But how do you find out which is the one for you? Here’s a list of 5 questions to ask when you interview your doula.
1. What are your prices? What’s included?
Doulas charge a variety of rates. Some will work at a reduced rate while training; others need to charge more during training to cover their costs. Newer doulas may charge less than doulas who have been working for many years, and quite often that extra experience is worth paying for. Doulas will include different numbers of prenatal/postpartum visits in their price; some will have different packages to meet your needs. Others will offer specialized services like placenta encapsulation, belly casting, lactation support, or childbirth education. Be sure to find the doula who offers what you want for the price that works for your family.
2. I want to have this type of birth (fill this in with natural, medicated, planned cesarean, VBAC, etc.). What can you do to support me in that choice?
Doulas work with women who want all different types of births. If you’re planning to get an epidural, a doula can be beneficial for you. If you have a scheduled cesarean, a doula can still be a great help to you. You want to find a doula who has experience working with moms who have birthed the way you’re planning to birth.
3. I’m a religious/spiritual person. Would you be willing to actively participate in some facets of my beliefs, or would you at least be comfortable with my partner and me observing our traditions?
Many moms consider themselves religious or spiritual. Some moms will want Bible verses read to her, others will want guided meditation, or a plethora of other rites and rituals. Finding a doula who is comfortable with your belief system will be the best for you.
4. Here’s some of my history (prior traumatic birth, prior cesarean, sexual abuse). Have you worked with women who have experiences similar to mine?
We all have unique pasts. We all have things we carry with us, things we need to work through. Even if a doula hasn’t worked with women who have been in exactly the same situation as you, ask her about her training and confidence in supporting your special situation.
5. Are you comfortable encouraging and working alongside Dad?
Many dads are hesitant to hire a doula because they are afraid she will step on their toes and take over their roles. Doulas and dads have very different roles, and you want to find out a doula’s philosophy on this before you hire her. Getting a doula who works well with dads is important!
Hopefully these questions can get your minds turning. Now, I’m assuming that you’ve asked if the doula is available for your due date and works at your hospital even before you get to the interview, otherwise include those questions, too!
Any other questions you would add?