about any doula you interview. Even if a certain doula seems like the most qualified and most professional, and you get along with them well, you should still listen if something is telling you NO.
Talk it over with your partner as well, as they will be working very closely with your doula. You don’t want you partner to feel as if they must support you in labor alongside someone that they do not like.
Try to envision your doula and how they will react to certain situations during labor, and how this will effect your own personality. If you don’t know what their reaction might be, ask.
Finding the right doula can be tricky, and only you can decide for yourself who will offer the best support for your unique personality and birth.
Also read: 4 Basic Qualities of a Good Doula
What are the most important qualities you look for in a Doula?
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