Hire The Doula Of Your Dreams With These Simple Doula Questions That Help You Nail That Interview
I always smile when I am sitting at a meet and greet as a doula being interviewed and a mom or partner looks at me and asks, are we asking you the right questions? What else do people ask?
I can totally relate to this feeling.
My Experience Hiring A Doula
Long before I ever became a doula here in Seattle, I remember being pregnant and not knowing what to ask when I was interviewing my own doula. I wanted to find someone that was capable, confident, that would be by my side and help me keep my focus. I also wanted someone that wouldn’t intrude or take my husband’s place or boss me around when I really just wanted to labor.
I remember feeling unsure about asking someone who was a complete stranger to be part of my story in such an intimate way. I would never ask a stranger to be my maid of honor; I wanted someone who loved me and knew me and wanted to best for me for that special place by my side during my birth. But no one in my close friend circle had the skills a doula could provide.
Studies show that doula benefits range from reducing your risk of a c-section, improves your relationship with your partner, shortens your labor, and increases the likelihood of successfully breastfeeding. And they show up to serve you in many large and small ways.
Of course, a doula will help you prepare for what contractions feel like in advance and help you with your coping strategies through labor.
I also clearly remember that feeling when I found the right doula for me. She remains a good friend and mentor to this day. I will always be grateful for the support she provided my family through my daughter Hazel’s birth.
I want others to feel that same sense of confidence when they hire a doula. These questions should help you ask the right questions to see if the doula you are interviewing is the right fit for you.
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Ask Your Doula Questions About The Nitty Gritty Details Of Her Package
One of the most challenging things about interviewing doulas is navigating each doula’s specific offering. Some doulas have special training in massage or aromatherapy. Others may also provide postpartum support. Because each doula works for herself, there can be differences in the number of prenatal or postnatal visits, etc. These questions will help you understand her unique package.
What is the process of working with you?
How much is your fee?
How many prenatal appointments and postnatal appointments do you offer?
Do you have a maximum amount of hours you will attend a birth?
How long do you stay after the birth?
Do you take pictures?
Do you meet me at the hospital or at my home?
Do you have experience with the type of birth I want? (This is especially important if you are having a home birth or twins)
Who is your backup?
What happens if you are sick?
Do you offer refunds or cancelations?
What if I elect to have a c-section or induction?
Find Out If Her Birth Philosophy Is On Par With Yours By Asking Her These Questions
Doulas are by nature flexible. The word doula means ‘woman that serves’. For the most part, most doulas want to know your vision for your birth and then get all the resources lined up behind and around you to make that happen. Occasionally, you will run into a doula who will only do homebirths or leave if you have a c-section. You want to make sure your doula is as excited about your birth wishes as you are. These questions will help you understand her birth philosophy and see if they match with yours.
What is your favorite part of attending births?
Can you tell me about a challenging birth you were at?
My biggest fear is (insert your fear)… how can you help me with that?
What if my plans change at the last minute?
The thing I want most is (insert your wish)… how will you support me in that?
Do You Click As People? These Are Great Doula Questions To Help You Find Out
These questions should help you get to know the person you are hiring on a personal level. They are fun and light and bring connection. After all, there are likely tons of qualified doulas in your area. Hopefully, you can find a doula that rocks at her job and feels like a total BFF as well.
Do you have any kids? What were your births like?
How did you know you wanted to become a doula?
If you could have anyone in the world over for dinner, who would it be?
What’s your current guilty pleasure?
If you were stuck in an elevator and were forced to listen only to one song on repeat, what would it be?
What superpower do you want?
What If You Don’t Get to Choose Your Doula?
Sometimes, you don’t get to choose your doula. Maybe your hospital has a program where a doula is assigned to you or your doula was sick and had to send her backup. That happens. You can still ask them these questions to help get to know each other and get on the same page for your birth.
One of my very favorite births I attended, I was never supposed to be at in the first place. She had ordered a labor tub from me. When I went to set it up, she came out of her room with tears in her eyes. I asked her what was wrong and she said her doula couldn’t come. She was so stressed. I told her not to worry. I was a doula as well and I would talk with her doula and figure out what was going on and if she really couldn’t be there I would stay. It turns our her doula had been at another birth all day and her backup was on a plane and arriving in a few hours. So I did stay. It was an incredible experience for us both.
Birth is very intimate, and through it, connections are formed pretty quickly. Not only that, but doulas in general (I could put 2 hands up about this one) are people pleasers. Our superpower is seeing what you need and helping. Observing and serving. So if you have a doula assigned to you or not be able to attend your birth, you can still leverage these questions to form a connection and communicate your needs to the doula in front of you.