Tips on Finding the Perfect Doula
This post was sponsored by Comfortiva.
The other day I stopped off at the local greenhouse to purchase a plant for the baby’s nook in our room. I chose a string of pearls, which is one of the plants we incorporated into our wedding decor and have had ever since. It’s currently sitting on our window sill in our bedroom and I can’t wait until our sweet baby is here to enjoy it as well. The string of pearls has always symbolized the connectedness of our family and friends to each other and I know that this baby will make the best addition to our little family.
While I was touring the greenhouse I was rocking my new fall favorite boots from Comfortiva. I know I have spoken about this brand a lot before but that is because I wholeheartedly love their line and feel so honored to showcase how I am wearing different pairs from them to transition from summer to fall.
Today you will find me wearing the Carajean booties, which are a leather and suede bootie that features a fresh new twist on the hiker boot. They are not only versatile but also so stinking fun to wear. I must have received over ten compliments on them this day. I can easily wear them out and about while running errands and while I am on the walking trails behind our house.
Funny side note: When I was little I had asked my grandfather why he always wore the same boots. I remember him telling me in his Oklahoma accent, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, meaning that once you find something you love, why would you venture away from it? He’s literally been wearing the same brand for almost 50 years. I feel like I could call up my grandfather today and say, “Pepa, I found my boots!”
And remember, all Comfortiva shoes are designed with a pillowtop memory foam footbed which not only makes their shoe line super comfortable but allows them to absorb shock which reduces impact and maintains proper foot support. I know that I will spend many miles in these hiking boots with our new babe in a carrier! Eek! I am getting so excited about this little bean.
Speaking of preparing for this little bean. I thought I would share some tips on finding a doula that’s right for you. When I look at my little string of pearls and think about my community, a team of supportive women to help me make the transition from one to two kids, they are definitely included in my string of pearls tribe.
5 Tips for Finding The Perfect Doula For You
1. Find a Doula That Wears Fashionable Shoes (just kidding!)
1. The REAL #1: Ask For Recommendations: I have been to a few places that have a book with several business cards in them that pertain to motherhood from counselors to babysitters, doulas and more. I think these business card books, while nice, are really overwhelming.
I found the best way to get linked up with potential doulas is to ask for recommendations. Ask your neighbors, your midwife or doctor. I am sure that they can lead you in the right direction. Also, see if where you plan to birth or another motherhood club (i.e., like Mamahood or Belly Bliss for all my Colorado Mamas) have meet-and-greets! My birthing center hosts a doula meet-and-greet every quarter so that families and doulas have a chance to meet face to face. The doula that we have hired actually ended up being our parent educator for a birthing class that we had took.
2. Look for Good Listening Cues: Doulas house a wealth of knowledge, there’s no doubt about that. But remember, you are the only expert on yourself so you want to make sure there is an ebb and flow, a balance so to speak, in your doula/mama relationship.
When you begin to interview it is helpful to meet them face-to-face. That way you can pick up on body cues and energy that will either work or not work for your family. For example, when you suggest an idea do they display active listening skills (make eye contact, lean in, nod to communicate understanding, etc?). Do they always lead the conversation or do they leave room for you to lead it too? Do you feel like you’re being heard or are your ideas dismissed or altered in a way that makes you feel invalidated?
You want a doula who is going to be your advocate, instill confidence and help you tap into your instincts. If you get those good vibe feelings from your interview they will likely transfer to the birth room. Conversely, if you don’t feel heard from or aren’t on the same page during your face-to-face meetings, chances are you may run into some communication issues at birth---and no one wants that.
3. Make Sure You Talk About What Support Looks Like After Baby:
For me, I know that I am going to need to be supported in the postpartum process. Even if you are not sure if you would want that support, it’s helpful to know what they offer beyond the birth. Also, ask them about their method of how they process the birth with you. Some doulas will write down what is happening every 15-30 minutes to be able to review with you afterward. Believe it or not, processing your birth is really important and knowing how they document the events and what services they can provide postpartum upfront is invaluable.
4. Talk About Your Fears:
This is a big one!! Worry is a natural part of the process. I mean, your life is about to change whether it’s your first or fourth kid. Allow worry and fear to be cultivated in a way that is productive and talk about it---the big and the little worries.
For me, a little worry is that I will be judged about the sounds I make during labor. I know it may sound silly, but I am a pretty quiet person and am not very comfortable undulating my voice. Whenever I do an OM in the yoga room I sound more like a mouse than a tiger, quiet and not very convincing. No worry or fear is silly, so make sure to discuss it.
A big worry is that I am not sure how long I want to breastfeed for. After processing all of the hard times that I went through with Winter and dealing with postpartum depression, my midwife, doula and I came to the agreement that I may have experienced Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex. It’s when a breastfeeding woman gets a physiological response (a sudden decrease of dopamine in the brain) that is associated with dysphoria or negative emotions that occurs just before milk release and lasts only a few minutes. For the first two months of breastfeeding I used to cry and get super anxious when my milk let down before feeding Winter and to be honest, I don’t know if I can go through that again. I wanted to make sure my doula and I talked about this now and not when I am postpartum, healing and likely emotional.
5. Go With Your Gut:
When it comes down to it, you will know who is the best fit for your family. Trust your instincts. You will know