If you're expecting and considering hiring a doula, call around and ask if you can schedule a consultation with one or more doulas. During this interview, you can get to know each other and decide whether you want to hire that doula to support you during your pregnancy, labor, and birth. Use that initial interview to ask all of your most important questions and reflect on how she makes you feel. Here are some questions to ask your doula in that important first interview.
Why did you become a doula?
This question can be used as a way for you to get to know the doula you are interviewing. Learn a little about her background, her passion for birth work, and why she's made a career our of supporting women like you.
What are your strengths as a doula? What do you consider to be the most important part of your job?
Although this question can be another way to get to know her, it has a more important role. If the doula considers the most important part of her job to be to help women achieve un-medicated births and you know that you are planning or open to a medicated birth, this is perhaps not the doula for you. Use this question as a guide to help you decide whether this doula is a good match for you. A doula who is supportive of all birth choices and nonjudgmental is someone who can truly serve you.
What does your fee cover?
Review the doula's contract carefully and ask any questions that you feel aren't specifically covered in the contract. How many prenatal and postpartum visits does the doula offer? At what point during your pregnancy is she on-call for your birth? How often is she available by phone, text, or email for questions or concerns during your pregnancy?
Do you have a reliable and competent backup doula?
Hopefully, the doula that you hire will be the doula at your birth. Rarely though, of course, things beyond her control may happen and she may have no other choice but to miss your birth. If she is ill or if she's already attending another birth and you go into labor, can you be sure that a reliable and competent back-up doula will be available for face-to-face support? Who are her back-up doulas?
Do you have any special training or experience with a specific complication or outcome? (If you have or expect any special circumstances)
If you know that your baby will be spending time in the NICU after birth, you may want to consider a doula who has training or experience with NICU babies. Or if you are planning a cesarean, hiring a doula who can prepare you for what to expect during your surgical birth may be very beneficial to you. Take this with a grain of salt, though. If you have established a trusting and positive connection with a doula who doesn't have the exact specifications that you originally desired, you will still benefit greatly from her care and support. And ultimately, your relationship with the person who will be there during one of the most important and intimate days of your life is what will give you comfort and peace on your birthing day.
If you live on the Delmarva Peninsula and are considering hiring a doula, contact us to set up a complimentary consultation so that we may answer all of your most important questions.
What other questions are important to you in a doula interview?