Hiring a Doula: Questions to Ask Yourself (Part 2)

In our last post, we shared some of the most popular questions expectant parents have about hiring a doula. We also shared that one of the most important ways to hire the right doula for you is by asking yourself certain questions. These questions will help you get to the heart of why one doula might be right for you over others, as well as accomplishing a number of other goals that can contribute to a more positive birthing experience. And now, we’re sharing those exact questions with you! 

Questions to Ask Yourself When Hiring a Doula

Start by asking yourself these questions to help you get clarity on the best doula for YOU!

What kind of birth would I most like to have? 

For example, your answer(s) might be…

  • A hospital birth avoiding an epidural or getting an epidural as early as possible? 
  • A hospital birth with all the bells and whistles going with the flow or one with dialog and questions asked of your team at every turn? 
  • A calm private experience or a celebration with family members or friends present? 
  • The use of water during labor or an actual water birth? 
  • Are you expecting a long induction? 
  • Would you like to avoid the use of pitocin? 
  • A home birth? 
  • A birth center birth? 

What kind of support would I most like to have?

All doulas are obligated to support your desires and goals, to have no agenda but yours, without any judgement or bias.

However, there are certain skill sets and knowledge bases that may make some doulas a better fit for your goals than others.

Some are best to support your home or birth center birth and others are more well suited to support your hospital birth. So, this is an important part of getting a good match!

What do I think my needs may be?

To help you determine what kind of doula is right for you, here are some specific questions you can ask yourself about what your needs might be during childbirth:

  • Will I want comfort measures such as massage and pressure points applied because your goal is an unmedicated birth?
  • Extra support for my partner because of their physical or emotional challenges?
  • Lots of information available to me as things come up during labor?
  • Help making decisions during childbirth? 
  • Someone with lots of knowledge because you want to rely on evidence in making your decisions?
  • Someone who knows their way around the hospital birthing system and interventions that will be offered?

What kind of doula personality do I want in labor?

This may be hard to predict. After all, needs change during your labor process!

But in other challenging experiences or when you’re ill what kind of personality and behaviors are helpful to you?

For example, in the past, if you were vomiting did you like someone right there holding your hair or someone to stay outside the room if needed?

You can also ask yourself if you tend to prefer…

  • Kind and nurturing words and actions or someone bolstering your own confidence who you can trust to step in only if needed
  • Talking or quiet
  • A wealth of information or just a steady presence
  • Hands on massage or prefer a hands-off approach
  • Motherly or a more professional presence
  • A take charge personality or a demurer one

Conclusion: Hiring a Doula

Finding the right fit when hiring a doula is essential to having a positive birth experience.

As you can see, there are lots of different factors that go into choosing the right doula for your needs. From their specialty and experience level to their demeanor and attitude in labor, every detail matters when it comes to finding the perfect fit. We hope our answers have been helpful as you begin your search for the perfect doula. And if you’re ready to take the next steps in hiring a doula, we invite you to contact us for more details so we can discuss your needs and help you feel your best before, during, and after giving birth!

Who We Are

Online Childbirth Class Instructors and Hospital Doulas Lisa Collins, MA., CD(DONA), ProDoula, Evidence Based Birth® Instructor Marnie Lea, RDH., CD(ProDoula) Co-Founders of The Hospital Doulas.