Our code of conduct provides guidelines for doulas and a quality standard for parents hiring the services of a doula.
General work standards
- Doulas are responsible for maintaining and improving their work by regularly attending courses, workshops and study days.
- Doulas should strive to remain current in evidence based research and should offer up to date information to their clients. Their aim is to dispel myths about pregnancy, childbirth, the postnatal period, and breastfeeding.
- Doulas will give the families they work with details in writing about the services they offer and clearly state their fees to the client, describe the services provided, terms of payment and refund policies. Doulas are asked to use written contracts with the families hiring their services.
- Doulas should at all times behave in an honest, professional, respectful and ethical manner with their clients, colleagues and other birth professionals.
- Doulas primary responsibility is to their client. Doulas will respect the confidential nature of their work with the families they support.
Role of the doula
- Doulas will support families emotionally and through practical means. They will provide information for families so that they may be equipped to make their own birth and postnatal choices and to support them in those choices. Doulas will provide objective information and options in this process and discuss all aspects of the birth and postnatal period. Doulas do not give advice or make judgement.
- Doulas do not take on a medical role or offer medical advice. If a doula has other qualifications that allow her to give medical recommendations she will not do so in her role as a doula. If she does give recommendations of a medical nature, she will make it clear that she is no longer acting in her role as a doula.
Commitment and responsibility
- Doulas that have entered into a contract with a family, whether written or verbal, have an obligation to support this family according to and in line with the terms of contract. If at such time the doula wishes to end the contract, she will assist the family in finding another doula if required.
- Doulas should strive to uphold and advance the values, ethics, knowledge and mission of the doula movement.