Some people prefer to have a written list of questions in hand when interviewing a doula.
Others are comfortable letting the conversation flow and noticing how they feel when talking with the doula. Either option is fine and doulas are comfortable with both styles.
At the end of the day, don’t choose a doula because your friend used her, or because your care provider recommended her, or even because she’s the most experienced. Tune in to your intuition.
Do you feel comfortable with her?
Could you be naked in front of her?
Does she seem like someone you could trust?
These are the most important questions.
Interview more than one doula!
Keep in mind that the doula is also interviewing you. Sometimes a doula knows that she’s not the best fit for your needs or recognizes that there is another doula who would be a perfect match. A wise doula knows when to refer you to someone else.
If you like the idea of a list of questions, then here are some from which you might choose.
* How did you become a doula? (Did she choose to certify? Did she apprentice with a
midwife or another doula? Did she gain experience attending friends’ birth?)
* How long have you practiced, or how many births have you attended?
* What types of births and in which types of settings do you usually attend?
* Can you give an example of a birth you missed? How was that handled?
* Can you give an example in which there was tension at a birth?
* Do you charge a flat fee or are their other potential costs?
* What is your fee and when is the full balance due? What does that cover?
* Will you come to my home in labor (if you’re planning a hospital or birth center birth)
* How would you describe your role?
* How would you support me if I get an epidural or cesarean?
* Are there circumstances in which you would leave during my birth?
* Have you attended births with my care provider?
* What is your philosophy of birth?
It is appropriate to request a reference from a recent client and to review a copy of the doula’s contract before making any decisions.