When you’re pregnant, and especially when you become a first-time parent, it can be overwhelming to make all the decisions you need to make before your baby arrives. One of those decisions is whether or not to hire a doula.
If you’re thinking about hiring a doula but don’t know where to start, here are some questions to ask potential candidates. By asking these questions, you’ll get a better understanding of what a doula does and how she can support you during pregnancy and after birth.
40 Questions you can ask a doula:
- What is your experience as a doula?
- Do you have any specialized training or certifications?
- What services do you offer?
- How do you typically work with clients?
- What are your fees and what do they include?
- Are you available to provide support during my entire labor and delivery?
- What if I need you outside of normal business hours or on weekends?
- What are your thoughts on natural childbirth?
- What if I want or need pain medication during labor?
- What if I end up needing a C-section?
- Will you be my only support person during labor or will you have someone else with you?
- How do you feel about epidurals?
- Have you dealt with any difficult situations during birth before? If so, how did you handle it?
- Have you ever had a client who had complications during labor or delivery?
- Do you have any experience with high-risk pregnancies or birth complications?
- What if I want to use alternative therapies during labor, like hypnosis or aromatherapy?
- What is your philosophy on breastfeeding?
- Do you have experience with breastfeeding support?
- Do you have any experience with newborn care?
- Can you help me with newborn care after I come home from the hospital?
- Will you be available to answer questions or give advice after I deliver my baby?
- Do you have liability insurance?
- Would you be willing to sign a non-disclosure agreement prior to working with me so that anything we discuss remains confidential?
- What are your policies on payment and cancellation?
- What are your availability and hours?
- How will we communicate during my pregnancy?
- What is included in your prenatal package?
- What is your role during labor and delivery?
- Do you have any experience with postpartum mood disorders like postpartum depression or anxiety?
- What are your postpartum policies?
- Do you offer postpartum services?
- What other services do you offer for new parents?
- What are some techniques you use to help manage pain during labor?
- Will you be on call 24/7 during my due date month?
- What happens if I go into labor outside of normal business hours?
- Are there any situations where you would refuse to provide support?
- Who will take over if something happens to prevent you from being available during my due date month or after I give birth (e.g., sickness, emergency)?
- Have you ever had a client who was not satisfied with your services? If so, how did you handle it?
- How do you work with the father/partner?
- What should I do if I’m having doubts about my birth plan?
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the role of a doula?
A doula’s job is to provide physical, emotional, and informational support to the mother before, during, and shortly after childbirth. They’ve no medical training, but they can provide a wealth of knowledge about the birth process and help the mother make informed decisions about her care.
Doulas can also provide comfort and reassurance to the father or partner and other family members who may be present. Ultimately, the doula’s goal is to help the mother have a positive birth experience.
What are the benefits of having a doula?
Having a doula has many advantages. First and foremost, a doula provides continuous support throughout the birthing process. This can be incredibly helpful for women who feel overwhelmed or anxious.
In addition, a doula can guide the woman and her partner through the birth process, providing information and advice as needed. Doulas can also offer massage and relaxation techniques to help the woman manage her pain.
Finally, the presence of a doula can help ensure that the woman has a positive birth experience.
A doula can be an invaluable resource and support during pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period – but not all doulas are the same! Before you hire a doula, you can ask these questions to help you find the right person for your needs.
And remember, if you’re not sure if a doula is right for you, most are happy to provide you with some references so you can experience firsthand what it’s like to work with them.
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