Whether you’ve already decided you want a doula to help you through the birthing process, or you’re just starting to research options, you will likely meet many candidates before you choose the one to hire. It is important to ask many questions when meeting prospective doulas, so you find the right one for this important day.
1. How Many Births Do You Take Per Month?
It is common for doulas to take more than one client, so it’s a good idea to gauge how many births your doula will be juggling near your due date. You may want a doula who only takes one birth per month to ensure they are available for your birth, or you may be fine with a doula who accepts more.
If you choose a doula who schedules multiple births per month, ask how they manage their schedule and what they would do if two births conflicted.
2. Where Did You Receive Your Training?
While many doulas invest time and money into training, some doulas choose to run their practices without being certified. It is not a requirement to be certified to practice as a doula. Programs typically take 6 to 12 weeks to complete.
The importance of this is up to you, but if you are concerned about training, ask if they gave a DONA (Doulas of North America) or CAPPA (Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association), which would signify they got their training through a recognized organization and have experience with multiple births already. You should also ask how long they were in training and what they enjoyed most about the experience.
3. How Will You Support Me During the Process?
Leave this question open-ended to allow each potential doula to give you a good sense of their process. If a doula says anything that makes you feel nervous or uncomfortable, either clarify your concern right away or don’t choose this doula.
You want to be completely comfortable and at ease with your doula. Clarify how involved your doula will be – some doulas offer support leading up to, during, and after the birth while others are only present during the birthing process. Make sure the doula you hire will be as involved as you want them to be.