Standards of Practice
The Birth Doula, Postpartum Doula, and/or Loss Doula:
Strives to provide a high level of care and support for the client and their family.
Provides emotional, physical, and evidence-based informational support to clients.
Remains within the Doula’s Scope of Practice - Does not give medical advice or diagnoses, perform clinical procedures, or administer medications.
Refers clients to other practitioners and resources when such referrals would be deemed beneficial or when the clients needs are beyond the ability or scope of the doula.
Respects the clients’ autonomy by not speaking for them or making decisions on their behalf.
Adheres to an agreed-upon contract (recommended) with the client, which outlines fees, cancelation/refund policy, details of services and support provided, etc.
Works collaboratively and respectfully with the other members of the medical care team, assisting in communication between the client, support team and care providers when needed.
Uses education to help clients identify their preferences, assists them in advocating for themselves, and helps them adjust to unexpected changes which may arise.
Supports and respects the unique culture, values, and preferences of the client and their family.
Ethical Code of Conduct for Members
A doula promotes the general health and well-being of birthing persons and their families. The Doula Association of Alberta members understand that they are acting as representatives of the doula profession and that their actions reflect the profession as a whole. The conduct of individual doulas can have an impact on their local birth community.
Members will maintain high standards of personal conduct in their role as a professional support person. This includes their conduct with clients, health care providers, other practitioners, and the general public. Discrimination, prejudice, racism, or harassment will not be tolerated.
Members will strive to remain proficient in the current professional practices for Alberta, be up-to-date on evidence-based performance functions, and continue to educate themselves about client-directed support. Members will maintain awareness about how their affiliation and conduct with related organizations, institutions, and other support persons can benefit the development and competence of our profession as a whole.
Inclusivity and Integrity
Members will act in accordance with the highest standard of professional inclusivity and integrity. Doula Association of Alberta members will work together to create a safe and trusted space for the development of strategic priorities related to its professional goals.
Confidentiality and Privacy
Members will respect the privacy of clients and colleagues, holding in confidence all information obtained in the course of professional service and/or interactions. This includes obtaining written permission to share personal details, photos, and back up coverage requests. This is inclusive of all media options and/or platforms.
Obligation to Serve
Members will assist each client seeking support, either by providing services or by making appropriate referrals. Members recognize that there may be circumstances where they cannot act in a professional support capacity and, as such, will work with the client to find support options that fit the individual needs of that client.
Fees & Contracts
Members will clearly state their fees to the client, and describe the services provided, terms of payment, and refund policies. Members are encouraged to discuss and agree upon business contracts with their clients and will be expected to adhere in good faith to these agreements. Written contracts are encouraged for any professional support persons representing the Doula Association of Alberta, even for pro bono or charitable support.
Respect, Fairness, and Courtesy
Members will relate to their colleagues with full professional consideration, regardless of affiliation, experience, or training. This includes, but is not limited to: respect for the body and the mind of all persons, ensuring ethical business practices and conduct, protecting and respecting the materials of others, working to develop and maintain collaborative working relationships, and the use of respectful language. Remaining cognizant that clinical care belongs to the Health Care Provider, members will provide support within the doula’s scope of practice, making suggestions based on their knowledge of the client's birth plans and preferences.
The Doula Association of Alberta recognizes the wide range of training, certification, and experiences that members may have. Members are required to meet the following minimums related to professional training:
An approved training course, with a minimum of 16 instructional hours, from an approved trainer.
A minimum of 10 instructional hours of additional training or education each year (online or in-person) which may include: observation of childbirth education series, webinars, mentoring, or participation in other applicable continuing education (ie: infant feeding, infant massage, loss support, etc.).
Indigenous Birthworker (aboriginal status, supporting documents required)
Note: For interested applicants who are unable to access the above requirements, membership exceptions will be considered on a case by case basis.