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The following questions will help you as you begin your search for a doula.

For any doula

  • What training have you had? Are you certified?
  • Do you have one or more backup doulas for times when you are not available? May we meet her/them?
  • What is your fee, what does it include and what are your refund policies?

When interviewing a birth doula

  • Tell me about your experience as a birth doula.
  • What is your philosophy about birth and supporting women and their partners through labor?
  • May we meet to discuss our birth plans and the role you will play in supporting me through birth?
  • May we call you with questions or concerns before and after the birth?
  • When do you try to join women in labor? Do you come to our home or meet us at the place of birth?
  • Do you meet with us after the birth to review the labor and answer questions?
  • When interviewing a postpartum doula

  • Tell me about your experience as a postpartum doula.
  • What is your philosophy about parenting and supporting women and their families during postpartum?
  • May we meet to discuss our postpartum needs and the role you will play in supporting us in the postpartum period?
  • May we call you with postpartum questions or concerns before the birth?
  • When do your services begin after birth?
  • What is your experience in breastfeeding support?
  • Have you had a criminal background check, a recent TB test and current CPR certification?
  • Here are a few things to consider for yourself, BEFORE you begin meeting with professionals:
    1. What is your primary reason for wanting a doula?  Do you want help making the hospital setting comfortable and working with interventions with ease? Do you want someone skilled in helping you remain active with an epidural?  Is help coping with pain without medications your biggest concern? Are you hiring a doula to promote labor progress or help you understand labor as it unfolds?
    2. How do you feel with the doula?  Is she easy to talk to? Does she make you feel affirmed and more confident?  Did you feel judged or misunderstood in any way during your interview?  It is very important that your doula be someone who uplifts you and honors you.
    3. Does the doula provide ample time before your birth to discuss your birth plan or preferences, and is their philosophy of birth supportive of your preferred approach?
    4. Are there any gaps in the doula’s availability? Are you comfortable with her back-up arrangements?
    5. Does the doula provide the continued support you desire after the baby is born?
    6. Is the doula comfortable with or willing to learn about any personal or cultural considerations important to you?
    7. Do you have a past experience that you are processing as you prepare for birth? Is the doula sensitive, understanding or insightful as you share your experience?

    { 2 comments… add one }
    • Latoya Anderson February 21, 2018, 11:21 pm

      I totally agree that it’s important to choose a labor doula that can make you feel confident by uplifting you. My sister is 6 months pregnant. Since she’s looking for a natural home birth, she wants to find a doula that can help her. My sister understands that labor is difficult, so it will be best for her to have a strong support system that will make her feel that she will do great once she begins to labor. This is to make sure that everything is going to be positive to her, most especially during her labor stage. I will make sure to share your blog with her.

    • Pamela Brown February 23, 2018, 12:03 am

      The best part of your blog for me is when you suggested asking the labor doula that you’re interested in about their experience as a birth doula. I’m 7 months pregnant, and I’m interested in natural childbirth. This is why I want to find a doula that can help me with my goal. It’s important for me to make sure that the doula that I will hire has the right experience and skills to help me have a positive birthing experience. This will also ensure me that I will get the support that I will need during the labor stage. Thanks for sharing this.

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