There are lots of checklists online that offer help when it comes to interviewing a doula; but unfortunately many of them miss the mark. Especially because they make it seem like it is an interview. I prefer to think of it as a conversation to see if there is a mutual connection and we are all a good fit for each other. This does not dismiss the fact that you might have lots of questions, especially if this will be your first time working with a doula. Having been in many of these interview, consultation-type calls here are a few tips to help get the most out of it.
- Be willing to be vulnerable.
While welcoming a baby is absolutely joyful in every way, I always like to touch base about concerns, fears, anxieties surrounding this exciting, life-changing moment in your family’s lives. Knowing this ahead of time will help to match you to the best doula in our agency and will help to ensure that your support is tailored to exactly what your needs are. In postpartum care, your main goal may be getting enough restorative sleep to be the best version of yourself for your family. You might have struggled with breastfeeding your last child, and want proactive support for an improved experience this time. You might have a very specific birth plan that you would like your birth doula to support. Or you may have absolutely no idea what kind of support you even want. Remember that your doula is coming into your life during a very intimate family moment so you want to be sure that the relationship is comfortable and supportive.
2. Understand the logistics of working together.
Taking time to discuss exactly what this support will look like is an important part of the conversation. Knowing your goals will help to tailor a plan that meets your unique needs. We want to make sure that we take the time to discuss what a day or night with your doula will look like if you are choosing postpartum care. Or what your time together throughout your pregnancy looks like if you are choosing a birth doula. Our doulas are very flexible when it comes to providing support; however our focus falls into three main categories: physical, hands-on support, emotional support, and informational support. Knowing this will help you get the most out of your time together with your doula.
3. Determining Support Needs for Postpartum Care
Our agency prides itself in truly tailoring each package to our clients’ needs. Many agencies offer postpartum packages where you must choose the number of hours you want before you even really know what you will need. Committing to 100s of hours of service before even knowing your baby’s temperament and feeding, sleeping schedule seems silly. We prefer to discuss ranges of care and remain flexible throughout our time together. In the initial consult, it is helpful to know if you want day or night support and roughly how many days per week of care you want. This will help insure that your doula is fully available to you and secure your spot on her calendar.
4. Clear Expectations
By the end of the consultation, you should have a good understanding of how we will support you and your family. I like to make sure that all of your questions have been addressed so that our call ends with you confidently knowing you have made the best choice for your family. I want families to know that as the face of the agency, I am always available and will continue to check in regularly to assure that your level of doula support meets your high expectations. We absolutely value the relationships we build with each of our clients.