The Mt. Diablo Doula Community endeavors to educate and serve women, and their families, during the childbearing years. The MDDC member honors the Doula profession and strives to build confidence in a complete and cooperative Birth Team. She perpetuates Doula sisterhood by exemplifying integrity and camaraderie within the Doula community.
The MDDC member treats her fellow Doulas, Clients and Care-Providers with respect and professionalism. She supports her fellow Doulas with active listening, offering back-up support and sharing resources. And finally, the MDDC encourages Doula volunteerism whenever possible.
A birth doula is trained and experienced in childbirth. They provide continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the birthing family before, during and just after childbirth.
* Recognizes birth as a key experience that will be remembered for a lifetime
* Understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs in labor
* Offers non-judgmental support of the birthing family's childbirth wishes
* Assists in preparing for and carrying out plans for birth
* Stays with the birthing family throughout the labor
* Provides physical comfort measures
* Facilitates communications between the laboring person, her partner and her clinical providers
* Allows the family to participate at their comfort level
* Tends to result in shorter labors with fewer complications
* Reduces negative feelings about one's childbirth experience
* Reduces need for Pitocin (a labor-inducing drug), forceps or vacuum extraction
* Significantly decreases likelihood of cesarean section
* Reduces mother's request for pain medication and/or epidurals
* Reduces mother's feeling of loss of control during labor
Postpartum doulas help families adjust to life with your new baby, so they can best care for and enjoy this new family member. The postpartum doula's tasks can change from day to day, depending on the needs of the family. They share information about baby care with parents, as well as teach siblings and partners to "mother the mother." They assist with breastfeeding education. Postpartum doulas ensure the mother is fed, well-hydrated, and is comfortable.
* Offers education, companionship and non-judgmental support during the postpartum "fourth trimester."
* Assists with newborn care, family adjustment, meal preparation and light household tidying
* Offers evidence-based information on infant feeding, emotional and physical recovery from birth, infant soothing and coping skills for new parents and makes appropriate referrals when necessary
* Teaches parents strategies and skills that will improve their ability to bond with their baby
* Helps parents get much needed rest
* Does not take the place of the parent, but helps the parent learn how to care for their baby
* Feel more secure and cared for
* Be more successful in adapting to new family dynamics
* Have greater success with breastfeeding
* Have greater self confidence
* Have less postpartum depression
* Have lower incidence of abuse
MDDC Members demonstrate integrity in their personal and professional conduct. MDDC Members help their clients to make well informed decisions. MDDC Members understand they don't speak or make decision for their clients. MDDC Members make every effort to encourage their clients to assume responsibility for their decisions. MDDC Members support their clients by advocating for the client's own choices and encouraging an open dialog with the client's caregiver regarding choices, risks, benefits, alternatives, and protocols. MDDC Members are responsible TO our clients but not FOR our clients.
MDDC Members treat colleagues in an ethical, professional and respectful manner. In addition, MDDC Members help one another honor commitments by providing back-up and resources whenever possible. Our members uphold and advance the values, ethics, knowledge and mission of the doula profession. MDDC is made up of several small business owners and sole-proprietors that create a friendly and warm environment led by a leadership board that meets monthly. MDDC Members pursue continuing education to further their knowledge in their profession. MDDC Members respect the privacy of clients and hold in confidence all information obtained/shared in the course of professional service. MDDC Members attend at least one MDDC meeting quarterly and pay dues annually.
Labor (Birth) Doula
The Labor Doula assists the birthing woman and her birthing team before, during and after birth by providing emotional, physical, and informational support. It is within the Labor Doula's scope of practice to provide resources relating to pregnancy, labor and birth, and the early postpartum period. It is not within a doula's scope of practice to perform any medical or clinical procedures such as vaginal checks, listening to fetal heart tones or making medical diagnoses. Referrals to appropriate studies and published books are within the Labor Doula's scope.
MDDC Labor Doulas who are also health care professionals may provide services within the scope and standard of their professions but only after making it clear that they are not functioning as a Labor Doula. For needs beyond the scope of the Labor Doula's expertise, referrals are made to the appropriate resources.
The Labor Doula's role is to assist their client [and partner(s)] in preparing for birth, and to provide information about birth options and resources, and to provide emotional support.
During labor and birth, the Labor Doula facilitates communications between the client, birthing team and the caregivers. She supports the mother and her partner(s) with the use of physical, emotional and informational support.
During the postpartum period, the Labor Doula assists the mother in processing her birth experience, answering questions about newborn care, breastfeeding, and referring the family to appropriate resources as needed.
The Postpartum Doula provides informational and educational information to the family. She does not perform clinical/medical tasks outside of her scope of practice. Referrals to appropriate studies and published books are within the Postpartum Doula's scope. The Postpartum Doula will determine ahead of time what duties she feels comfortable performing for the postpartum family and will share this information with the family prior to accepting a position with them.
For needs beyond the scope of the Postpartum Doula's expertise, referrals are made to the appropriate resources.