Questions to Ask a Prospective Doula.
What kind of training did she have? Did you train with an organization, can she tell you about her birth education.
Does she provide prenatal and/or postpartum visits? It is important to know the exact support services a doula or postpartum doula can provide. If you are unsure please feel free to ask for specifics. Your doula wants you to know and feel clear about the services she can and can’t provide.
What can you expect during these visits, if offered? Ask about what you can expect during your initial consultation and visit with her.
How many births has she attended? Knowing how many births your doula has attended is important so you know, it does not mean she will be a better or worse doula because of her number. Knowing gives you all the information.
Can she provide references? Can she offer you references and referrals, this is important if you want to talk to someone about their experience.
What form of training has she had? I am not going to say being certified or formally trained is the end all be all for hiring a doula, but you want to know your care provider is educated, and knows how to be a professional doula.
What types of births has she witnessed (Cesarean, epidural, intervention free, VBAC, teen birth, etc.)? This can be important if you know you are going to have a certain type of birth and you want a doula who has experienced similar.
Her fee? And does she have a sliding scale or other arrangements available? Remember a doulas fee covers more than just your birth. She is on call for at least two weeks, available to you for consults, questions, etc.. You want to make sure your doulas is asking a fair price for her services, and remember as a consumer cheaper is not always better.
Has she ever worked with your care provider or at your place of birth? This is just good to know, but not an absolute. It is nice to know someone has a working knowledge of your care environment. You can though bring your doula with you on your facility tour if she is unaware of the hospital or birth center. Please be sure you let them know the doula will be coming because sometimes the size of the tour group is restricted.
Does she has back-up arrangements available? Know your care providers back up options in case of an emergency or illness.
What will her role be in early labor? Ask questions and find out what services your doula can provide. Some women want care earlier in labor than others, some want to arrange an open care plan, depending on need. Talking to your prospective doula can assist you in finding out what kind of care you may need.
Will she provide labor support at your home prior to going to the place of birth? Asking this, is along the lines of early labor roles. You also have to decide if you want in home care first, or if you want privacy and to meet at the hospital.
Is she familiar with many methods of childbirth? Learn what types of coping techniques, types of childbirth,
How does she define her role during labor and birth? Ask your prospective doula to clearly outline her role in your care for you. Make sure you clearly from the start state your needs.