Just like you’ll want to work with a midwife to increase your odds for a natural childbirth, you’ll also want to hire a birth doula. She is a trained professional who gives continuous physical (non-medical), emotional and informational support to expectant mamas, laboring moms, and postpartum mothers and families.
Before we start – a special gift for you
Here’s an exclusive printable doula interview questions one-pager we made just for readers of this post! Click here to get it!
Doulas are evidence based
Women who have continuous support, especially from a doula, are more likely to have spontaneous vaginal births and less likely to have any pain medication, epidurals, vacuum or forceps-assisted births, C-sections, or negative feelings about childbirth.
Other benefits include:
- Increased chance of a positive childbirth experience
- Higher breastfeeding success rate
- Better maternal self-esteem
- Lower blood pressure during labor
- Less pain experienced
And, if interventions are medically necessary, a doula can help support the mother emotionally so she can have a positive birth experience despite changes in her birth plan. She also can find ways to make it more natural in the midst of interventions.
How to find a doula
Word of mouth is the best way to find a great doula. Ask around and see if your friends have any recommendations. You can also ask your midwife if she has any referrals. Otherwise, you can go to this web-based service, which will show you all of the doulas (and their credentials) available in your area. You’ll want to be sure you set up an interview and ask the below doula interview questions.
Interviewing birth doulas
Just like our midwife, we want to ask prospective doulas certain questions to be sure they are a good fit. This woman will be with you at some of your most vulnerable and intense moments of your life. You want to be sure that you are on the same page! Observe her personality and see what her style is like. Do you need a coach type? Do you like a gentle encourager? Try to think of what motivates you when you’re in distress… and try to find a doula that could fit the bill. You also want to be sure your partner is present at the doula interview. In some ways, they are going to work together more closely than you and the doula!
Here are some doula interview questions for you to use. Tweak as you see fit!
Birthing doula interview questions
✓ What kind of training do you have?
✓ What are your doula fees?
✓ Do you have a back-up doula? Can I meet her? How often is your back-up doula used?
✓ Do you do any visits before birth?
✓ Do you do any postpartum care/follow up? Does that cost more?
✓ Can I email, text or call you with questions?
✓ Do you have experience with birth complications?
✓ Have you attended a birth that ended in Caesarian?
✓ Have you attended home births?
✓ When do I first call you? Is it OK if it’s in the middle of the night?
✓ When do you come to the birth?
✓ How long will you stay?
✓ Will you come to my home or meet at the birth place?
✓ Do you have a time limit for long births?
✓ How do you work with husband or partner?
✓ How do you work with midwife or doctor?
✓ If you don’t make the birth, do I get a refund?
✓ How do you approach birth?
✓ What is your doula philosophy?
✓ How would you describe your “style”?
✓ How do you support the laboring mom?
✓ Do you have any special tactics for pain?
✓ How long do you stay after birth?
✓ Do you have experience with breastfeeding instruction? Do you know what a proper latch looks like?
✓ Do you do postpartum care/follow up? Does that cost more?
Get a printable version of these questions
Don’t forget to download my exclusive doula interview questions pdf below!
It’s a gut feel…
At the end of the day, many of us chose our birth doulas based on a gut-feel. It’s kinda like dating and there should be a professional “chemistry” between the three of you (you, your partner and the prospective doula). Use these doula interview questions and find someone who has the right training, skills, personality and style that will work best for you and your partner. I think you’ll agree that she may very well be the best investment in your natural birth!
How about you?
Do you have a doula? Did you ask any of these doula interview questions? Ant additional doula interview questions? Share with us in the comments below.