The day of your baby’s birth will probably (definitely) be one of the most monumental days in your entire life, so it’s no surprise most mamas-to-be put a lot of time and effort into preparing for a great experience. While we can’t promise that your Kanye Pandora station will make your birth any smoother (here’s hoping), we can tell you that the right birth team--including, possibly, a doula--can make all the difference.
But doulas are people too...meaning every single one of them is different. To help you find the perfect match for you and your baby, we called on our friends at Birth Day Presence. Below, they break down the differences between doulas, and give you the questions that should guide every one of your doula dates.
What should you consider when trying to find the perfect doula?
There tends to be three main points people consider when hiring a doula: The experience level of the doula (how many births has she attended), the price of the doula and the most important one--the personality fit of the doula and the expectant mom and partner. You either click with a doula or you don't, and knowing whether or not you connect well with a doula is best done in person! It's similar to a blind-date...you either have a connection or you don't!
How many doulas should you interview?
Most people interview 2-4 doulas. More than that and it can become overwhelming!
Should your partner meet the doula?
If possible, yes! You want to ensure that the doula is not only a good fit for you, the mother-to-be, but also for the partner. Giving birth is one of life's most intimate moments for a couple so it's important for both parents to agree on their doula. Also since the doula is helping the partner to support the mom, you want to make sure the fit is right for both parents.
What are some of the big differences between doulas that you work with at Birth Day Presence?
BDP feels it's important to support expectant and new families in a non-judgmental and nurturing way and therefore work with doulas who embody this philosophy. We believe there is no right or wrong way to birth a baby! We have several doulas available in a range of prices starting at $300.
Why would different women want different qualities in their doula? How is one doula that could be right for one woman all wrong for someone else?
Women usually have an idea about what they may potentially want in a doula. Some want an older doula with children who is more maternal while others prefer a younger doula who is more like a friend. Others want a doula who has worked with their doctor or midwife at their hospital or birth center. Or women may want a doula who will be supportive if she chooses to have a medicated birth. It really boils down to personality fit though--one woman may click better with a more relaxed, calm doula whereas somebody else will feel more at ease with a doula with a more bubbly personality. Everyone is different!
What should you ask on a “Doula Date”?
1) How long have you been a doula and why did you become a doula? Do you have a certain philosophy about childbirth? This helps you to gauge her level of experience and background. Will she be non-judgmental of your choices and support you regardless of how you give birth?
2) How many births do you attend per month? It's good to know how busy a doula typically is per month. Does she just take a few births per month or is she very busy. Most doulas take between 1 and 4 clients per month.
3) Do you work with a back-up doula? This helps to assess the doulas level of responsibility. You want a doula with a solid back-up plan in case she is at a birth or sick when you go into labor. Ideally she should have a few back-ups she has worked with previously.
4) How do you support women during labor? What things do you typically do? This will give you a sense of what the doula typically does during a birth. Does she suggest different positions? Help the partner to be involved? Help with breathing and relaxation? Massage mom's back?
These questions are a great way to get to know a potential doula... but honestly, the most important thing is to follow your gut instinct when selecting a doula!
Birth Day Presence is offering Well Rounded NY readers $25 off any class with the code "WellRounded"! Find out about classes here!