Labor support doulas are trained and experienced labor support persons who attend to the emotional and physical comfort needs of laboring women to smooth the labor process. They do not perform clinical tasks such as heart rate checks, or vaginal exams but rather use massage, aromatherapy, positioning suggestions, etc., to help labor progress as well as possible. A labor support doula joins a laboring woman either at her home or in hospital or birth center and remains with her until a few hours after the birth. In addition to emotional support, doulas work as advocates of their client’s wishes and may assist in communicating with medical staff to obtain information for the client to make informed decisions regarding medical procedures.
Doula: There is no requirement for doulas to be trained or certify to practice.
Trained Doula - TD: A doula that has gone through training with a certifying organization but as not yet completed certification requirements.
Certified Doula - CD(DONA): Has completed training with a certifying organization and completed the requirements for certification as well as a review with a member in good-standing to assure the doula has accurately supplied information. Doulas continue to hold certification through aquiring Certifying Education Units (CEUs) that help keep them current on pregnancy, labor, birth & postpartum education and issues within maternity & family care. Certified doulas are also bound to Ethics and Standards of Practice that requre the doula to never force their personal agenda on a client.