A doula is a professional support person that provides continuous emotional, physical and informational support to the birthing person or couple. A doulas presence has proven to improve birth outcomes for both mom and baby! Finding a doula that is the right fit for your family can seem like a daunting project. Most doulas offer a complementary interview in person or over the phone. Here are some questions you can ask to see if she is the doula for you!
How has your training prepared you to support me in my labor and birth? (Hospital, birth center, home birth? VBAC? Planned water birth? Twins/Multiples? etc)
Are you Certified? With who?
Do you have to recertify yearly?
Tell me about your training?
Are you a member of any doula organizations?
Are you obtaining any continuing education? What additional education and skills have you obtained since training?
What are your doula fees? What do they include?
Do we meet before birth? How many times?
How do I communicate with you before birth? Are you available for questions?
What types of births have you attended? What unique or challenging experiences have you faced as you have supported clients?
Do you have reliable childcare?
How do I get in touch with you when I am in labor? Are you always on call?
What if I go into labor outside of your on-call time frame?
At what point in labor do you join me? Will you come to my house or meet me at the hospital/birth center?
How long will it take you to get to me when I am in labor?
How do you support the laboring mom?
How do you work with my husband/partner?
Have you worked with my provider/hospital?
I am planning a ______ birth. What questions would you suggest I ask my care provider to see if he/she will support my wishes.
Do you have any "black out dates" around my due date?
How many clients do you take a month?
Do you have a back up doula? Can I meet her?
How did you pick your back up doula?
Do you have an hourly clause in your contract?
Do you have any experience/training in breastfeeding instruction? Will you help me get baby latched after birth?
How long do you stay after the birth?
Do you make a postpartum visit? How many? Do you offer additional postpartum support?
These are just a few questions you might consider asking in a doula interview. At the end of the day, I believe that it matters most how you personally connect with the doula. If you feel on edge, or like you're being judged by the person you are interviewing - she isn't the doula for you! It should be a pretty easy connection and someone you look forward to seeing.
Check out this post for explanations on why some of these questions are important and how to get the most out of your doula interview!
Rebekah Lewis is a birth doula, professional belly binder and placenta encapsulator serving families in the North part of the Dallas Fort Worth area. She serves families in Denton, Cooke, Tarrant, Dallas, Wise and Collin counties.