How many births have you been to?
This is a question we get from almost every new client we interview with. There seems to be a premium put on the amount of births a doula has attended. As a doula with over 12 years of experience and almost 400 births I can tell you: It doesn’t matter.
Each birth we attend is a unique and beautiful event. Even after all these years I find myself shaking my head afterwards and thinking “well, that was a new one!” I have seen amazing doulas with very little experience and so-so doulas with a boat load of experience.
So what makes a great doula?
There is no magical number of births that separates good doulas from great doulas. In fact, the very best doulas have a compassion and presence that cannot be learned or taught. A good doula will have a stellar training process, a mentor, and a community to fall back on when they have questions. A great doula will be able to read the mood in the room, offer personalized suggestions, and connect with you and your partner in a way that puts you at ease. A great doula will make you feel comfortable and supported in any setting.
So how do we find the best doula for us?
If you have friends and family who have used doula services, ask them about their experiences. Another good resource is your provider. Do they have a doula (or agency) they can reccomend? Read the google reviews from previous clients. Set up an interview with a doula and ask them the questions that are important to you. But the most important thing when finding a doula is make sure you feel comfortable with them. Conversation should come easily, like you are talking to your best friend. Birth is an intimate event and you should be 100% comfortable with whomever you choose to invite into that space.