Adding a doula to your birth team can be a game-changer when it comes to planning for your birth experience. Sometimes, obstacles can occur in pregnancy and birth that are out of anyone’s hands that call for an intervention that you may have wanted to avoid. Even in these cases, doulas are a powerful tool for making informed choices about your care and having an empowered birth experience. So how can you ‘Find a Doula Near Me’?
A perfect place for asking the question, ‘Is there a doula near me?’ is Doula Match!
Doula Match is a great resource for finding birth and postpartum doulas who serve your local area. You can see whether they have been certified and by what institution. Doulas who use Doula match will include their pricing, a calendar of availability, their service area, if they serve in hospitals or homebirths, and additional services that they provide. For instance, if your pregnancy journey has included loss and you are needing support from a doula who can help you navigate pregnancy after previous losses, you can search for a doula who is trained in bereavement & loss. They will have that additional specialty listed.
Click here to check out DoulaMatch.net
An important part of birth work is having a community of mentors and mentees to learn from! If you have a local health or birth collective, I recommend checking out their doulas. Hiring a doula to your team who works well with a team is important & if someone is a member of a collective, there is a fair chance that they are accustomed to teamwork. This also means that they most likely have mentors to ask questions and learn from.
I am a member of the Thrive Mama Collective in Oklahoma City. Having the ability to ask a more experienced birth professional a question about something I am not familiar with or being able to refer my Oklahoma City doula families to other resources within the collective has been a game-changer for me personally!
With all of that said, keep in mind that there are plenty of really amazing doulas who operate independently. Some doula groups can be incredibly competitive & are not a place of growth for new doulas.
Meet the Doula events are a fantastic way to meet doulas near you and see if they could be a good fit for your birth team! I met my first doula at a local meet the doula event in Manhattan, Kansas when I was pregnant with my second baby. My community in Oklahoma City has local doula & midwife meetups as well.
At a Meet the Doula event you can go doula-to-doula and ask a few priority questions and gather contact information from the doula to ask further questions and schedule a consultation.
Throughout the year, there will be pregnancy and parenting events held by different community resources! As an Oklahoma City doula, I have attended several events like ‘Bump Day, ‘Bump, Baby, & More Expo‘, ‘Bloom‘, & the ‘Oklahoma Natural Family Fair & Expo‘. Not only are these events a great way to find a doula near you, but you can find several resources and services that could be beneficial to your family! For example, local indoor play gyms, midwives, OBGYNs, pediatricians, dentists, chiropractors, holistic care services, and more.
Getting to meet doulas at these sort of events will look similar to ‘Meet the Doula’ events. You will have time to meet doulas face to face, ask a few questions & learn about their services, and gather information to contact them afterwards.
The only drawback to these events is that the vendors who attend typically have to pay a fee to have a table. The fees can be pretty pricey and newer doulas may not be able to invest in an event like this to meet potential clients. There is a chance you could miss out on a doula who could be great for your birth team because they are still getting started. Also, some doulas may not be in attendance because they will be attending births.
Asking your friends & family who live in the same area as you can be a good way to find out some doula names!
I would caution that the person recommending you a doula may have had different birth and postpartum goals compared to what you would like for your birth experience. It is really important that you take the time to interview with the doula to see if they are a good fit for your family and your goals.
DONA is not the only doula education resource available to birth and postpartum doulas. There has been some confusion that doulas may need to be certified specifically through DONA in order to support families as a doula, and this is not the case at all. I know wonderful doulas who have certified as birth doulas through DONA’s program. Yet, there are people who choose not to take DONA’s training for different personal reasons.
In my personal experience as a doula, certifying across different educational programs has been incredibly beneficial because different programs have different strengths and weaknesses.
I trained as a Birth Doula through Birth Arts International, completed all of the available training programs at Evidence-Based Birth. Currently, I am finishing my Bereavement and Adoption Doula education through StillBirth Day. I feel that these different Doula educational programs have provided me a well-rounded education & the ability to specialize in areas I am passionate about.
I hope this blog “How Can I Find a Doula Near Me?” helps shed some light on some more ways to ‘find a doula near me’! Please feel free to reach out if you have additional questions about how to find a doula near you.