Code of Ethics
Rules of Conduct
- Propriety. The doula should maintain high standards of personal conduct in the capacity or identity as a birth or postpartum doula.
- Competence and Professional Development. The doula should strive to become and remain proficient in the professional practice and the performance of professional functions through continuing education, affiliation with related organizations, and associations with other birth and postpartum doulas.
- Integrity. The doula should act in accordance with the highest standards of professional integrity.
Ethical Responsibility to Clients
- Priority. The doula’s primary responsibility is to her clients.
- The Rights of Clients. The doula should make every effort to foster maximum self-determination on the part of her clients.
- Confidentiality and Privacy. The doula should respect the privacy of clients and hold in confidence all information obtained in the course of professional service.
- Obligation to Serve. The doula should assist each client seeking doula support either by providing services or making appropriate referrals.
- Reliability. When the doula agrees to work with a particular client, her obligation is to do so reliably, without fail, for the term of the agreement.
- Fees. When setting fees, the doula should ensure that they are fair, reasonable, considerate, and commensurate with services performed and with due regard for the client’s ability to pay. The doula must clearly state her fees to the client, and describe the services provided, terms of payment and refund policies.
Ethical Responsibility to Colleagues
- Respect, Fairness, and Courtesy. The doula should treat colleagues with respect, courtesy, fairness, and good faith.
- Dealing with Colleagues’ Clients. The doula has the responsibility to relate to the clients of colleagues with full professional consideration.
Ethical Responsibility to the Birth Doula Profession
- Maintaining the Integrity of the Profession. The doula should uphold and advance the values, ethics, knowledge and mission of the profession.
- Community Service: The doula is encouraged to assist the mantra of “every doula for every woman who desires one” by making reduced cost or no cost birth doula services available when possible.
Ethical Responsibility to Society
- Promoting Maternal and Child Welfare. The doula should promote the general health of women and their babies, and whenever possible, that of their family and friends as well.
Adapted from DONA International’s Code of Ethics, www.dona.org