Doula Practice

  1. The range of roles. We Birth Recognise that doulas work in a variety of different roles, including but not limited to antenatal doulas, birth doulas, postnatal doulas, bereavement doulas, doula support for siblings, surrogacy and adoption.
  2. Services Rendered. Doulas assist women and their families with the provision of emotional and physical comfort and support. They are to provide information, sharing and discussing evidence-based practices and procedures so the families may make informed choices with the care they receive.
  3. Continuity of Care
    1. Doulas are encouraged to supply backup arrangements with another doula where possible, to ensure services to the client if the doula is unable to attend the clients.
    2. If doulas need to discontinue their services with existing clients, they are responsible for notification of the client.  They are also encouraged, where possible, for the arrangement of a replacement, if the client requests.
    3. Furthermore, the doula may:
      1. Introduce clients to a backup doula.
      2. Suggest another respected and qualified doula
      3. Suggest searching for another doula local to their area.
  4. Training and Experience
    1. Training.
      1. Completion of an approved doula course or appropriate industry experience and
      2. Successful completion of the ‘We Birth Mentorship Program’ and
      3. Ongoing education and membership with We Birth inclusive of
        1. 15 Continuing hours of education completed in a 3 year period
        2. Maintain basic life support certification
        3. Criminal and/or police checks in accordance with local standards.
    2. Experience.
      1. Doulas must have attended at least
        1. 12 clients within a 3 year period in order to be considered up to date with their skills.

 

 

The functions and responsibilities.

  1. All doulas must ensure they do not act in a clinical capacity and have contracts signed stating this fact even if they have qualifications outside of their doula work. Doulas must ensure all clinical matters and choices are referred to and discussed with the relevant professionals.
  2. Limits to Practice. Doulas are to care for women and their families with emotional, physical and informational support only. Doulas are not to perform clinical or medical tasks in any capacity or modality.
    1. Should doulas have qualifications in alternative or complementary modalities (eg. massage, birth education, aromatherapy, placenta encapsulation, etc.), it is imperative clients understand those modalities are an additional service and outside of a doula’s scope of practice.
    2. Health professionals (eg. midwife, chiropractor, nurse etc.) cannot refer to themselves as doulas while providing services which are not considered within a doula’s scope of practice.
    3. Should health professionals, complementary or alternative care professionals wish to limit their services to those practiced by doulas, it is acceptable for them to describe themselves as doulas.
    4. Audits.
      1. Doulas are responsible for documenting and maintaining records of education and recency of practice.
      2. If required, the doula will have 30 days to produce evidence of training and experience as detailed in (1d).

 

The decision-making capacity which the doulas perform in the context of their practice.

  1. Advocacy
    1. Doulas advocate for client’s desires which may be requested in their birth plans.
    2. Should advocacy be required in decisions outside of the doula’s client agreement, they are to suggest clients ask questions of their healthcare professionals.
    3. Doulas help families adapt to changes and care plans if necessary.
    4. They can have an important role in assisting communication between families and their health professionals.
    5. Doulas advocate and do not make decisions on behalf of the client. They instead mediate and negotiate in partnership with the client, supplying unbiased information where required.
  2. Referrals. All services or requirements for clients which are considered outside of a doula’s scope of practice must be referred to the relevant professions or consults.

 

Any person, who chooses to represent themselves as a We Birth certified doula, are bound by this code of ethics and conduct. Doulas found to be in breach of this forfeit the right to use all names and branding associated with We Birth.