You’re going to have a baby and you’ve decided to hire your first ever birth doula and are curious about what to ask her (and tell her) during your first meeting. Regardless of if this is your first, second, third or fourth(!) baby, hiring a doula is a new experience for many. Picking the right one is vital to your overall birth experience.
Here are a list of the ultimate things that you should ask about when meeting your new potential Birth Doula for the first time.
First thing, decide why you want a Doula
Although it sounds obvious, it’s probably one of the most important things to know. Why do you want a Birth Doula? Click To Tweet Have you looked at what a doula does and thought about how she might be able to assist you? The clearer you are on this, the easier your session will be.
Also, knowing the reason behind your choice will give your potential Birth Doula the chance to understand your thoughts and personality. Reasons for wanting a Birth Doula, although obvious, can vary significantly!
Some mums-to-be want a Birth Doula simply because they would like the additional expert support during childbirth when emotions are high to keep things calm, and some because they are alone and like the idea of company and having someone there to hold their hand and share the moment. Reasons vary greatly, knowing yours will allow your potential Birth Doula to A) Get to know you as well as possible and B) To help you devise the best possible birth plan!
Question: Why did you decide to become a Birth Doula?
This is a great question to ask your potential Birth Doula because it will allow you to get a personal glimpse into the mind of the woman who may be supporting you on one of the most important days of your life.
Because Birthing is such a personal experience, getting to know your Birth Doula matters! Listen to her reasons and and think about how that makes you feel… Do you feel you would want someone like that at your side?
Question: What services do you offer?
One of the ULTIMATE questions of course… without this it would be near impossible to proceed! In order to book your Birth Doula, you will need to know exactly what she offers!
Some Birth Doulas offer antenatal sessions and then go on call from 38 weeks pregnancy onwards, others have no antenatal sessions but remain available for you all the way leading up to the birth. Other Doulas offer antenatal sessions, remain on call for you AND stay on after the birth for as long as you want. Knowing what your potential Birth Doula offers will help you understand what choices might be available for you.
Question: How much are your packages?*
Equally, another vital question! Birth Doulas come with varying packages and varying prices! It might be a good idea BEFORE you arrange to meet with your potential Birth Doula to devise a budget. Thinking about how much you would like to spend on your birthing experience will make things much easier later on.
Birth Doula packages can vary from an hourly rate of £15+ per hour to £300-£3000 for a full birth (including antenatal sessions, going on call, providing emergency support and being present and supportive at your birth and beyond). If you have a specific budget in mind, make sure you tell her what that is. If you have NO IDEA (which is totally normal) then tell her this too, so that she may explain the various aspects of the package and how much they cost whilst keeping communication open :). You can also reach out to us for budgeting advice.
Question: What can I expect during…?
This question is a great starting point for asking your potential Birth Doula about any questions you might have related to the birthing experience itself. Your Doula (once you have booked her) will normally go through lots of information with you way before you go into labour about what to expect often during the devising of your birth plan.
She will tell you everything she knows about the various parts of the process from vaginal births to caesareans to pain relief, massage, aromatherapy, perineum massage, breathing techniques… etc …in order to help and support you in making an informed choice.
*Prices do vary depending on the Doula, her experience and her qualifications. Doulas are free to set their prices themselves and will often be happy to take your personal budget into account.
It is possible to search on Google for an independent Doula or alternatively to ask Doula training agencies. It possible to also find a doula by getting in touch with us at Polo and Tweed. We would be very happy to help you find the perfect match so whatever your requirements, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Article written by our lovely Yasmin Aly