Delivery doulas are not just for supporting natural or home births, or even only first-time births. A good delivery doula should be able to support any type of birth you want to have. Your provider may actually have a list of doulas they regularly work with. Here are reasons I recommend getting one if you can:
- Actually meet with you to listen to your personal goals and concerns before your delivery
- Advocate for you during your labor and delivery
- Support your support team (partner or whoever) so they are not overwhelmed since no matter what, they have no idea what’s about to happen either
- Provide continuity of care during your labor and delivery since you have no idea how long it is going to take
- Someone on your team who is likely already familiar with the hospital and staff where you are delivering
- Be available for personal communication (email, texts) and questions leading up to your delivery
Here are some sample interview questions:
- Are you available for projected due date?
- If yes, how do you handle back-up if you are unavailable the day of the birth?
- Do you only provide labor and birth doula services or do you also provide any lactation support or postpartum doula services?
- Do you have a cap on the maximum hours of labor support you provide? If the cap is reached, what happens?
- Covid – Are you vaccinated? Are you comfortable masking full-time indoors if requested?
- Cost of delivery support? What is or is not included in that cost?
- What are your tactics for supporting the type of delivery I’m hoping for? (medicated, unmedicated, etc)
- How have you / would you approach unplanned c-section or other interventions if required?
- What planned touchpoints should I expect before/during/after the birth?
- Do you have experience assisting with births at <delivery location>? Are you familiar with my specific provider? (OBGYN or midwife team)
- How do you support laboring at home before going to the hospital?
Doula Experience, Style, Approach
- Why did you become a doula?
- How would you describe your approach
- How long have you been a doula and how many births have you assisted with?
To note, you may be going through agency or working directly with an individual 1:1. The most important thing is that you feel like you and your individual doula are a good fit since you’re about to trust them with a very personal and intense experience.