Birth Doula Blog
So, you've decided on getting a doula. Now what? To give yourself a few options, interview at least three candidates and choose based on the connection, not just on the fee, experience, or reputation. A pricey doula doesn't necessarily mean she's giving you quality support. An experienced doula doesn't always mean she's right for YOUR experience. And a popular one is simply one who's talked about, but there might be another one who could be a best-kept secret. Ask the following questions to get to know the person she is, her values, work ethic, and client-doula relationship. Make sure you and your partner both get the same positive vibe and that she meets your individual priorities.
Ask the questions that are important to you. Oftentimes, potential clients just go down a list of questions they found on Google and the meet-and-greet quickly becomes a high-pressure job interview. Maybe experience doesn't matter to you or maybe meeting often isn't a deal breaker for you, so skip those questions. Stick to the topics that are suited to your needs and goals.
P.S. If you decide to pass on her, be courteous and let her know. It's just the nice thing to do!
So, maybe you are new to this doula thing or all of your friends have gotten one for their labors and swear they couldn't have done it without the help of a doula. Now you're wondering if you should get one too. I mean, all the cool kids are doing it, right?
Even though I'd love your business, I'm not going to lie to you. Doulas aren't the only ones who can improve your birth experience. I say it all the time, surround yourself with the RIGHT people! Studies have shown that having doula support during pregnancy and labor can decrease your chances of a C-section, need for pain medication, and assisted delivery. We can also increase your overall satisfaction with your birth experience and improve breastfeeding and bonding outcomes. But how does a doula have that effect and can anyone else give you those amazing outcomes?
How I Turned My Fascination Into a Paying Passion
Fourteen years ago, I was in my second trimester with my first child. I had the usual mix of excitement and worry that most new moms felt, but I decided to silence those fears by educating myself...and I wasn't going to do it alone. With my husband by my side, we decided to take a Bradley Method of Childbirth course which consisted of weekly 3-hour classes with other pregnant couples. What unexpectedly happened was that I developed a fascination for childbirth. Labor was not what I expected. My birth plan was just silly wishing and I was left feeling a bit regretful about how things played out. But in the newness of being a mom and having a perfectly healthy baby girl, I had no time to dwell or revel in what had happened. My sister had made the five-hour drive to be at the hospital with us. She brought peace and love with her and I vividly remember her picking up my hair as if she could read my mind.
One year later, I was living with that same sister and her husband who were expecting their first child. They had also taken the Bradley Method and understood the importance of having support. I was happy to fill that role. She began to labor late in the evening and, after packing last-minute items into the hospital bag, we transitioned to the hospital. I was in disbelief that I was about to witness a child be born. I did what I could to keep her comfortable. I had no training and no experience, but I loved her so much and knew that love would show. During the hours I was there, I felt no hunger, thirst, or exhaustion. I stayed the whole night. I came home the following morning after the birth, in somewhat of a shock, and went back to being the mom of a toddler. I looked at my sweet girl's face and realized that I had also gone through such a life-changing experience. I remembered that I had once roared with power like my sister.
How to Get Your Partner on Board With a Doula
Let's be real, it takes a village to raise a child AND to bring one into this world!
You've likely imagined your doula, partner, and birth team working in harmony as you labor but now you're faced with the possibility of it being a tension-riddled situation instead because your partner doesn't want a doula. But you've done your homework and you're convinced you must have one. So how do you fix this? Well, the majority of reluctant partners come from a place of love and concern. They want to protect you, keep the experience personal and sacred, and be the one you turn to for support. These are all excellent reasons to be there for you and convincing them to allow an extra person in this special moment is no small feat. Fortunately, with a little guidance, you can tip the odds in your favor.