Postpartum Doula
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Once you decide to hire a professional postpartum doula, you should interview prospective support persons carefully. Besides professional considerations, you will want to find out if the postpartum doula has values compatible with your own and personal qualities you desire. When choosing a doula, answers to the following questions will help you find the right support person.

Practical Questions

You might want to ask these questions first. If she is not available or not in your price range, be sure to ask for a referral to another doula.

bulletAre you available around my due date?
bulletHow many hours a day are you available, and do you have a minimum number of hours?
bulletHow much do you charge, and what is included?
bulletWho is your backup, and can I meet her?
bulletUnder what circumstances would you send your back-up?

Philosophical Questions

This discussion should form the bulk of your discussion. It is very important that you find someone with whom you agree on the basic issues. If you are planning to breastfeed, you will want to find someone who knows a lot about it and will support your goal; but on the other had, you don’t want someone who will disapprove of you if you change your mind.

bulletWhat part of your job do you enjoy most?
bulletHow do you feel about breastfeeding?
bulletWhat books do you recommend to new parents?
bulletDo you lean towards or away from attachment parenting?
bulletHow do you handle conflicts with family members or medical professionals?

For Your Own Protection

Be aware that postpartum doula training and certification is limited, so there are many well-qualified and experienced doulas with no formal credentials. Having children may be a plus, but there are many excellent doulas who have never had a baby of their own. Make sure that you call her previous clients and ask them for the doula’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as whether they would hire her again.

bulletWhere did you get your training? Are you certified? By what organization?
bulletDo you have children? How old are they?
bulletHow long have you been a doula, and how many families have you served?
bulletDo you have any special training that you use (lactation, massage, etc.)?
bulletMay I call two of your previous clients?

New parents are vulnerable and highly sensitive – taking the time now to find a gentle, caring support person for those first days will enable you to be more relaxed and enjoy getting to know your baby.

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