7 Questions to Ask Your Future Client, and 7 Questions to Practice Answering as a Doula
Having now done over 2000 interviews over the past 19 years (either in person or over the phone) I have been asked the same questions hundreds of times. Not surprisingly families often don’t know what to ask during an interview, so I have prepared some questions to determine if we are a fit and can provide what the client wants or needs. Many parents just go on feel and connection (which are important) but in order to get the best connection, I recommend meeting with families in person to check the energy of the home/family, measure the distance to their house, and see if you feel you could bring the right qualities to make their experience a great one for everyone.
In the quest to find a doula, families want to know who the doula is, what support and education skills the doula has, and what the care will look like for their family’s needs specifically. The hard part comes in when families aren’t sure what they want, but are trying to find someone to fit the bill. A few clarifying questions can help them narrow down what they are looking for, and sending these ahead can help you figure out if you are right for them as well. Here are a few questions for families to ask themselves before sitting down to meet with you.
Questions to consider together before you interview a doula:
- Why do we want a postpartum doula?
- Do we want more practical care of our home, or prefer more personal care for us and our little ones?
- How much support do we think we want? (Days, nights, evenings, mornings, or weekends? Length of time in hours per day, days per week, and amount of weeks?)
- What is our general budget for support if everything goes according to plan–and what is our potential budget for support if we need more help than anticipated?
- What type of support is most welcome in our home, and are there any requirements of those we hire to consider before finding a doula? (I.e. Vaccines, insurance, training requirements, etc.)
- Who will spend the most time with the doula learning new skills and caring for baby and what are their unique needs?
- What are our expectations of someone in our home, and how can we communicate that to our doula?
You could also reverse the process if they are unsure and ask them these questions to “interview” them as a potential family for your service. Once families have a sense of what they are looking for–which will probably change, but we can only go on what is known at that point–below are some questions they might ask you. Especially if they don’t know what to ask, you can practice and have these answers ready to offer them to show them you have prepared for working with their family. Doing the prep work of asking the client questions and answering the doula questions can help clarify what everyone needs–and clarity is gold.
Happy interviewing and finding the perfect doula family!
Interview questions to ask your postpartum doula
- Tell us about your service as a doula; what do you usually offer families like ours?
- What is your favorite thing to do for families after the baby is born?
- What is your availability for our due date and your preferred schedule?
- Do you have CPR and First Aid certifications, and are you covered by Liability Insurance?
- What did your doula training cover and what can we expect from your range of services?
- Do you have any special skills, training or talents that are unique to you and your doula work?
- What do you recommend for setting up to help us care for our specific needs?
IBCLC, CPD, CLE®, CAPPA Faculty, Senior Program Advisor of Lactation Education Programs
Kimberly has been serving breastfeeding families since 2001, first as a postpartum doula, then as a hospital educator, then as a Lactation Consultant (IBCLC since 2011). She founded a ABC Doula Service in Portland, OR in 2001 and has seen it grow to serve over 1800 families within the first 15 years. She has a passion for newborns and their families, as well as new doulas and educators launching into their own businesses. She has been Faculty for CAPPA since 2005 and now trains postpartum doulas, lactation educators, and her own advanced program for working with multiples. Kimberly is the mother to two lively school aged kids, and enjoys the collaboration at home and work with her husband of over 20 years. She also teaches breastfeeding, newborn care, and twin/triplet classes as within the Providence Health System. Kimberly has also produced 2 instructional videos for educators and new parents about newborn care. Her joy is in really making a difference for new parents and new doulas, and changing the world one family at a time.