So I'm looking to hire a doula for this homebirth and I have two names my midwife is comfortable with (homebirth is quasi-illegal here), but beyond that I don't know where to start. What kind of questions should I ask? How do I decide?
Honestly, you can ask as many or as few questions as you want, but the most important thing to find in a doula is someone you jive with. She might know every answer, but be too energetic or laid back for you. Meet each one individually and hopefully you'll find the right one. It's more about how she answers than it is about the question itself anyway, right?
I'm lucky to have my good friend as my doula this time around and I wouldn't want anyone else with me!
Ooo, I wish I could find you a list of questions that doulas are trained to answer in their prenatal consult. I'll keep looking. It seems like a good place to start and then from there add any questions that are personal to you.
M.Ed. Mama to Chunka (1/07), Beauty (5/09) and Elizabear 3/12): Birth Doula (working toward certification) AAMI Midwifery Student, Advocating with Solace for Mothers & The Birth Survey
A doula is there to support you. So the only right answers to the questions are the ones you agree with. It seems like some "what would you do in this situation?" questions would be good. And I agree with PP, you need to feel comfortable with them. You are asking them to be in your most intimate space at a very vulnerable time. Trust is so important.
Could you check some references? It seems like it would be helpful to hear what past clients liked and disliked about the doulas.
We have never had a doula before, but we will this time. She teaches an independent childbirth class (8 wks) that we took last time around, so we know her take on a lot of different issues. We also know lots of people she has worked with and comes highly recommended. She had her second child at home with the same midwife we use. With our daughter's HBAC, we had a very dear friend with us, but she has moved out of state. We were considering contacting this doula, and when our midwife encouraged it, I gave her a call. Our midwife is over an hour away, but the doula is much closer, so that is a bonus, too.