How to find a doula
Many doulas happily travel to clients and, particularly in more rural areas, it is not uncommon for doulas to consider a 25 mile (or sometimes even longer) distance to a client perfectly acceptable.
You can do a search based on your postcode district (the first part of your postcode) on our Find a doula page. You will then be presented with a randomised list of doulas who are happy to work in that particular area. We recommend you then contact some doulas by email or telephone.
When making an initial enquiry, the important things to ask are: “Are you available for my dates?” “What are your fees?” And – if you are getting doula support through the Doula Access Fund or a specific project – “do you work with this scheme?”
How to choose a doula
The Doula UK membership have come to be doulas through a variety of journeys, but all are passionate about their work. The most important thing to consider when employing a doula is “Do I/we like this doula? Can I/we spend time with them? Can I/we trust them?”
You will find there are as many different doulas as there are people. Feel free to ask around and interview several doulas (we suggest first by phone and then face-to-face). If it makes you feel more comfortable, ask a doula for references from previous clients. The right doula for you will be someone who makes you feel comfortable, shows they care and is genuinely invested in supporting you. Their doula experience or ability to provide other services are secondary to the most important part of the relationship: do you ‘click’?
If you need some help getting discussion going when interviewing a doula, we have put together some suggested points of discussion for when interviewing a doula here.
Help with affording a doula
If you would like to hire a doula, but don’t think you can afford it, it may still be possible!
To start with, mentored doulas charge a lot less than recognised doulas. If you can’t find an available mentored doula in your area, contact us and we’ll see if we can help.
If you would really like to hire a particular doula, but would struggle to pay their usual fees, do still get in touch and have a chat with them. Many Doula UK members are willing to offer payment plans, negotiate reduced fees for families in genuine financial need or even accept services or goods in lieu of cash.
There are also sometimes local options for getting a doula funded, or specific projects that you can access because of your particular circumstances, and you may be eligible to apply to the Doula Access Fund. Doulas who work under the Access Fund work for expenses only (paid for by the Access Fund). If you’re not sure about what’s available to you, contact us and we may be able to help.
You may also have the option of asking for Doula UK gift vouchers instead of presents to offset some of the cost of hiring a doula. Doula support or yet another soft toy – you choose!