Doulas (assistants who provides various forms of physical and emotion support during childbirth and the postpartum period) are becoming more and more popular with parents around the world. In this interview segment, Brenda Kay Shumway of Mother Me Doulas in Dallas discusses some of the important factors parents should consider when choosing a Doula. Click on the play button to listen now!
BRENDA KAY SHUMWAY: Well, and I think, too, so many times we see on the TV shows and the soap operas, people giving birth and they’re totally made up. Hair, makeup, you name it. Some of them are getting…
INTERVIEWER: Some of the shows are getting a little better at that, at making them look pretty ragged. (laughs) As we do when we’re giving birth. But we’ve had that in front of us for so long on these TV shows, that you must be June Cleaver. Be perfect all the time.
BRENDA KAY SHUMWAY: Well, and look at our pregnancy magazines. Everybody’s perfectly coiffed, they’re all their makeup is just fine, no one has dark circles under their eyes. And, you know, nobody has those bulges here and there like I do. (laughs) So I must be doing it wrong.
INTERVIEWER: (laughs) Well, I would love to talk more about doulas. Because again, we want to give as much information on the subject as possible. And let’s say that we have parents who are on the fence right now. They’re thinking, “Okay, this could be something that would be beneficial to us.” How do you find a good doula? How do you know the person that’s best suited for you? And what are the resources? Where do you find doulas? Are they, you just look ‘em up in the phone book? Through the hospitals? Tell us all about that.
BRENDA KAY SHUMWAY: You can look ‘em up just about anywhere these days. They may be in your Yellow Pages. You can certainly find ‘em on the Internet. I personally would prefer to have women talk to their friends, their care providers, people who work well in the whole birthing team. Certainly by word of mouth is a good way to do that as well.
But on the Internet, if you look through certifying organizations such as DONA or CAPPA, you’ll find a listing of certifying organizations that are available, finding a list of women. And I really encourage women to interview several because there will be warm squishy doula, there will be a very informative and business-like doula, there will be a hands-off doula, there’ll be a really hands-on.
You’ll find your yoga doulas, you’ll find your hypno-birthing doulas. And so you kind of, by visiting with several either over the phone, over the Internet, chit-chatting with them over email, you kinda get a flavor of is this person gonna really jive with me and understand what it is that I need? Then inviting them either into your home for an interview or you can certainly meet at a Starbucks or some place like that if you feel more comfortable doing that. Doulas are really great at coming and chit-chatting with you and then saying, “I’m gonna back off now and you guys talk about it.”
There is a doula for every woman. Sometimes that’s more difficult to find if she waits later in her pregnancy to find her. But we’re as vast as all of you are ‘cause that’s who we are. We are you.