How to Interview a Doula
Doulas are happy to speak with you and your partner so that you can all figure out if this is a good match. All doulas offer a free initial telephone interview. This is when you can determine availability and whether you both want to take the next steps.
Many doulas will meet with you in a preliminary interview at no charge. Those who do charge for their time will usually deduct it from their final fees.
Here are some guidelines/questions for interviewing a prospective doula.
- How long have you been a doula?
- Tell me about your experience with birth, both personally and as a doula.
- What is your philosophy about labor and birth?
- Do you work with a back-up doula? If so, can we meet her and at what point?
- Do you have references I can contact?
- What training have you had? Do you have certification?
- What are your fees? Do you issue a contract?
- Will you come to my home while I am in labor?
- How many visits (prenatal and postpartum) do you offer?
- What postpartum services do you offer?
- What are the closest due dates of your other clients?
- How long would it take you to get to me, from your home or place of work?
- Where have you worked in our area?
- How is your relationship with the midwives and the hospital staff?
- How would you handle conflicts with family members or medical providers?
- What is your philosophy about pain relief?
- Will you attend any prenatal appointments with me/us?
- How will you help support our birth plan?
- Are you insured?
Remember that emotional connection is one of the key components of working with a doula. Pay attention to your perceptions and intuition. It is a good idea to meet with any prospective doula in person along with your partner, family members or friends supporting you at your birth. You may want to interview more than one doula, but you may like the first one you meet and not have to look further!
Laboring women and their babies deserve all the support they can get, and the best support for them possible!