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Navigating Finding the Right Doula

You've decided you want to hire a doula to your birth and/or postpartum team.

Now what? How do you figure out which of the 100s of doulas scattered across D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia is the right fit for you and your family?

My best advice would be to lead with your gut instinct but use the checklist below as a guide post to make this process as simple as possible. Here are 5 easy step to navigate finding the right fit for your birth and/or postpartum team:

  1. Ask around and do a google search

Depending on the type of person you are you might have a lot of friends with good referrals or that perfect Facebook page that always has a good answer. If neither of those options are your go to I would recommend googling "doula near me."

2. Do an initial screening of your candidates

If you're in the DMV you will likely find 5-25 options of doula to interview. Don't do that! Instead of interviewing everyone you find go through and screen their website. Focus on the feel of the website, the information the doula puts out about herself and her practice, and read some reviews.

3. Based on your initial review narrow yourself down to your top 5 picks, reach out to find out about availability and set up interviews.

The reason I recommend interviewing with 3-5 doulas is because when you only interview one doula you have nothing to compare that experience with. On the flipside when you are interview 15 doulas everyone just start to blur together. It absolutely shows when you interview with doulas and makes it hard for you to find that connection.

4. Be prepared

You will get so much for out of your interview if you are prepared. Reread the doula's website. Write a list of questions and if you have a birth partner who is going to be an important part of your team have him join the call.

5. Intuition, Personality, Connection

The most qualified or experienced doula isn't always going to be the the right fit for you. When interviewing doulas think (and maybe note) the feeling your conversation elicits. If at the end of the conversation you feel: held, encouraged, uplifted, safe, encourages, excited that would be your doula. If you spent the whole conversation in seamless conversation, that is probably your doula. If you feel like you've found the missing puzzle piece to your birth/postpartum team that definitely is your doula. Don't delay in finishing out your support team.



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