Last week we published a blog post outlining five things to know when considering hiring a doula. This week we go a little deeper. While full spectrum doulas who offer a variety of services, today we focus primarily on birth work.
Below we outline five more questions to consider when looking for a doula:
1) What's important to you?
We sometimes say that there are as many way to give birth as there are people. The same is true for doulas. Two people can be trained by the same organisation and the same instructor and have different approaches to their practice. Sometimes these approaches can be minute; sometimes they can be disparate.
What matter is what is important to you! Do you want someone who is also a yoga teacher, or a childbirth educator, or a fitness specialist? Do you want someone who speaks your language? Is spirituality important to you?
Sometimes we don't know what's important to us, which is why meeting doulas is vital - you learn about them and their approach and you see if it's a good fit. Learn more about this in your FAQ.
2) A doula does not replace taking childbirth education classes.
Most of the time, you will have 1 or 2 prenatal visits with your doula and there is a lot to cover! Generally during the meetings you get more familiar with your doula, talk about your birth and postpartum wishes, and practice a variety of different coping techniques.
To give ample time for that, taking a childbirth education class before your doula appointments (or at least one of them) is ideal. During a childbirth education class you would cover information such as the stages of labour, coping with inductions, interventions, both medicated and unmedicated coping methods, coping with cesarean deliveries, immediate postpartum, planning for the postpartum period, etc. While your doula may cover some of these topics, they won't have to go as well in-depth as a childbirth educator would.
3) What about price differences?
Doulas are definitely an investment! If you've been looking for doulas you've probably noticed some price discrepancies - some doulas charge as little as 200 - some as much as 2200! Some doulas work pro-bono.
When charging, a lot of doulas (but not all) base their prices on experience. Some doulas who are just starting out may not feel confident in charging full price; however, many doulas (regardless) of experience are starting to charge a standard price. For Toronto, currently that is between $1000 to $1300 for a base package. There are some doulas that also offer some reduced rates spots in their practice.
There are also doulas who work pro-bono (for free) but their clients are usually low-income folks vetted by an independent organisation.
If you'd like to learn more about the factors that play into our fees, check out our FAQ.
4) What if a doula hasn't had a baby?
What if a midwife or doctor hasn't had a baby? What if a dentist never had a root canal? What if a therapist never had depression/anxiety/etc? It doesn't matter.
We are trained professionals who can perform our job very well, regardless of whatever personal experiences we might have had.
5) What's the process of hiring a doula?
Once you contact a doula/agency/collective you set up a time to meet the prospective doula for an introduction/informal interview, which lasts between 30min to an hour and is free (most of the time). This can take place at a coffee shop where you feel comfortable or your home!
During the introduction/interview you get to know the prospective doula, they get to know you, and you get to ask them questions about themselves and their practice! Stay tuned for a blog post on what questions to ask during a doula interview!
After this meeting, take some time to sit with how you feel about the doula and let me know if you'd like to work with them (or not). Most doulas will hold the spot open for you for a couple of weeks.
We hope you found these helpful, and if you have any more questions, drop us a line.
The Spectrum Team