What to ask.
DH and I are beginning the interview process for doulas. I was wondering what I should ask about at the interview. I know that breast feeding is VERY important to us but have no idea what else to ask about.
Re: What to ask.
Here is what I asked my midwife and doula during the interviews. It is a LONG list but I am sure you will find it helpful :) This is for a homebirth and you did not say if you were doing hospital or not so I left those questions in just in case.
1. What services do you offer?
2. What are the prices for your services and how do you work payments?
3. Do you have a billing service to deal with my insurance?
4. How do you make sure that the full placenta is passed to avoid a hemorrhage? (very important, this is why I was hospitalized and almost died after our miscarriage.)
5. What techniques do you recommend in labor to cope with pain management?
6. How do you feel about delayed cord clamping?
7. What are your "red flags" for transferring to the hospital?
8. If we transfer will you come with us and how is that handled?
9. What if our baby is breached?
10. What are your birth stats, how many mothers have transferred, how many deaths (if any), and how many of your clients end up with c-sections?
11. Are you currently certified as a midwife or doula and by what organization?
12. What life saving measures are you currently certified in?
13. Do you participate in formal peer review with other midwives?
14. How many births have you attended?
15. If you are sick or otherwise unavailable during my labor, who will attend to me?
16. How many clients do you take each month?
17. How familiar are you with procedures in the hospital?
18. How long are you willing to wait for a baby in a bad position to change positions before labeling the pregnancy high risk?
19. What percentage of your clients tear and how do you try to prevent tearing?
20. What equipment do you normally bring to the birth (birthing stool? blow-up pool? oxygen? ambu-bag? pitocin
21. What do you normally do while I am in labor?
I HIGHLY recommend watching The Business of Being Born and their follow up video, More Business of Being Born, that is all about doulas. If you are only going to watch one then watch the doula video. I also found Pregnant in America very helpful. They are all on netflix watch instantly.
I like pp questions. I think you should also ask the doula what her philosophies/pov is. Some doulas are very natural birth oriented and may not be supportive of different choices or vice versa. So you want to ask questions that show you guys are a good match.
People hire doulas for different reasons, some because they want to avoid pain meds, some because they want general support for the birth process or have a partner who has issues and cant provide support, etc. The first step for you should be to ask yourself, "why do I want a doula?" Then you can ask the prospective doula questions to see if she will fit your needs.
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