So you want to hire a Doula but don't know what questions to ask them? I got you.
When Hiring a Doula, asking the right questions can ensure that your birth truly goes your way. The last thing you want is to hire a Doula who does not vibe with you. Here are some questions to ask a potential Doula that will help you determine if they match your energy.
Why did you become a Doula? Ask them what made them want to become a Doula. Being a Doula takes a lot of strength, both mentally and physically. Also, the pay is usually not that great and so usually, one becomes a Doula because they felt called to fulfill a purpose in helping women and babies. Find out what their story is.
What is your Doula style? You want to figure out what kind of Doula they are. Some Doulas are very energetic and vocal during births, kind of like a sports coach. Other Doulas are quiet and offer to hold space. Some Doulas are hands on and give massages, apply pressure etc. You want to find out what they are comfortable doing at your birth. This will help you understand if their energy matches yours and if that's something you want.
What is your experience with birth? You want to know what their experience is with birth. How many births have they attended? When was their first birth and what was that like? The number of births attended is not a more important factor than you two clicking. They could've only attended 1-2 births but if you vibe with them and click it can work! My first Doula client was my sister and her midwife could not believe that it was my first birth. I contribute my success as a Doula to being in tune with my sister and my own intuition.
Where do we meet for prenatal visits? Some Doulas go to your house, some have an office or some may meet over video.
Where do you attend births? Do they attend hospital births? Home birth? Birthing centers? Is there any place they won't attend a birth? See if they've had a bad experience with a certain hospital, birthing center or provider. Ask them if they've ever attended a birth where you will be giving birth.
What does your pricing include? Does the price include prenatal and postpartum visits? Are there any other services that are included? Like aromatherapy, massages, etc. This should all be detailed in a contract you both agree to.
What form of payment is acceptable? You can also ask if they have a payment plan option.
Do you have a backup Doula? Your Doula might have overlapping births and so if she is attending another birth when you go into labor, you should get to know her backup Doula just incase the backup Doula ends up attending your birth.
When do you become on-call for my birth? You should know ahead of time when it would be appropriate to contact your Doula should you go into labor.
When do you come to the birth? You want to know if your Doula aligns with your wishes of either having her with you throughout your entire labor, or just certain stages or, if you're going to the hospital, if you just want her to meet you there.
Black & Hispanic Mortality rates are 3-4 times higher than white women during pregnancy, birth and postpartum. A Doula can help greatly reduce these numbers and help support women to advocate for themselves. They can encourage you to change providers until you're able to find one you trust, as is your right. They can help you become educated on pregnancy, birth and postpartum so that you know all of your options and make informed decisions.
To find a Doula in your area, check out Doulamatch.net