3. Interview Doulas via Phone and Meet Several Top Candidates in Person
Have as many phone conversations as you’d like with doulas so you may get a feel for the rapport you would have with the woman who will be there at one of the most important days of your life. Ask questions that are important to you. How many births has she attended? Does she have children? For me, it was important that my doula had children of her own and knew what it felt like to give birth. In the most arduous part of my labor, I remember squeezing my doula’s hand and hearing her say, ‘I know, I know,’ in total empathy and understanding. It comforted me to know that she knew exactly how I felt and had given birth to two babies herself — both over nine pounds!
You’ll also want to ask about the coping techniques a doula uses to relieve pain. Some doulas employ massage or acupressure while others focus on breathing, yoga and movement. My doula had me walking stairs during most of my labor to get my baby to descend — which was great for me, but certainly wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea.
Most importantly, what kind of personality are you looking for in a doula? Nurturing and kind? Strong and matter of fact? You really need to jive with your doula on an emotional level because childbirth is an emotional roller coaster! Find someone you are very comfortable being yourself with — someone you can tell what you need without hesitation.
Once you interview several doulas by phone, meet with your top three, or more, choices. You’ll most likely know upon meeting her in person whether a certain doula is the right match for you.
4. The Fine Print
Get the bottom line on how much a doula charges and ask her for references if you’d like. Ask whether she works in a team (some doulas work in teams to ensure someone will be able to attend your birth no matter what day or time you go into labor), or will be available herself whenever you go into labor. If she does work in a team, ask to meet her partner. One of the most important questions to ask a doula is for her availability in the final weeks of your pregnancy. You don’t want to find the perfect doula only to have her leaving for a Hawaiian vacation two weeks before your due date. Curious about cost? Read our previous post on a doula’s fees.
Did you find the perfect doula? Share how in the comments section below!
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