It is extremely important for doulas to work on building professional relationships with doctors, nurses, midwives, and other medical professionals. Equally important is maintaining those relationships. It does no good to establish a good relationship only to ruin it later down the line.
There are a couple of ways that doulas come into contact with medical professionals.
One way, is through a scheduled meeting at the professional’s office. This is an excellent opportunity for the doula to be well-prepared, relaxed, and professional. The doula is able to build up the office staff with a catered lunch, make a case for why the office would benefit from a professional relationship with her or her agency, answer any questions from the staff, and make a good impression overall.
The other way that doulas come into contact with medical professionals, is in the delivery room. Doulas have been seen as advocates in the past, and some still are, so it is vitally important for the doula to behave like a professional.
A good way to make a positive impression on the nursing staff is to stay out of their way and be helpful with things like keeping towels cleaned up and throwing away garbage. Nurses also enjoy compliments and small talk when appropriate.
In order to build a relationship with the doctor or midwife in the delivery room the best thing to do is have a quick, confident introduction, when appropriate, and stay out of medical decisions. Thank you notes also go a long way in maintaining relationships. Saying thank you and that it was nice to meet is a good way to stay on the doctor’s mind.
By working hard at building professional relationships with medical professionals, we are changing how doulas look to those professionals. We strive to maintain a presence that is free of strife and exudes professionalism, calm, and unbiased support.