Purpose of the Collective for the Individual, Group & Community:
Individual - continuing education, professional development, marketing, mentorship, a place to debrief and process (emotional support), and creates the space for a community of doulas
Group - collectively promotes doulas in the community, efficiency in goal-setting and follow-through, offers back-up support and sustainability of birth work in the community, helps to establish relationships with local providers, offers professional recognition, allows the sharing of skills (continuing edu.), and offers financial and professional collaboration opportunities
Community - offers a diverse group of professional doulas, facilitates community networking, offers a resource hub, promotes referrals within the birth community, establishes a commitment to improving community maternal health outcomes, facilitates community conversations and education (film screenings, panel discussions, etc.), normalizes birth and postpartum within the community, supports all families/births/gender identities of individuals and families, and creates professional integrity of its members
Membership Commitments and Responsibilities:
Each member will take on at least one role
Members are expected to attend at least one meeting per month. If you miss a meeting, you are responsible for reading minutes and posting that you’ve read them.
Attend or participate in retreat conversations (review agenda and share your thoughts ahead of time if you can’t attend)
Attend majority of the Meet the Doula events
Attend annual networking event
Attend community education events
Educate the community about doulas on behalf of and through the professional lens of the Ithaca Doula Collective
Share in PR and marketing responsibilities in the community
Provide a referral source for doulas
Reach out to providers
Maintain marketing and outreach materials in specific locations
Adhere to the Code of Ethics
Code of Conduct and Ethics (Adapted from the DONA international code of ethics)
Propriety The doula should maintain high standards of personal conduct in the capacity or identity as a birth doula.
Competence and Professional DevelopmentThe doula should strive to become and remain proficient in the professional practice and the performance of professional functions through continuing education, affiliation with related organizations, and associations with other birth doulas.
Honor our Statement of Values on Social MediaOn social media platforms, the doula should extend respect, courtesy, fairness and good faith towards doulas and on behalf of the doula profession. The influence on students, consumers and fellow doulas extends beyond time in a birth, postpartum session or workshop setting. When engaging on social media platforms, the doula agrees to clarify that any opinions are his/her own, show respect in each communication, use good judgment in sharing only public information, and be aware that social media content is permanent and may reflect the Ithaca Doula Collective inadvertently.
IntegrityThe doula should act in accordance with the highest standards of professional integrity.
Ethical Responsibility to Clients
Primacy of Client’s InterestsThe doula’s primary responsibility is to their clients.
Rights and Prerogatives of Clients The doula should make every effort to foster maximum self-determination on the part of their clients.
Confidentiality and PrivacyThe doula should respect the privacy of clients and hold in confidence all information obtained in the course of professional service.
Obligation to ServeThe doula should assist each client seeking birth doula support either by providing services or making appropriate referrals when they cannot offer services themselves.
Reliability When the doula agrees to work with a particular client, their obligation is to do so reliably, without fail, for the term of the agreement. This includes arranging and working with a back-up doula as needed.
FeesWhen setting fees, the doula should ensure that they are fair, reasonable and commensurate with services performed. The doula must clearly state their fees to the client and describe the services provided, terms of payment and refund policies.
Ethical Responsibility to Colleagues
Respect, Fairness, and CourtesyThe doula should treat colleagues with respect, courtesy, fairness, and good faith. The Ithaca Doula Collective does not tolerate discrimination (including age, sex, race, color, creed, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, disability, or marital status or any other legally recognized protected group) and will uphold federal, state, and local laws, regulations or ordinances.
Dealing with Colleagues’ ClientsThe doula has the responsibility to relate to the clients of colleagues with full professional consideration.
Ethical Responsibility to the Birth Doula Profession
Maintaining the Integrity of the ProfessionThe doula should uphold and advance the values, ethics, knowledge and mission of the profession.
Community ServiceThe doula is encouraged to promote the DONA International vision of “A doula for every person who wants one,” by providing birth doula services at a reduced cost, if possible, or making appropriate referrals, as available.
Ethical Responsibility to Society
Promoting Maternal and Child WelfareThe doula should promote the general health of women and their babies, and whenever possible, that of their family and friends as well.
Membership status will be reviewed every 6-12 months. If a doula is not adhering to the code of ethics and responsibilities as a professional member (without prior communication with the Collective - i.e. in the event of a personal life transition), they will be asked to rectify their actions. If changes are not witnessed within 3 months, they will be asked to leave the Ithaca Doula Collective. Members of the Ithaca Doula Collective are able to freely step down from their professional membership of the IDC at any point. Their membership fees will not be reimbursed at the time of their departure.