When you decide a doula is a necessity for your maternity care and support, interviewing the ones local to you is a significant part of the process. You want a doula who is local to you, understands your needs, and can support your every need. Consider asking these questions before hiring a doula.
What Is Your Ideal Birth Philosophy?
Asking the doula of interest their ideal philosophy on birth will paint a clear picture of whether they align with your needs. If they have never supported and do not intend to support home birth, and your plan is delivering at home, this pairing would not work. While everyone has their own philosophy, your birth support should mesh with your wishes or goals.
How Many Births Have You Witnessed?
Each birth will teach a doula something new because each birth is unique and unlike any other. Amazingly, no two births will ever be the same. Therefore, the more births a doula witnesses, the more experience they will have in supporting an individual through various challenges. Birth is unpredictable and beautiful. Having a doula ready for anything with a lot of experience will give you confidence throughout the process.
Can I Call Past Patients for Reference?
If you ask your family and friends for a doula’s information, they may have a contact card for someone in the area. Consider starting with these options since you have access to peer review. Otherwise, consider asking the doula if you can discuss their support measures with previous clients to make a fairer judgment call on whether their support style and offerings are right for your needs.
Do You Offer Postnatal Care?
Don’t forget about your postpartum phase. Postpartum, or the fourth trimester, is just as important as pregnancy and childbirth care. Often, the doula you hire will play a significant role after childbirth and well into the fourth trimester. Typical postnatal care packages include meal planning or preparing, household support, breastfeeding support, and much more. Take advantage of these services if they are available.