These Standards of Practice ensure that certificants and applicants for certification are aware of, and committed to, upholding high standards of practice for Madriella Doulas. The Standards of Practice are also meant to assist members of the general public, including expecting mothers, health care professionals, and other interested parties with understanding the duties responsibilities and limitations of Madriella certificants and applicants for certification.

Madriella developed and adopted the Standards of Practice to provide certificants and applicants for certification with a clear statement of the expectations of conduct and level of practice afforded the public in, among other things, the following areas: Professionalism, client safety, ethical standards and acceptable courses of action and services.

Standard 1: Professionalism
1.1 The Doula ensures that representations of her services, policies, and practices are accurately communicated to the client at all times.

1.2 The Doula relates to the client in a manner that respects the integrity of the client and Doula.

1.3 The Doula elicits participation and feedback from the client.

1.4 The Doula relates to other professionals with appropriate respect and within the parameters of accepted ethical standards.

Standard 2: Client Safety
2.1 The Doula will adhere to the principle of the Overriding Concern, which is “If at anytime a woman experiences pain or discomfort during exercises or position changes you should instruct her to discontinue immediately.”

2.2 The Doula will provide an environment consistent with accepted standards of sanitation, hygiene, safety and universal precautions.

2.3 The Doula will never encourage a client to engage in any activity that has been deemed inappropriate by her doctor, midwife, nurse or any other healthcare practitioner.

Standard 3: Ethical standards
3.1 The Doula will assist the mother before, during, and after birth by providing emotional support, physical comfort, information and advocacy.

3.2 The Doula will assist the mother with writing a Birth Plan prior to labor and communicating these desires to the mother’s family and medical care providers.

3.3 The Doula will provide support during the immediate postpartum period as well by discussing the experience with the mother and providing guidance in feeding issues, specifically related to positioning and timing.

3.4 The Doula will act in an appropriate and respectful manner.

3.5 The Doula will not make decisions for a mother or family member.

3.6 The Doula will not offer medical advice or perform any medical or clinical procedure.

3.7 The Doula will not argue with a doctor, nurse, midwife or other hospital staff.

Standard 4: Acceptable courses of action and services
4.1 The Madriella Doula program teaches that our Doulas are to offer support in five areas, called the “Five Facets of Support”. These five areas are Emotional Support, Physical Support, Informational Support, Partner Reinforcement and Self Advocacy.

4.2 “Emotional Support” for a Madriella Doula is the sensitive, understanding approach that helps their client communicate their anxieties and fears. It uses active listening and nonjudgmental support to allow the client to derive comfort from a gentle, sympathetic, caring person.

4.3 “Physical Support” for a Madriella Doula is the safe application of general comfort measures, which includes gentle touching (massage/counter pressure) to the lower back, shoulders and neck of the massage client as well as assisting her in moving or changing position as safely approved of by the doctor or midwife attending the birth. It does not include any practice not specifically detailed in the Madriella curriculum.

4.4 “Informational Support” for a Madriella Doula is the answering of questions for the mother and her family, specifically pertaining to the birth and postpartum period, thus allowing the mother to make informed decisions about her care. In such instances where the Doula does not know the answer to the question, informational support will include assisting the mother or family member in research to obtain the answers needed.

4.5 “Partner Reinforcement” for a Madriella Doula is the recognition of the importance of other members of the family to the emotional well-being of the mother and the inclusion of them in her decision making process.

4.6 “Self Advocacy” for a Madriella Doula is the encouragement of the mother’s ability to effectively communicate, convey, negotiate or assert her own interests, desires, needs, and rights. It means assisting her in making informed decisions and taking responsibility for those decisions.

4.7 Madriella Doulas DO NOT perform any clinical tasks such as taking blood pressure or temperature, fetal heart tone checks, vaginal examinations, or postpartum clinical care.

4.8 Madriella Doulas DO NOT prescribe any treatments, including pharmaceutical medications, homeopathic recipes, or herbal supplements, as this is outside of the five facets of support and is not part of the Madriella program.

4.9 All exercises, birth positions and physical comfort measures presented in the Madriella program are safe for both mother and baby, however the Doula will still instruct the mother to check with her primary care provider before attempting any of the exercises, birth positions and physical comfort measures detailed in the program.