How to hire a doula
How to hire the doula for you
A doula can greatly enhance your experience of childbirth
and the postpartum months. Your birth doula will be at your side along with your care provider and partner, as part of your team for continuous support during labor and birth. Or maybe you’d like a postpartum doula to help you through the transition into parenthood and family. Either way, finding a good fit for you and your family is critical.
A doula’s education, training, experience and credentials are important. When doulas have DONA International certification, you know that they have had the best education and training available. You can also be assured that they have a strong sense of professionalism and integrity.
You will also want to consider whether you and your partner feel comfortable with an individual doula. You will need to feel that this doula is supportive of your hopes and expectations about labor, childbirth and parenting, in addition to having a strong professional background and credentials. That is why we recommend the following four-step hiring process when hiring a birth or postpartum doula.
Obtain names of DONA International doulas using our easy online doula locator
Questions to Ask a Doula
The following questions will help you decide if a particular doula is right for you.
For any doula
- What training have you had? (If a doula is certified, you might consider checking with the organization.)
- Do you have one or more backup doulas for times when you are not available? May we meet her/them?
- What is your fee, what does it include and what are your refund policies?
When interviewing a birth doula
- Tell me about your experience as a birth doula.
- What is your philosophy about birth and supporting women and their partners through labor?
- May we meet to discuss our birth plans and the role you will play in supporting me through birth?
- May we call you with questions or concerns before and after the birth?
- When do you try to join women in labor? Do you come to our home or meet us at the place of birth?
- Do you meet with us after the birth to review the labor and answer questions?
When interviewing a postpartum doula
- Tell me about your experience as a postpartum doula.
- What is your philosophy about parenting and supporting women and their families during postpartum?
- May we meet to discuss our postpartum needs and the role you will play in supporting us in the postpartum period?
- May we call you with postpartum questions or concerns before the birth?
- When do your services begin after birth?
- What is your experience in breastfeeding support?
- Have you had a criminal background check, a recent TB test and current CPR certification?
Check credentials and references.
If the doula is a DONA International certified doula, you can confirm her certification by using our online doula locator. DONA International certification is a meaningful measure of a doula’s commitment and professionalism.
Conduct an in-person interview.
It is a good idea for both you and your partner to meet doula candidates to decide if they are compatible with your family. Are they kind, warm and enthusiastic? Are they knowledgeable? Do they communicate well? Are they good listeners? Are they comfortable with your choices or do they seem to have their own agenda? Do you feel at ease with them?
The way that you feel with a doula is more important than the number of births that they have attended or how many new families they have nurtured. You may want to interview more than one doula and make comparisons before choosing your doula.