Updated: Jun 27
As a doula I charge myself with he responsibility of at least once reaching out or meeting the provider that's caring for my clients. Normally this is during a regular prenatal appointment but can also be via email, with my clients permission of course.
What's the point? In short the point is to establish a rapport, so that the providers know how invested I am and my client is in their care.
These questions were formulated specifically to gain a true understanding of the provider/practice to figure out:
Is this the right environment/team to help me reach my birth goals
Will they support, protect and LISTEN to my thoughts and concerns with respect and attentiveness
I'm building a team, are these are my players?
As a black woman serving a majority of black women this is paramount and the very reason
I came into birth work, to protect defend, educate and empower other women to take charge of their birthing experiences and demand a level of respect and autonomy. I hope these questions will begin to guide you to do the same.
What is your birth philosophy?
This question is designed to give you, the patient/client, an understanding of how your provider looks at birth and whether this aligns with your goals.
Your providers answer to this question will give you a better understanding of the way they'll approach your birth and also give you an understanding of whether or not they are, what I like to call, "intervention-forward" or laid back.
This question will also help you identify what your needs are from your providers.
How do you support your patient wanting a [blank] delivery?
Simply, is the birth that you desire a possibility with this provider, if not its time to switch.
How many providers in the practice?
I always tell my clients and perspective clients that when you are envisioning your birth if you cannot imagine a certain provider (nurse, doctor, midwife, or doula) then they are not meant to be there, period.
What should I expect in an emergency/emergent situation?
What should I expect if things go wrong? Who will be there? What is the protocol and how/when will my partner/family/support system be updated.
I say this often when it relates to birth, its not an emergency until it's an emergency. YOU HAVE OPTIONS, and do not let anyone try and convince you otherwise. If it is truly an emergent situation there will be no discussion.
When will I see again, after delivery?
Imagine taking all this time and effort to build this team and manifest the birth you want and then you're disconnected from your team for six weeks after discharge, let's change it.
As a doula I make it very clear when I will see my clients again, and I'm following up often. I believe we need to hold our healthcare providers to the same standards in being able to communicate.