Be Prepared: Questions for the Doula Interview
Given that the average doula interview lasts roughly an hour, it is pretty amazing how much ground we can cover in that time. While some clients do sit down with a list of “questions for your doula interview” they have printed from a pregnancy blog, most interviews end up including your answers to the bulk of these questions simply through the natural flow of a good conversation.
One of the best things you can do when preparing for an interview is to quickly look through these questions and reflect on your answers. Most of us have one or two questions that we routinely struggle to answer in a clear or concise way. If you find yourself ending up with more of a babble than a response, take this opportunity to journal your response to a tricky question and then identify your core 3 points that you want to be sure to share in response.
- What made you choose to become a doula?
- How did you do your training? Are you certified?
- What is your birth philosophy? (may include questions about your beliefs about birth choices)
- How many births have you attended? (home, hospital, birth center, VBAC, cesarean birth)
- Have you ever worked with my doctor or midwife? How do you work together with care providers?
- How many clients do you work with each month? How many do you have booked near my due date?
- Do you have any other scheduling conflicts around my due date?
- What happens if you are unavailable? Do you have a backup doula? Is there a way for me to meet her?
- When do you tend to arrive at a birth, and how long do you stay afterwards? Are you available for support in early labor? What happens if I have a really long labor?
- How do you see your role as a doula?
- What does your care include? What is your scope of practice?
- How do you see the role of husbands or partners in the birth when you are there as a doula?
- What happens if I need to have a c-section?
- Do you offer breastfeeding support?
- Do you have any references?
- How much do you charge? When is a deposit or payment due? Do you offer a payment plan? What is your refund policy?
And then there are the personal questions…
Some clients feel it is important to ask questions such as:
- How old are you?
- Do you have children?
- Did you have a vaginal birth / use pain medications / home birth / etc…?
Your responses to these, and other personal questions need to be considered carefully. What information is relevant? How does your birth experience impact your doula care? Does your identity as a mother, or as a woman who has not had children, shape your doula care in some way? How much of your own personal life do you want to share? Within any given group of doulas you will find vastly different opinions on how (and if) these questions should be answered. Regardless, you do need to put some thought into them before being put on the spot!
And finally, the question you really never hope to hear…
- Didn’t we go on a date once back in the late 90s?
Yep, it has really happened. Not to me, thankfully, but can you imagine having to navigate that one…?!