So, you’ve decided you want to hire a doula for your upcoming birth, or/and for a period of time postnatally. Congratulations! I’m sure you already know that hiring a doula can bring a range of benefits to you and your baby. (Not sure what a doula is? You can read about what doulas do here and about the benefits of hiring a doula here).
Now that you’ve made the decision, you might be wondering how to go about finding the right doula for you. What sort of questions should you ask her? How will you know if she’s the right one? Should my partner have a say?
The first step is to send your potential doula an email and make sure she has availability around your estimated due date, and perhaps also find out what she charges for her services. If she is available, you might like to speak to her on the phone before you arrange an initial meeting with her. Alternatively, you might arrange via email when and where to meet in person. In my view, choosing to hire a doula is an important decision, and you need to feel confident that you will “click”, so do make the time to meet face-to-face. For that same reason, I would strongly urge you to have your partner there too, unless they are not planning on being present at the birth. Most doulas will meet with you in your home or any other place that works for you and her.
When you meet, you might find it helpful to bring a list of questions with you. Here are some to get your started!
Are you a good match?
If you have any specific concerns or interests ahead of the birth, it is also a good idea to discuss these in this preliminary meeting to ensure your potential doula feels able to support you.
The most important thing, above almost everything else, is to hire a doula you feel comfortable around and who makes you feel good. This is someone who will be with you at your most vulnerable, sharing intimate moments, so you want to make sure you hire someone who you feel completely safe with. If you have a gut feeling, do not ignore it!
I often think that the right doula for you might not necessarily be the doula with the most experience, nor might she have had children herself. What she brings is a sense of calm, order and reassurance and that is what matters the most!
To find the perfect doula for you, take a look at the BirthBliss doula register!
Kicki Hansard is a member of Doula UK, however any opinions expressed on this blog are personal views and not necessarily the view of Doula UK.