Doula What? Doula Who?

Services Rendered.  Doulas accompany the birthing person in labor, provides emotional and physical support, comfort measures, as well as provides support and suggestions for the partner. Whenever possible, doulas provide prenatal and postpartum emotional support, including explanation and discussion of practices and procedures, and assistance in acquiring the knowledge necessary for the client to make informed choices for their own care. Doulas do not “prescribe” any treatment. Suggestions provided by the doula must be done once the doula advises his/her client to check with the primary care provider. 

Limits to Practice. Doulas work applies to emotional, physical and informational support only.   A doula does not perform clinical or medical tasks, such as taking blood pressure or temperature, fetal heart tone checks, vaginal examinations or postpartum clinical care. 

Advocacy.  A doula advocates for their client's wishes as expressed in their birth preferences and feeding plan, in prenatal conversations, by encouraging clients to ask questions of their care provider and to express their preferences and concerns. The doula helps the birthing person incorporate changes in plans if and when the need arises, and enhances the communication between client and care provider. Clients and doulas must recognize that the advocacy role does not include the doula speaking instead of the client or making decisions on behalf of the client. The advocacy role is best described as hands-on support, information, and mediation or negotiation.

Referrals. For client needs beyond the scope of the doula’s training, referrals are made to appropriate resources.

Continuity of Care.  A doula should make back-up arrangements with another doula to ensure services to the client if the doula is unable to attend the birth or any scheduled postpartum session. Should any doula feel a need to discontinue service to an established client, it is the doula’s responsibility to notify the client via email and phone and arrange for a replacement, if the client so desires. This may be accomplished by, introducing the client to the backup doula or referring another doula.