I had a wonderful conversation with a couple last night, looking for labor and birth support for their first baby. They came to the conversation with a myrad of questions and I found it oddly refreshing. I love it when clients are prepared to "grill" (for lack of a better word) me. They also were referred to me by a fellow doula, which is also amazing - and my reason for this post.
If you were shopping for a car or a house or even something as simple as a new outfit for an upcoming event - you'd probably shop around, no? You'd go from store to store to find the perfect outfit. You'd visit a couple dealerships to see which one had the offers and specs in a car you were looking for, right? And you absolutely would visit at least a few houses before deciding on which to put in an offer on (even if it was only over FaceTime with your realtor... that was us - thanks military!). Now, I know that deciding to hire a doula doesn't even come close to the financial commitment of a house or a car - but the event that you're hiring this person for is SO personal, so intimate, that it could be one of the most important events in your life.
That being said, PLEASE do your due-diligence of interviewing multiple doulas. You might have a wonderful conversation with that first doula, but if you decide then and there, you'll never know if you could potentially click with someone else a little bit more. This person is being let in to such a sacred space, make sure you feel unbelievably comfortable with them!
In that same sense, please be honest with the doula you're interviewing. If they're missing something that's very important to you in that space, whether it be a certain training (like hypnobirthing, rebozo training or if you want them to also be a lactation consultant to help you post birth) or if it's something more personal (like being able to also speak another language for comfort, or to be able to lead you in also a spiritual way) tell them! Not only will this help them understand you, your wants and your needs on a deeper level, but they may KNOW SOMEONE ELSE! As doulas, we want you to feel the most supported, even if that means the support doesn't come from us. We didn't come into this profession to make money - we came into this profession to help birthing people. If that means referring you to someone who better fits your ideal image of a doula, then so be it! I would be happy to refer someone who better aligns with your needs if I can't fit that mold.