While many people rely on personal referrals this is not always the best way to find a good match. They may have been great for your friend or family member but not for you. With the advent of the internet, web sites can be useful for initial research. While most professionals are licensed and regulated by the state – some are not, including doulas and some midwives. If they are not then get proof of training, get and check all certifications and references. Consumer beware!
I recommend that you interview all practitioners before working with them. Most complementary medicine professionals will speak to you by phone for five to ten minutes. The goal is to determine if there is a connection. You will also want to ask a few practice procedure questions. Please be respectful of their time. This will also give them a chance to do some prescreening to see if the scope of their practice is appropriate.
Hiring a doctor, doula or midwife is a very important decision. Parents are very vulnerable when in the middle of the labor process and betrayal will be big if you find out too late that you are not going to get what was promised. Research can be time consuming but it will be worth the effort if you choose a practitioner that is honest and experienced. In any profession there are those who are excellent, some who are good, and some you need to avoid.
Many health problems are chronic in nature and therefore may require time and effort to get to the root of the problem. Avoid wasting time and money by doing your research. There is no denying that there may be some trial and error. People sometimes stay with a practitioner, even though they are not getting good results, just because they don’t want to offend the practitioner. Be familiar with the “Risk vs Benefits” of any form of treatment, western or alternative before you decide to participate. Start with the least intervention oriented option first. Seek modalities that go to the root level of the problem and be sure your self care is supporting mind, body and spirit.
– Speak with or set up a quick in person interview to evaluate the person and their skill levels.
– Check out all claims regarding training and background (especially with unlicensed midwives and doulas) Understand the difference between certified and licensed.
– Ask up front about billing and practice procedures.
– When possible, check all references by contacting them.
– Keep asking questions until you have a solid understanding of what you are participating in.
If you need referrals BirthLink is here to help. There is no charge for a 10 – 15 minute phone call or a quick e-mail. 847-733-8050 or firstname.lastname@example.org.