,'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.
Doulas believe in teamwork. We work in cooperation 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.
If at any time a doula is found to practice outside of scope, the Association asks caregivers and families to communicate directly with that doula. We also encourage the individuals to send a letter in writing to the Association and to the certifying agent of the doula (if she is certified). This letter should describe the events, with contact information, names, dates and any other relevant details. Doulas will also be encouraged to submit a letter explaining their version of events and the circumstances as they experienced them. If a doula is under review, their name is taken off the referral list until the situation is resolved.
The Doula Association of Edmonton is not a certifying agency. It cannot suspend a doula's practice. DAE strongly encourages anyone who is concerned about a doula to contact her certifying body. If you don't know where your doula 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 do not reflect on the Association as a whole.