Code of Practice

A member of Australian Doulas:

  1. Is accountable for her own practice in whatever environment she chooses to work. In all circumstances the safety and welfare of the mother and baby must be of primary importance.
  2. Offers counsel and support, but not advice, to the mother and/or parents, exploring with them their various options, enabling them to make their own decisions about the appropriate course of action, and then supporting them to act upon those decisions e.g. a birth doula supports the mother wherever and however she chooses to give birth – home/birth centre/hospital, with or without medical interventions, whilst a postnatal doula supports the mother whether breast or bottle feeding.
  3. Works to maintain the highest level of care and support possible, all the time striving to be sensitive, nurturing, empathic, non-judgmental, knowledge-based, flexible, reliable, well-organised, practical and protective of the mother’s/family’s environment.
  4. Does not perform clinical or medical tasks, diagnose medical conditions or give medical advice, even if trained as a health professional prior to becoming/whilst practising as a doula.  Likewise, if the doula is qualified as a therapist in some other field and wishes to apply this skill in her practice, she will indicate her qualifications in her doula/client contract.
  5. Will never knowingly participate in a planned unassisted birth in any capacity as a member.
  6. Will refer clients to other appropriate resources / professionals should the client have needs beyond the scope of their doula role.
  7. Will charge an amount that the Doula deems is fair and reasonable with respect to services provided, and considerate with regard to the doula’s experience, the client’s individual circumstances and ability to pay.  The Doula will clearly outline to the client the terms of payment, fee structure and services provided.
  8. Will accurately represent their education and experience and will not mislead other doulas, clients or other birth professionals (i.e. websites, leaflets, emails, interviews, etc.) as to their level of doula education or experience.
  9. Will be honest and show integrity and respect at all times towards their clients, doula colleagues and the other professionals.
  10. Will not discuss personal and confidential information which has been disclosed to them by their clients in the course of their doula work with them, without the express permission of those clients.
  11. Will not discuss or share personal and confidential information which has been disclosed by other members in a professional capacity including via social media platforms outside the Australian Doula group.      
  12. Is advised to keep records of birth and postnatal experiences, in the style of a reflection form or diary entry, to be discussed with a more experienced doula.
  13. Is strongly advised to use contracts, as outlined by Australian Doulas, to be signed by both Client and Doula.
  14. Will strive to develop and maintain positive work relationships within the doula and birthing community.
  15. Will make it their own responsibility to maintain/enhance their skills and education by attending courses, workshops and lectures as they become available.
  16. Will strive to attend Australian Doula meetings, workshops and Study Days and contribute whenever possible to the running of the network as schedules and other commitments allow.

All Australian Doulas are required to adhere to our 16 Point Code of Practice. It has been established to ensure the welfare of our doulas, the women and families that use our service and the future of our professional reputation.  Any doula that acts in opposition to our Code of Practice, while representing Australian Doulas, may be asked to leave. 

Are you a doula, health professional or general member of the public who believes one of our doulas has not adhered to the above Code of Practice? Australian Doulas has a formal procedure for your complaint to be heard and addressed (anonymously if you prefer). Please click here to lodge a formal complaint.

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