CDA Standards of Practice

The Doula:

  • Strives to provide continuous support for the length of time that her client requires it
  • Accompanies the woman in labour, provides emotional and physical support, suggests comfort measures and provides support and suggestions for the partner
  • Does not displace existing support persons, but rather facilitates their full participation in supporting the client
  • Respects the clients’ right to self determination by not speaking for her, nor making decisions for her. She helps the mother incorporate changes to her birth plan if and when the need arises and enhances communication between the client and the care giver
  • Works as a member of the larger birth team
  • Does not perform medical or nursing tasks such as taking blood pressure or temperature, fetal heart tone checks, vaginal exams or postpartum clinical care
  • Makes back-up arrangements with another doula to ensure services to the client if the doula is sick or unable to be reached. Should any doula feel the need to discontinue service to an established client, it is the doula’s responsibility to notify the client in writing
  • For client needs beyond the scope of a doula’s training, referrals are made to appropriate resources

Code of Ethics

Primacy of Clients' Interests:

  • The doula’s primary responsibility is to support her client

Confidentiality and Privacy:

  • The doula should respect the privacy of clients and hold in confidence all information obtained in the course of professional service

Competence and Professional Development:

  • The doula should strive to become and remain proficient in the professional practice and the performance of the professional functions through continuing education, affiliating with related organizations, and association with other Labour Support Providers

Community Service:

  • The doula should assist the profession in making labour support services known to the general public


  • When setting fees, the doula should ensure that they are fair, reasonable and considerate and commensurate with services performed