How did you choose a doula?
April 22, 2010 7:01 PM Subscribe
What's most important in choosing a doula - experience, warmth, or views on birth?
I haven't found a doula I feel sure about yet, and time is running out.
What we want: 'continuity of care' and to have an experienced support person around. It will just be me and my partner in a big and extremely busy labour ward; and we won't have met any of the hospital midwives beforehand.
We don't want someone who is anti-pain-relief, because I want to keep that option open. I have found a couple of prospective doulas and one midwife who insist that they will support me whatever my choice. But I am having a really hard time choosing between them.
One doula is much younger than me and fairly inexperienced, but has a comfortable and unthreatening presence.
Another is older, very experienced (including in the hospital I am booked at) and has a stronger personality. I suspect she is pretty pro-natural birth, but she also seems very professional about not letting her own views get in the way. Her personality could be good - in that I would feel comfortable telling her if I wanted to be left alone. I think she would also communicate assertively - but appropriately - with medical staff.
Another option, much more expensive, is a private midwife acting as doula. I think she is pretty 'crunchy' and mostly does homebirths, but obviously she has actual medical knowledge and a lot of experience working in hospitals (although not my hospital). I assume she would also be professional enough to not let her views get in the way, and would know how to communicate appropriately with medical staff. If money was no issue I'd probably pick her, but it's a lot to pay when all I might need is someone to get me ice chips and tell me to breathe!
So, how did you choose your doula, and how did that decision work out?