How To Smash Your Doula Interview

Jennifer Campbell - Doula In Reno
7 min readOct 27, 2023


You’ve decided to hire a doula — this is GREAT NEWS! (In my unbiased opinion)

If you do a little research, most doulas offer a free consultation, lasting about 30 minutes, so the first suggestion is to make an appointment! I also recommend interviewing 3 doulas so you can determine which one is the right fit for you.

If it’s your first time working with a doula, you’ll probably feel one of two ways:

  • You have lots of questions and are excited for a chance to finally talk to a doula in person
  • You aren’t sure where to start, you might feel a little lost, and you’re not sure what this interview is all about

Either one is great!

It’s important to make the most of your consultation with the doulas you’re meeting. This meeting is the only chance you have to get to know this person before signing a contract and putting money down to hire them for one of the MOST intimate occasions in your life.

There’s a TON of information out there to interview doulas, but I’m going to streamline things for you.

I’ve also written:

What Is A Doula

A Comprehensive Guide To Choosing The Perfect Doula

Coming Up With Important Decisions When Hiring A Doula

Why You Should Hire A Doula

The best doula interviews I’ve had are more like a conversation than an interview. I let potential clients know the consultation is more like having coffee with a friend you’re getting to know — and it goes both ways.

There is a contract, and money to discuss as well as expectations, BUT FIRST you should use the consult to connect with the doula (and your partner should also!). You can look on their website to find out about what training they have, and the cost to hire them. Gather as much information on the doula BEFORE meeting with them so you don’t spend time asking questions that aren’t a priority.

This is one of the most vulnerable, intimate, and intense times in your life, so streamlining the process to smash your doula interview helps choose the right doula.

Because of that… come ready to share about yourself!

Although your education, support, and information from a doula begin during the prenatal appointments and not the consultation, the doula will want to know how you feel about birth at that moment, and if you’ve had prior experience (yes, even with your cat!).

You should be very comfortable around the doula you choose to be part of your birth team, so really lean into how each doula makes you feel and choose according to that!


First things first — ask if they are available for your due date and where they work in the community (hospitals or birth centers as well as homebirth)! If they aren’t available or don’t work where you’re planning on delivering, there’s no reason to move forward.


Ask why the doula chose birthwork.

  • What do they love about it?
  • Is there anything about it that’s challenging?
  • What types of birth experiences have they encountered?


The number of births I’ve attended is asked often, however, I couldn’t tell you exactly the number until 2023 — I just didn’t keep track. It’s not only about the doula’s experience. They’ve never worked with YOU — regardless of how many other women they’ve supported.

You might think it doesn’t make sense to work with a doula who hasn’t gone through her own pregnancy or birth, however, I’ve met SEVERAL doulas who haven’t had a child of their own and they are AMAZING doulas. The same is true for midwives or OB’s so don’t let that stop you from working with a doula you connect with.


A good doula isn’t based on if or how she’s certified. Certification is not required to be a doula in the state of Nevada where I live. Certification is the bookwork we learn to become doulas. Even if we’ve attended an accredited program it’s more important — in my opinion -to find out about the doula’s continuing education. This highlights education AND passion and assures you that she’s keeping up on all things birthwork. Are they increasing their skills, best practices, and research for their profession?

I love it when potential clients ask me about my involvement in the local community. What is the birthwork community like? Does the doula attend local meet-ups or state meet-ups? If not, why not? Do they stay up to date about what’s happening in their local area? Have they built relationships with other birth workers and related professionals? Are they on any local boards that support birthwork?

When I’m asked about my training, I tell people I’m happy to discuss that — but do they know what those certs mean? If not, then I can share so they can look them up later, although experience (personal and professional) is a better place to start.


Ask about how they have worked with care providers in the past. This is a BIG one! Ask about working with care providers when things are going smoothly, as well as what it might look like if there are disagreements. Disagreements come up pretty frequently, so having a plan to respond and knowing how the doula would handle things ahead of time makes a big difference.

You can also ask what their thoughts are on advocacy. Many doulas do not feel comfortable actively advocating for their clients in the birthing space, while others are very comfortable.

Another conversation is to ask how they approach supporting parents through an unexpected event. How do they switch gears at the moment when decisions need to divert from the birth plan?


What does the doula wish all expecting parents knew before birth? Learn more about the doula’s values and biases.

How has their approach to birth work evolved since they began? This is a fun question since many of us thought things would be one way, or did things that now we’ve completely changed! Many doulas experience changes throughout their time doing this work — mine certainly has.

Ask about their favorite item in their doula bag. It’s fascinating to hear what is used to support clients — and we’re all different. My bag has evolved over the years and throughout my doula journey.


Do they have a backup doula? I don’t generally need a backup doula, however, in some instances, I ask another doula if she can be on call. If I need to utilize a backup doula, I pay her directly and there is not a charge for the client. When I have a backup doula, I want the clients to meet with her once so she’s familiar and I send them her website and information. It’s important to know how the doula utilizes backup in her practice.

Many birth doulas also offer additional services such as postpartum doula care, lactation support, childbirth classes, sleep consulting, placenta encapsulation, and others and if they don’t, most doulas have resources they can share with you.

What is the process to hire them? How many times will you meet during pregnancy and postpartum? When does their 24/7 on-call period begin and end and what happens if you go into labor earlier? How does labor support work — do they meet you at the hospital, when do you call them, and how do you connect (text vs phone call)? Do they have package options or tiers in their offerings? Do they offer support for planned C-sections, and if so what does that look like, and would it change the package? How does payment work and do they accept any insurance?


Be careful if you meet with a doula who wants your birth to be a certain way. Even if it’s the birth you want, that doula might not support you if things change in your situation, or you change your mind.

There are a lot of unexpected twists during labor and you may decide to deviate from what you previously wanted, or the situation may be different than anticipated. The lens you view your labor and birth can be altered even in small ways, which can alter your birth plan as well.

Some doulas (like myself previously) specialize in home births, or completely natural births and may be unfamiliar with how to support a birth that isn’t “natural”. If you end up starting at home or a birth center, but you need to transfer, will they come with you? Can they support you in the hospital?

A doula can’t promise anything about birth. Birth is extraordinarily complex with many factors that are unknown and uncontrollable.

It’s better to have a doula who will support your birth regardless of the changes and will help you feel great about the outcome — even if it’s not what was originally planned.


There are so many factors to take into consideration! Experience, education, how a doula is integrated into her community, and other things I’ve mentioned should play a role in your decision-making process, just make sure you don’t ignore your gut feelings.

You are inviting someone into one of the most intimate and intense experiences of your life, so choose the doula who is the right fit in many ways — especially how she makes you feel.

Add any questions or information I missed!



Jennifer Campbell - Doula In Reno

Certified Birth Doula, Bereavement Doula®, Adoption & Surrogacy Doula, Certified Breastfeeding Educator Reno, NV, Mom Of 18, Blogger, Podcaster