So, you've made up your mind. You are going to hire a doula. Fantastic!
Now how do you go about finding the perfect one for you?
Below I will list a few questions to ask yourself, along with tips to help with this decision.
What Do You Want Out Of This Person?
Are you looking for labor support?
Search for a "birth doula".
Are you looking for educational support immediately before labor?
Try searching for a doula who offers childbirth education, parenting classes and offers to assist with writing a birth plan.
Are you looking for assistance with the children, light housework, help during the overnight hours or breastfeeding support?
Try searching for a "postpartum" doula.
While you may have a list of specific questions to ask the person you hire, we recommend adding the following to the list:
1. How is the relationship with local medical professionals and hospitals? Knowing the person hired is in good standing with your care providers can make the entire situation much easier.
Also ask how they handle conflict between you and the care providers?
We are not hired as "go-between" and will not be making decisions or going against your doctor's wishes. It would be a red flag if they mention incidents in in the past where they tried to do so.
2. What is their availability?
Many doulas have caveats in their contracts that assure partial or full refund if they miss a birth, but it's still good to know how likely that is!
3. What are techniques and measures will they take to serve you (or the other members of your household)?
Feel free to ask how they support mothers during pregnancy and how skilled they are with various comfort measures! If you are looking for postpartum work, ask them about their qualifications or background in that area.
4. How connected are they with the community and can they provide resources and suggestions?
Having a doula who knows the area and can suggest great doctors, hospitals, specialists is a great resource, especially if you are new to the area.
https://doulamatch.net/ - Check out this website to find doulas in your area!