6 Steps on How to Pick the Right Doula for You – Podcast Ep 132

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I can’t believe we first launched our podcast in October 2018, and this is my most first single episode! We’ve been toying a bit with the idea of ​​including solo shows on our podcast. Now that this is my first, I’m super excited to hear what you guys think about it. Since my career background is very much tied to birth and my work as a doula, I thought “How to Choose the Right Doula for You” will be a great first solo episode so I can share my thoughts and advice with all pregnant moms.

What is a doula?

If you’re pregnant or have been pregnant in the past, you’ve probably heard the word “doula.” Some of you may be getting some witchy, burning sage, banging-on-the-drum vibes when you read/hear this word. And for those of you who have used a doula in your birth experiences, you may be laughing to yourself as you read this because you know that while we can do those things, if that’s what you want as a birthing mother, we can’t. ‘ don’t really do those things. That’s at least speaking for myself and many of the doulas I’ve worked with and know.

I have been a doula for the past 13 years and have attended over 300 births in many different settings — primarily hospitals, some birthing centers, and home births. I first started working with moms and attending births in 2011. I can’t believe it’s been 13 years, and here we are in 2024.

For those of you who haven’t heard of the word “doula,” it’s actually an ancient Greek word meaning ‘servant, caregiver, or serving woman.’ More recently, it refers to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to the mother and her partner during pregnancy, labor, delivery, and their postpartum journey.

Is there more than one type of doula?

Most people, when they think of a doula, they think of a birth doula. But did you know that there are many types of doulas available to support people throughout their lives? There are:

  • Antepartum Doulas — support pregnant women on bedrest or in high-risk or high-stress pregnancy situations.
  • Postpartum Doulas — support new families as they transition from pregnancy to parenthood.
  • Bereavement doulas — provide emotional, physical, and informational support to women and families processing the loss of a child.
  • Abortion Doulas — provide “non-judgmental” emotional, physical, informational, and logistical support and care before, during, and after a medical or surgical abortion.
  • Sister Doulas — support families with children. They stay in your home (or wherever you agree) with your older child(ren) while you labor and give birth.
  • Adoption Doulas — develop relationships with the birth mother and the adoptive or foster family during the adoption process. Sometimes, it’s just supporting the birth mother or the adoptive or foster family.
  • Death/End of Life Doulas — support people in their last weeks or days of life. The length of time depends on how quickly that person needs their help. Some people may want support as soon as possible after they are diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. For others, it may not be until their last weeks and days of life.

That’s a lot more. So, depending on what stage of life you are in and what you are going through, you now know a general direction on what type of doula to find that is right for you!

What to Do to Choose the Right Doula for You

For this episode, I’m specifically talking about how to choose the right birth doula for you, since birth doulas are currently the most popular type of doula for hire. However, these six tips can also be applied when finding and hiring any type of doula for you.

1. What Qualities Are Important to You?

Before you start looking for a doula, think about what qualities are important to you in a doula. For example, do you want to:

  • Someone with a lot of experience — these doulas are usually at a higher price point.
  • Someone still in training — good for people on a lower budget.
  • Someone who is certified and has a lot of training under their belt.
  • Someone who supports home births, birth center births, water births, medicated births, C-sections, etc. — whichever you prefer.
  • Someone with VBAC experience — we have the founders of VBAC Link on our podcast, which is a fantastic episode!
  • Perhaps someone with experience working with mothers of multiples, high-risk women, or mothers who have experienced trauma.
  • An older, more maternal person.
  • A younger person with lots of energy.
  • Someone who’s had kids — or if that’s not a big deal to you as long as they’ve been trained with experience.
  • Someone who supports LGBTQ+ rights.

Basically, you want someone who understands what’s important to you during your labor and birth and is on the same page as you. Once you know the qualities you want, you can easily narrow down your choices for the right doula. Now that you have a good idea of ​​what you’re looking for in a doula, you can begin your search.

2. Begin Your Search

Okay, so now, how do you find a doula? Who should you interview? You can always use Google and try to find some local doulas in your area. There are also excellent doula training organizations with directories of their certified and training doulas, such as DONA International, CAPPA, Doula Trainings Internationaletc. I also recommend checking out Then, you can ask some appropriate Facebook groups or your local childbirth class instructor and, of course, good word of mouth. Ask women you know, your doctor or midwife, or anyone you trust for some doula recommendations.

Expert Tip: Start your doula search as early as possible. Many popular doulas book their schedules months in advance because they only take so many due dates each month. Start your search early so you don’t limit your options so you can really find the right doula for you.

3. Do Your Research

Once you’ve done your research and found a few potential doulas, check out their websites and social media. See how they present themselves to the world. Do you like how they communicate with the world? Do you like what they say? This is another reason why I love because you can read more of the testimonials they have received from their past clients. If you like what you see and their overall vibe, contact them and see if you can schedule a consultation.

4. Schedule Your Consultations

Most birth doulas offer consultations, which are free meetings where you can meet face-to-face and see if you’re a match. These can be done over the phone, a Zoom meeting, or video chat, but I highly recommend meeting in person. I also recommend meeting with more than one doula. This will help you better identify and solidify who is the right doula for you.

When preparing for your consultations, write a list of questions to ask them during the interview. If you’re not sure where to start, here’s a list of my top interview questions you should ask a doula before hiring them.

Download the Question Form Here

5. Bring Your Partner

When choosing your doula, let your partner participate in the decision-making process. Of course, a doula will help you during labor, but they also often work with your partner to help you stay calm, confident, and empowered during your labor and delivery experience. So, bring your partner to your doula consultations. It is important that they also have a good vibe for who is coming in your birth and also feel comfortable with this year.

While these consultations are interviews, try to have a real conversation. You want doulas to answer your questions, but you also want to get a feel for who they are as a person. Talk to her about what kind of birth you want and your labor and delivery preferences. Make sure she is completely aligned with your goals because, as a doula, she will be your advocate. While chatting with each doula, also find out if their energy is the energy you want around you during your pregnancy and birth. Does he listen to you? Does he seem to care? is he hot Does he love his job? Whatever energy you want, will ultimately determine whether or not you are safe and comfortable with this person.

6. Ultimately, trust your gut.

If your intuition is telling you something isn’t good, even if they have glowing reviews and everyone says you should go with that doula, listen to your instincts. This is your birth experience. No other. You That person needs to feel 100% comfortable and excited to be with you on one of the biggest days of your life, welcoming your new baby. This person will be a part of your story and in your memories forever, so talk about it with your partner and listen to your gut.

In summary

To choose the right doula for you —

  1. Find out what type of doula you need.
  2. Think about what is important to you and what you are looking for in a doula.
  3. Ask around and research for local doulas who can support you.
  4. Set up consultations with doulas who seem like the best fit.
  5. Go with your partner to meet them, and be prepared with a list of questions.
  6. Take time to think about it and listen to your gut.

Thanks guys for listening to this episode. Let us know at our podcast Instagram page @thebabychickchat what do you think! I hope these tips help you find the perfect doula to support you!

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