We are firm believers here in doula support during any birth, but especially a VBAC. A Cochrane review on continuous labor support with a doula shows 39% decrease in the chance of having a C-section (read about additional benefits here). Our online directory of VBAC-trained doulas that can be found here is a good place to start your search. We definitely recommend meeting and speaking with a few doulas before making a decision (and ideally having your partner meet each of them too!). Remember, the person you choose will be your guide through this incredible journey and you will want the person to be someone you like and trust.
Below please find a list of great questions to get your conversation with a doula started:
- Background Questions:
- Are you certified? If so through what organization?
- Have you taken any advanced trainings?
- Have you taken any VBAC-specific training?
- Tell me about your experience supporting families as a doula. How long have you been a doula, and how many families have you supported?
- What techniques will you use to help me move through labor?
- Do you specialize in anything specific?
- How will you support my partner through this process?
- How will you interact with my medical team?
- If I dont have a provider yet are you able to help me find one? Are you familiar with the OB’s and Midwives in this area?
- Where do you find most doctors go wrong in labor and delivery and how do you help?
- If my provider is suggesting something that you know I dont want, how do we handle it?
- Business & Logistics Questions:
- What is your fee, and what does it include? Are there extra fees over a certain amount of hours or miles driven?
- Will we meet for prenatal visits before the birth, and what is included in those visits? How long will they last?
- When do you consider yourself “on call” 24/7 for my birth? If there is a window of call time, what happens if I deliver before that timeframe begins?
- If we would like to move forward, what is required of me?
- Do you have a backup doula for times when you are not available? May we meet your backup?
- Will you come to me whenever I need you in labor, or is your support only available after a certain point in the process?
- Do you only meet at the hospital or birthing location, or do you provide support prior to that if I am ready for it?
- If labor goes long, and you are tired, what do you do to provide you rest and also provide doula services?
- Postpartum Doula Interview Worksheet
- Additional Background Questions:
- When will we first meet? Do we have any prior visits before the baby is born?
- If we meet before hand, what is included in a postpartum visit?
- Do you have any references that I could contact?
- Are phone, email and text support available before and after the birth?
- What kinds of services will you offer in my home? Are there tasks you’re not comfortable doing? What might a typical postpartum shift look like?
- Do you work in a team or solo, and do services range based off of day vs nighttime support?
- What is your experience with breastfeeding support?
- How will you support my partner through the postpartum process?
- Additional Business & Logistics Questions:
- When do your services typically begin after the birth?
- What is your fee, and what does it include?
- How will we know when our services should end?
- Are you CPR certified, or do you have any specific certificates for postpartum support?
- If we decide to hire you, what are our next steps?
Once you have narrowed down your search, it’s worth reviewing your doula’s contract for refund policies and other details.
Always go with who fits best for you. As we mentioned before it is really important to feel safe and secure with the doula that you hire.
Some additional resources to read more about doulas:
For more information on how to navigate your birth choices, how to safely avoid cascade of interventions and more, attend our VBAC Parents Course.