How to Choose a Doula

A doula supports a woman and her partner during pregnancy, birth, and the early weeks of parenting, with reassurance, practical assistance, and information.

A doula is someone you come to know well by the time of your birth, and who is there during your labor, by your side, focused solely on you and your partner. She can encourage you, remain objective, and help your partner feel more confident about how to support you. She can also assist you with practical knowledge on comfort measures for labor, such as massage and suggestions for positioning. A doula can provide information when you have questions, and can help you communicate most effectively with your medical caregivers.


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    Start with thinking about what you want from your doula. Reassurance? Physical support and comfort during labor? Specialized expertise in attending twin births or vaginal birth after cesarean? Knowing what you want is the first step to making sure you get it! Likewise, a good doula finds out what you want and works toward that, instead of offering a "one size fits all" service.
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    Keep in mind that the doula who is right for you may not be the one who has attended the most births, but could be the one who can offer the support you need and with whom you and your partner "click" the best.
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    Ask your caregiver or friends for recommendations. Alternatively, use one of the online search engines, such as to find doulas in your area. ALWAYS verify claimed certifications! If you find something "fishy", choose another doula!
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    When you meet with a doula, have a list of questions to ask her. Try to think of questions that will give you an insight into how she supports women such as asking her what she enjoys most about her work and what she finds most challenging. You can get more information on good questions to ask from
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    Make sure you clarify the cancellation policies, times she will be on call, backup arrangements and all the services that are included in the price you are paying.
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    This is the person who will be with you throughout labor and birth and you need to feel comfortable with each other. Choose the doula you trust!


  • Questions that are helpful when interviewing a doula include:
    • Tell me about one of your favorite births you've attended as a doula; what did you enjoy?
    • Tell me about one of your most challenging births as a doula; what was hard?
    • Have you ever worked with a doctor or nurse who wasn't happy working with a doula? how did you handle it?
    • What kinds of things do you find that partners feel are helpful during a birth?
    • What is your policy in the event I have a cesarean?
    • Do you have a back-up in case you are unable to attend my birth? Will we meet her before the birth?
    • What other services do you offer (such as breastfeeding support, postpartum services, childbirth classes)?
    • Can we speak to other parents whose births you have attended?
  • Absolutely check with the Labor and Delivery section of the hospital you are going to use to see what their experience is with a particular doula. This is important, some doulas have a bad reputation with the nurses and doctors you are going to use.

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Categories: Pregnancy