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  • Writer's pictureNutured Birth Ottawa

10 Important questions to ask a birth doula during your interview!

Updated: Mar 14, 2023

Woman sits on a tan couch video calling someone. There is a plant and a window to the right of her.

"What to ask a doula during the interview," "questions to ask your doula during your interview," and "questions to ask your prospective doula" are THE most googled topics when families are considering hiring a doula. I mean, it's not every day that you interview someone to support you during one of the most important events of your life. Having a plan of what to ask your prospective doula is very important. What is equally as important is the quality of the questions. What do you REALLY need to know? What will matter most?

The truth is, not all questions are created equally! For example, it matters less to me how many births a doula has been to or whether or not they have children of their own. What I want to know is what that person considers are their strengths as a birth worker, whether they will help me advocate for my individual birth preferences and whether or not they have reliable backup should, for whatever reason, they not be able to support me on the day of the birth.

Here are my top 10 talking points to cover at your doula interview. These questions will allow you to confidently decide if the doula is the right fit for you and your family:

1. What made you want to become a doula? What do you love most about supporting families during pregnancy and birth?

2. Are you a certified doula? If yes, what organization did you do your training though. Have you done any advanced doula trainings? Do you take continuing education courses to keep your skills relevant and up to date?

3. Do you attend all types of births in all different settings? For example, will you support a homebirth, hospital or birth center birth? What would your support look like if I choose a medication free birth, an epidural birth, or require a caesarean section?

4. What is covered during prenatal appointments? Can you please walk me through what the process looks like from hiring through to postpartum?

5. How many clients do you take on each month? Do you have a backup doula that covers for you if you have two births at once, have an emergency or become sick and are unable to attend my birth?

6. What kind of support do you provide when I'm in labor? Are there any specific skills or tools that are your preferred comfort measure techniques? What do you bring with you in your doula bag?

7. Do you have any additional skills or certifications that support your role as a doula? Do you offer any add on services such as prenatal massage, reflexology, nutrition, or yoga?

8. How do you support parents in making decisions during labor and delivery? Do you offer guidance on informed decision-making and self-advocacy? Will you provide guidance and resources to make informed decisions relating to my pregnancy and birth?

9. What does your postpartum support involve? Do you provide guidance around breastfeeding, postpartum healing, babywearing or baby care? If we require the support of a lactation consultant or pelvic floor therapist, for example, will you refer us to trusted practitioners in our area?

10. What are your fees and what services do they include? Do you have payment plans available? When are payments due? What are our next steps?

At Nurtured Birth we call our initial meeting a "Doula Discovery Call." A discovery call is a free 30-45 minute virtual call between a doula and potential client. It gives families the opportunity to have their questions answered and to get a feel for whether the doula would be the right fit for them. This is a very important step! All doulas are different and not every doula will be the right one for you. Taking the time to get to know the doula, and their approach to birth work, will help you feel confident in making the decision to hire them as part of your birth team! However, our discovery calls are so much more than an interview as they are more informative and conversational than a - you ask questions we answer them - kind of situation. We begin the process of careful listening to gain an understanding of our potential clients so we can provide them with the guidance and recommendations that will benefit them, regardless of whether they hire us or not.

Interested in scheduling a Doula Discovery Call? Please contact us to schedule!

This post was written by Ottawa Doula, and Ottawa Prenatal Nutritionist, Julia Davie. Her approach to birth work is heart centered, holistic and inclusive. She is honored to support families in Ottawa, Gatineau, and the surrounding areas.


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