Questions to ask a Prospective Birth Doula

Doula Uk have complied this list to help you interview your prospective doula.

When making initial telephone contact 

  • Are you available around my due date?
  • How long have you been a doula? How many families have you been a doula for?
  • What doula certification do you have or what courses have you attended?
  • How much do you charge, and what is included? Is there a deposit to pay?
  • Do you draw up a written contract? If yes, can I see a copy of it?
  • Do you have a backup? If yes, who is your backup, and can I meet her? Under what circumstances would you send your back-up?
  • What happens if you miss the birth? Is any part of the fee refundable and would you still do the follow-up visits after the birth?
  • What happens if we fail to call you in time for the birth?
  • What happens if we decide nearer the birth that we no longer require a doula?

 During a face to face interview

  • What part of your job do you enjoy most?
  • What skills and abilities do you personally feel you bring to your doula role?
  • What is your philosophy of childbirth and your work as a doula?
  • What books do you recommend to new parents?
  • How do you handle conflicts with family members or medical professionals?
  • If you have a particular concern about the birth or postnatally e.g. physical, emotional or psychological etc, ask the doula how they would address those issues specifically?
  • Can you provide references?
  • Do you have children?
  • How is your childcare organised (what if I go into labour in the middle of the night)?
  • What was your birth(s) experience?
  • What are your feelings about pain relief?
  • Are you insured?
  • How long will you stay with me before and after the birth?
  • What is my partner’s role during labour?
  • Will you support my partner and if so how?
  • What are your feelings about midwives?
  • How many prenatal visits do you provide? How many postnatal visits?
  • Will you attend a prenatal appointment with us to meet our caregiver?
  • Can we meet to draw up a Birth Plan together?
  • What is your availability? For how long before and after my due date will you be on call? What are the closest due dates of your other clients?
  • How long does it take you to get to me?
  • How do I contact you? Phone? Home? Mobile or Pager? Daytime and night-time?
  • What is your role in early/pre-labour? Will you come to my home in labour or come only when I transfer to hospital?
  • Can we telephone/email you before and after the birth with questions/concerns we have? Meaning – how often may we contact you during the contract period?
  • What hospitals/midwives have you worked with in the local area?
  • How do you feel about breastfeeding and what is your experience of it?

As a parent you may want to think about the following points when hiring a birth doula:

  • Could we spend up to 48 hours together?
  • Does she listen to me well?
  • Will she respect my wishes?
  • Will my partner like her? (or children if applicable e.g. for a home birth perhaps)
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