How To Hire A Doula

How to Hire a Doula?

A doula can greatly enhance your experience of childbirth and the postpartum months. Your birth doula will be at your side along with your care provider and partner, as part of your team for continuous support during labor and birth. Or maybe you’d like a postpartum doula to help you through the transition into parenthood and family. Either way, finding a good fit for you and your family is critical.

A doula’s education, training, experience and credentials are important. When doulas have DONA International certification, you know that they have had the best education and training available. You can also be assured that they have a strong sense of professionalism and integrity.

You will also want to consider whether you and your partner feel comfortable with an individual doula. You will need to feel that this doula is supportive of your hopes and expectations about labor, childbirth and parenting, in addition to having a strong professional background and credentials. That is why we recommend the following four-step hiring process when hiring a birth or postpartum doula.

There are birth doulas and post-partum doulas. A birth doula stays with you for the duration of your birth and for 2  hours after the birth of the baby. A post-partum doula specializes in servicing you after the birth of your baby, primarily on an hourly basis.

Questions to Ask a Doula

The following questions will help you decide if a particular doula is right for you.

  • What training have you had? (If a doula is certified, you might consider checking with the organization.)
  • Do you have one or more backup doulas for times when you are not available? May we meet her/them?
  • What is your fee, what does it include and what are your refund policies?

When interviewing a birth doula ask her: 

  • Tell me about your experience as a birth doula.
  • What kind of services do you provide during labor?
  • What is your philosophy about birth and supporting women and their partners through labor?
  • May we meet to discuss our birth plans and the role you will play in supporting me through birth?
  • May we call you with questions or concerns before and after the birth?
  • When do you join women in labor?
  • Do you come to our home or meet us at the place of birth?
  • Do you meet with us after the birth to review the labor and answer questions? 

When interviewing a postpartum doula

  • Tell me about your experience as a postpartum doula.
  • What is your philosophy about parenting and supporting women and their families during postpartum?
  • May we meet to discuss our postpartum needs and the role you will play in supporting us in the postpartum period?
  • May we call you with postpartum questions or concerns before the birth?
  • When do your services begin after birth?
  • What are the services you provide and what they limit to?
  • What is your experience in breastfeeding support?
  • Have you had a criminal background check, a recent TB test and current CPR certification?
  • Some post-partum doulas offer services in cooking your meals and doing your laundry, which needs to be discussed on an individual basis.

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