You know you want a doula. How do you know which one to choose? If you want more information about doulas, here is a great article about why you might want a doula to support your family during your birth. Birth by Bloom have a group of doulas who you can arrange a free 30 minute consultation with. This gives you the time to see if you are a good fit. Bloom also hosts a Speed Dating with doulas event every 2 months so you can interview 4-5 doulas in one night. To find out more about this event read this page.
These are some things to think about when interviewing a doula.
First off, what kind of person could you and your partner spend 24-48 hours with? Your doula will be in your intimate space in labour. You want to pick someone you enjoy hanging out with and feel comfortable with.
A similar birth philosophy is what you will want your doula to have. What birth is like in your community is something you will learn about from your doula. You will call them to talk through things that come up in your pregnancy and the postpartum period. You will want to hire someone that you communicate well with and whom you can look to for advice.
What kind of training has your doula had? Are they reading similar books? Have they had extra training with breastfeeding, CPR, Hypnobirthing? Can they bring extra knowledge to your experience?
What does your doula's backup team look like? Life happens! If your doula is sick, who is going to come in their place? What if your birth goes on for a long time? They might need a break and a different doula would come to help. You will want to make sure you ask if your doula has any vacation plans during your birth time and what is their plan for your support team.
Would you like a doula who has another skill? Massage, birth photography, acupuncture? Maybe someone who also offers postpartum support. It is best if you can limit the people you have at your birth. If your doula offers a few skills, it can be a bonus.
Has your doula worked with your care providers before? Do they have a relationship with your care team?
If you are choosing a home birth, does your doula have experience with home birth? What is their home birth rate? Have they ever set up and taken down a birth pool?
What is your doula's on-call time? What if you birth at 34 weeks? Will you still have a doula attend your birth? Make sure you read through the contract. The contract should outline these things.
The most important thing when choosing a doula is that you connect with them and enjoy their company. They will support you through a big life transition.
The best way to find a doula in Vancouver is to ask your friends who they have as their doula and if they had a pleasant experience. If you want a referral Dancing Star Birth has a group of doulas, they work closely with. Here is a link to read more about their services.