Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Choosing a Doula

You have decided you want a doula’s help. Now what? How do you go about finding the right one for you and your husband?

I think it is important to interview more than one. Ask around for references. Look online. You can call them on the phone and get a feel for them, narrow your list, then interview them in person. Here are some questions to consider:

1. How much do you charge?
2. What do your fees include? What do I get for my money? (Do they do prenatal visits? Postpartum visits? Birth photography? Classes?)
3. What do you feel your role is at my birth?
4. What is your philosophy about birth?
5. What is your experience?
6. What do you feel the father’s role is at birth?
7. Do you try to be a voice for the couple, or let them speak to the nurse and doctor for themselves? (I feel it is NOT the doula’s job to tell nurses and doctors what they want. They can offer their knowledge, but the decisions and voicing them is the couple’s responsibility.)
8. What are the benefits to hiring you?
9. Do you have back-up? Have you missed many births?
10. Are you available for answering questions before delivery and postpartum?
11. When do you come to help and how long do you stay? Will you come to my house?

These are just a few that I can think of right now. Please comment if you have gone through this process and have helpful advice. Likewise, please comment if you are a doula and have helpful advice for couples searching for the right one.

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