28 Nov Finding the right Doula – 22 questions to ask.
If you’d like to learn more about working with Alice as support during your pregnancy, birth and postpartum period, email [email protected] or contact on Instagram @aliceallum to learn more about sessions and services.
When I found out I was pregnant I had BIG visions of having a Doula. However… the truth is; when I reached out to the Doulas in my area, I felt they just weren’t offering what I was specifically looking for (as wonderful as they were!). This led me on a journey of getting to the bottom of what it was I was actually desiring.
In this blog I share the paid support I did choose to invest in as well as 22 questions to ask your potential Doula or Private midwife.
My paid support in the end came from an amazing private midwife who was vastly educated in western medicine AND eastern medicine – this was really important to me. My other key paid support came in the form of a private chef who not only helped create an Ayurvedic postpartum menu with me but she also prepared, cooked and stocked up my freezer! (Speak to local caterers to see how they can support – the investment may not be as high as you would think and people are usually happy to work within your budget!)
Side note: I also attended lactation classes, baby wearing classes, hypnobirthing classes and most importantly spent alot of time with mothers who had ‘been there, done that!’ and in conversation with my parter about his role as Birth Partner.
Your Doula or midwife is part of your birth team, support network and also energy field – so taking time to choose the right Doula for you is very personal and crucial to your feeling of safety, care and joy during (and after!) pregnancy and birth.
Most Doulas offer a free call or meeting to get to know them ahead of choosing to work with them.
In this blog you’ll find:
– Key things to pay attention to during your call
– How to prepare ahead of your call to get the most out of your meeting
– 22 questions to ask during your call
Here’s how you can prepare for finding the right Doula for you…
– What needs are you wanting to be met through a Doula? (For example: Emotional support, birth education, practical support like attendance at your birth or cooking and cleaning once baby arrives, spiritual guidance.) Get as specific as you can here and don’t be shy!
– What non- negotiables are you looking for in your Doula? (For example: They believe in God, they believe in a holistic approach, they have a background in medical birth, they’ve given birth themselves, they offer in person meetings not just online etc.)
– Prepare list of questions. (Take time to write yours and your partner’s questions out.)
See useful question suggestions below.
Here’s 22 potential questions to ask your potential Doula:
- Do you offer educational support / resources – for example education on the stages of labour?
- Do you have a tool-kit of practises to share with birthing partner? (Massage techniques, breathing tequniques, position suggestions etc.)
- Do you offer sessions to hold emotional space for the mother to express her feelings?
- Do you offer postpartum support? (Cooking meals? Space holding? nourishing mama? Massage? Cleaning house? )
- What’s your relationship like with food and what type of food do you cook? Do you agree food prep ahead of time/ have a menu to choose from/ buy the food/ is that cost included?
- What rituals and ceremonies do you know/offer/hold for clients? (Mother’s blessings? Closing of the Bones or similar? Burning of the chord? Placenta Burial?)
- Would you come to my location for in person meetings or just online?
- What’s your relationship like with a higher power? (If you’re spiritual, get curious about their spiritual connection.)
- Have you attended any hospital births? (If you plan a hospital birth)
- Have you attended home birth? (If you plan a home birth)
- What training did you receive? (Whats your background and experience in this work?)
- Do you have a back up doula? (What happens if you’re supporting another client on the day I go into labour?)
- What is generally included in your services?
- What is your philosophy on childbirth?
- What books do you recommend? (This question can help reveal their level of knowledge and interest.)
- Do you offer support to the father or partner? If so how?
- What is your role in labour? And what does support from a doula look like in labour? How do you work with the already present birthing partners?
- What made you want to become a doula?
- Are you available outside of agreed sessions for voice notes? Calls? If spontaneous support is needed?
- What happens in case of a emergency? Surprise labour?
- How much are your services and are their payment plans available?
- How many clients do you work with at a time and how do you juggle them all?
Key Things to pay attention to during your call:
– Do they ask you about your life philosophy and what’s important to you? (Are they interested to know who you are?)
– Do they get clear on what your intentions are and what the key support you’re looking for is?
– Do they ask about your lifestyle/religion/ spiritual connection and views on birth, labour and the journey of motherhood in general?
I hope this blog serves you in finding the right support for you during pregnancy.