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Nurturing Birth Code of Practice

Our code of practice 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 skills by regularly attending training courses, workshops, study days or other means.

Doulas will keep records of all their work and should give the families they work with details in writing about the services they offer and their policy on payments. Doulas are advised to use written contracts with the families that hire 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 will respect the confidential nature of their work with the families they support.



Role of doulas

Doulas will support families emotionally and through practical means. They will help families make their birth and postnatal choices and support them in these choices. Doulas will provide information and options in this process and discuss all aspects of the birth and postnatal period but will not give advice or make any 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 ever gives recommendations of a medical nature, she will make it clear that she is no longer acting in her role of doula. Similarly, doulas will not offer their services in a situation where the parents do not wish medical staff to attend the birth and will strive to avoid that such a situation arises.

Duty of care

Doulas who have entered into a contract with a family, be it written or verbal, have a duty to support this family according to the terms of their contract. If the doula wishes to end the contract, she will assist the family in finding another doula if required.

© November 2007




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