After all of the initial concerns about not being able to find a good doula, we ended up with a windfall and are now interviewing five this weekend. We just finished with our first doula interview, which we conducted at a local free trade cafe, and I’m feeling overly hyper from too much caffeine and sugar consumption.
Since this was our first doula meeting, we were a bit awkward in telling our “unique situation” story. Luckily, with one interview today, three tomorrow, and one Monday night, we have plenty of time to practice.
The doula we met with today has been a massage therapist since 2006 and a doula and mom since 2011. Her website, which is very empowering to parents-to-be, states:
“From my experience, I have learned that a woman’s recollection of her child’s birth leaves an impression on her heart, and a lasting impact on her very soul. For this reason, I offer my mind, heart, and my hands, for the well-being of the woman and her children. It is my hope that – no matter the circumstances – each woman and family will look back on their birth experience and see their own moments of strength, courage and joy.”
When I initially communicated with her, I let her know that we were looking for someone who was LGBT-friendly/knowledgeable. She was very up-front in having not had experience working with LGBT couples before, but she was literally the only doula I had contacted who did not assume that I was the pregnant parent-to-be, which told me a lot about her mentality and knowledge about queer folks.
BB is friendly, knowledgeable and confident. She seems very much like she would be an amazing advocate for parents-to-be before, during and after the birth experience. K and I both like her well-rounded set of skills and abilities, which include aromatherapy, reflexology, massage therapy (with expertise in fibromyalgia, a diagnosis I have had for the past six years), and is trained in spinning babies who may not be properly positioned. Her rates are reasonable, she’s willing to come to OB appointments, seems particularly body-positive, and she was an extensive network of resources, including acupuncturists who are knowledgeable in moxibustion, a technique that can successfully change the position of a breech baby. She also has a ton of experience with cloth diapering and would make a great resource to new parents who are interested in this diapering route.
BB seemed initially negative about our likely choice in hospitals. While she does seem skilled and knowledgeable, she has only attended six births. Her contract lists something about not attending any labor/birth that is induced or augmented by Cytotec (Misoprostol). If she ends up being among our top two doula candidates, we will need to ask her more about this restriction.
Comfort: 4.25 stars
Experience: 2.5 stars
Inclusion of Partner: 5 stars
Personality: 4.5 stars
I’m looking forward to sharing our experiences with you, dear readers, about the rest of the doula candidates!