February 6, 2018
So you think you may have found a great doula to support and enhance your birth experience. You’ve read their website, talked to them on the phone or over email, and scheduled your initial interview.
You’re just a parent, trying to have this baby and do everything right. You’re not used to interviewing people and you’re not sure if you’re supposed to lead this meeting or if the doula will.
A good professional doula will set you at ease with a basic structure for the flow of the meeting and help you feel comfortable. Making a personal connection with your doula is the most important criteria to check off. There are definitely still a few questions you will want to ask to be sure you are making the right choice. Ditch the outdated list of doula interview questions in your pregnancy book. Ask your potential doula these questions instead!
~What is your backup plan?
This one is super important. If you’re going to invest in a doula, you’d better have a doula show up at your birth!
Your doula should either work as part of a team or have a solid backup system in place. This is so that if she falls ill, or is already at another labor when you call, you will still have the support of a trusted doula when you need it.
~When do you go on call for me?
Not all doulas go on-call at the same time. You will want to know when your doula guarantees a presence at your labor. Especially if you have a history of early term or premature labor – your doula should be able to give you a time frame of being on high alert for you to go into labor that makes you feel comfortable.
~Do you have a contract?
A professional doula should have a legal contract which clearly delineates their responsibilities, your responsibilities, payment information, and refund policy. You should be able to take the time to read and understand it thoroughly before signing and paying. A good contract protects and sets good boundaries for both you and your doula!
~What is included in the package?
Some doulas have varying package levels for their services to fit your budget from economy to deluxe. Ask for a clear picture of what you will receive when you choose one of their packages, and what it will look like to work with them. Most doulas offer at least one prenatal meeting, labor support, and a postpartum home visit, but the exact perimeters of the service should be explained by your doula.
~My birth plan includes ______ (insert your choice here: epidural, unmedicated, breastfeeding, etc.). What are your thoughts?
A professional doula is trained to support all different types of parenting and birthing methods without a personal agenda. Doulas come from all different backgrounds and may have plenty of opinions on how to birth and raise their own children. They should recognize that each family is unique. As the authority of your own baby, your plans and desires are to be respected and supported without bias or judgment.
These questions are meant to affirm and validate your gut feeling of liking and feeling comfortable with a potential doula. Once you feel secure in the nonjudgmental, professional, and compassionate support of your doula, you will feel so much more at ease throughout the remainder of your pregnancy – and even look forward to your birthing time with her at your side.
To interview one of our doulas, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit our website at www.labellabirthandbaby.com.