Top Ten Questions to ask a Doula


Here are some great ways to find out more about the doula you are interviewing.

As you select your birth team, you many consider interviewing a birth doula. Doulas provide continuous support during labor and birth which includes pain relief techniques, emotional support and encouragement as well as guiding the father or primary birth partner in ways he/she can help. Doulas do not perform any medical procedures during labor. Doulas have been shown to have many positive affects on labor including fewer cesareans, less pain medications used, reduced need for pitocin and increasing the length of the mother’s breastfeeding after birth.

Since you may decide to interview several doulas prior to birth, be sure to use the “top ten questions to ask a doula.”

  • Question 1. What is the doula’s training? Is she certified?
  • Question 2. What is the doula’s level of experience? How many births has she attended as a doula?
  • Question 3. What is her philosophy regarding birth?
  • Question 4. Can the doula provide references?
  • Question 5. What does she provide as part of her doula service? Does she do both prenatal and postnatal visits?
  • Question 6. What is the doula’s fee? Will she accept a payment plan or barter for her services?
  • Question 7. What is her availability? Does she have a back up in emergency situations or if she is out-of-town?
  • Question 8. Has the doula worked with your care providers? What is her relationship with other hospital or birth center personnel?
  • Question 9. How does she see her role during the birth? What are ways she includes the partner in birth?
  • Question 10. What does the doula expect from you? (contract, questionnaires, birth plan, etc.)After you interview the doula, review the following questions with your primary partner:

\For more information about the benefits of using a doula, certification or locating a doula in your area, see DONA International.

(Please note that for the sake of ease, we have used the feminine pronouns to describe doulas. We recognize that there are a small number of male doulas.)

How well do you and your partner get along with her? Is the doula a good listener? Does it feel like a good “match” to both of you?

What questions did you ask your doula? Let us know.