Guidance from DONA International

DONA International is the world’s first, largest, most reputable and rigorous certifying body for birth and postpartum doulas. They put together a really great set of questions to ask in an interview and to reflect on after the meeting as you assess who you will hire.

Birth Doula Interview

Background Questions:

• 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?

Questions to Consider After a Birth Doula Interview

It’s a wonderful opportunity to choose a doula to be part of your birth experience! Sometimes, you just know that a particular doula is the one for you, and sometimes you need several interviews to find just the right person (or people- some doulas work in teams). These questions might be helpful as you choose a doula who is the right fit for your family.

• 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?

• Other notes/observations:

Postpartum Doula Interview

Background Questions:

• 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 kinds of services will you offer in my home? Are there tasks you’re not comfortable doing? What might a typical postpartum shift look like?

• How will you support my partner through this process?

• What is your experience with breastfeeding support?

Business & Logistics Questions:

• Will we meet before the baby is born to talk about our needs and your role?
• If we have postpartum questions or concerns before the birth, may we contact you?
• When do your services typically begin after the birth?
• Do you have a backup doula for times when you are not available? May we meet your backup?
• How will we know when our services should end?
• Have you had a criminal background check, a recent TB test and current CPR certification?
• What is your fee, and what does it include? *Review the doula’s contract for refund policies and other details.

Questions to Consider After a Postpartum Doula Interview

It’s a wonderful opportunity to choose a doula to be part of your fourth trimester with your baby! Sometimes, you just know that a particular doula is the one for you, and sometimes you need several interviews to find just the right person (or people- some doulas work in teams). These questions might be helpful as you choose a postpartum doula who is the right fit for your family.

• 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 support me with feeding my baby?

• 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 before my baby is born, 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?

• Other notes/observations:

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