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27+ Must-ask questions to ask your doula before you hire them

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Bere Horthy

Doula & Registered Nurse

You’re on the hunt for a doula.

It’s an exciting, important decision and a little daunting, I bet. 

Sorting through profiles, trying to figure out who will be the best fit for your big moment.

It’s kind of like trying to find that one book in a huge library. 

You know it’s there, but where do you start? And what questions to ask your doula when you find them?

Let’s tackle this together because finding the perfect doula is absolutely possible. 

With a good set of questions, you can cut through the fog of uncertainty and find the doula that is just right for you and your family.

In this article, we are going to delve into 27+ must-ask questions to ask your doula before you hire them. 

These questions are geared to give you a well-rounded understanding of each potential doula’s training, experience, style, and so much more.

Let’s get into it.

Doula-massage

Questions to ask your doula about their training and experience

You’re inviting this person into one of the most intimate experiences of your life. 

It’s a good idea to know they’ve got the right mix of professional knowledge and hands-on experience to guide you through it. 

  1. What kind of training have you received?
  1. How long have you been a doula, and how many births have you attended?
  1. Have you ever assisted in a birth situation similar to mine (e.g., VBAC, twins, high-risk pregnancy)?
  1. What was your most challenging birth situation, and how did you handle it?
  1. Do you have experience with hospitals, birthing centres, and home births?

Questions to ask your doula about their approach and philosophy

This isn’t just about birth – it’s about YOUR birth. 

You deserve to have someone by your side who aligns with your values and supports your birth preferences.

Whether you’re planning a home birth, hospital birth, natural, or medicated – it’s all up to you. 

If a doula’s approach doesn’t vibe with yours, things can get pretty awkward, pretty fast. 

  1. How would you describe your doula style or approach?
  1. What’s your philosophy on childbirth?
  1. How do you incorporate the partner into the birthing process?
  1. How do you support moms planning for a natural birth or a medicated birth?
Birth helper

Questions to ask your doula about their services

Not all doulas offer the same services. 

Some might be there for you during labour, but what if you want someone to help you navigate those exciting but chaotic first few weeks postpartum? 

Or perhaps you’d like prenatal visits to prepare for the big day. 

It’s all about finding someone whose services align with your unique needs.

  1. What specific services do you offer (e.g., prenatal visits, labour support, postpartum care)?
  2. How do you handle back-to-back births, or if you’re unavailable?
  3. Do you have a backup doula if you can’t attend the birth?
  4. If so, will I get a chance to meet them?
  5. What’s your policy on when you join labouring mothers?
  6. How will we communicate before, during, and after the birth?

Questions to ask your doula about their relationship with medical professionals

Your doula will be a vital part of your birth team, working alongside doctors, nurses, or midwives. 

You want someone who can navigate this medical world with ease and confidence, respecting their expertise while also advocating for your wishes. 

We’ve all heard stories where medical lingo becomes overwhelming, or situations become stressful – this is where your doula comes in. 

If they’ve got a good rapport with healthcare providers, it can help make your birth experience smoother and more positive.

  1. Have you worked with my healthcare provider or at my chosen birthplace before?
  1. Which birthplaces do you have experience with?
  2. How do you work with and communicate with healthcare professionals during the birth?
3 stages of labour

Questions to ask your doula about postpartum support

That tiny little human you’re about to bring into the world – they’ll need loads of care, and you’ll need some TLC too.

That’s where postpartum support can be invaluable.

Having a doula to guide you through breastfeeding (if you choose), navigate sleep patterns, or even spot signs of postpartum depression, can make a huge difference. 

  1. What postpartum services do you offer, if any?
  2. How can you support me in breastfeeding if I choose to do so?
  3. Are you trained in spotting signs of postpartum depression?

Questions to ask your doula about the contract and fees

When you’re hiring a doula, it’s super important to dive into these details. 

You want to be absolutely clear on what you’re paying for, what services are included, and what happens if things don’t go according to plan. 

The more you know up front, the fewer surprises later.

  1. How much do you charge, and what does that include?
  2. Are payment plans or sliding scales available?
  3. What is your refund policy if you miss the birth or we decide to part ways?
  4. Do you have a contract we can review?
after birth help

Questions to ask your doula to gauge personal compatibility

You’re looking for someone who not only knows their stuff but who you genuinely click with. 

You’re looking for a doula you’d feel comfortable having in your personal space when you’re at your most vulnerable. 

You also need a doula who resonates with you and understands your needs, fears, and dreams.

Studies actually show that mothers who have support from a doula have a lower rate of interventions, shorter labours, and have better birth outcomes.

  1. Can we meet in person (or via video call) before making a decision?
  2. What’s the best way to reach you, and how quickly do you respond?
  3. How do you handle stress during labour and delivery?
  4. How can you help me cope with my fears about childbirth?
  5. How do you take care of yourself during long labours?
  6. What do you love most about being a doula?

Time to find your doula

Alright, we’ve covered a lot of ground with these questions, haven’t we? 

But, don’t worry, you’re not supposed to memorise them or anything. 

Consider this your handy guide to navigating those doula chats. 

And yes, it can feel a bit like you’re interviewing someone for a job – because you are.

And it’s a pretty important one at that. 

So, keep this guide close and lean on it when you’re unsure of what to ask next.

Remember, finding the right doula might take a bit of time.

But in the end, it’s totally worth it. 

So here’s to finding that perfect fit, the doula who’ll help make your birth experience everything you hope it can be. 

berenice-horthy-author
Bere Horthy

As a doula and nurse, Bere's mission is to empower and educate women, families, and fellow doulas to make informed decisions throughout their pregnancy, birth, and postpartum journey.

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