Choosing a doula during your pregnancy after loss can be really helpful for moms pregnant after a loss, as they provide extra support during pregnancy, labor and delivery, and postpartum. A professional doula’s one-on-one care is critical to the mother’s well-being as her providers probably work an on-call schedule. It is not uncommon with a longer labor, to have three different providers and even more nurses taking care of you while at a birth. Often times the doula is the only constant professional throughout a pregnancy and birth. The consistency and special care is invaluable for the mom pregnant after loss.

Choosing a doula is a three way venture with three people asking questions, making assessments, and choosing. The mother is usually looking for a doula who exhibits confidence, skill and promotes trust. The partner is usually looking for experience, mood and good energy as they will be spending the most time with the doula. And the doula is looking for an educated client, one who knows what they desire, and a couple that would be a healthy environment to work with.

choosing a doula

Questions you or your partner may ask a doula:

  • How did you become interested in supporting women through birth?
  • How long have you been a doula? Are you certified? Do you do continuing education?
  • How will you help me achieve my goals in birth? (Look for concrete examples)
  • What is your philosophy around birth?
  • Do you have a back-up doula in case you can’t make it to my birth? How often do you use backup?
  • Do you offer postpartum support or lactation support? And if not can you make a referral?
  • What can I expect when working with you? Your services and limitations to services?
  • Do you have experience supporting women in situations like mine or with my provider?

Questions doulas ask at an interview:

  • Where do you plan to give birth? Why did you choose that location and care provider?
  • Which childbirth education class are you planning on taking?  Any other classes?
  • Do you have any preconceived thoughts about natural childbirth, interventions, pain management, or cesarean?
  • What are your goals and concerns for this birth?
  • How is your overall health?
  • What are you doing to prepare for your postpartum period?
  • What do you want me to know about you?

Above all, do you connect?

A bond with your doula might mean more than her skill set depending on your unique situation. But no matter what, you might be spending HOURS with her/him, so it’s important to enjoy their company. You should feel that the doula will be able to work collaboratively with your birth team. You should be confident in her skill set and ability to support you. And you should be able to trust her/him to listen to you, respect your choices, and help you advocate for yourself.

How to Find a Doula

Check with your birth providers and alternative healthcare providers, childbirth educators – they’ll usually have local recommendations. You can also check the directories of organizations that certify doulas or a master list like Doula Match.

*Photo Source: “Emma” by Anna Maria Liljestrand @ Flickr, licensed for use with Creative Commons 2.0

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