Caregivers & Doulas
Doulas are considered the newest members of the maternity care team. Their acceptance in maternity care is growing rapidly with the recognition of their important contribution to the improved physical outcomes and emotional well-being of mothers and infants.
They are found in many settings. In British Columbia the South Community Birth Program includes doulas who are paid alongside doctors, midwives, and nurses as part of a very successful pilot project. In Alberta we see doulas in Labour & Delivery rooms, in the hospitals teaching prenatal education, in fertility clinics, in yoga studios and in a number of other practices. Some are nurses, massage therapists, acupuncturists, childbirth educators, counselors, outreach workers, teachers, office workers, scientists as well as being doulas.
Doulas believe in teamwork. We work in co-operation with doctors, nurses, midwives, researchers, and the partners and families of labouring women. We have a holistic approach to care and most often desire to build bridges.
As a nurse, doctor or midwife you may find yourself in a room with a doula. Don’t hesitate to ask questions about who she is, what they she does and if she is a member of DAE. Get to know each other. You will probably see and work with her again.
As DAE doulas we abide by a Code of Ethics (PDF) and Standards of Practice (PDF) which delineate our scope of practice, skills and boundaries. We as DAE doulas choose to abide by these at all times throughout our professional practice.
If at any time a Doula is found to practice outside of scope, the association asks caregivers and families to communicate directly with the said doula. We also encourage individuals to send a letter in writing to the association AND to the certifying agency of the said doula (if she is certified). This letter should describe the event with contact information, names, dates and any other relevant details. Doulas will also be encouraged to submit a letter explaining her version of the event and the circumstances as she experienced them. If Doulas are under review, their name is taken off from the referral list until the situation is clarified.
The Edmonton Doula Association is not a certifying agency. It cannot suspend a doula’s practice. DAE strongly encourages anyone concerned about a doula to contact her certifying body. If you don’t know where she was certified, DAE can help you with this. Some issues end up being a misunderstanding and DAE is willing to help in the process of clarifying a situation. DAE understands that the dissatisfaction of one professional can affect the doula community as a whole. However, DAE believes that the actions of one DAE Doula does not reflect the association as a whole.
If you desire to work with a doula, obtain DAE brochures, or ask about a specific doula — please contact us via phone or email. We would be more than happy to speak with you.