1).Only seek consultations with Doulas when you are absolutely certain you want one present for your birth. Reason: When a Doula does a "FREE" consultation with you, this takes up her time, utilizes her resources and information with no guarantee on return. She could be entertaining or consulting with someone who is absolutely serious and ready to move forward.
2). Know your timeframe in wanting to hire a Doula.
Reason: Doulas work on a first-come-first-serve basis. Doulas can only take a limited number of clients per month. The average practice load for a Doula is 3 to 6 clients per month.
3). Interview at around three Doulas during the process of hiring. Anything outside of that, the information can become redundant.
4). Get back to the Doulas you've interviewed within 1, no more than 2 weeks to let them know either way if you're moving forward with them or have selected someone else. -Reason: This either takes away a space and their client calendar or leaves it open for another family seeking services. Also, it is just common courtesy!
5). Do your research about what a Doula does before interviewing Doulas. Reason: Her "Free" consultation time is not time for her to educate you about what a Doula does. It is her time to educate you about her philosophy, style, approach and experience to birthing with clients.
6). Understand what your budget is in hiring a Doula once you get pregnant or even before. Reason: This way you will be financially prepared and ready to move forward when you find the perfect Doula for you. Not letting the cost or the fee hold you back from a receiving great services. Bottom line, hiring a Doula is a process and so is being a Doula. It's a profession. Your Doula will give to you in ways that you will never understand until you experience her services.