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Maggi Rohde, Doula
Dundee, Michigan


Safe Passage's Services

My Philosophy About Birth

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What Is A Doula? | More

Why Choose A Doula?

- Finding The Doula For You -

For Spouses and Partners

If You've Had A Cesarean


Local Birth Resources

Online Birth Resources

Finding the Doula For You

When you're getting ready to choose a doula, remember that the most important thing is: do you like her? This woman will be spending quite a bit of time with you and your family, both before, during and after your delivery. You should feel comfortable with her personality, her beliefs, and her level of training.

Finding A Doula in Your Community

If you live in a big city, this should be no problem. If you're in a more rural area, you might need to do some searching. Your doctor or childbirth educator may have some fliers or contacts for you. Try the calling the organizations and visiting the web sources listed on the Online Resources page.

Your first question should always be: "Are you available around my due date?" There's no sense in wasting your time if she's already booked for your month.

Her Philosophy About Birth

Once you've got her on the phone, ask her some questions about her personal ideas about birth. It's okay; she expects this, and probably will have the answers ready for you. You need to find a doula who supports your goals and attitudes. This means you need to decide what your answers are to these questions before you ask them of anyone else!

  • What is the most important part of being a doula?
  • How will you help us communicate with our caregiver(s)?
  • What is your philosophy regarding my spouse/partner's involvement in labor?
  • Do you perform clinical skills (fetal heart tones, vaginal exams, etc.)?
  • What other skills do you have that you think are important?
  • What do you think of our hospital/caregiver?
  • What are your feelings about medication during birth?
Professional Training and References

If you like what you've heard so far, ask some questions about her professional role as a doula.

  • What is your training? How much experience do you have?
  • Are you certified or working toward certification? May I contact your certifying organization?
  • How many births have you attended? How many in my situation (in hospital, birth center, home birth, VBAC, etc.)?
  • Do you have knowlege or experience with high risk or VBAC issues?
  • May I have a list of previous clients I can call? (Two or three is enough.)
  • Are you independent or employed by the hospital? (If she is hospital employed, ask if she is bound by shift schedules or by hospital policies, or if she is free to support your decisions.)
Fees and Services

Finally, ask questions about the practical stuff. If everything else has gone smoothly, these last points are probably negotiable. If you are in financial difficulty and don't think you can pay, tell her. She may or may not be able to work things out so you can afford her services, or she may be able to refer you to a friend who works for little or no charge. But remember that she is performing a valuable service; if you truly can afford her fee, you should pay it.

  • Have you ever worked with my care provider before?
  • How many prenatal visits do you provide? How many pospartum visits?
  • What is your role in early labor? Will you come to my home?
  • What backup arrangements do you have? May we meet your backup doula(s)?
  • What is your fee? Is it flexible? What is your payment schedule? (Most doulas charge between $200 and $800.)
The First Interview

Before you make the final decision to hire a doula, you may want to meet with her in person. She will probably offer to send you information in the mail, and schedule an interview to go over her agreement forms and other documents. Don't feel pressured to decide right away. Wait until you are certain you've found the right doula.

Next Link: Information for Spouses/Partners

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