So, you've decided that you would like a Doula's support at your birth and have created a list of potential candidates, now what?! Time to set-up and hold interviews.
Conducting an in-person interview with your potential Doula(s) is strongly recommended. When it comes to choosing a Doula that is the right match for you, it is important to remember that the person(s) you decide upon will be with you in an extraordinarily intimate time. Your and your partner's level of comfort with the doula is a very significant consideration while you are interviewing. Therefore, meeting your potential Doulas in person will help you assess the chemistry between each of you.
Call or email each candidate to set-up a time to meet at your home, coffee shop, library, or other quiet place of your choosing. In your pre-interview conversation, be sure to make sure the Doula is available for your due date. Then, plan to meet for about 45 minutes to an hour and highlight your priorities in a list of questions to ask. To ease your preparation for the doula interview, here is a list of questions, suggested by DONA International, that will help you in making your decision...
• Where did you receive your training and from which organization?
• How long was your training, and how much of it was devoted to supporting families (as opposed to business or other topics)? Have you taken any advanced trainings?
• Are you certified or working toward certification? Why do you value certification?
• Tell me about your experience supporting families as a doula. How long have you been a doula, and how many families have you supported?
• What techniques will you use to help me move through labor?
• How will you support my partner through this process?
• How will you interact with my medical team?
Business & Logistics Questions:
• Will we meet for prenatal visits before the birth, and what is included in those visits?
• When do you consider yourself "on call" 24/7 for my birth? If there is a window of call time, what happens if I deliver before that timeframe begins?
• Will you come to me whenever I need you in labor, or is your support only available after a certain point in the process?
• Will we meet postpartum, and what is included in those visits?
• Are phone, email and text support available before and after the birth?
• Do you have a backup doula for times when you are not available? May we meet your backup?
• What is your fee, and what does it include? Are there any time limits or added fees if I have an unexpectedly long labor? *Review the doula's contract for refund policies and other details.
• If we decide to hire you, what are our next steps?
After Interview Considerations
• How comfortable was I with the doula/s?
• Did the doula/s communicate well with me and my family?
• Do I feel confident that the doula/s will be able to work collaboratively with my birth team?
• What was the doula's level of knowledge? Did one seem more knowledgeable than another? Did I feel that my questions were answered thoroughly?
• Do I feel comfortable having this doula (these doulas) in my home?
• If there are unexpected situations, or if I need support early in labor, do I feel confident that this doula (these doulas) can offer what I'll need at that time?
• Who is the right doula to nurture and support my family through this process? Did I feel a connection?
• What does my overall intuition say?
Resource Credit: DONA International