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A Doula's Scope of Practice

Labor Doulas are skilled support persons who act as consultants and resources, not clinicians. They therefore work with the healthcare system by encouraging and promoting excellent communication between the birthing client and the health care team, encouraging informed decision making and self-advocacy, supporting the choices of the birthing client, providing non-clinical comfort techniques, and offering appropriate referrals when their observance or counseling uncovers situations that require healthcare attention or support.

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Why do Doula's Have a Scope of Practice?

As a doula, you play a crucial role in enhancing the birth experience through comprehensive, compassionate, and informed support. Your presence can lead to better outcomes and a more positive childbirth experience for families.

 

Research shows that doula-assisted mothers are four times less likely to have low birth weight babies and twice as likely to avoid birth complications. These outcomes highlight the critical role doulas play in promoting maternal and infant health. While doulas are an essential part of the healthcare team, doulas are non-clinical professionals.

01

Physical Support

  • Techniques such as massage, positioning, and breathing exercises to help manage pain and facilitate labor.

  • Continuous presence during labor, assisting with comfort, hydration, and mobility.

  • Assisting with immediate postpartum bonding and breastfeeding support.

03

Informational Support

  • Providing evidence-based information on childbirth options, interventions, and postpartum care.

  • Helping the birthing person understand their choices and communicate effectively with their healthcare team.

02

Advocacy

  • Facilitating clear communication between the birthing person and medical staff.

  • Ensuring that the birthing person’s voice is heard and respected in the decision-making process.

  • Offering guidance and resources for postpartum recovery and newborn care.

04

Emotional Support

  • Offering a calming presence, reassurance, and encouragement to reduce anxiety and stress.

  • Helping to create and adhere to the birth plan, advocating for the birthing person’s wishes, and trauma-informed care.

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