8 Questions to Ask a Doula at an Interview
The truth is you can find many lists out there with questions to ask doulas during the interview, also called a consultation, because it is more about getting to know the doula team. The intake call, done before the consultation, is about answering those logistic questions such as what is included in the package, fees, payment options, and how and when to hire the doula. We decided to make our own list because as a doula agency, we think there are better questions to ask than what is usually advised by babyli.st and fox news and so on.
1. Why did you become a birth doula?
Why did she become a doula? What sparked her interest in supporting families during the birth of their baby? This is a great way to get to know your potential doula better. By hearing her answer you will know more about the passion behind her career as a birth doula.
2. Do you provide nonjudgemental support?
A typical list will have you ask the doula about her birthing philosophy. At Virginia is for Doulas none of our doulas have birthing philosophies. We know how we would personally birth, but we support clients exactly how they want to be supported while providing nonjudgemental support every step of the way. Epidural? Okay! Home water birth? Okay! No epidural in the hospital? Okay! Breastfeeding? Okay! Bottle feeding? Okay! Attachment parenting? Okay! Sleep schedule? Okay! The list goes on. From the moment our doulas begin to support you all of your questions, concerns and needs will be met with 100% nonjudgemental support.
When looking for a doula you should ask her if she will support all of your choices for your birth or postpartum recovery. You do not need to hire someone to give you their opinions about what you should and should not do, that's what friends and family do.
3. Do you have back up? How does that relationship work?
Most solo doulas work with a back up doula as their plan B should they fall ill or be at another birth when your big day comes. Can you meet this doula? How will you get in contact with her? The Virginia is for Doulas' difference is that our birth doulas work in teams of 2, twice the support, twice the knowledge, twice the fun. You will meet the doula team at your consultation visit and see them again at your prenatal visit. You will never have to worry if the back up will fit, know your wishes, or if you and your partner will be comfortable with her- you have already met her!
Our doula teams rotate a call schedule every other week, this schedule is given to you after contract signing so that you know exactly who to call when you need someone to talk to, share exciting news with, work on your birth plan, or bring in support for your labor.
4. What happens if I deliver early?
It is important to know if your doula will be available to you should your baby need/decide to come early. You want to be sure that you hire a doula that will be able to be available to you when you need the support. A doula is a valuable, but big investment, and it should be everything that you need. Due to our 24/7 availability, regardless of when your baby comes, one of your doulas will be there to support you.
5. Are you familiar with my planned birthing location?
A common question that most lists have you ask is if the doula has *experience* with your birthing location. It is not important that she have experience there, but rather that your doula is familiar with the facility. Does she know the hospital protocols that you might want answers to? That is what is important. All of our doulas know the protocols and add ons of the hospitals that they attend births in, because we want you to be comfortable knowing that your doula can answer your questions and find her way around.
6. Do you work well with all providers and nurses?
The last thing you need during your birth is incompatibility between your support team. Ask the doula you are interviewing if she works well with all the local providers, be they Obstetrician or Midwife. Ask her how her relationship is with the nurses who will be helping you. It is important that she works well with providers so that they can focus on their job, you can focus on laboring, and she can focus on supporting you and your partner.
We make an effort to tour all the hospitals we will attend births at so that the staff has a face to put with our agency name. We meet with providers to say thank you and share our information and listen to their concerns and share how we can support their patients.
7. Where did you train and why did you choose that organization?
While most lists say to focus on the number of births a doula has attended, the training is just as important, if not more so. A good doula can attune with your needs, supports you 100%, can answer your questions, help you feel confident, secure, and in control. Attending many births is helpful, but the key is an excellent training and the passion and knowledge to support you just how you need to be supported.
Why did she choose the organization? Is it in depth? Does it teach hands on skills at an in person training or online training? What besides a workshop is required? How does that benefit you as a client?
8. How will you involve/support my partner?
Does your partner want to be involved with the massaging and hip squeezing? Or do they just want to be there to hold your hand and encourage you? Perhaps a mix of both. Will your doula team show your partner how they can be involved during the prenatal visit so that they are familiar with the techniques when the time comes? A partner is helpful and has love for the baby you are about to meet and your doula will have experience, training and the skills to help you both through the labor just how you want.
As you search for the best addition to your birthing team ask the best questions during your interview to be sure you hire the best doula you can have. We want to welcome you to the comfort of support, inquire today.