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Business Interview

What do I ask a Doula?

Questions to ask a potential doula

These questions are suggestions of topics that can help if you are unsure what to ask a doula or how to decide between more than one doula you are interested in booking with.

When making initial telephone or email contact

  • Are you available around my due date / when I need support (for postnatal doulas)?

  • How much do you charge (do you offer packages or hourly rates?), and what is included? Is there a deposit to pay? Is the deposit refundable?

  • Do you offer services through the Hardship Fund?

  • Do you offer services through the Stipend Fund?

 

During a face to face interview (can be by video chat)

  • How long have you been a doula?

  • How many families have you supported as a doula?

  • Do you use a written contract or agreement? If yes, can you provide me with a copy of it?

  • Do you have a backup doula, if so do you have more than one backup? If you have backup doula(s), do I meet them or have opportunity to chat with them? Under what circumstances would you send your back-up?

  • Are you insured?

  • Are you Garda vetted?

  • Are you tax compliant?

  • Can you provide references?

  • What training, courses or additional learning have you done?

  • What part of your job do you enjoy most?

  • What is your philosophy on childbirth, parenting and your work as a doula?

  • What skills and abilities do you personally feel you bring to your doula role?

  • How do you handle conflicts between clients and their family members or with medical professionals?

  • If you have a particular concern about the birth or postnatally e.g. physical, emotional or psychological etc, ask the doula how they would address those issues specifically?

  • If you have something you are particularly interested in trying – e.g. hypnobirthing or babywearing/slings: Do you have additional qualifications or experience in supporting in this?

  • Do you have children? If yes, how is your childcare organised?

  • What books do you recommend to new parents?

  • How do you feel about breastfeeding and what is your experience of supporting it?

  • What if I have a breastfeeding/bottle-feeding problem? What can you do to help me?

  • What is your cancellation policy?

 

When interviewing a Birth Doula

  • What is your availability? For how long before and after my due date will you be on call? What are the closest due dates of your other clients? How long will you stay with me before and after the birth? How long does it take you to get to me? How long does it take you to get to my hospital?

  • What is my partner’s role during labour?

  • Will you support my partner and if so how?

  • What are your feelings about midwives?

  • How many antenatal visits do you provide? How many postnatal visits?

  • Will you attend a hospital antenatal appointment with us?

  • Can we telephone/email you before and after the birth with questions/concerns we have? Meaning – how often may we contact you during the contract period?

  • What hospitals/midwives have you worked with?

  • Can you help us draw up our Birth Plan/Birth Preferences?

  • What is your role in early labour?

  • What happens if you miss the birth? Is any part of the fee refundable and would you still do the follow-up visits after 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?

  • What happens if near my due date I am recommended for medical reasons to have a c-section?

  • Do you have experience with VBAC?

 

 

As a parent you may want to think about the following points when hiring a Birth doula:

  • Could we spend up to 48 hours together?

  • Do they listen to me well?

  • Do I feel that they will support my wishes?

  • Does my partner like them? (or children if applicable e.g. for a home birth perhaps)

 

When interviewing a Postnatal doula

  • How many hours a day are you available, and do you have a minimum number of hours? Do you do nights (is the hourly rate different)?

  • Do we have to pay your travel costs in addition to the hourly rate?

  • What happens if, for personal reasons, you are unable to be our postnatal doula after the birth and your back-up is also unavailable? Will our deposit be fully refunded?

  • What happens if we decide nearer to, or after, the birth that we no longer require a postnatal doula? What monies will be due to you?

  • What is your availability? Have you other commitments around the dates that I may need you? For example, could you stay a few extra hours at the last minute (emergency, or someone is unwell)?

  • Do you have a valid driving licence?

  • Do you have Paediatric first aid?

  • Can we telephone/email you before the birth with postnatal questions/concerns we have been thinking about?

  • How do you view housework/cooking? What are you prepared to do?

  • Are you able to help me with (insert specific concern)…dog-walking/school runs/older children

 

As a parent you may want to think about the following points when hiring a postnatal doula:

  • Do they listen to me well?

  • Do I feel that they will support my wishes?

  • Do my partner/children like them?

  • Do I want to spend day after day with this postnatal doula?

 

Why hire an ITPAD doula?

All of our members are bound by the ITPAD Code of Conduct, are Garda vetted, have undergone training, have appropriate insurance and are recommended to be tax compliant.

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