There are many questions you should be asking your doula(s) and educator(s). Below are some examples for you to review and use in your serach.
What is a doula?
A doula is a person trained and experienced in childbirth or postpartum who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after childbirth.
What effects does the presence of a doula have on the mother?
When a doula is present during and after childbirth, women report greater satisfaction with their birth experience, make more positive assessments of their babies, have fewer cesareans and requests for medical intervention, and less postpartum depression.
What effects do the presence of doulas have on babies?
Studies have shown that babies born with doulas present tend to have shorter hospital stays with fewer admissions to special care nurseries, breastfeed more easily and have more affectionate mothers in the postpartum period.
Does a doula replace nursing staff?
No. Doulas do not replace nurses or other medical staff. Doulas do not perform clinical or medical tasks such as taking blood pressure or temperature, monitoring fetal heart rate, doing vaginal examinations or providing postpartum clinical care. They are there to comfort and support the mother and to enhance communication between the mother and medical professionals.
Does a doula replace my partner?
No, a doula is supportive to both the mother and her partner, and plays a crucial role in helping a partner become involved in the birth to the extent he/she feels comfortable.
My doctor doesn’t see the value of labour support, can I still have a doula?
Absolutely! We will discuss what is important to you, and we will spend time discussing and educating you. I am not here to offer medical advice, but to support you to ensure you achieve your goals. Often the medical team is happy you have a doula as additional support.
What if I am giving birth to my baby by cesarean, can I still have a doula?
No matter how your baby is born, it’s still born! You may find greater value in the appointments leading up to your birth and after. You will be experiencing major surgery and will still need support after; emotionally and physically.
This is my second baby, do I really need to take prenatal classes a second time?
We think so. You may not need to participate in the entire Becoming a Family series but you may be interested in our refresher course. Hospital policy is changing all the time and things may be very different from the last time you had a baby. We can help you know what to expect. Or, maybe you need to debrief your last experience so we can help you achieve the experience you are hoping for in your next birth.
Questions for your doula
- Are you available around my due date?
- How long have you been a doula?
- How many families have you been a doula for?
- What doula certification do you have or what courses have you attended?
- What is your philosophy on childbirth and your work as a doula?
- Can you provide references?
- What part of your job do you enjoy the most?
- What skills and abilities do you personally feel you bring to your doula role?
- What books would you recommend to new parents?
- How do you handle conflicts with family members and or medical staff?
- If you have a particular concern about the birth or post-natal (ex: physical, emotional or psychological) how would you address those issues?
- What are your feelings on midwives?
- How will you deal with my partner during childbirth?
- Have you experienced child birth?
- How is your childcare organized (what if I go into labour in the middle of the night)?
- What are your feelings about pain relief?
- How much do you charge, and what is included?
- Do you have a written contract?
- Do you have a back-up doula?
- If so, can we meet her?
- If necessary, under what circumstances would you send your back-up?
- What happens if you or your back-up miss the birth?
- What happens if we fail to call you in time for the birth?
- What happens if we decide nearer the birth that we no longer require a doula?
Questions to discuss between your and your partner after you’ve meet your doula(s).
- Could we spend up to 48 hours together?
- Did she listen to me during our interview?
- Do I think she will respect my wishes?
- Does my partner like her?
We wish you and your family the best and are so honoured you are considering us to be a part of your birthing and parenting experience!