How to Choose a Doula

Reviewed by Neha Pathak, MD on March 19, 2021

Doulas work with pregnant women to provide support and encouragement during pregnancy and/or delivery. If you're interested in working with a doula, you can start by asking your midwife or doctor for a recommendation. You can also ask friends to recommend someone they know or visit the web sites of organizations that certify doulas. When choosing a doula, think about whether you want someone to assist you before, during, or after childbirth. Doulas can be hired privately, and some are hospital employees or volunteers.

The questions below can help you choose a doula who is a good fit for you and your family.

  • What kind of training and certification does the doula have?
  • What type of experience does the doula have and in what settings (hospitals, birthing centers, home births)?
  • Does the doula have a good reputation?
  • Do I feel comfortable and at ease with them?
  • Do they listen to me and explain things clearly?
  • Are they supportive of my hopes and expectations concerning childbirth?
  • What specific services does this doula provide?
  • Do they have a backup doula? Can I meet them?
  • Is my spouse or partner comfortable with this doula?
  • Does my health insurance cover the doula's services?