Choosing a Doula

So you have done all the preparations, done the shopping, attended the information evening at your hospital and left with tonnes of questions that you want to ask, but your midwife practice is only open during office hours and your husband is not the person who can answer them. You look around for extra support and decide on looking for a Doula. How do you vet /interview a Doula and decide on one?

Is it based on their experience? What they charge? Where they are from? A Connection when you meet them? Sometimes 'just' the connection is not enough though. You want to know and be sure that this person will stand with you through it and afterwards too. Are they well resourced? Because life as an expectant couple doesnt end after the baby is born. Life really begins after the birth, for when a baby is born, so is the mother.

Now we know that Doulas are Evidence based and that women who have continuous support, especially from a doula, are more likely to have spontaneous vaginal births and less likely to have any pain medication, epidurals, vacuum or forceps-assisted births, C-sections, or negative feelings about childbirth.

Other benefits of having a Doula present include:

  • Increased chance of a positive childbirth experience
  • Higher breastfeeding success rate
  • Better maternal self-esteem
  • Lower blood pressure during labor

Birth however is an 'event' and i personally say you cannot plan enough for it. So, keep in mind that Doulas are not only for natural births, we support you for every birth, with pain relief, without, C section, in the hospital or at home. I am training in Bereavement too which means i will be supporting pregnancy loss, miscarriages, predicted and unpredicted difficult diagnosis.

So with that in mind..what could you ask the Doula in order to make that final decision? Here are some doula interview questions for you to use. Please tweak the list as you see fit!

Birthing doula interview questions

General

✓ What kind of training do you have?
✓ What are your doula fees?
✓ Do you have a back-up doula? Can I meet her? How often is your back-up doula used?
✓ Do you do any visits before birth?
✓ Do you do any postpartum care/follow up? Does that cost more?
✓ Can I email, text or call you with questions?

Experience

✓ Do you have experience with birth complications?
✓ Have you attended a birth that ended in Caesarian?
✓ Have you attended home births?

 Have you attended a birth that ended up differently? How did you handle it?

Birth logistics

✓ When do I first call you? Is it OK if it’s in the middle of the night?
✓ When do you come to the birth?
✓ How long will you stay?
✓ Will you come to my home or meet at the birth place?
✓ Do you have a time limit for long births?
✓ How do you work with husband or partner?

✓ How do you work with midwife or doctor?
✓ If you don’t make the birth, do I get a refund?

Doula style

✓ How do you approach birth?
✓ What is your doula philosophy?
✓ How would you describe your “style”?
✓ How do you support the laboring mom?
✓ Do you have any special tactics for pain?

Postpartum

✓ How long do you stay after birth?
✓ Do you have experience with breastfeeding instruction? Do you know what a proper latch looks like?
✓ Do you do postpartum care/follow up? Does that cost more?

These are standard questions that you may ask and any other that pop in your head before your appointment that may be personal to your situation and needs. 

Question list sourced from https://www.mamanatural.com/doula-interview-questions/