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Choosing Your Doula: Part I

Hiring a doula may be one of the most beneficial and important decisions that you’ll make during your pregnancy. It is highly recommended to meet with several doulas to see who you feel most comfortable with – all doulas are not created equal!  “Meet the Doula” and “Doula Speed Date” events are a great opportunity to meet several doulas at once.  You can also search, our ask your local midwife/OB for their recommendations.

So – you’ve scheduled a consultation – now what do you do? Here are some GREAT questions to consider asking when you meet!

Questions To Consider Asking When Interviewing a Doula:

  • Why did you become a doula?  

  • What is your philosophy about birth? Do you have a similar philosophy?

  • What sort of training/apprenticeship/certification do you have?

  • What does your pricing include?  Prenatal/postpartum visits? How many weeks on-call? Any additional services?

  • Do you stay for the entire labor and childbirth? Most doulas will stay with you for as long as you wish – others might call in a backup for a long birth, or charge extra.

  • What restrictions do you have around your work? (Beliefs? Time limits? Policies?)

  • What are your positions on (epidurals, planned cesareans, vaccinations, circumcision, homosexuality, placenta encapsulation, etc)? There are many controversial topics that may be important to you – and if so, it is important to know whether your wishes will be respected.

  • Do you make any visits before the birth? Postpartum care or follow-up? Most doulas will have anywhere from 1-3 prenatal visits with you to discuss your wishes for the birth, comfort measures, answer questions, discuss recovery & parenting, etc.

  • Do you have a backup doula? Are there plans set in place in case, for some reason, they may be unable to attend your birth?

  • How many clients do you take each month? Is this their full-time job, or a side job? How busy are they with other clients?

  • What type of additional services do you offer? Are you interested in childbirth education, sleep consultations, placenta encapsulation, belly casting, belly binding, massage, belly henna, mother blessings, birth pool rental, etc? Many doulas will offer packages, or discounts on additional services – or they might have referrals to another doula who offers the services that you are looking for.

  • May I review a copy of your contract? Are you comfortable with the terms of the contract? What is they payment schedule?

In Part II, we will review some questions for you to ask YOURSELF after the interview.

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