doula interview... what questions?
I have an interview with a doula and am hoping for a vbac with baby #2 due in april...
any tips on what questions I can/should ask the doula? I had an emergency c-section with my dd almost 4 years ago for severe shoulder dystocia and everyone thinks I'm crazy to want to try a vbac. I need as many people on my side as possible :D so, if I can find a good doula... then I feel like that will be the voice that I am lacking...
I think the first contact is more about do you like the person and feel that she would be good support for me in labor. I think just talking about her philosophy and techniques for vbac is good to get her vibe.
After that, talk about price, availability, what the agreement covers, what happens if she doesn't show, is there a backup doula? Written contract?
Re: doula interview... what questions?
Definitely you want to make sure that you like the basic personality of the doula. Talk to her about her own birth experiences and tell her your fears and see how she eases your mind when you're not in labor. What sort of strategies she uses to calm your fears and if they're compatible with your mode of thinking.
I would ask her about her experience with vbacs and different types of labor, see if she has a website in advance where you can see testimonials or her qualifying education. I would think most would have a FB page, at the very least - but my doula has both a FB page and a professional website.
See what she knows about shoulder dystocia, in particular. If it seems to make her nervous, that will tell you something. If she says that she has dealt with similar cases or difficult births, then you will get more information that way. Tell her why your csection happened, describe the whole birth experience - see if she sees any red flags on why things went the way they went (perhaps she would say something like 'with babies like this, we have found this position to be really helpful' or something).
any other questions that you have related to breastfeeding assistance, etc - of course throw those in there.
When I met with my doula for the first time, she came with a stack of paperwork. Most for me to take home and return to her if I decided to hire her. But some of it was stuff that we could talk about then. It really helped give me confidence in her, because she was prepared and professional. And the stuff on the paperwork showed me that she had been around a large variety of cases, so she wasn't going in expecting a textbook perfect delivery (which of course, we hope to have).
Ask her about her labor relaxation techniques - does she like to use massage, etc? Has she used a doula? How was that for her husband? How will she help your DH? Has she worked with your hospital before? How have her experiences been with your hospital? Does she think they're really supportive of vbacs while you're laboring (as opposed to just supporting the idea of a vbac on paper).
Does she have any methods she suggests/prefers? Hypnobabies? Bradley?
the thing is, a vbac is different from other births, but it's really not. So, you just treat it like any other birth when choosing a doula, I think. Of course, if they've never assisted a vbac and seem scared of it, well then, that would be a red flag :) but I hope you wouldn't run into that scenario.
good luck to you!
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