CODE OF ETHICS – BIRTH DOULA
A doula is a woman who provides physical, emotional and informational support to
women and their families before, during and after childbirth.
1. Rules of Conduct
A. Propriety. The doula should maintain high standards of personal conduct in
the capacity or identity as a labour support provider.
B. Competence and Professional Development. The doula should strive to become
and remain proficient in the professional practice and the performance of
professional functions through continuing education, affiliation with related
organizations, and associations with other Labour Support Providers.
C. Integrity. The doula should act in accordance with the highest standards of
2. Ethical Responsibility to Clients
Primacy of Client’s Interests. The doula’s primary responsibility is to her clients.
Rights and Prerogatives of Clients. The doula should make every effort to foster
maximum self-determination on the part of her clients.
Confidentiality and Privacy. The doula should respect the privacy of clients and hold in
confidence all information obtained in the course of professional service.
Obligation to Serve. The doula should assist each client seeking labour support either
by providing services or making appropriate referrals.
Reliability. When the doula agrees to work with a particular client, her obligation is to
do so reliably, without fail, for the term of the agreement.
Fees. When setting fees, the doula should ensure that they are fair, reasonable,
considerate, and commensurate with services performed and with due regard for the
client’s ability to pay. The doula must clearly state her fees to the client, and describe
the services provided, terms of payment and refund policies.
3. Ethical Responsibility to Colleagues
Respect, Fairness, and Courtesy. The doula should treat colleagues with respect,
courtesy, fairness, and good faith.
Dealing with Colleagues’ Clients. The doula has the responsibility to relate to the
clients of colleagues with full professional consideration.
4. Ethical Responsibility to the Labour Support Profession
Maintaining the Integrity of the Profession. The doula should uphold and advance the
values, ethics, knowledge and mission of the profession.
Community Service: The doula is encouraged to support the vision of “A Doula For
Every Woman/Person Who Wants One” by making reduced cost or no cost labour support
services available when possible (such as volunteer work that is sustainably practiced), so long as this kind of work does not negatively impact the personal and professional endeavours of the Doula.
5. Ethical Responsibility to Society
A. Promoting Maternal and Child Welfare. The doula should promote the general
health of women and their babies, and whenever possible, that of their family and
friends as well.