Interviewing a Doula

Asking a labor doula these questions over the phone will help you decide if she’s right for you:
-- What training have you had?
-- Are you certified? By what organization? What were the requirements for your certification?
-- Tell us about your experience with birth, personally and as a doula.
-- What is your philosophy about childbirth and supporting women and their partners through labor?
-- May we meet to discuss our birth plan and the role you will play in supporting us through childbirth?
-- May we call you with questions or concerns before and after the birth?
-- When do you join women in labor? Do you come to our home or meet us at the hospital or birth center?
-- Do you meet with us after the birth to review the labor and answer questions?
-- Do you work with backup doulas who cover for you when you’re not available? May we meet them?
-- What is your fee?

When you meet the doula (and it’s a good idea for both you and your partner to meet her), pay particular attention to your personal perceptions of her:
-- Is she warm, kind and enthusiastic?
-- Is she knowledgeable?
-- Does she communicate well?
-- Is she a good listener?
-- Is she comfortable with your choices?
-- Do you feel comfortable with her?

You may want to interview more than one doula. Or, if you like the first doula and backup you meet, you may not need to look any further.

Penny Simkin, PT, is a physical therapist, childbirth educator, doula, birth counselor, doula trainer and author of books and articles for parents and professionals. She is a frequent presenter at conferences and workshops for maternity-care professionals. Copyright by Penny Simkin. Printed with permission.

Source: Doulas of North America

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