|Minor problems result from doing it incorrectly
||Unintended negative consequences can result from doing it incorrectly
|Designed to enhance coping and lessen discomfort
||Designed to get a specific result
|Ex: aromatherapy to get rid of a bad smell
||Ex: aromatherapy to stimulate urination
|Ex: abdominal lift for general back pain
||Ex: abdominal lift to change the baby’s position (usually with pelvic tilt)
|Ex: knee chest position to address prodomal labor discomfort
||Ex: in active labor, knee chest position to change baby’s position
Doulas do not use clinical skills such as assessing cervical dilation or taking fetal heart tones at any time. Doulas may assist the client in taking their own blood pressure or other assessments at home.
If the doula possesses clinical skills as a midwife, nurse or student, the client and health care professional need to negotiate whether they wish the doula to utilize these skills. If they do, they are acting in the role of monitrice, not a doula. DTD doulas are aware that this practice changes the power dynamic between client and doula.
Doulas who are nurses, social workers, or other skilled professionals realize those standards of practice take precedence in an emergent or urgent situation. For example, doulas are not “mandatory reporters”. However, if the doula has another profession where they are mandatory reporters, that requirement supercedes the doula’s standards of practice. It is the doula’s responsibility to make clear that they have these dual roles when the client engages their services.
Responsibility to Self, Others, and Community:
The DTD doula seeks to increase their communication skills, conflict negotiation skills, and reflective practice/meditation skills for professional and personal growth.
The DTD doula recognizes that the root of caring for others is reliably taking care of one’s self. The DTD doula has strategies for self-renewal and pleasure and regularly takes time for themselves.
The DTD doula seeks to cultivate positive relationships with other perinatal professionals whenever possible.
The DTD doula is accountable for their professional behavior to the DTD organization, other doulas in their local area, and to the wider doula community at large.
The DTD doula seeks to act in integrity with themselves and the values listed here. Integrity means that what you say, how you behave, and the values you agree to are congruent with one another.
Rationale: Often doulas are tasked to make choices that require us to rank competing values. Do we speak up about an intervention that might not be necessary, or let the client feel empowered by making the choice to have the invention? Rather than there being one right answer, the individual doula must choose the most appropriate action based on that particular situation.
DTD doulas are aware of the increased risks, barriers to care, and disparities in health outcomes faced by many marginalized communities due to systems of oppression and discrimination.
The labor of doulas is often to eliminate those obstacles. Therefore, DTD doulas need a thorough understanding of fundamental concepts related to discrimination and oppression experienced by people of color, women, individuals of diverse gender identities and sexual orientations, immigrants and refugees, and people with disabilities to provide culturally safe care.
The DTD doula is aware that all families are different. The doula is responsible for educating themselves about social and cultural differences in family customs. The DTD doula is appreciative of the diversity of individual expression and families that exist today.
When providing doula services to people of a different culture, the doula needs to understand that the client is vulnerable to unintended harm due to cultural ignorance.
Clients are the experts on their own needs, so the doula will ask pertinent, kind questions to get a better understanding of how they define support.