Wednesday, December 16, 2009
How to Find a Doula
As I've said about 700 times on this blog, I really loved having a doula for Lydia's birth. I believe that Kristen helped make the experience empowering and positive, and ultimately, Lydia's delivery is something I am incredibly proud of. So, to find a doula:
A good starting point is DONA International. DONA certifies doulas and has a directory on their website. It can be found here.
We found Kristen through word-of-mouth. Our cousins hired Kristen to support them during their daughter's delivery, so we interviewed her and experienced love at first sight. We also interviewed a second doula, but there was a schedule conflict, and we were so happy with Kristen, we didn't pursue any more people to talk with.
Some things to know:
--There seems to be an overriding value in the community of doulas, at least in Austin, that anyone that wants labor support is entitled to have it. Both doulas we interviewed gave us a price range and allowed us to determine what we wanted to pay.
--In Austin, there is a network of doulas that offer services for free, and there are also doulas-in-training who are seeking out births to attend and assist with for no cost.
--Some hospitals have doula services available, but nurses often forget to mention it.
--In Austin, doulas are a pretty tight bunch. If they find that they're not a match for you financially or personality-wise, they may be open to helping you find more names and resources.
Finally, you will be hard-pressed to find a doula that doesn't expect their client to be prepared and educated about the birth process. Our doula expected us to take a class and do some reading, and she helped us find a the awesome series of class at Any Baby Can that cost us a whopping $10!