You know I love doulas. Big big big fan over here. Doesn’t matter if you’re planning meds, being with your whole family, homebirth, hospital, whatever. You and your partner will greatly benefit from the help and attention of a doula. I’ve had one with all three and this is with a very involved and supportive husband!
Dads for Doulas post here, Why You Need a Doula post here. You’re Pregnant, Now What here. SuperBoy’s birth story, SweetPea’s, and BabyLove’s. If you like birth stories . . .
Here’s my list of questions to ask when you’re interviewing a doula. Some may sound abrupt, so you fill in the nice parts. Others may not apply for your circumstances. The biggest key is chemistry between you & the person. Even if they’ve only attended a few births, if you feel like they’ll be your advocate and helper, go for it over the one who’s been doing it forever but you feel isn’t listening to your specific needs.
1) What are your fees and what do they encompass insofar as prenatal and postpartum visits? Do you do a standard available-2-weeks-before-due-date-and-after in case I am early or late in delivery?
2) Who provides backup services for you and do you compensate them?
3) If you miss my birth due to unforeseeable circumstances, but your backup is there, is there any change in the fee structure?
4) Are you DONA certified? Why or why not? How many births have you attended?
5) Have you attended births at the hospital where I’m planning on birthing? Have you worked with my midwife or physician group before?
6) What do you bring with to the birth for relief? Massage tools, essential oils, etc? (basically, what’s in her bag of tricks?) If we labor at home for a time period, will you come to the house first and then accompany us to the hospital?
7) If my water breaks, what is your take on how quickly or slowly I need to go to the hospital?
8) Are you a lactation counselor or consultant? If not officially, will you still help me establish a good latch with the baby before you leave the hospital?
9) In the unlikely event of a C-section, depending on my hospital’s policy about number of people in the room, if you are not permitted in the OR, do you issue any sort of refund?
10) My spouse (or partner) is very supportive and it is important to us that a doula complements him in his role. How do you view your relationship with him?
11) In the unlikely event I do need relief after a long labor with, say, an epidural, or I stall out and need pitocin, how do you approach helping me make an informed decision in conjunction with my healthcare providers?
12) Why are you a doula?
13) What is your favorite relief measure for a laboring mom? Rebozo? Ball? Bar? Massage?