Could someone share with me how they found/hired a doula, and what questions to ask or qualities to look for in a doula? I did not have a doula for my first two births, but I am thinking it would be a good idea for #3. Thanks!
Questions to ask when hiring a doula?
I am so glad we had a doula for our first. I'm pregnant with our second and have already hired the same doula for that birth as well. We had our first at a hospital with a certified nurse midwifery program, so I had a completely unmedicated birth experience that was beautiful and powerful. My husband, doula and midwife worked as an amazing team around me to make that happen.
The following are some of the questions we asked that I can remember:
1. What she would do in the weeks/months before the birth, as far as helping us prepare.
2. What she would do for us on the birth day and during labor.
3. How long would I be in labor before she arrived.
4. How long would she stay with us after baby arrived.
5. How would she work with the certified nurse midwives.
6. Would she offer any kind of post partum support with breastfeeding, emotional support, etc.
Our doula did an amazing job preparing us, helping us form our birth plan, even preparing us for life after baby would arrive. She did two prenatal consults with us, each lasting 2-3 hours. It was priceless time spent preparing.
And she was with me when my water broke, so she was there in plenty of time to help us through the major part of the labor.
Our doula did everything from holding me up in the shower on the birth ball to supporting my husband as he supported me to keeping the lights low in the birthing room to taking pictures of my husband delivering the baby. She was amazing!
I think the biggest reason to hire a doula is because she will support your birthing partner. She will guide him/her in how to support you. Our doula did an incredible job of helping my husband because, ultimately, he was the one I wanted holding me, rubbing my back, etc. She was the one to get him a towel or his shower shoes or a drink or nutrition bar. But I will say she was the one who talked me through a lot of the birth, helping me keep my breathing low and deep. She had fantastic tactics for that that my husband simply couldn't have known.
My doula was also my lactation consultant and a fantastic post partum resource for all things baby and nursing.
Obviously, I support the hiring of doulas and I had such a good experience with ours. I hope you're able to find a doula you connect with to help make your child's birth day all you want it to be!
keep in mind not all doulas are moms too and not all doulas are certified through an organization, but ask about training and birth philosophies!