Want someone to do those hip squeezes? What about reminding you to drink water? What about someone to guide your partner in how ? What about someone to pray over you? Yes to all or some!? Then get yo'self a doula!!!! And not just any ol' doula off the street.
It is World Doula Week and I am always thrilled and thankful to work with a good doula. Doulas are a dime a dozen it seems nowadays, especially in the DFW metroplex. That is a good thing, because it means that there are enough doulas to support the wide range of families that are in need of support during their birth. Yet, it can be hard to navigate the many options when you don't know who is the best fit for you and your family.
What is a doula? It seems today that the definition of a doula is as large as the number of doulas that are around today. But, when I think of a doula, I think of a woman who comes alongside a family and serves them where they are at. They love them, they hold space for them, they encourage them, they explain what is going on around them, they help the family ask the questions that they forget but are important to them, they kindly remind the family and their care provider of what is important to them. They have skills to provide pain relief, emotional and mental release, and spiritual guidance. They know when to step back and allow the partner and care provider to enter the space. They know they are not the center of this sacred time and space.
The thing to remember, though, is not every doula is the right doula for every family. Some doulas are not equipped to support families out of the hospital. Some doulas are not equipped to support Christians, just as there are ones who cannot support other religions or beliefs. Some doulas are not to support LGBTQ families. Some doulas are not equipped to support families of color. Yet, some doulas are equipped to support each of these. The most important thing to do is make sure that the doula you choose is the doula for your family and birth.
Does your doula have experience supporting the type of birth you are hoping for? Are you a VBAC momma? Does your doula have experience, especially personal experience with VBAC? Does your doula know positions that are best for a family choosing an induction? What about an epidural? Does your doula know how to support you at home? Ask all the questions to find the best doula for you.
Here is a document of questions you can use to ask the doulas you choose to interview. Don't be afraid to ask them all the questions. They are used to it, and their reaction to your questions will help you determine if they are the best fit for you.
Now to celebrate World Doula Week, I made a quick video of some of my favorites. I love these women so much, and I am very thankful for all their work to support families during such life-changing experiences.
You can find each of these doulas listed on my Doula Resource page. You will not be disappointed.