Awhile back I received a request from a mom-to-be apologetically saying that while she isn’t very ‘crunchy’ she would still like to have support during her birth.
Agh! How many moms-to-be have brushed off having a doula at their birth because they thought we all have braided hair and that we frolic around in long billowy skirts?!
Gone is the Flower Child
Doulas began appearing in the 70’s and were part of the hippy, natural birth movement. Since then, the image of the flower child has stuck. The profession has evolved, however, and doulas now come in all shapes, sizes, denominations, and fashion prowess. You will still find the very spiritual doulas, the holistic doulas, the business doulas and everything in between. Which is fantastic because this means there is a perfect doula out there for every woman who wants to have one at her birth.
The two things they all have in common – they are passionate about birth and want you to have the most positive birth possible!
Who is the right doula for you?
Good question. The relationship between you and your doula is a very intimate one. Not very many people, besides your partner and your caregiver, will see you in such a vulnerable state. So you definitely want to make sure you like her – no, love her! – and that your personalities click. What does this mean?
You want to ensure that:
- You align with her philosophy about birth.
- She is there to support you in labour and birth. The last thing you want is a doula on a mission or who has an agenda of her own, for example, to teach the hospital staff about natural birth.
- Your doula is inclusive and works well with your partner and other members of your birth team.
- Your doula is respectful of your wishes. Your doula may not always agree 100% with your choices, but her job is to provide non-judgemental information and guidance so that you make the right decisions for you and your family.
- You feel very comfortable and safe in her presence, and that you know she’s got your back.
- You heed any red flag warnings. If you are not 100% sure about hiring your chosen doula, then keep looking! You’ll eventually find THE one.
So, how do you find THE one?
Like anything else, finding the right doula does take some time and effort. But it’s worth it since the birth of your baby is one of the main highlights of your life and you want the experience to be truly positive and beautiful.
Ask for Referrals
Ask around in your circle of friends and coworkers to see if they know of a great doula in your area. Your caregivers may also be able to provide some names of doulas they have worked with before. And don’t forget your alternative health providers, such as chiropractors, acupuncturists, osteopaths, etc. Childbirth education classes often have a list of doulas and members of mommy groups are amazing fountains of knowledge when it comes to resources.
Research on the Internet
Nowadays, most doulas are active online. They have websites, blogs and many social media accounts. You’ll be able to get a good sense of who they are, what they believe in and whether or not you want to take the next step and meet with them.
Once you’ve narrowed your choices down to 2-3 doulas, interview them in person. As a doula, I always like meeting potential clients in person. I want to ensure that I like you and your partner and feel that I’ll be able to support you well. And don’t forget to ask questions to find out more about her. I’ve compiled a list to help you get started.
After your interviews, you’ll have a pretty good idea which doula is the best fit. I always suggest you hire the person with whom it felt ‘right’. It’s a feeling you get. No red flags. Let her know as soon as possible so you can begin booking your prenatal meetings and get to know each other better.
I would love to hear how your search for the right doula is coming along. And if you already found THE one, what criteria did you have? How did you know she was right for you? Let me know in the comments below!
Wishing you a beautiful birth and babymoon,