We recommend seeking a doula that understands parenting looks different for each family. Someone who will support the choices you make for your family will be best able to help you feel confident and connected in the first weeks and months.
What kinds of community connections have you made?
One of the most valuable assets a postpartum doula can have are her community connections and resources. Does she have relationships with care providers, lactation professionals, sleep experts, chiropractors, etc? A professional doula is constantly curating relationships with others that offer care to new families to best support clients, offer referrals, and gather information as needed.
Do you have liability insurance?
Professionals carry liability insurance. People can be injured, property can be damaged, law suits can occur. These are realities of living life and doing business. By seeking a doula with liability insurance you can be certain the doula has completed a training an insurance company is comfortable aligning with, and will be hiring a doula who takes her career seriously.
Do you have any infant age restrictions?
Depending on their background and/or training organization postpartum doulas may only support families within the first 12 weeks. A postpartum doula that is comfortable working with your family for the first year and beyond can help you implement systems, offer consistency of care, and means you’ll have someone you are comfortable with on your team throughout your experience.
What is your availability?
You may want to know how your postpartum doula books clients, when they will be available, and what happens if they are unavailable. Doulas that work alone may only have a few weeks of availability or only be able to offer a few select time slots. While the team model means you may have more than one doula caring for your family, it offers substantially more availability and means you have a postpartum doula whenever you want or need one.
Additionally, postpartum doulas should have liability insurance, references, police information checks (including vulnerable sector checks), proof of postpartum doula training, and proof of first aid training, available for your review. Don’t be afraid to ask for any information you need to feel safe.
For the Best questions to ask a labour and birth doula see out post The Best Questions to Ask a Birth Doula.