So, you have decided that you could use the help of a confident female companion. The next step is to find the right one. Here is a great article on doulas by Rebecca Wright, ‘What makes a doula so special’.
You may have no idea how to choose, you may have someone in mind already, either way it is really useful to meet several doulas and pick the one you click with, even if all that does is confirm that your first choice is the right choice. Your doula will be invited into one of the most important and intimate moments of your life, it really helps to pick the person who feels right.
Probably the most effective doula is the one who empowers you to make the decisions that are right for you (she’ll probably have heaps of information to share with you so that you can make your choices from good quality evidence). Your doula wants what you want, and she wants you to feel content with your choices, and your birth to be a positive one!
Your perfect doula may not be the cheapest, she may not be the most experienced, she may not be the one with the most impressive CV, she will be the doula that shares your view of birth and that has a chemistry that you like. You’ll almost fall in love with her for a while in your life, so it is the person that is the important deciding factor! If payment is an issue then Doula UK have an access fund so that no woman goes without the support she wants just because she does not have the money to pay.
It is important to ask lots of questions, to get a feel for who your doula is. It is also helpful to work out if you are wanting to hire a doula to support you and nurture you, or perhaps as back-up or support for your partner, or to act as protector of your birth space, either at home or in hospital.
You may also be wanting to hire your doula as a coach for your chosen form of labour management or for their skills as a teacher, but if you do, then make that clear in your discussions to prevent you being disappointed by what is offered compared with what you wanted or expected.