When it comes to hiring a doula, who you hire matters. As you prepare to interview potential candidates, you may be wondering what you should be asking them. Here are our top ten questions to ask when you are considering a new-to-you doula for your birth team:
1. WHY DID YOU BECOME A DOULA?
Learning about your doula’s motivation for doing this work can help you connect with them, and may also answer some of the other questions on your list.
2. HOW DO YOU FEEL YOUR DOULA TRAINING HAS PREPARED YOU TO SUPPORT ME?
More important than experience is a doula’s training; even the newest of doulas can provide amazing support as long as they’ve been given the proper tools! Find out how your doula was trained and whether or not they feel confident in the training they’ve received by asking this question.
3. WILL YOU SUPPORT ME WITHOUT JUDGMENT?
There is already enough judgment passed around in the parenting world, you don’t need it from the person you hire to support you. Your doula should be willing to set their own feelings aside to help you make the choices that are right for your family.
4. WILL YOU ANSWER MY QUESTIONS OBJECTIVELY?
Doula support should be a no-judgment zone. Period.
5. DO YOU HAVE A BACKUP PLAN IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO ATTEND TO MY NEEDS?
It’s important to know that the person you hire to support you will show up as expected — and that they have plans in place in case they can’t! Do they have a backup? Use a partner system? Provide refunds? Figure out what their plan is so that you can plan accordingly.
6. WILL YOU RESPECT MINE AND MY PARTNER’S RELATIONSHIP AND DECISIONS?
Doulas aren’t here to replace partners, so respecting boundaries and systems you already have in place is important. Also, see question 4.
7. WHAT TYPES OF BIRTHS DO YOU SUPPORT?
If you are hiring a birth doula specifically, it is good to know what types of births they attend! For liability reasons, some doulas are unable to attend home births or unassisted births, so it’s important to make sure you and your doula are on the same page.
8. ARE YOU COMFORTABLE WORKING WITH MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS?
Your birth team is just that: a team! When you invite someone else to join the team, you need to be able to trust that they will be working professionally alongside one another, and in pursuit of the same goal: supporting you.
9. WHEN DO YOU GO ON CALL?
When is your doula available to you for labor support, from the time of hire or during the last few weeks of pregnancy? This is an especially important detail if you know you are someone with a history of early delivery.
10.ANYTHING ELSE THAT IS IMPORTANT TO YOU…
You may have questions that are not on this list, but that are important to helping you feel comfortable with whomever you hire—ask them! In the end, hiring a doula is a personal experience, and you should ask whatever you need to to choose the support that’s right for you.