This Code of Ethics helps doulas practice with integrity by clearly defining ethical responsibilities to the doula profession, clients, colleagues, and the community. It requires doulas to maintain high standards of personal integrity and professional competence and practice. The DNFW code of Ethics has been adapted from the DONA International Code of Ethics to reflect the needs of local doulas from a variety of training/certifying backgrounds.
RESPONSIBILITY TO THE DOULA PROFESSION
- Doulas are asked to remember that they are acting as a representative to the profession as a whole, and to consider the impact of their actions on the local birth community. As such, doulas should always strive to improve their local birth community.
- Doulas are asked to help create and maintain a harmonious doula community. Individual doulas can better serve their clients when the community is working with one another, rather than against.
RESPONSIBILITY TO CLIENTS
- The doula is employed by her client, and her primary responsibility is to the client alone.
- It is not in the scope of practice for the doula to speak for her clients, rather it is important that she encourage self-determination so the client can make the best possible decisions for their family.
- Clients deserve to have their privacy and confidence respected. In such, the doula is responsible for treating information gained during her services as private and confidential.
- Doulas are obligated to serve the families that seek care from them, either by providing applicable services or by referring the family so they can obtain the appropriate services.
- The doula is expected to be reliable, and to provide the services outlined in her contract. If for any reason the doula becomes unable to provide those services, she must arrange appropriate and adequate back-up care.
- Doulas are expected to clearly and fully disclose her fees to the client, including how and when fees are due and any applicable refund policies. Doulas are expected to set reasonable and fair fees which appropriately reflect the services they are providing.
- It is in the best interest of the families she serves for the individual doula to remain up to date on the latest research and evidence based care pertaining to birthing and postpartum families.
RESPONSIBILITY TO COLLEAGUES
- Doulas are expected to treat their colleagues with respect and fairness.
- Doulas are expected to treat the clients of their colleagues just as they would relate to their own clients.
- Doulas are expected to be reliable when providing services, back-up care, or assistance to other doulas.
RESPONSIBLILITY TO THE COMMUNITY
- Doulas are expected to always accurately represent themselves to the community including, but not limited to, accurately disclosing their experience, their training, and their comfort in serving specific client populations.
- Doulas are expected to uplift and support the local birthing community, remembering that each family’s needs, comfort levels, and experiences are unique and of value.
PERSONAL CONDUCT OF DOULAS
- Doulas are expected to seek out, participate in, and complete appropriate doula training and education.
- Doulas are expected to continue expanding their knowledge and training through a variety of avenues, such as in-person training, self-study, on-line training opportunities, and participation in DNFW enrichment meetings.
DOULAS AND SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media (ie: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc) can be a wonderful platform to connect with clients and potential clients, however it can also bring forth some complicated situations. Doulas are asked to remember that client confidentiality is of paramount importance. Doulas are encouraged to acquire specific written consent from families prior to posting any identifying, or potentially identifying, information on social media. Doulas are reminded to consider the extremely close-knit nature of the local birthing community, as such seemingly innocuous information can have unintended consequences. Doulas are also asked to consider their motivations for posting birth related information on social media, as well as to consider the possible ramifications.