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What Should I ask a Doula?!

Congratulations! You are ready to hire a Birth Doula and you’re wondering what to ask to make sure that you hire the perfect doula for you. We get it!!

Birth Doulas are trained professionals. Our job is to provide you with judgement-free, compassionate support during your pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum. We will guide you through your experience with the latest and most up-to-date education. We will support you physically during childbirth using our broad knowledge base to keep you comfortable and calm. We will empower you to advocate for your self and your baby throughout your experiences. And we will be by your side every step of the way. In this modern day, we are your village.

When you meet your doula at a consult (and these days it may be virtual) the most important thing is the connection. How do you feel when you’re talking with the doula? Are you checked out? Ready for the meeting to end? Uninterested? Just, not feeling it? Or do you feel an immediate spark. A sense that this person understands you and your experience off the bat. An inherent trust and friendship after only the first few minutes. Whichever direction you are, trust it.

So, what do you ask? Well, what do you want to know? Hopefully the doula you’re meeting with has introduced themselves and given you a brief synopsis of their background and approach. But consider your values and what’s important to you.

If you’re planning to have a homebirth, ask the doula if they will still be your doula if you change your mind and decide on a hospital birth. Or vice versa!

If you have questions about “hot topics” (Epidurals, Placenta Encapsulation, Circumcision, Feeding Methods) ask the doula and see how their response feels. Are they truly judgement-free? Are you comfortable with their reactions?

If you are prone to anxiety, ask the Doula what they can do to help you find ease and peace during childbirth.

During Covid times, find out how your Doula handles Covid precautions. Do they wear masks at all times? Do they or their agency/collective have protocols in place that align with your own personal safety measures?

Each of these questions boils down to feeling seen, heard, and supported by the Doula. At the end of the day, interview questions such as “do you work with x provider a lot” or “how many births have you been to” do NOT give us a sense of who the Doula is or how we connect with them. And what’s more, every Birth is unique. We’ve never been to YOUR Birth, so it will be our first time, whether we’ve been to 5, 50, or 500 births before. What’s critical is that we feel a connection and inherent trust in the Doula so we can build a relationship from there and have a powerful, elevated Birth Team when the time comes.

Consider the consult with the Doula more of a date to see if you’re a good match, rather than a job interview to hire an associate. Stay open to “new” doulas, look for sparks, gut feelings, and connection. Above all, trust your heart and your intuition- and follow them!

Interested in hiring a Birth or Postpartum Doula in the Hudson Valley? Or a virtual Doula anywhere? Email us to schedule a complimentary consult!

#doula #birthdoula #postpartumdoula #hudsonvalley #beaconny #newburgh

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