Post # 1
Darling Husband and I decided last minute to have a doula to help out with my natural birth in the hospital. There’s a few who are available for my due date and now I have to interview them ASAP. I need help from others who have been there or considered one with what questions to ask.
Post # 4
Off the top of my head:
how many births have you been to? are you known to the local midwives/doctors, and if so, do you have a good relationship with them? how much do you charge and what does that include? are you accrediteded with DONA or ALACE? when will you come to be with us and how long will you stay if I have a long labour? how do you feel about epidurals? how do you feel about interventions?
I also think it can be telling whether or not a doula has a child/children of her own….not because it necessarily makes her a better doula (I’m a child-free midwife, after all!) but because you want to be sure that her birth experience isn’t going to influence her ability to help you through yours.
Same reason to ask about interventions….it’s important for a doula to help facilitate as natural a birth as possible/as you want, but also to bear in mind that sometimes interventions can be beneficial and/or necessary, and it’s her role to help you navigate those times with confidence and without bias.
Post # 5
+1 on all the questions above. One thing we asked our doula candidates was what they liked the most and the least about their jobs. It was really interesting to hear what they said and helped us make the final decision.
Also, just pay attention to how you feel around each doula you interview. This is somebody you want to be reasurring when you’re in labor. Darling Husband should also feel comfortable with her. My Darling Husband really appreciated the role our doula played. He was my main support and she was there to do things he wouldn’t know to do (like rock my hips while I was laboring on my side) and to help him be comfortable with things like toning – she could also step away to get cool towels while he stayed by me, and she stayed by me when Darling Husband went to the other side of the room to be with our baby while he was checked out by the docs after he was born. If he’d been uncomfortable with her it wouldn’t have worked nearly as well.
Post # 6
Our doula (for both births) was a family friend so we didn’t interview her – and I’m having a lot of trouble trying to figure out what I’d ask her if I had interviewed her!
In the hospital, she was soooooo helpful in “enforcing” my birth plan (and telling the nurses there wouldn’t be any intervention). Maybe ask how she works with hospital staff to support your wishes?
I think I’d also ask how she will encourage you – what she likes to do to help moms out during the tough parts. And I’d ask her to tell me about the type of physical assistance she can provide (back presses, etc), and also ask what she sees her role to be in case labor or birth becomes especially different or complicated.
Post # 7
Thank you for all of the great advice! 🙂
Post # 8
Here’s some from the DONA site:
And from childbirthconnect.org (a great birthing resource)
I kinda had a doula, but she came with my MW so I didn’t have to “interview” her. GL!