Written by Samantha Martin, BBCI, BBCD
Your doula search should ideally* begin during your first trimester ( 1-12 weeks). This will allow you to find your local doulas, ask for recommendations, and prepare for the doula interview(s). A good starting point is the Birth Boot Camp directory, contacting us at Minnesota Birth Boot Camp, or Googling "doulas near me".
You may also want to take this time of searching to figure out your budget, if insurance covers doula services, and what additional education you'd like your doula to have.
Note that in Minnesota the average doula fee ranges from $750 to $1200 and many doulas hold additional education in topics such as lactation, Spinning Babies, car seat safety, etc.
It's highly recommended to interview multiple doulas; this will give you a sense of differing doula styles, knowledge base, and whether your personalities mesh well. It's ideal* to complete the interviews early in your second trimester (13 - 28 weeks).
A doula interview is very often complimentary and held in a central location such as a cafe, park, or even via phone or video chat. It's also important to include your partner in the process since they too will benefit from working with a doula.
Remember that a doulas calendar can fill quickly so be sure to reach out to your doula(s) of interest as soon as you know you'd like to learn more about them.
Hiring your doula
Once you complete the interview process you can narrow down and choose your doula. The sooner you hire a doula the sooner you can begin growing your relationship. Ideally hiring a doula towards the end of your second trimester (26-28 weeks) will ensure a spot on their calendar and alleviate some stress in the planning stages of birth.
Important questions to ask yourself:
Learn more about the "Benefits of a Doula" in our previous blog post.
*Ideally is used as a guess, just like your "due" date... It is never to early or too late too hire a doula!