Dating Your Doula: How to Find the Right Birth or Postpartum Doula for you

Things to know

  • Doulas can support you before your baby is here as well as in your postpartum time.
  • Common topics to work with a Doula on are Hospital Preparation, Postpartum Recovery, Breastfeeding or Bottle Feeding, Newborn Care and Soothing as well as Safe Sleep and Nursery Setup.
  • You will be working very closely with your Doula through some of the most challenging moments of your life so it is very important to choose a Doula that you vibe with.
  • Take your time to get to know a few Doulas until you find the right match.
  • Meet the Doulas
What to consider
1. CHEMISTRY

Most importantly, go with your gut. A great practice in listening to your intuition is to tune into your body and ask yourself: When I’m with this person how do I feel? It really is like dating! If something doesn’t feel quite right, listen to that instinct. If your body is screaming a resounding, “she’s the one,” definitely listen to that. Your Doula’s main role in your experience is to help you FEEL safe, supported, and empowered. A huge reason that you’re hiring her is for the energy and presence that she brings to the experience. So tune into that sensation the moment you meet her and make sure she’s bringing the energy that YOU need. Another great question to ask yourself is: In the past, when I have gone through something intense or have been in pain, what kind of support did I crave?

2. PRICE

The average price range for a Doula is anywhere from $500 to $3000 per birth. Usually, the reason for the huge range has to do with experience and what that person has to offer in their packages. You’ll notice that Doula’s each have their own unique offerings. Some Doulas provide the standard two prenatal visits, attending the birth and one postpartum visit. Some Doulas include placenta encapsulation, prenatal yoga classes, massage, acupuncture, coaching, lactation consulting, postnatal care etc. So take into consideration your budget and what kind of services and support you are looking for.

3. PHILOSOPHY

Take the time to learn about her birth philosophy. Some Doulas only believe in unmedicated at-home births, some are only comfortable with hospital births and others support all types of birth. Ask her what her birth philosophy is and make sure you feel aligned with her beliefs. A Doula’s purpose is to support you in an unbiased and non judgemental way, so look for someone that supports your way of birthing without imposing their own beliefs. This also feels like a good spot to note that most people, upon hearing the word Doula, immediately think hippy dippy, placenta encapsulating, bathtub birth workers. If that’s your jam, there are plenty of us that fit that mold but there are also a lot of us who are very practical, straightforward, advocates of the medical model and plenty of us who fall somewhere between on that spectrum. The point being that birth workers come in all shapes and sizes with different personalities and philosophies, so there will definitely be someone out there that is right for you.

4. SPECIALTY

Doulas come from many diverse backgrounds and have different life-informed experiences. Some Doulas are well versed in trauma informed care, LGBTQ+ Inclusivity, body positivity, in working with women of color or women from marginalized or underserved communities. However you identify and whatever your background, it is important to choose a Doula who can understand, empathize with and advocate for you! Also, some Doulas are very well versed and comfortable working with complicated births, whether that be a health related issue, multiple births, VBAC, breech babies, etc. So get a feel for your Doula’s experience and comfort level with complicated births.

5. AVAILABILITY

Obviously your chosen Doula has to be available on your due date and preferably two weeks before and two weeks after, just in case. Make sure your schedules line up and make sure that your Doula has a backup or two in case of emergency.