30 Interview Questions to Ask a Birth Doula

30 Interview Questions to Ask a Birth Doula | Baby Chick

30 Interview Questions to Ask a Birth Doula

Over the years, I have gone to hundreds of interviews as a doula. Some couples come to the consultation fully prepared with a list of questions ready to go, and others show up having no idea what to ask. It’s so important to choose the right birth doula for you and being prepared with the right questions ahead of time will help you choose the best support person. But how do you know who is the right choice?

First, you need to have a good understanding of what you want/are looking for in a birth doula. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, here are 30 questions that will help determine just that. I have been asked all of these questions, and more and these are my top birth doula interview questions. These will help you get started and realize which questions are most important for you to ask when deciding on a doula.

The #1 question to ask before you even schedule an interview is…

1. Are you available for my due date?

You want to make sure that you aren’t wasting your time meeting with someone that is already booked around your due date or will be out of town.

2. How many births do you take per month?

Some doulas only take one client per month, and others take 5 or 6 clients or even more per month. You may not feel comfortable with someone taking too many due dates in a month (since that increases their chances of needing to use their backup for your birth). I usually recommend that a doula take no more than 4 birth doula clients a month; that’s around one birth per week.

3. Do you have any other clients that have due dates near mine?

If they do have other clients that are due during your month, ask when their due dates are and if those people are delivering close to where you will be delivering. (Just in case that doula is going from one birth to another. I personally have had people that were due over a month apart go into labor on the same day, but other clients that were due just days apart deliver their babies on completely different weeks. You just never know!)

4. Are you going to be in town for my due date?

If they are going out of town near or around your due date, you will want to ask for how long, how far away she will be (maybe it’s not a far drive), and how she handles births if she is out of town.

5. Do you have a backup doula? How did you choose your backup doula?

Doulas must have at least one backup doula. If the doula you are interviewing doesn’t have a backup doula, do not hire her as your doula. You should always receive care even if your hired doula happens not to be available. You never know; she could get into an accident on the way to your birth, be severely and/or contagiously ill, could be stuck in a flood, etc. Things happen. You need to know who her backup is, as well as how and why she chose her as her backup. It’s also nice if you can meet her backup in advance or at least talk to her over the phone.

6. Where did you receive your doula training?

I, personally, take my doula career very seriously and have invested a lot of time and money in my training and certifications. I felt that if I was going to make this my profession, I needed to treat it as such. I believe that all doulas should be trained and follow a code of ethics. (You’d be surprised about the number of doulas that choose not to be trained or certified.) There are so many doula trainings available now, so become familiar with them — the ones the I recommend the most are DONA and CAPPA since they are globally recognized and respected organizations.

7. How long ago was your training? What was required of you to receive your certification? How long did it take you to finish your training? Have you done any continued education?

Receiving a certification and continuing education is a great way to keep current on birth topics and stay familiar and knowledgable about new/different methods of support. However, as I said before, not all doulas choose to be trained or certified. She may have other experience though that equally qualifies her to do doula work. She could be an RN that worked as a labor and delivery nurse, or she could be a retired midwife. I believe that even these women should go through doula training because these roles are very different from one another. However, these women have a lot more experience than someone that has no labor support experience at all.

8. What is your birth philosophy?

This is always an interesting question, and it could be answered in many different ways. There is no particular right answer. By asking this question, you’ll find out so much about the doula you are interviewing. Your potential doula’s answer will let you know her passion and commitment to birth, and it will help you form a wise opinion about hiring her for your upcoming labor and birth.

9. How long have you been a doula? How many births have you been to?

To some families, a lot of experience is really important. To others, it may not be as significant. Some families want to feel confident that the doula knows how to best support them at their birth since birth can unfold in so many different ways. I will say though, experienced professionals all had to be beginners at some point, you know? Usually, people with less experience have a lower fee, which is great for families that are on a tight budget but are still wanting continuous support.

10. Have you had any children? If so, did your birth experiences influence you to be a doula? Why? What did you learn from your birth experiences?

Some women feel that they must hire a doula that has had a child themselves. To others, it’s not significant. I understand that it is nice to have that common bond, but having a baby isn’t a necessity to be a good doula. (There are plenty of great male OBs out there that have never given birth as well as great female OBs that have never had a baby). If the doula hasn’t had a baby, hopefully, she has done additional training and is educating herself more on the process to provide better support and care.

11. Why did you decide to become a doula?

This is always my favorite question. You can tell when someone really loves their job when they tell you how they fell in love with their career as a doula.

12. What are your fees?

There isn’t a standard rate for doulas. Pricing could be as low as $300 (or possibly less if she is brand new) to as high as $2,000 or even more (depending on where you are located). Usually, newer doulas charge less than seasoned doulas. No matter how new the doula is, though, her time for training, remaining on-call and providing continuous emotional, physical, and educational support should be compensated fairly.

13. What forms of payment do you accept?

Maybe they only accept cash or check. They may only accept credit cards or can send you an invoice via PayPal. This is good to know, especially if you want to set up a payment plan.

14. What is included in your doula package?

How many prenatal visits will you have? How long are your prenatal visits? Will you receive a postpartum visit after your baby is born? If so, one or two? Does their birth doula package include any of their other services? Maybe childbirth classes, massage, or placenta encapsulation? It’s good to know what you are paying for.

15. What do you typically cover during your prenatal visits?

If your curious about the topics that they usually cover during their prenatal visits with clients, ask!

16. Where do we meet your clients for prenatal visits?

Some doulas will come to your home for prenatal visits. Others may be a part of an agency, and you have to meet your doula at their office. Understand where your meetings will take place, and if you need to prepare or bring anything with you.

17. Have you been to my hospital/birth center before? What were your experiences like?

There are certain hospitals that I have been to that I’ve had terrible experiences at. I can say the same thing about a birth center too. Asking the doulas what their experiences are like will give you a good idea of what your experience might be like. It will also show you how that doula handled those challenging births.

18. Have you worked with my doctor/midwife before? What were your experiences like?

The same thing goes for your care provider. Doulas are working with them constantly, and they get to see behind the curtain/ what your care provider is really like. This can better prepare you for what to expect. Since they have the experiences, they can tell you what you can expect from your doctor or midwife during labor and birth.

19. When will you join me in labor? Would you come to my home first?

Most doulas will help you labor at home before you go to the hospital. They want to make sure that you don’t get to the hospital too soon. (You don’t want to get to the hospital too early just to be sent back home.)

20. How do you feel about cesarean births?

Doulas should be supportive of all births. There is no wrong way to have a baby. Everything is your choice. As long as you feel happy and satisfied with your experience, that was the right birth for you. Do not let a doula tell you that cesareans are all bad because that is definitely not the case.

21. Do you attend cesarean births? If so, how do you support women during a cesarean and after one?

If you know that you have the possibility of needing a c-section, it would be nice to know ahead of time how she can support you and your partner during this birth and recovery experience.

22. What if I labor longer than 12-hours or 24-hours? Will you still be there? Does the price change?

Personally, I charge only one package fee. Whether you have a 2-hour birth or a 48-hour birth, everyone pays the same fee. I don’t feel that it is right for a woman to worry about how much she is going to owe me at the end of her birth. She should not be staring at the clock between contractions. She shouldn’t be worrying about anything, for that matter! However, some doulas will charge an hourly fee after a certain point. Be sure to ask this in advance.

23. What happens to my fee if there was no labor support provided? (In case you have a fast birth, an emergency c-section due to health reasons, etc.)

Some doulas replace that lost labor support time with a different service, like postpartum doula care or lactation support or massage appointments. Other doulas refund a part of their fee. Understand how she handles situations like these that are beyond anyone’s control.

24. How long will you stay with me after I give birth?

It’s common for doulas to stay up to 2-hours (or even more) to help with initial breastfeeding, taking pictures for you and your new family member, etc.

25. How would you describe your support style as a doula?

This is a great question to ask to get a better understanding of how they like to work. Some doulas are better at being very quiet and provided a powerful silent, gentle, and calm force. Others are better at being a coach or a cheerleader. And some will be like a mother to you, or a sister, or a friend. Know what it is that you are wanting, and look for the characteristics with each doula that you interview. Read about the Five Love Languages of Labor and Delivery here.

26. What do you typically do when supporting one of your clients during labor and birth?

It’s great to know the relaxation/coping techniques as well as the different positions that they use with their clients during labor. These answers will give you a good sense of how prepared they are to support you during your baby’s birth. (Do they use aromatherapy, massage, counter pressure, hydrotherapy, hot packs/ cold packs, pressure points, etc.?)

27. How do you feel about epidurals or any pain medication?

Some doulas only like to work with women that want natural births. If you want an epidural or any other pain medications, you need to make sure that your doula is supportive of those choices.

28. Do you have any references? If so, can I speak with your references? If not, do you have any reviews that I can read?

Being able to read reviews or speak to other women that have used them as doulas is a great way to see if she will be the right fit for you. Most women will go in full detail about their doula and how helpful she was at the birth. These always help when determining the right doula for you.

29. (If you are taking Bradley Classes or Hypnobabies/Hypnobirthing classes): How familiar are you with the childbirth classes that I’m taking? Have you supported anyone else who has taken these classes?

Most doulas are very familiar with all the various childbirth classes available. Ask if your potential doula has supported anyone using these specific techniques and what their experiences are. I recommend hiring a doula who is familiar with your chosen techniques and makes them a priority in your discussions about her role in how the birth could play out.

30. Do you offer any additional services? Have you done any other trainings?

Speaking for myself, once I realized that I wanted to be a birth doula, I decided to go to massage therapy school so I could better support laboring women. I then became a certified postpartum doula, childbirth educator, newborn educator, infant massage instructor, and more! You may be finding someone who has received a lot of training and education in other areas, and you could take advantage of their knowledge and other services as well.

There you have it! My top 30 interview questions to ask when hiring a birth doula. I’d love to hear your thoughts on these questions and if there are any other questions that you think I should add to the list. Please share in the comments below!

About the Author /

Nina is The Baby Chick® & CEO of Baby Chick®. She is a baby planner, birth doula, postpartum doula, childbirth educator, newborn care specialist, and a mother. With over eight years of experience, she has supported hundreds of families during their pregnancies, births, and postpartum journeys.

My Favorite Cloth Diapering Systems 👶⁠ .⁠ T My Favorite Cloth Diapering Systems 👶⁠
Think diaper changing is straight forward and simple? Not so fast for the cloth diapering mamas. While cloth diapers generally save us quite a bit of cash after that initial investment 💰, it does require a bit of a process, and a good cloth diapering system, to make it less time-consuming. The good news? Once you have it down and have the right tools on hand, it doesn’t have to be all that difficult at all. 🙌 Here are some favorite cloth diapering systems (and tips) that make diaper changes (and cleaning) way more manageable.⁠ {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠
Article by: Rebecca Jacobs⁠
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Most women who have had children are fully aware of the hormonal and emotional changes that they experience. However, science is only just starting to understand how these changes occur in human mothers’ brains. While mothers know what it feels like to experience these changes, most of us don't know exactly what happens to a woman's brain when she becomes a mother. Turns out, a lot is happening! 😲 {Click 🔗 in bio to read more about it!⁠}⁠
Article by: Rachel MacPherson⁠
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You may think that you are helping them by doing e You may think that you are helping them by doing everything for them. But there comes a time when they need to learn how to do things for themselves. ⁠
"Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime." The same rule applies.⁠
We want our kids to be strong, independent, self-reliant, and successful. They learn quickly what they can get away with. Teaching them kindness and a good work ethic from the beginning goes a long way. ❤️⁠ Put the hard work in now and watch them bloom into a strong and independent adult later. 💪
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However you choose to feed your baby, your baby an However you choose to feed your baby, your baby and your opinion are all that matter. If you choose and are able to breastfeed, feed your baby anywhere and everywhere HOWEVER you want to . . . with or without a cover. You have rights, mama. No need to explain or cover yourself for anybody if you don't want to. 💕⁠
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5 Things I Wish I Had Known About Potty Training⁠ 🚽⁠
Let’s talk about potty training! It’s one of those monumental milestones we mamas walk through with our toddlers that make them suddenly seem like they went from babies to tiny little humans overnight. And, while it can be an exciting time (and a time to save some serious cash by ditching diapers), it can also come with lots of stress. 🙃 From cleaning up potty accidents for what may seem like days (or even weeks) to wondering if you’ll ever be able to drive further than down the block without having to stop for a potty break 🤦‍♀️, potty training can be daunting.⁠
But, what many moms agree on is that once it’s done, you kinda forget about all the stress that came along with it. Kinda like pregnancy and giving birth —you just sort of forget about it all until you do it all over again.⁠ 🤪⁠
Here are five things I wish I had known about potty training before I jumped into it with my then two-and-a-half-year-old daughter. Because, if I had known these things, I think I would have been a bit more laid back about the whole thing! {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠
Article by: Rebecca Jacobs⁠
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In the United States, 16.2% of married women aged 15-49 struggle with infertility. It is no surprise, then, that fertility treatments are becoming more of a necessity for couples who are faced with infertility and wish to have children. While there are many types of fertility treatments, IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) is one of the most commonly known options. However, the high cost of IVF is often cited as the primary obstacle to undergoing treatment. 💸 Let's take a look at what IVF entails, and how much IVF costs. {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠
Article by: @kristen_vhmiddleton⁠
📷: @lizbrownfitness
She isn't as cheerful as usual? She is being a bit She isn't as cheerful as usual? She is being a bit short with her replies back? Don't be hard on her. It more than likely has nothing to do with you. You never how many times her kids got her up last night. 😴 #bekindalways
🖌: @growupbrite
You're the reason that I breathe but also the reas You're the reason that I breathe but also the reason that I am out of breath. 😉🤪😂 #momlife
You're My Baby Forever, But My Newborn for Now⁠ You're My Baby Forever, But My Newborn for Now⁠ 💕⁠
When I had my first baby, everyone told me to enjoy the newborn stage because it goes fast, and I would miss it. But I was so exhausted and overwhelmed I didn’t believe them. 😴 While I was living through it, it felt like it took forever!⁠
If you are there now or about to enter this stage, it’s a yummy, delicious, snuggly stage. But for me, it has always been one of the harder ones, every time I go through it. So I see and feel you, mama! It’s physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausting. Hold tight, though, because it doesn’t last forever.⁠
So, while you are struggling to keep your eyes open, and your mental state together, here are a few things to try to savor while your baby is still a newborn. {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠
Article by: Rebecca Guez⁠
📷: unknown
Daddy Chronicles: Breastfeeding 💙⁠ by @chroni Daddy Chronicles: Breastfeeding 💙⁠
by @chroniclesofdaddy⁠
I've been asked so many questions by men about fatherhood. So I figured I'd drop some knowledge on my fellow Dads and soon-to-be-Dads. Here's what it looks like for the first few weeks or months after your child is born. Yup. If mom breastfeeds they pretty much are tucked like this and at times you'll wonder "what is there for me to do?" Here are my top 5 tips for any Dad after your child is born.⁠
1️⃣ For night feedings. When mom wakes up in the middle of the night, you get up and ask if she needs any help or water. The truth is most of the time she will say no but just the fact that you offered will go far.⁠
2️⃣ Ask mom if she can pump and then pick 1 feeding that you will always do. Mom will take on almost everything and will burn herself out if you let her. At times you may have to force her to rest without worrying about the baby. This is an easy way to do that without a fight.⁠
3️⃣ Don't put a time limit on how long mom breastfeeds the baby. It's not just about feeding your child it's about them bonding as well. I know everyone has a different length of time they will breastfeed and as a Dad, it's hard to fully understand. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT try and rush this process. It's not our place and it's not safe. You will open yourself up to a fight you can't win.⁠
4️⃣ Be patient. I know as a Dad the first few weeks we are equally excited and yet not as important. Your time will come faster than you know. Babies grow fast and the stronger and bigger they get the more Daddy Time will be coming your way.⁠
5️⃣ Paternity leave! If you have it TAKE IT. The early stages of a child's life are not just for moms to enjoy. I know as men making the money especially after having a baby it's hard, but trust me. You can always make money but there are no instant replays in life. It doesn't make you more of a man to not take the leave. It's equally as important that you as a Dad get to be a part of the early development of your child. ⁠
If someone needs this info tag them ❤️⁠
Absolutely love these tips from @chroniclesofdaddy. 🙌
7 Postpartum Yoga Poses That Strengthen Your Body 7 Postpartum Yoga Poses That Strengthen Your Body After Baby 🧘‍♀️⁠
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What are some strange things you do as a #boymom or #girlmom?
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Potty Training Tips! A step-by-step guide 🚽⁠ Potty Training Tips! A step-by-step guide 🚽⁠
1️⃣ Look for signs of readiness:⁠
- Diaper dry for at least 1-2 hours.⁠
- Pulling at their diaper when its wet or soiled.⁠
- Hiding or fidgeting when going pee or poo in diaper.⁠
- Interest in others using the potty.⁠
- Waking up with a dry diaper after naps.⁠
- Telling you when they have gone pee or poo.⁠
Potty training is much quicker if your child is showing the above signs, but you can start before this.⁠
2️⃣ What you will need to buy:⁠
- Toilet seat insert to place on your toilet⁠
- Steps⁠
- Underwear (at least 10 pairs)⁠
- Foldable toilet seat (for when you are out of the house)⁠
- Piddle pad (for car journeys)⁠
- Waterproof shoes such as crocs, sliders, etc. (they can be rinsed and dried)⁠
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3️⃣ Getting yourself and your child prepared:⁠
- Talk to your child about using the potty, maybe take them into the bathroom when you go and talk them through the process (e.g. wiping, flushing, and washing hands, etc.)⁠
- Practice pulling pants or shorts up and down.⁠
- Look on YouTube with your child at some potty training stories (e.g. 'I Want My Potty' and 'Pirate Pete's Potty')⁠
- Involve your child in choosing and buying everything you need - choosing character-themed underwear is usually very exciting!⁠
- Sit your child on the potty at every diaper change, first thing in the morning and just before bed to get them used to sitting on the toilet.⁠
- Teach your child the correct vocabulary or signs needed to communicate when they need to go potty.⁠
- Make sure you have plenty of spare clothes.⁠
4️⃣ Let's get toilet trained:⁠
- Get your child to choose a pair of underwear and put them on.⁠
- Talk to them about using the toilet and communicating when they need to pee or poo. You can sit them on the toilet at this point if you wish.⁠
- Take your child to the toilet every 15/20 minutes. Say "let's go to the potty" rather than asking "do you want to go to the toilet" - if you ask, they are likely to say no! Also, look for signs like moving from side-to-side or hiding. These are normal signs that they might need to go potty.⁠
(Continue reading in the comments!)
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“You are my reason.⁠ ⁠ You are the reason I “You are my reason.⁠
You are the reason I get up each morning.⁠
Even though my eyelids are as heavy as a five-ton truck.⁠
Even though all I want is to sleep in, a coffee and breakfast in bed.⁠
You are more important.⁠
You need me.⁠
For you, I would do anything.⁠
You are the reason I am finally comfortable in my own skin.⁠
Even though I am a size bigger than I used to be.⁠
Even though my boobs cannot be described as 'perky'⁠
You relied on my body.⁠
You gave it purpose.⁠
For you, I will always love it.⁠
You are the reason I now know the importance of patience.⁠
Even though I sometimes miss the fast-paced life.⁠
Even though I still get frustrated when I feel inefficient.⁠
You need me to go at your pace.⁠
You are the priority right now.⁠
For you, I slow down.⁠
You are the reason I worry more than ever.⁠
Even though I know it won't change anything.⁠
Even though it's not your fault.⁠
You are precious.⁠
You are vulnerable.⁠
For you, I will worry forever.⁠
You are the reason I am now filled with gratitude.⁠
Even though I get sad when things do not go my way.⁠
Even though I sometimes lose sight of what I have.⁠
You are my constant reminder that I am blessed.⁠
You are the light at the end of every tunnel.⁠
For you, everything is worth it.⁠
You are the reason that my heart is full.⁠
Even though I am grateful for our life before you.⁠
You have shown me a love like no other.⁠
You are remarkable.⁠
For you, my heart explodes.⁠
You are my reason." ❤️ Words by @hangingwiththeheaphys 💕⁠
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📷: @she_plusfive
Your Child's Stomach Pain and Headaches Could Be A Your Child's Stomach Pain and Headaches Could Be Anxiety⁠ 💔
Have you noticed that your child is complaining of stomach pain and headaches? Or perhaps they seem tired and irritable despite getting the correct amount of sleep? Perhaps these things are simply coincidental, but maybe they’re not. Did you know that even children suffer from anxiety disorder? In fact, the most common mental health condition in children is anxiety disorder. If you are sensing that there may be something else going on, keep reading. {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading this mom's personal journey with child anxiety disorder.⁠}⁠
Article by: Katie Gibbons⁠
📷: @lisa.boettcher
Fun Pregnancy Announcement Ideas 😍🤰⁠ .⁠ Fun Pregnancy Announcement Ideas 😍🤰⁠
Few of life’s events can have you bursting at the seams as much as “we’re making a human!” will. Sharing this news with those you love, like, or just tolerate, has become easier and more instantaneous than ever with the advent of social media. These days, most moms-to-be want to share their pregnancy announcement with as many people as possible . . . and the cuter idea the better!⁠
Here are some fun and unique pregnancy announcement ideas for you to share your incredible news. Whether you like to use humor, romance, or a sweet surprise, these ideas are some of the most picture-worthy around!⁠ ⁠{Click 🔗 in bio to see the pregnancy announcement ideas!⁠}⁠
Article by: Rachel MacPherson⁠
📷: @karissakayabbott
Pretty sure my mouth and nose are covered too. 😑😂⁠
📷: @thedecentmother
I am a big advocate for breastfeeding. There are s I am a big advocate for breastfeeding. There are so many AMAZING benefits for the mother and child. But you know what I am an even bigger advocate for? A mother's well-being -- her physical, emotional, and mental health!!⁠
Sometimes we make plans and God laughs. Some of us plan to breastfeed our babies for 3 months, 6 months, a year, 2 years. Some of us meet our goals and some of us don't. (🙋‍♀️ My goal was to reach a year and made it 7 months.) Breastfeeding can be a lot more challenging than many of us expect. There can be complications along the way, the baby could have allergies, and sometimes breastfeeding or pumping can take an immense toll on a mother's mental health.⁠
It is my firm belief that we must care for and support the new mother just as much as we care for and support the new child. 💕 While I feel there is so much value in breast milk, in my opinion, if it compromises the health of the mother, it is not worth it. As long as the baby is being fed, cared for, and loved, that is all that matters. And for the mother to grow and thrive in her new role as a parent to continue caring for her child, she needs to do what she feels is best for herself and her family. Sometimes that is not breastfeeding or pumping.⁠
No matter your feeding experience or preference, you are a good mother. Whether your choice was made by you or made for you, you must do what is right for you and your baby. Your health (mentally, physically, emotionally) matters. ❤️