Doula Care is most effective when provided continuously by the same person. Working with one doula ensures trust, confidence and eases normal concerns you have about labor, birth, mothering or any aspect of the childbearing year.
Consider this: You may receive prenatal care from a group of OBs or midwives. If so, you most likely have a favorite you hope will be on call when you birth. Your doula is different from your medical care provider. She's not clinically trained and has agreed to be on call for you and only for you. She is a constant.
When you are in labor, or think you are in labor, you, together with your partner and doula decide when she comes to be with you. It's your birth, your experience, and you are paying for the service she offers.
Like any other professional, your doula's fee reflects her education, certification, and experience. When interviewing doulas, ask if she has taken a training course, if she's currently certified, and how many births she's attended as a doula. Ask about her philosophy of birth. Get to know her vision of doula care. If her certification has lapsed, learn why.
The single most important part of hiring the right doula is determining if you and a doula connect well. A doula may have attended two births, be working toward certification, and may be the perfect fit for you. All the training, experience and certifications lose importance if you don't feel comfortable with your doula.
Interview at least three doulas before committing to one. Then relax, knowing you have a trusted companion you can call on at any time for information, to share the joys and challenges of pregnancy, to vent, or just to chat.