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Ann GrauerFinding a Doula
by Ann F. Grauer, LCCE, CD (DONA), ICCE, PCD (DONA)

Q. Where is the best place to look for qualified doulas?

A. I would encourage famlies to first look for a doula through DONA International's referral program. Our certified doulas are listed on our website at www.DONA.org and families wishing to receive the names of uncertified doulas can do so by emailing us at referrals@dona.org.

On our website families will also find a list of questions to ask a doula to ensure that they find a doula who is the best fit. Many families tell us the questions were invaluable as they began to interview doulas.

There are probably doulas in your community who have been doing this type of work for many years and newer doulas who have recently entered the profession. Depending on what your desires are you may find a that a doula finishing certification can easily be a good fit or you may wish to seek a doula who has more experience.

Regardless of whether you are introduced to a local doula through a friend, meet her at a party or receive her name from a web site, it is always a good idea to interview her and several other doulas if at all possible. Not all doulas are created equal. A doula should be interested in providing non-judgmental support to you and your family. She should not tell you how to birth, rather, she should help you to discover what your own wishes are and then help you to work towards those in your labor. If she is unwilling to listen to your desires, fears and needs or seems to have her own agenda, you will want to find another doula. You only get to have this baby once... it's too important an occasion to not surround yourself with the best possible support. Good luck!

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