code of conduct
Mission Statement: Capital City Doula Collective is made up of men and women able and willing to serve expectant families and parents in the Greater Sacramento area. We believe pregnancy, birth and postpartum support to be a right and a necessity, and that contributions made during this time serve families and the community as a whole. We stand to serve and do so to the best of our ability, knowing there is a perfect fit for every family, and we encourage families to seek out that perfect fit. We honor women, pregnancy and the families that come to us for service, and commit to keeping their wants, needs and interests as first priority.
I. Rules of Conduct
Proprietary. All doulas and affiliates of CCDC shall remain cognizant of their affiliation with the collective, conducting themselves in the most professional of ways when publicly associating themselves with our organization, noting that reputation always precedes them.
Professional Training and Skills. Our doulas and affiliates agree to be professionally trained in the role they seek to represent themselves as being competent in. They recognize the need for formal or informal training, education and continual professional growth.
Protagonism. Members know and stand for the honorable service of women and families, earnestly supporting and encouraging them whenever possible. We hold within us an understanding of the greater good that we do with such support. We are proponents of women, children and self-advocacy for the clients we serve.
II. Ethical Responsibilities to Clients:
Dependability. Members adhere to a moral responsibility in their dealings with a client. Once a doula has agreed to work with a client, she will follow through on all commitments or immediately refer a client elsewhere so obligations can still be met.
Professional Work Ethics. We communicate and interact with clients as professionals in our field. We treat them with respect and courtesy. We recognize the vulnerability of our clientele and the reputation we as the collective have to uphold, as well as the bigger reputation of service professionals.
Dishonorable or Predacious Behaviours. Doulas commit to serving clients they are best suited for and whom will in turn benefit the most from your relationship. To facilitate this, doulas encourage clients to seek out the best fit and do not set predatory pricing or discourage clients from exploring options in an effort to be hired.
III. Ethical Responsibilities to other Doulas and Associates:
Protection of Privacy & Confidentiality. Doulas and members accept and agree to uphold the need for absolute discretion in all verbal or written exchanges and agree before relaying information or breach in trust, doulas use common courtesy and explicitly ask permission prior to divulging details of conversations regarding birth community or clients. Exchanges between birth workers must be treated as inherently private and secret as a foundation of the culture and morale of our collective. Specifically, note that information shared at meetings is to be equally guarded.
Respect and Fairness. In our professional communications and interactions with one another, we commit to being kind, responsive, and fair. If we solicit the services of another doula for help, we follow through with agreed upon terms of payment, exchange, etc.
Recognition of Affiliation. Upon joining and seeking membership in our collective, members note the obvious affiliation of standards, ethics and reputation within our community. Members know while there are vast differences in practice styles, personalities, preferences, specialities, and philosophies, our choices to either practice out of scope, employ poor judgement with community or clients, or otherwise conduct ourselves in an unappealing manner reflects on all of us and what it means to be a doula or birth worker. We do our best to serve the collective’s reputation as well as our own when representing ourselves as a doula or a member of CCDC.
Collective Membership & Responsibilities. Members of our collective recognize the meaning of joining a Co-op as opposed to solo practice and seek to benefit themselves from the Co-Op as well as benefit the Co-Op with their contribution. This fulfillment includes but is not limited to privately as well as publicly referring prospective clients to the collective (website or events) in order to provide options as well as encouraging greater publicity and brand recognition for our collective. We are part of this group to raise awareness of doulas, and to support each other in our doula work. We encourage all our members to promote other doulas as well as themselves in affiliation of the CCDC group.
Members prioritize participation in the needs of the collective to the best of one’s ability knowing that additional professional and personal responsibilities are a reality for all members and adjustments to distribute the collective’s responsibilities must still be made.
IV. Mindfulness of Ethics in the Doula Profession
(and other pregnancy and birth focused professions):
Scope of Practice. Professional doulas pay close and special attention to practicing within guidelines of practice. We are not medical professionals and going out of our rightful limits jeopardizes the reputation of the profession and brings questionable lack of respect for scope to the forefront of minds within our community which can easily breed distrust in doulas. We cannot conduct vaginal exams, we cannot diagnose or treat a condition, we are not trained nor equipped to provide support as a medical professional.
Encouragement of Education, Resources and Specialists. We refer to a specialist when at all necessary and know we will often not be the appropriate place for answers or advice. We are fortunate to have access to lactation consultants, therapists, doctors and midwives and refer to them before an issue escalates for a client rather than attempting to go slightly out of practice in order to address a need.
Respect for Evidence-Based Practices. Our goals as birth workers seek to expose women and encourage them to find, or provide them with, the most current research about evidence-based medicine in regards to maternity care. If we make public statements in the area of maternal medicine or care, it is in our best interest and theirs to be able to cite a source and solidify a claim with evidence and research. Our ability, or at very least, our desire to distinguish fact from hypothesis, and evidence from hype, is paramount.