You’re happy with your medical care provider. Now what about a doula? The reasons couples look to hire a birth coach vary, but all doulas serve as “emotional, physical, maybe even spiritual support to a couple during prenatal time, labor and postnatal” care, Bonnie Miller, RN, BSN, and founder of Ask the Doula, LLC, says. Miller’s doula philosophy boils down to “keeping an open mind and working with the mom as she needs it,” giving women primary control over their bodies.
Many birth coaches secure their certification through Doulas of North America (DONA) or the Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association (CAPPA). So how can you fish for the doula who’s right for you? Come prepared to interviews with a list of questions, then “go with your gut,” Miller says. Here are the top questions to ask a doula:
- What are your credentials; are you certified?
- How long have you been a doula; why did you decide to become one?
- How many births do you attend in a year?
- Are you a birth or a postpartum doula?
- Do you have a backup doula in case you can’t meet the day of the birth?
- What are your fees and what services do they explicitly cover; how many visits; are there additional charges for extended labor support and care?
- Do you have a contract; what are the terms?
- Do you have a refund policy?
- What do you think about GentleBirth and hypnobirthing?
- How will you involve my partner in the labor?
- What’s your stance on medicated births, including use of epidurals; what are my options for vaginal birth after caesarean delivery (VBAC)?
- How would you prepare for and approach a high-risk pregnancy and labor?
- Have you worked with my medical provider in the past; what hospital and birth centers have you worked with?
- Do you offer any homeopathic techniques or services; what other special services do you offer?