Paging Northeast Doulas: How the Heck Do I Choose a Doula?
Although I’ve never used a doula during the births of my children, I know that they are a valuable source of comfort and support for many, many women before, during and after labor. But if you thought finding a good OB-GYN was difficult, it’s even harder to locate the perfect doula! Why? First, doulas are “non-medical” personnel and are not regulated by any government body. Although there are training programs, it is still possible for virtually any person to call themselves a doula. For most moms-to-be, this can be a scary thought! On top of that, many women who would like to use a doulas services may be put off by the decidedly alternative-medicine-vibe that many, many doulas give off. So what’s the solution?
I’ve asked my friends at Northeast Doulas to give us their advice on picking a doula to assist you during labor and birth. Read on for more information!
Main Stream Girls Want Doulas Too!
When we are pregnant, we want the physical and emotional support of a Doula too but we’ll pass on the EXTREMES!
You know what I mean: the lactavists, the intactavist, the hypnobirthing advocates…
The “birth junkies” and the “just schedule my c-section” moms can battle it out on their own but, leave us out of it!!!!!
SO… HOW DO YOU FIND A GOOD DOULA?
Most start by calling the Doula that posted her flyer in their favorite coffee shop and they schedule a meeting with her in their home.
This is how it goes.
It’s Tuesday evening 7pm….
Your husband is less excited about this woman coming to your apartment tonight than you are but you have persuaded him to be open minded and he has obliged you.
Within moments of her arrival, the smell of patchouli oil fills your apartment. She slips off her shoes and her feet and ankles are adorned with more jewelry and bells than the store fronts in Chinatown. The bottom of her skirt is (for some reason) tucked into the top of it and it is still long enough to drag on the floor when she walks.
There is a small naked baby tied to the front of her with the longest piece of fabric you’ve ever seen, and as she begins to untie it she asks if her baby (who is about 3 months old) can use your bathroom because he has to poop…
She explains that she will be bringing her baby to your birth because she will need to breastfeed him, but that the beauty of her feeding him will stimulate your labor to progress.
When she talks about encouraging you to masturbate as a means of relaxation during labor, you are confident that she will NOT be joining you on this birth journey and you show her and her naked baby to the door.
From this experience, you have learned that calling Doulas who post flyers in local coffee shops is NOT the route for you!
1) Phone a friend! Ask a friend who used a Doula to describe her experience. Ask if she would hire the same woman again. If she says yes, consider setting up a meeting with her Doula.
2) Ask your provider. If your obstetrician or midwife says, “you don’t need a Doula” BUT you want one, GET ONE ANYWAY! Ask if there are any Doulas that he/she can recommend.
3) Do an online search. Compare the “tone” of the websites of the Doulas local to you and set up interviews with the ones you feel are most compatible with your personality.
Some questions to ask and discuss when interviewing a Doula
- Is she certified through a reputable Certification Agency?
- How much experience does she have? How much is enough for YOU?
- Is her fee within your budget? Keep in mind… cheap usually means cheap… you get what you pay for!
- Can you call some of her references?
- Does she work cohesively with your provider?
Once these questions have been answered to your satisfaction, the answer to which Doula you should hire should be simple. Your gut will scream out the answer. Listen to it! Giving birth is all about trusting yourself and your instincts. Start by letting your instincts help you choose your Doula.
If you live in Fairfield County Connecticut, the New York Metro area or Westchester County, NY consider meeting with a Doula from www.northeastdoulas.com