Choosing The Perfect Doula For Your Particular Birth Is Important
For every would-be parent, bringing a new life into the world is a crazy but very special experience. To make the pregnancy and labor leading up to the birth great, it is so important to find the right birth doula to fit your needs and desires.
Here’s what you should and shouldn’t do when interviewing for a doula for your birth team!
DO make sure the doula is supportive of your choices from the get go. Go over your desires for your birth and how important each thing is to you. Most doulas are very supportive, but some have their own agenda. So if you have a doula that keeps trying to get you to change your mind on something you’re fully committed on – drop her! That will not play out well in the delivery room.
DO make sure the doula you are interviewing is inclusive and doesn’t ignore your husband or children in the interview. This day is about you becoming a mom, but also he’s becoming a dad, and other children get to be ‘big brother’ or ‘big sister’ If she isn’t paying attention to them now, she won’t in the birth room later. The spouse is often too shy or sometimes lacks the understanding to ask for things in that intense delivery room, but a good doula is going to make sure he is included to the extent he wants to be. When it’s time for the children to meet their newest sibling, the doula should create the right environment for that to happen.
DO ask about pricing. Why are they the cheapest you found? Why are they more expensive than most? What is included or not included? What kind of experience are they bringing? Is it worth more to you for a doula that has been doing it longer?
DO ask about discounts and insurance. Has this doula ever successfully gotten insurance to cover part of her services? Does she offer discounts if you book her in your first trimester or if you’re due next month? Or if you pay her off by a certain time? Or if you’re a family needing assistance due to unfortunate circumstances?
DO have the doula provide some massaging on you in the interview! I know it sounds crazy, but you want to make sure that her touch isn’t annoying/too rough/too soft/etc. While you’re at it, make sure she has essential oils to massage you with, if essential oil benefits are something you’re looking forward to! I will be writing a blog here soon on the benefits of essential oils in birth.
DO find someone that’s warm, open, and makes you feel very comfortable. Just because she is knowledgeable and nice doesn’t mean she is right for you. The delivery room is a very vulnerable place and you shouldn’t have someone who’s presence in the room makes you feel uncomfortable, that goes for your entire birth team!
DON’T do all the talking. This is a common thing doulas do to make it seem like they’re a perfect fit for you. They just have you do all the talking, they nod their head and agree with everything you might say. You think she is perfect until the day of, which by then is too late. Find out what is important to you in a birth doula and ask her who she is and what she does. What are her beliefs in birthing and why should you hire her.
DON’T wait until the last minute to hire your doula. The earlier the better, you will usually get a lot more benefits from her. If you are not sure what to ask your doctor or midwife, your doula can help you by either making a list of questions with you or attending your appointments with you. She can help you make a birth plan. Sometimes it’s free, and sometimes it is included in her birth classes. She can also give you or recommend great prenatal sessions. She should also be able to answer all kinds of questions about your birth and what to expect and how to treat your body and prepare it for labor.