Considering hiring a birth doula? That’s great – studies have shown that with a doula present at labour and childbirth, there are fewer requests for pain medication, more positive outcomes, reduced likelihood of a cesarean and better AGPAR scores for baby.
You’ll want to reach out to a few doulas and meet with 2-3 in person. Most doulas will offer a free consultation from 30 to 45 minutes. This gives both you and the doula a chance to meet and see if your the right fit. Remember, you’ll want to find a doula that you connect with as they will be supporting you at one of the most intimate, vulnerable and life changing event.
Five tips to help:
1. How does the doula make you feel when talking about your upcoming birth? Is their personality aligned with yours? How is the doula’s energy? Do you see them support you and/or other support person (partner, parent, friend)?
2. Ask about why they got into this work. This will give the doula an opportunity to share their passion and hopefully you’ll hear their enthusiasm.
3. Know what you are looking for. Some doulas specialize in multiples or VBACs. The doula may also be a yoga teacher, childbirth educator or body worker. Keep in mind that doulas who are members of a certifying organization or the Association of Ontario Doulas, abide by a code of ethics and may not be able to provide or perform services outside of scope of a doula. These of course you can arrange outside of any doula agreement.
4. Know what your budget is. Doulas in the Toronto area are between $1,000 – $1,500. In Ontario, doula fees are not regulated and fees are based on experienced, education and additional training. Some doulas offer a sliding scale.
5. What does your gut instinct say? Finding a doula with a great personality is just as important as their experience and training. You will remember this moment for the rest of your life. Find a doula that you can trust, feel comfortable with and excites you.