How to hire a doula?


Key Points

The journey to parenthood is unique and deeply personal. For many expectant families, this journey is enriched by the support of a doula – a professional trained in childbirth who provides emotional, physical, and educational support to a mother who is expecting, experiencing labor, or has recently given birth. This article aims to offer an authoritative and trustworthy guide on hiring a doula that aligns with your family’s needs and preferences.

Understanding the Role of a Doula

Doulas play a pivotal role in modern childbirth practices. According to DONA International, one of the leading doula certification organizations, a doula provides continuous support during labor and birth, and often postpartum, offering comfort, encouragement, and knowledge. Their effectiveness is backed by studies showing shorter labors, fewer cesarean sections, and more positive childbirth experiences. This underscores the importance of having a trained professional whose sole purpose is to provide emotional and physical support during one of life’s most transformative experiences.

Also Read – Learn the signs of labor, understand its stages

When to Start Looking for a Doula

Timing is crucial when it comes to hiring a doula. It’s generally recommended to start your search early in the second trimester. This allows ample time to interview several candidates and find someone whose philosophy and approach align with your own. Doulas often book months in advance, making early searching beneficial.


Also Read – Doula’s Advice: Guidance for Your Motherhood Journey 

Key Questions to Ask When Hiring a Doula

When interviewing potential doulas, it’s vital to ask specific questions to determine their suitability for your needs. Here are some key questions to consider:

  • What training have you received, and are you certified?
  • What is your philosophy about childbirth and supporting women and families during labor?
  • Can you provide references from previous clients?
  • Which hospitals do you attend births at? 
  • What services do you provide before, during, and after the birth?
  • How many births have you attended?
  • What are your fees, and what do they cover?
  • How do you handle emergencies or unexpected situations during birth?
  • What is your availability around my due date?
  • How do you support my partner during the birth process?
  • What is your backup plan if you’re unavailable when I go into labor?

Step-by-Step Guide to the Hiring Process

Hiring a doula can seem overwhelming, especially for first-time parents. Here’s a simplified step-by-step guide to make the process more manageable:

  • Research and Understanding:
    • Begin by researching what a doula does and how they can support your childbirth experience. Understand the different types of doulas (birth, postpartum, etc.).
  • Gather Recommendations:
    • Ask friends, family, or your healthcare provider for recommendations. Online forums and local parenting groups can also be valuable resources.
  • Create a Shortlist:
    • Based on your research and recommendations, create a list of potential doulas you’d like to interview.
  • Conduct Interviews:
    • Schedule interviews with the doulas on your list. Use the key questions discussed earlier in this article as a guide for your conversations. Make notes during the interviews so that you can compare later.
  • Check References:
    • Contact the references provided by the doulas to gain insights into their previous clients’ experiences.
  • Make a Decision:
    • Based on your interviews and reference checks, choose the doula who best aligns with your needs and comfort level.
  • Discuss and Finalize Details:
    • Once you’ve made your decision, discuss and finalize the details such as the contract, fees, services provided, and expectations.
  • Stay in Communication:
    • Maintain open communication with your doula leading up to, during, and after childbirth as needed. Include your birthing partner or spouse in these conversations as much as possible.
  • Provide Feedback:
    • After the experience, provide feedback to your doula. This can help them improve and also assist other parents in making their decisions.


Also Read – What are the different types of doulas?

Cultural Considerations

Doulas play different roles across cultures. It’s crucial to find one aligning with your cultural beliefs and practices:

  • Understand Cultural Importance:
    • Recognize that different cultures have unique traditions, beliefs, and practices surrounding childbirth. A doula who understands and respects these aspects can provide more tailored support.
  • Seek Culturally Compatible Doulas:
    • Look for doulas who either share your cultural background or have experience working with families from similar cultures.
  • Discuss Cultural Practices:
    • During interviews, discuss any cultural practices or rituals that are important for you to include in your childbirth experience.
  • Consider Language Needs:
    • If you or your family prefer communicating in a language other than English, consider looking for a bilingual doula or one who understands your language needs.
  • Inquire About Customized Support:
    • Ask potential doulas how they can support your specific cultural needs during childbirth. This might include dietary considerations, traditional practices, or family involvement.

Incorporating these steps and considerations into your doula hiring process can ensure a more personalized, respectful, and comforting childbirth experience that honors your cultural values and preferences.

Evaluating the Responses

Pay attention to not only what they say but how they say it. Their communication style, empathy, and ability to convey information clearly and confidently are as important as their answers. The right doula should make you feel heard, respected, and comfortable.

Making Your Decision

After gathering all the information, weigh your options. Remember, the best doula for you is someone who resonates with your childbirth vision and with whom you feel a deep sense of trust and comfort.


Choosing a doula is a significant decision impacting your childbirth experience. By asking the right questions, evaluating the responses carefully, and trusting your instincts, you can find a doula who will provide the support, knowledge, and comfort you need during this momentous time in your life.

Sidebar/Quick Tips

  • Start your doula search in your second trimester.
  • Look for a certified doula with a compatible philosophy.
  • Ask for references and clear information about fees and services.
  • Trust your instincts – comfort and compatibility are key.

Connect with Veira Life for Your Doula Support Needs

As you contemplate hiring a doula, remember the importance of expert guidance and support. Veira Life offers comprehensive virtual pregnancy and doula support services to guide you through this incredible journey. Our experienced coaches, who are trained doulas and midwives, are dedicated to providing personalized care and support.

Interested in learning more? Visit Veira Life’s website for detailed information on our services. We’re here to answer your questions and help you navigate the path to a positive and empowering childbirth experience.



Start early (usually in 2nd trimester) to allow time for interviews and selection and also allow you to get to know your doula more.

Ask about their training, philosophy, experience, fees, and emergency plans.

No, doulas provide support but don’t replace medical staff like doctors or midwives.

Doulas respect and incorporate your cultural beliefs and practices during childbirth.

Yes, for many, the emotional and physical support doulas provide is invaluable.

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