When you’ve decided to hire a doula, you will probably contact a few people and set up some appointments. It’s best to do this by week 24 of your pregnancy, as doulas do book up. You will set up a first meeting, which is usually free of charge, to discuss different questions you may have about her and how she can help you in labour. Whether this is your first or fifth child, you will still have some questions.
Here is a list of sample questions you may want to write down and bring with you to your first meeting with your doula.
- What training and experience does she have?
- Does she have any children?
- What techniques can she use to help you during labour?
- Can she come to your home? How long will it take her to get there from the time you call?
- Is she available for 2 weeks before the due date to 2 weeks after the due date?
- Does she have a back up doula?
- How will she help me after the birth?
- What breastfeeding experience does she have?
If you had a difficult pregnancy or are having a VBAC, you may want to ask specific questions related to your situation. Also, if you have specific religious or cultural questions, the first meeting is the right time to do that.
- Have you aided women trying to do a VBAC before?
- What will you do if I have to have a cesarean birth?
- In my culture, we like to do a lotus birth, how do you feel about that?
- My religion asks that the labour room be quiet during the labour, will you be able to help facilitate the atmosphere?
The doula will also ask some questions about you and your partner such as how many other children you have, who your midwife/doctor is, etc. But, you will probably have more questions for the doula than she will of you.It’s a good idea to take a few days to a week to decide if you are going to hire her, and when you do decide to hire her (or not), to call or email her and let her know of your decision. That way, she will block off the time for you, and is less likely to take another client while waiting to hear from you.