If you need help finding a doula, go to www.findadoula.com and in minutes you will find the perfect doula for you! Just kidding! For the record, there is a findadoula website but a quick search on this site turned up just five doulas for the entire DC area. The reality is that doulas are usually found word of mouth. For a mom pregnant for the first time who doesn't have any friends with kids, this can be discouraging news. But with a few tips and some time, you can find a doula that is a good match for you. If you have ideas, please feel free to suggest things that should be on this list. These are in no particular order:
1. Ask your doctor/midwife if they have worked with a doula they like and ask for that doula's information.
2. Review the websites of organizations that certify doulas:
ALACE, The Association of Labor Assistants and Childbirth Educators, www.alace.org
DONA, Doulas of North America, www.dona.org
Birth Works, www.birthworks.org
CAPPA, Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association, www.cappa.net
ICEA, The International Childbirth Education Association, www.icea.org
Childbirth International, http://www.childbirthinternational.com/
3. Ask the instructor of your childbirth class for a list of area doulas.
4. If you find a doula and their schedule is full, ask them what other doulas they recommend.
5. Search yahoo groups for doula groups or mom groups in your area. Join and search their archives/files or post your request.
6. Find a birthing circle or pregnancy support group in your area and find out who is using a doula.
7. Google the word doula and your town and see what you come up with.
8. Check local hospitals for doula programs. Please remember that a hospital doula's loyalty will most likely lie with the hospital first and the pregnant mom second. If you would like support from a doula while laboring at home, a hospital doula is not a good fit.
9. Be persistent! It might take some time to put together a list of doulas but believe me, it is worth it! A good doula is priceless.