Screening and Interview Questions
Philosophy and values around childbirth and parenting
You want a doula who matches your own philosophy or can unconditionally support your beliefs and desires around childbirth and parenting.
- From your perspective, how does childbirth work best?
- What are your beliefs about parenting best practices?
- Are there childbirth or parenting practices you cannot unconditionally support if I choose to use them? (You are looking for the doula’s biases against certain practices, like receiving pain medication or circumcision.)
- What have the last three families you served taught you?
- Tell me about your volunteer and advocacy work relevant to your doula role.
- Are your vaccinations complete and up-to-date? People working with expectant families and newborns should be vaccinated for influenza, MMR, Varicella and Tdap. See the US CDC's recommendations for vaccines for health care workers .
Level of training, certification, and experience usually factor into the fee a doula sets as well as well as the going market rate in your area.
- What are your fees?
- When are payments made?
- What is your refund or cancelation policy?
Training, education experience and certification
- Are you currently a certified doula? With what organization?
- Why did you choose that organization? For more questions about doula training and certification organizations, click here: evaluating certifications
- What was your training like? How long did it take?
- How do you stay current in your field?
- How many years have you practiced? How many families have you served?
- If the doula is also a childbirth educator or holds other professional credentials: How do you use your other credentials in your doula work? How do you stay within the scope of a doula’s practice?
Style of practice
- How many families do you work with each month? How do you schedule your work?
- How do you practice? As a solo doula? Within a group practice? Do you have a partnership?
- What kind of back-up arrangements do you have? (Every doula should practice with back-up doulas.)
- Tell me about the last time you used your back-up.
- Are you available 24-hours a day? When are you unavailable?
- What happens if you have two clients who are in labor at the same time?
- How much lead time do you need from the time I can to the time you arrive?
- Are there any birth or home environments where you won’t practice? What are your deal-breakers?
- How many prenatal meetings do you offer?
- When do you arrive to support me during childbirth?
- How long do you stay after baby is born?
- How many postpartum visits do you offer?
- Can you support me with breastfeeding? In person or over the phone?