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Hiring a Birth Doula: What to Ask

How do you know you’re hiring the right birth doula for your family? There are many things to consider when interviewing candidates. Here are some general questions to take into consideration during the interview process to get you started with your search.

1. Have you gone through some type of birth doula certification or any other trainings?

Most doulas go through a certifying agency such as DONA, CAPPA, Birth Boot Camp or others, but some doulas also add extra trainings such as the LaMaze and Bradley methods.

2. How many births have you supported and what complications, if any, did you encounter?

This will give you a general idea of her overall experience with various types of births and interventions she has faced in the birthing room.

3. What made you decide to become a doula?

This is a great question to get to know your doula and where her passion for birth comes from.

4. Do you have a backup doula and do we meet her beforehand?

Most doulas will have a backup doula or doula team in the event your birth lasts a long time or she is unable to attend your birth because of extenuating circumstances. You may or may not get to meet this doula prior to labor, depending on your doula’s protocol, but most back up doulas, at the very least, are happy to speak with you over the phone before labor.

5. Do you meet with us before and after birth?

You want to find out what options her pricing includes. Mose doulas will meet with you 1-2 times before labor to help you write a birth plan and at least 1 time after you’re home from the hospital to visit with you and the baby. This postpartum visit is a great time to talk about and help you process your entire birth experience.

6. When can I expect you to be on call for me?

Generally you can expect 24/7 access starting 2 weeks before and up to 2 weeks after your due date.

7. Do you have references I can contact?

It is great to hear from past clients what kind of job your doula fulfilled for them and what positive things she brought into the birthing room.

8. What do you feel makes you a great doula and what is your style?

Each doula has her own set of unique strengths and sense of style that you want to be sure vibes well with your wishes. For example, are you looking for someone more reserved and quiet or someone who is going to be energetic and more like a cheerleader in the birthing room?

9. How do you help my partner be incorporated into the birth?

Unless you would rather have the doula do it all with your partner there on the sidelines, find out how she involves your partner in the birthing process.

Overall, the biggest question to ask yourself is did you get a good vibe and feel a connection with this candidate? During labor you are in your most vulnerable state of mind and you need to feel very comfortable with whoever is going to be in the room with you. You want to feel that you can easily open up to this person in the moment and completely let your guard down and be yourself in front of them.


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