Hiring a Doula!

Updated on May 17, 2011
A.C. asks from Waynesville, MO
6 answers

Hey Ladies! I've decided to hire a Doula and I'm curious as to what kind of questions I should ask her when interview her. :)

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answers from Houston on

Besides the obvious questions about her experience level, I would just chat with her a while to try to get a sense of whether you like her on a personal level or not. You need someone you are comfortable with helping with your birth. Labor is a very intimate time in our lives and we need to be comfortable with everyone present. Find out her commitment level. You need to know she will go to great lengths and stay with you for the duration. My doula fanned me with a fan for a ridiculous amount of time. (poor girl, her arm must have hurt terribly but that's what helped me through.) I hope you find just the right person. Blessings for a wonderful birth.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I am a doula. Here are some things that I think are important to know and discuss -- Certification is not necessarily in indication of quality -- there are many very very gifted and experienced doulas out there who are not certified for various reasons... training is much more important than actually having gone and filled out the paperwork. Definitely check references, but remember that if someone isn't very experienced, it doesn't mean that she isn't very good. Having a connection with your doula is extremely important. Make sure you feel comfortable with her. Do you get a good feeling from her? Or does she remind you of your Aunt Zelda who you always disliked? (you know what I mean.) Is this someone who you would feel comfortable seeing you at your worst as well as your best? What are you looking for? Do you need someone who is warm and fuzzy, or do you need someone who is more of a take charge kind of personality? Do you want a younger woman who will feel like a peer or an older woman who will feel more like a mother? Does she seem to come with her own agenda or does she seem to be focused on finding out what you need? And remember, what you think you need now might not be what you actually need during labor -- is she flexible? Ask her how she will support your partner in supporting you. Does she have backup? Is is possible for you to meet her backup? In the case of an extremely long labor, will her backup take over for her? (I work with a partner, and at extremely long labors, we might spell each other for a few hours because in total honesty, after about 24-36 hours without sleep, neither one of us is particularly good support anymore, and it is in the mother's best interest to have a fresh doula at that point). What is included in her services? When does she expect payment? How long does it usually take her to get to a birth? Does she do at home support if you want to labor at home for a while before going to the hospital. (my assumption is that you are planning a hospital birth... if you are planning an out of hospital birth, ask your midwife for recommendations for doulas she has worked with before.) Are you planning on using any specific method of birthing (hypnobirthing, bradley, lamaze, birthing from within, etc.) and is she familiar with it?

I'll probably think of a dozen more questions over the course of the day, but these are just what came to mind immediately.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

I would ask her if she has childcare arrangements and if there are times she will leave. I had a two-day labor and the woman I interviewed had a 12 hour limit. Of course I didn't hire her.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I suggest you first decide what is important to you to have happen during the pregnancy and birth and then ask her questions related to that. I'd also consider the things that could possibly happen for which you'd like her support and discuss how she would handle them. Exchange ideas with her.
Ask her about the process as seen from her view.

I also think it's important for her general personality to be compatible with yours. You'll get a sense of that just talking about life in general with her.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

So here's the soup find out if your state requires, them to be certified and what kind of education they are required to have, if your state requires them to be certified and how they do that. Find out how many deliveries she has been to. What hospitals allow Doulas as some will only let you have one person in the room. Find out if she has references, what she does or has done during a delivery. By all means if they are talking you into doing this at home really check them out as mine tried to get me to do mine at home glad I didn't. Talk with your doctor about Doulas does he know of any would he/she be fine with one being present. Ask your Doula what services she will do once you are home. Let her know that if you want an Epi she needs to respect what you decide. It's your delivery she may go on many deliveries as this is possibly one of few for you. Find out if she out of town or on another delivery who would be in her place. make sure the Father is respected as well during delivery assuming you are having him present.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I am studying to be a doula and I think the most important thing of all is personality. The doula should be someone that you feel really comfortable with, that helps you relax and that you are confident in her ability to advocate for you in a tough situation. Trust and comfort.

As far as questions, you might want to ask questions to find out if she is against a particular type of labor or if you end up deciding on meds vs. natural, find out what her approach is if the doctor suggests something she thinks could be done another way, what her philosophy and goals are, how she interacts with the hospital staff, what positions she has used/worked with in the past and what her services include (massage, labor support, nutrition education, etc)

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