Professional Certified Doula Standards of Practice
A labor support doula accompanies the woman in labor, providing emotional and physical support. The doula suggests comfort measures, provides support and suggestions for the partner. When possible, the doula provides pre- and post-partum education, resources, emotional support, to include information on practices and procedures, and information that can assist in the client making informed decisions about her care. Furthermore, doulas do not “prescribe” treatment, suggestions, advice or information made available within the function of the doula must be done with the provision that the doula recommends the client to confirm/confer/communicate/advise her primary care provider of her choice before using any application, therapy or treatment that could influence her pregnancy or health.
Doulas do not practice medicine or midwifery and do not diagnose or prescribe. Doulas that practice as adjunct practitioners must in addition practice under their organizing body’s regulating practice.
Limits to Practice
Birth Arts International (BAI) Doulas do not practice medicine, offer clinical assessments or offer medical advice. If a doula is offering these skills, she is not practicing as a Birth Arts International Doula.
Birth Arts International Doulas act as advocates; they do not act as decision makers for clients. All health care choices are made by the client and not the doula. All communication referring to health care decisions are made by the client to their primary health care provider.
All doulas are advised to refer to the appropriate service provider for all care outside of the scope of practice. Doulas should also refer to other doulas if the client has needs better fulfilled by a better provider.
It is essential doulas are able to offer Continuity of Care (COC). COC can and does include back up doula support, educating yourself to further assist a client, referring to other providers as stated in referrals, client follow-up and follow up with back up provider if one is used in your place.
We understand many BAI doulas practice adjunct therapies, these should follow the therapies licensing board, or be in a separate practice from doula care, or on an advisement path. All doulas should advise clients to always inform care providers of all adjunct therapies utilized, to include herbals, aromatherapy, massage, homeopathics, etc.. Each woman is different and she needs to advise her primary care team of all internal medicinals, be it natural, supplements, or OTC for a clearer health picture for her primary care provider.
BAI requires all students to complete an extensive 350 plus page BAI training manual and workbook, additional reporting and reading requirements, attend a minimum required documented births, breastfeeding and childbirth education requirements. Please visit Birth Arts International for more information on all requirements.
Doulas certified by BAI will have the knowledge and understanding as set forth in the BAI Requirements for Certification. This includes condition of support to a minimum number of clients, positive evaluations from clients and health care providers and records of five births, including a précis, observation form and report of each birth.
Removal from Programs or Loss of Certification
If a student acts in a manner that brings the professional ethics, standards and practices of a BAI professional in question, via fraud, abuse or practicing outside of the scope of practice, they will be removed from the program, with no refunds offered, or certification will be revoked. Revoking a certification is a serious matter and it can be caused by fraudulently doing course work, professional work or any cases of professsional abuse of skills, power, etc..
Birth Arts International cannot be held liabilty for individual students, we are solely an education provider furnishing a certificate upon completion, and each student is a private business owner working independently for themselves.