Checklist: Interviewing a Doula
Find the right doula for you and your birth plan with our list of must-ask questions. Photo: shutterstock
If you’re planning to use a doula, start with recommendations from friends, your OB, and real moms at lila guide. The Doula Organization of North America also has a local doula finder. Once you have a few names, move on to the (by now familiar) interview process. Remember, this checklist is a general guide -- add or omit questions as you like.
□ Phone number:
□ Two references: (always check these!)
□ What certifications do you hold? How and where were you trained? Are you a member of any doula associations?
□ How long have you been a doula? How many births have you attended (or families have you cared for?)?
□ What types of births have you attended? What unique or difficult situations have you dealt with?
□ How will we communicate before the birth? Are you available to answer questions?
□ How do I get in touch when labor begins? Are you always on call? When and where will you join me?
□ What if you are unavailable when I go into labor? Do you have backups? Can I meet them?
□ Do you have any clients with due dates similar to mine? How many births do you schedule per month?
□ What are your philosophies on childbirth? How do you feel about epidurals? (Make sure your birth plan is compatible with her general opinions and practices. If you are still formulating your birth plan, ask for her suggestions, and see if they suit you.)
□ How will you involve and interact with my husband during birth?
□ How do you work with doctors and nurses during birth? How do you view your role, as compared with theirs?
□ What techniques will you use to help me through labor?
□ How long will you stay with me after labor?
□ Have you worked with my doctor or hospital before? What was the experience like?
□ What happens if I need a c-section?
□ Do you provide any postpartum services? If so, when do you start and how long do you stay on? Do you have any experience helping nursing mothers?
□ What is your fee and refund policy? What does it cover?
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