Questions to Ask a Prospective Birth Doula
The following questions will help you decide if a particular doula is right for you. You may consider asking these questions on the phone, before having an in-person interview. You could also use them at Meet the Doulas Night when you’re meeting several doulas at once.
- Are you available in the two-week time period before and after my due date?
- What training have you had (if a doula is certified you may want to check with the certifying organization)?
- What continuing education or training do you participate in? Do you participate in any professional development groups, such as a doula peer review?
- What is your philosophy about childbirth and supporting women and their partners through labor?
- Why did you become a professional childbirth support person? What do you like most about your job? What do you like least about it?
- What do you provide that is different than what my partner, care provider or hospital staff can provide?
- What is your experience with our care provider and our chosen place of birth?
- If someone suggests an intervention that you feel is unnecessary what will you say or do?
- When do you join women in labor? Do you come to our home or meet us at the place of birth?
- May we meet with you to discuss our birth plans and the role you will play in supporting me (us) through childbirth?
- May we contact you with questions or concerns before or after the birth?
- Do you meet with me (us) after the birth to review the labor and answer questions?
- Do you work with one or more backup doulas for times when you’re not available? May we meet with her/them?
- What is your fee and what does it include? What are your refund policies?
- Have your fees been reimbursed by insurance companies in the past? Will you help me submit a claim for your services to my insurance company?
- Can you provide references (be sure to check them)?
When you meet the doula (and it’s a good idea for both you and your partner to do so), pay particular attention to your personal perceptions of the doula. Is she kind, warm and enthusiastic? Is she knowledgeable? Does she communicate well? Is she a good listener? Is she comfortable with your choices or does she seem to have her own agenda? Do you feel comfortable with her? They way you feel with her may be more important than the number of births she’s attended. You may want to interview more than one doula and make a comparison to help you find the doula that is right for you.
© Dona 2002 Permission granted to freely reproduce in whole or in part with complete attribution