**This is copied from the Healing Arts Learning Organization doula training manual

1. SERVICES PROVIDED

A birth doula provides non-medical, physical and emotional support as well as informational assistance before, during, and after childbirth.

PRENATAL

  • Prenatal consultations with pregnant clients and partners in order to obtain a preliminary history and to determine their preferences for the birth, to discuss prenatal education, as well as pin coping techniques
  • Provides resources to assist the expectant parents with birth planning
  • Provides telephone and/or email support as required
  • Emotional support and comfort

LABOUR AND BIRTH

  • Suggests non-pharmalogical comfort measures
  • Assists with application of hot/cold packs as needed
  • Provides a soothing massage for relaxation and pain relief
  • Suggests positions that may help progress labour, provide comfort and pain relief
  • Provides suggestions and applies methods to promote relaxation, including guidance in breathing techniques
  • Provides positive verbal encouragement, reassurance, praise, affirmation, and validation. A labour doula must have excellent listening skills.
  • Set up and maintain an environment conducive to a positive birth experience
  • Provide support and suggestions to the partner
  • Facilitate communication between the family and the medical staff

POSTPARTUM

  • Assistance with the baby’s early breastfeeding
  • Emotional follow-up/support
  • Referral to appropriate community resources, as needed

2. LIMITS TO PRACTICE

A birth doula does not perform clinical or medical tasks (including, but not limited to, such things as taking blood pressure or temperature, checking fetal heart tones, performing vaginal exams, or postpartum, clinical care). Where possible, all informational support rendered will be supported with evidence-based research and qualified resources. The birth doula will provide information on benefits, risks, and alternatives rather than their personal advice on all matters. The doula does not diagnose or prescribe treatments (as per definitions below) and are to refer to a qualified professional wherever possible. The doula must also advise her client to inform her primary caregiver prior to using alternative therapies.

Where the doula has additional training in areas outside of the doula’s scope of practice, she should refer tp that profession and their scope of practice, and determine if it is appropriate to combine the roles. In any event, she is the clearly inform her clients of such training, the limits of her ability to offer knowledge and/or practice in the area, and that any additional services she offers is separate from her training as a doula. She is also encouraged to clearly define this situation to any healthcare provider she comes in contact with in order to avoid confusion regarding the labour doula’s role and scope of practice.

Definitions:

Advice; An opinion recommended or offered, as worthy to be followed; counsel.

Counsel: To advice or recommend, as an act or course. Advice given especially as a result of consultation. A policy or plan or action of behaviour

Evidence: To indicate clearly, exemplify or prove. Something that furnishes proof.

Opinion: A notion or conviction founded on probable evidence; belief stronger than impression, less strong than positive knowledge. A view, judge,net, or appraisal formed in the mind about a particular matter.

Prescribe: To specify with authority. To direct, as in a remedy to be used by a patient; as, the doctor prescribed a medication. To write or to give medical directions: to indicate remedies.

Research: Scholarly or scientific investigation, inquiry. Careful or diligent search.

**For more information, or if you are looking for a doula in Centre Wellington or Guelph, please contact Rebecca at imagineonelovecare@gmail.com or 226 780 0406.

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