Have you decided to hire a doula for your upcoming birth? Inviting an additional person into your intimate birthing space is an important decision. Here are a few tips for interviewing and hiring your doula.
Think Of Your Birth Desires
What kind of birth do you want? Home Birth, Birthing Center, Hospital? Medicated, Unmedicated, Induction, Cesarean? A calm quite atmosphere? High energy? Imagine your birth, now imagine the kind of person you want there to support you. Got it? Now it's time to start searching.
Word of mouth is usually the best way to find a good, experienced doula. Talk to a few friends that have had a doula. Discuss the kind of birth you want and see if their doula would be a good fit. You can also ask online birth forums or Facebook groups if they have any doula recommendations in your area.
Browse A Few Doula Websites
Once you have a few doulas in mind that you may want to get to know, get online and browse their websites, blog, and social media accounts. This can tell you a lot about your doula and see if they mesh with your personality and birth philosophy. This will also tell you about what services they offer.
Get In Touch Via Email or Phone (or even text!)
Schedule a Doula Consultation (Interview)
Narrow your favorite options down to 1 to 3 doulas. Give them a call or email and ask any questions you may have. Ask about services, prices, availability, and more. If you think you're meshing so far, ask to schedule a consultation. Most doulas offer a complimentary consult. We love getting together with you and your birth partner to see if we're the right doula for you. My favorite consults are the ones where I leave wanting the couple to hire me, not just because it's my job but because I can't wait to work with them!
Interview A Doula or Two
Setup a consultation with the doula, preferably when your partner can meet them too. You're a birth team so you want to make sure you all have the right chemistry. It's also important to have your partner there to ask questions and learn about the value a doula can bring to your birth. This step really helps get them on board too!
Here are some questions you can ask your doula:
1. Are you available around my due date? Do you have other clients close to my due date?
2. What is your fee? What does that include? What is the deposit schedule like?
3. How much time will it take you to get to my house or birthing place?
4. When will your join me in labor?
5. Can I call you to ask questions or voice concerns? What are your business hours?
6. Do you have a backup in case you can't make it to my birth?
7. What role do you as a doula have? What do you not do?
8. My partner wants _____ role, are you okay with that? How will you work with that?
9. What does your training, education, and certifications consist of?
10. What is your experience like? Hospital/Home Birth? Have you worked with my medical provider? Hypnobirthing, Hypnobabies, Bradley, or Lamaze?
11. Give me an example of your favorite birth moment? Give me an example of a difficult birth moment?
12. What makes you unique as a doula? Why should I hire you over another doula?
13. What other services do you offer?
14. What if my birth preferences don't line up with your birth philosophy or beliefs? What is your birth philosophy?
So after you've met with a doula (or more), it's time to make your decision. Talk with your partner and see who fits you best. There's not one reason why you should choose a certain doula. It may be because you feel she's experienced, maybe she has a good relationship with your provider, she could offer exactly what you want or really help you see the value of having a doula, it could even be that you just got along really well! Whatever compels you to choose her, go with your instinct.
Some people suggest you interview 2-3 doulas before making your decision. Personally, when I hired my doula, we met with her and it clicked right away. I knew I didn't need to meet anyone else. Whichever way makes you feel good, then that's right for you! And really, this is about YOU!
Once you decide, give her a call and let her know you'd love to work with her. It's an exciting decision! She'll have you sign a contract and put down a deposit. After that point, you will stay in touch, and you'll beginning setting dates and times for your prenatal appointments. Enjoy your new relationship!