By: Heather Crossan CD(DONA), PCD(DONA)
Originally posted from: http://elitedoula.com/blog/20/finding-a-calgary-doula
So, you're pregnant and have decided you want some extra support before, during or after your birth, but where do you find that? Calgary is full of young families that no longer live close to friends and family, so where do you turn when you need a pregnancy support network? Utilizing a doula is one way to access that support, but where do you even begin? What do you search for? Who do you ask? How do you pick the right birth or postpartum doula for you and your family?
There are many tools out there to help you find a doula in Calgary. Reach out to your social circle, send a text to friends or write a Facebook post in a local mom’s group asking if anyone has ever used a doula. You'll be surprised how many of your friends have a referral! A personal word-of-mouth recommendation is by far the best way to start your search, and get the inside scoop on a great one and their practices. This information can prove invaluable. This doula, however, may not be the right one for you, even if your friend loved them, but it's an excellent starting point.
The next step would be checking with your health care provider. Technically physicians, midwives or nurses cannot recommend individual doula businesses, but they may be able to point you in the right direction in terms of with whom they have had good experiences. Again, who they suggest may not be the right one for you, but their thoughts can help you narrow down the field.
If you're still looking for names, you can contact local groups or associations, like the Calgary Doula Association, or Doula Essentials. Most of these local groups will have a referral list that they can share with you. One benefit of this is that generally the birth or postpartum doulas have had a certain level of training and/or certification. Another benefit is that if you have an issue or concern, you have someone to contact to get it resolved. When you know that these Calgary doulas are part of a bigger community and have a support network of their own, it can make a huge difference in how they practice. If a doula isn't connected to a local group, you may want to question why. The down side of getting such a long list is that you may have to spend a considerable amount of time researching the names.
The least effective way to find the perfect fit would be a basic google search. Most doulas have websites or at least a Facebook page. While this method seems fast and easy, you could spend endless hours sifting through websites or business pages trying to get a feel for who they are, and who to contact! Also remember, you are hearing about them from their own words, so of course they are going to sound amazing! Be sure to check for testimonials or reviews from past clients. How a doula handles a particular birth situation, or an event postpartum will usually be found in those nuggets of information.
Once you've arranged to meet with a few doulas, try not to focus too much on what questions you think you need to ask. While you should leave the meeting with a clear view of their contract and services, what you really need to do is focus on the vibe. Are you comfortable with this person? Do you enjoy their company? Do they listen and articulate responses well? Do they make you feel safe? You are going to invite them into a very important part of your life, no matter how experienced they are or how many stats they can recite the most vital part of your relationship with them will be how they make you feel. Trust that.
We know that we can help you to find the support network that will help you in this new reality. We firmly believe that there is a perfect doula out there for everyone. After all, it's never too late to add doula support to your birth, or to bring a postpartum doula into your life.
Leave all the hard work to us!