The initial client interview is a pivotal moment in a doula’s journey with an expectant family. It’s a chance to establish trust, assess compatibility, and lay the foundation for a supportive partnership throughout pregnancy and birth.
To make the most of this opportunity, our co-director Julia shares her top five tips to enhancing your doula client interview.
 1. Prepare Thoughtful Questions 
 Before the interview, take time to prepare a set of thoughtful questions that go beyond the basics. While it’s important to gather essential information about the client’s due date, medical history, and birth preferences, consider delving deeper into their emotional and psychological needs. Ask about their expectations, fears, and past birth experiences. Questions like “What are your hopes for this birth?” and “What emotions are you experiencing right now?” can open up meaningful conversations that provide valuable insights.
2. Active Listening During the interview, prioritize active listening. Give your full attention to the client, allowing them to express their thoughts and feelings without interruption. Validate their emotions and experiences, showing empathy and understanding. This attentive listening fosters trust and demonstrates your commitment to their well-being. Take notes if needed, but be sure not to let note-taking distract from the connection you’re building.
 3. Share Your Approach and Philosophy. Be clear and transparent about your doula approach and philosophy. Explain your role, the support you provide, and how you work in partnership with medical professionals. Share your values and beliefs about childbirth and make sure they align with the client’s desires. This transparency helps the client understand what to expect and ensures a strong foundation for collaboration.
 4. Establish Boundaries and Expectations. Setting clear boundaries and expectations is crucial for a successful doula-client relationship. Discuss your availability, communication preferences, and the scope of your services. Clearly define how you’ll work together during labor and delivery, and address any concerns or questions the client may have. This clarity minimizes misunderstandings and promotes a smoother partnership.
 5. Assess Compatibility 
 Assessing compatibility is a vital aspect of the interview. Ensure that you and the client are a good fit for one another, both personally and philosophically. Discuss your availability and whether it aligns with their birth timeline. Evaluate whether their expectations match your approach to doula care. If there are significant mismatches, it’s better to address them upfront to avoid potential issues later.
The doula client interview is an opportunity to establish a strong and meaningful connection with expectant families. By preparing thoughtfully you can enhance the interview experience and set the stage for a positive and supportive doula-client relationship. Remember that the interview is a two-way process, and both you and the client should leave feeling confident and excited about the partnership ahead.
What are your favourite tips? Please share them with us on Instagram.