So you’ve decided to meet with a potential doula. Congratulations! When meeting someone for the first time you may be concerned about where to start. Everyone is different so ask the questions that align with what is important to you!
Some typical questions you may want to ask your potential Doulas are:
To learn about their style/personality/approach:
- What is your philosophy on birth?
- Why did you become a doula? What do you love most?
- Tell me how you work with birthing families while in labour.
- Are there practices you do not readily or happily support during labour/birth, like epidural, cesarean, and induction?
- How do you involve/include my partner during labour and birth?
- What’s your relationship like with care providers and hospital staff?
- How do you handle the unexpected at a birth?
- What techniques do you use to help me through labour and birth?
Postpartum doula related:
- What do you think is the most important part of your job?
- How do you see your role as a postpartum doula?
- What are the main skills and abilities you bring to postpartum care?
- Can you tell us what your philosophy is regarding parenting, supporting individuals and their families during the postpartum period?
- Tell me (us) about your experience with supporting families during the postpartum period.
- At what point will you start assisting us after the birth?
Experience and training:
- Tell me about your training (from which organization, for how long, etc.).
- What do you do to stay current with your knowledge and/or certification?
- Do you have any extra/special skills or certifications outside of labour and birth support?
- Do you help with chestfeeding? What’s your experience and training with chestfeeding?
- Have you attended a birth at my chosen birth location (specific hospital or birth center, or at home)?
- Do you have reviews written about you or references I can speak to?
- What is your full fee? What services does your fee include?
- Do you offer any add-on services?
- Is your fee due in full or do you have a payment schedule?
- How much of a deposit is due and when?
- Do you offer full or partial refunds for any reasons?
- Do you offer a sliding scale?
- What happens if you can’t make it to my birth?
- What happens if you have two people in labor at the same time?
- What if I give birth before you arrive?
- Do you work solo or with another doula(s)?
- What’s your back up arrangement like? Do I get to meet them?
- How many prenatal meetings and postpartum visits do you provide?
- When do you go on call for me?
- What if I go into labour before or after your on-call time?
- When will you join me in labour?
- How long after I give birth do you stay with me?
- Can I call you at any time, or do you have “office hours”?
Questions to ask yourself (to make a decision):
- Did the doula’s answers and experience meet my priorities?
- Did I feel comfortable with this doula? Did my partner?
- How would I compare each doula’s level of knowledge and experience?
- Is there one doula who stood out — why?
- Do I feel confident about this doula’s abilities?
- What’s my gut telling me?