Part 3: How to Hire a Doula
The first hurdle in hiring the right doula is finding doulas! Thankfully there are resources that make it much easier to find a skilled doula. First, ask your friends and family. Word of mouth is usually the best resource. Your healthcare provider’s office would be a good place to ask too. Midwifery practices usually have doulas they recommend or work with.
There is a wonderful search website www.doulamatch.net that matches you up with a doula according to your location and due date. On Doula Match you can search through doula’s profiles which contain information about their services and fees, availability and testimonials from clients. Most doulas have a website and offer additional services like photography, childbirth classes, breastfeeding support and baby wearing education.
Here at Annie’s Nannies we can place a wonderful postpartum doula for your needs after the birth of baby. A postpartum doula helps with newborn care, breastfeeding, night time coverage, cooking and chores during the first weeks after the birth or whenever you chose to hire her. You can inquire with us for more information on postpartum doulas.
We recommend contacting at least 3 to 5 doulas to make initial contact with. Email is fine but, talking with a doula over the phone is better because it’s a great way to find out if you would like to set up an interview with her. Interview a few doulas so that you can maximize your chances of finding somebody you are comfortable with and click with.
Most doulas will bring information about their services to the interview but, it’s always a good idea to bring notes from your conversation with her over the phone or printed from her website. Here are some topics you can ask her about during the interview:
- Training, certification and experience (don’t discount doulas who are not certified, there are a lot of very talented doulas out there who chose not to become certified)
- Fees and contract, availability and meetings
- Birth philosophy and personal convictions about being a doula
- Amount of births attended and the variety of births attended
- Support of husband/partner and roles
- Postpartum availability
- Additional services she provides like photography, belly casting, childbirth classes
You should have a good idea of the doula you want to go with after the interviews are over. Sometimes you find the right doula on the first interview. Sometimes it might take a while to find the right doula. Get a start in your 2nd trimester and you will be sure to find the right match!