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Resources for Expecting Families

How to Find your Doula

While this is by no means an exhaustive list, here are some helpful ideas to get you started

  • Start early! Keep in mind that doulas tend to book clients months in advance
  • It’s never too late! There is a doula for you, just keep reaching out
  • Try searching here on DASC, local doula registries, professional organizations, etc
  • We recommend contacting a few doulas before deciding 
  • Start with phone interviews
  • Schedule in-person interviews with your favorites at a location that makes you feel comfortable (your home, a local coffee shop, etc)

Tips for Interviewing a Doula

Finding the right doula is a deeply personal decision. Birth and the postpartum period can be emotional and highly vulnerable times and it’s important to ensure that everyone present helps family members -- especially the birthing person -- feel confident, calm, and safe. 

You may want to be prepared to talk about the following:

Business

  • Fees
  • Philosophies
  • Package options
  • Preferred contact hours
  • Contracts

Background

  • How they became a doula
  • Why you’re looking for a doula
  • Do they work with a backup/partner/team

Your Birth

  • How do you envision the birth experience
  • Are they willing/available to support you in your preferred birthing location
  • Do they have experience with your care provider (midwife, OB, hospital, birth center, etc)
  • When will they join you in labor
  • Birth doula’s favorite comfort measures/tools

Postpartum

  • Postpartum plan
  • Who will be with you postpartum
  • Talk about your postpartum support network
  • Feeding plans 
  • CPR certification

The Letters Project

The Letters Project is an opportunity for expectant and new parents to help make changes in the way birth takes place in a hospital setting.  The forms take less than 10 minutes to complete. Once the checklist of choices (midwife, birth tub, etc.) is completed, families will have the option of editing the letter or simply printing it as it is.  Once printed, simply put the letter in an envelope and mail it to the hospital administrator -- most of the hospitals addresses are already provided.

While completing the Letters Project families have two different options.  The first is a “wish list” of choices and for expecting families, and the second provides feedback to the hospital regarding the actual birth experience and treatment that was provided.

By letting hospital administrators know what expectant families want available when they are in hospital, families can make a change for themselves and other birthing families. Please note that this is more of a “wish list” and not intended to be used as a birth plan.  Likewise, families can let hospitals know how their birthing experience was and offer suggestions for areas for improvement. Whether families have recently had a hospital birth, are currently pregnant, or are planning on becoming pregnant, by participating in the Letters Project each voice can be heard.

The Hospital Project

For expectant parents:

By using the Hospital Project, expecting families can see which hospital offers support for VBAC, natural births, birth balls, midwives, etc.  This site offers the combined knowledge of doulas all over SoCal. Doulas who attend hospital births are able to give insider details about each hospital’s current policies and procedures each time they attend a birth, helping families compare amenities and choose what is best for their desired birth experience.

For Doulas Too

The Hospital Project also allows experienced doulas to rate Los Angeles area hospitals according to their policies, procedures and amenities.  The more often doulas update their ratings, the more accurate the rating will be.