Assembling your labor team can be a bit of an overwhelming experience - particularly for first time Mothers. You are setting up a network of support for one of the biggest moments of your life and want to make sure that you are both comfortable with the people involved AND confident in their skills.
To help you through the process of hiring a doula, we have compiled this list of questions we get asked the most (and that we think are the best to ask), in order to determine who’s the best fit for your family!
A few things you will want to make sure to understand during your initial meetings are:
The logistics of doula care
The philosophy of the person or persons attending your team
What kind of support you’ll receive
Top Questions to Ask a Doula
What certifications do you hold?
Many doulas in the community practice as a hobby or attend births to shadow - which is wonderful!
If you’re looking for a professional, experienced and trained doula, make sure you ask which organizations and certifications she is working towards or currently holding. Our doulas are professionals and experts at birth; many hold additional accreditation’s such as childbirth education, Spinning Babies, Gina Kirby rebozo training, and more.
An increase in knowledge and requirements through training create a confident doula, and a great resource for your team!
What is your back up situation if you cannot attend my birth?
Although we all want to be there, family emergencies, illness, and occasionally birth overlaps do happen.
It’s important to know what the protocol will be if you are in labor and your doula cannot attend. If you’re working with a single doula, you should ask if you’ll be able to work with her back up doula prior to your due date.
One of the reasons we love our team member model of care is that the primary AND back up doula attend every single session with our clients, allowing for assurance in knowledge of their birth preparations, planning, on call support and availability, as well as a familiar face during your birth experience.
Make sure you understand the working protocol for every situation with your birth support team.
Will you join me at my home to labor and how soon can you join me in my labor?
Some doulas join families only at their birth location, or will come to work with a family when they are in active labor, usually defined by contractions coming at least 5 minutes apart, lasting a minute for at least an hour in duration.
By this time, you’re working hard to cope with your labor and may have lots of questions prior to the onset of active labor.
At Maryland State Doulas, we believe early labor is actually the time we need to provide you the most amount of support, and we are happy to do that via satellite care or in person if need be to help you remain calm and reassured during your birthing time.
How will you work with my care providers?
Essential to a great birth team is a team of collaborative care!
Making sure your doulas are comfortable with hospital or birth center policy and will work alongside your providers is a great way to make sure your day flows wonderfully. Your doula can assist you in understanding the care prescribed, as well as in remaining with you while your team has to attend to other birthing families.
We adore our experiences at area hospitals and are proudly welcomed and recommended by nurses, obstetrics practices and midwives alike. We believe their role in your birth is crucial, and we love to support them as heavily as we do you and your family!
Do you have resources for other birth and baby related subjects or needs?
A doula has an important but somewhat limited scope - and while we understand and are familiar with many other issues that can crop up during pregnancy, birth and postpartum, we certainly aren’t experts in them all!
What we ARE experts in is understanding how essential having a network of great support is - and our resources extend into many different facets of care for our clients! We carefully vet and review each and every recommendation we give to our families to make sure that you have the very best care when you’re in the thick of things, so you can rest assured that you don’t have to spend hours on the phone or with insurance determining who to make an appointment with.
Feeling that your birth team members are the right fit is important for giving you peace of mind when you’re moving through your pregnancy and towards your birth. We’re proud to be one of the only full service doula agencies in Maryland - providing resources, classes, support and more from bump to baby and beyond!