My biggest pet peeve about social media is bad advice.
People who are totally unqualified LOVE to give advice about things they know nothing about. Whenever I'm on the verge of commenting on a post with a piece of advice, I always stop myself and ask, "Is this something I really know enough about to advise people on?"
I've been thinking about this a lot recently when it comes to how Mamas pick their Doulas. Being part of this incredible Birth World, I often come across the question of "Does anyone know any Doulas?" and I can't help but cringe at most of the responses. Things like, "You MUST use ______ she is the best person ever and SAVED my birth!" or "Don't even consider anyone else! ______ has the most experience and is so wonderful!" drive me mad. Who says just because your friend used that Doula, she's right for you?
So in my attempts to calm my frustration, give those student doulas a chance (I was there once, I hear you guys, it's tough!) and give yourself a better chance at a positive birth experience, I hope you'll read my top 4 tips on choosing a Doula:
Anyone who tells you that one thing works for everyone is wrong. Just because your friend used a certain doula, doesn't mean she is the right doula for you. Remember that Doulas will be witnessing one of the most personal moments of your life. Take a few minutes to consider if you're comfortable with that person being there. Will she know when to appropriately give you and your spouse space? Do her values align with yours?
Face-time is priceless. Interviews are important. Talk to a few doulas before making a commitment. Unless you have a great first meeting, and feel you completely click with someone, I always encourage mothers to take a look around. You will find YOUR Doula. How did she make you feel on the phone? Listened to? Rushed?
Make a list of what you want in a doula- clarify what you are looking for before they tell you what they have to offer. This will also better help your Doula cater her services to you, so you can get the best of both worlds, in a very personalized way.
Pay attention to how much the doula is talking vs. you're talking. Does she want to listen to what you want? Or does she just want to tell you what she offers? A phone call with a potential Doula should be mostly you talking, unless of course you are asking her questions.
I hope some of these tips can help you on your journey searching for a Doula!