Central Ohio Doulas

We invite you to read our organization's Scope of Practice (SOP). These principles and limitations are vital to maintain trusting relationships with the medical community, birth professionals, and our doula clients.  COD doulas strive to foster a cooperative and positive atmosphere at every birth she attends, and every postpartum visit. It is every COD doula's goal to help create a cohesive birth team while working with our scope of practice. For more information on what services are offered by our professional birth & postpartum doulas, please refer to the information at the bottom of this page.


Scope of Practice | Birth Doula

  • The birth doula’s primary role is to provide emotional and physical support, and access to evidence-based information. Informational support includes encouraging clients to inform themselves through childbirth education classes, independent research and conversations with their care provider.
  • We provide non-clinical support and do not practice medicine or midwifery. This includes, but is not limited to, cervical checks, listening to fetal heart tones, taking blood pressure readings, or palpating for fetal position.
  • We do not speak on the behalf of our clients to medical staff, give medical advice, or make medical decisions. This may be done only by the client, her birth partner, or her legal advocate. It is the birth doula’s responsibility to inform the client of these terms.
  • We will not contradict medical advice given by the care provider and nursing staff. The doula may encourage her client to ask questions to help gain understanding of the suggested action or advice, if time allows.
  • The doula will support her client if she changes her preferences or decisions at any point during her pregnancy, labor, birth, or postpartum.
  • We believe the best way to advocate for our clients is to support them in assuming personal responsibility for their health care decisions during pregnancy, labor, birth, and the postpartum period. Clients will be encouraged to communicate their preferences to care providers and nursing staff. We feel that a woman, with the support of her birth partner, is her own best advocate.
  • We will display a high level of professional conduct and respect at all times with our clients, their care provider, nursing staff, hospital administration, and fellow birth professionals. We will not undermine the confidence a client has in her care provide, nursing staff, or decisions.
  • No doula with additional training or certification as a midwife, midwifery apprentice and/or monitrice may be a Central Ohio Doulas member.
  • For members with additional professional training or certification in non-clinical complimentary specialties (e.g. childbirth education, postpartum doula, lactation support, massage therapy, and bodywork) she may utilize that knowledge base and/or skills while attending births as a Central Ohio Doulas birth doula.
  • For members with additional training or certification as a medical professional or in other health care specialties (e.g. nursing, acupuncture, chiropractic, homeopathy, aromatherapy, etc.), she may not utilize that knowledge base and/or skills while attending births as a Central Ohio Doulas birth doula.
  • We will make appropriate, professional referrals when a client requests services outside our Scope of Practice.
  • All members have completed an in-person doula training workshop with a professional doula organization which meets COD standards. Members are either certified and maintain an active membership with a professional doula organization, or are trained and working to achieve certification within two (2) years from the date she joined Central Ohio Doulas.
  • Members do not attend intentional unassisted home births. If birth is imminent the doula, or another person present, will call 911 for medical assistance.
  • Client confidentiality will be maintained at all times. The doula will have all clients complete a confidentiality release form

What is a Professional Birth Doula?

COD professional birth doulas offer a woman and her partner continuous support throughout labor and delivery. They essentially mother the mother, as well as offering reassurance and support to the partner. Birth doulas provide a set of skilled and experienced hands for both mother and partner in various forms. They provide emotional support, physical comfort measures and remind parents of their personal birth preferences. The birth doula strives to be a calm non-judgmental presence, fostering self-confidence and a nurturing environment. Many families find the experience of having a birth doula fosters closer bonds between the woman, her partner and their baby. 

Professional Birth Doula Services

Physical Support | COD birth doulas offer continuous, non-medical support to assist the mother during labor and delivery. She will join the mother in labor when requested and provide continuous support throughout labor, birth and one to two hours postpartum. Physical support includes the following tools:

  • Labor positions to help aid labor progress and ease discomfort
  • Massage and touch
  • Assistance with the birth ball, peanut ball, squat bar, or birth stool
  • Counter pressure
  • Hot and/or cold packs (except when using narcotics or epidural analgesia)
  • Visualizations
  • Breathing techniques
  • Positive affirmations
  • Support when the partner needs a break
  • Liaison for extended family (when requested by client)
  • Photography (when requested)
  • Initial breastfeeding/feeding support

Emotional Support | COD birth doulas will work to build a trusting, friendly relationship with clients during prenatal visits. They provide positive encouragement and self-confidence to mothers and partners throughout labor and birth. The birth doula strives to be a calm non-judgmental presence, fostering self-confidence and a nurturing environment.

Informational Support | The COD birth doula will encourage her clients to inform themselves through childbirth education, independent research, and conversations with their care provider(s). She is not a medical professional, and as such, will not provide her clients with information but rather assist them in accessing that information.


Scope of Practice | Postpartum Doula

  • The postpartum doula’s primary role is to provide non-judgmental physical, emotional, and informational support to families during the postpartum period.
  • We provide non-clinical support and do not practice medicine or midwifery. We do not perform medical examinations of mother or baby, take temperatures, perform blood pressure checks, diagnosis medical conditions, or any other type of postpartum clinical care.
  • The postpartum doula offers companionship, assists with newborn care, sibling adjustment, meal preparation, and light household tasks.
  • The postpartum doula offers evidence-based information on newborn feeding, emotional and physical recovery from childbirth, and other issues related to the postpartum period.
  • The postpartum doula will strive to foster self-determination on the part of her clients.
  • The postpartum doula will support her client if she changes her preferences or decisions at any point during her pregnancy, labor, birth, or postpartum.
  • No postpartum doula with additional training or certification as a midwife, midwifery apprentice and/or monitrice may be a Central Ohio Doulas member.
  • For members with additional professional training or certification in non-clinical complimentary specialties (e.g. lactation support, massage therapy, and bodywork) she may utilize that knowledge base and/or skills while supporting clients as a postpartum doula.
  • Referrals will be made for clients whom need services outside the postpartum doula’s scope of practice.
  • All members have completed an in-person doula training workshop with a professional doula organization which meets COD standards. Members are either certified and maintain an active membership with a professional doula organization, or are trained and working to achieve certification within two (2) years from the date she joined Central Ohio Doulas.
  • If there is a medical emergency during her shift, the doula will call 911 for medical assistance.
  • Client confidentiality will be maintained at all times. The postpartum doula will hold in confidence all information obtained in the course of professional service

What is a Professional Postpartum Doula?

COD professional postpartum doulas offer support for a mother, her partner, and family during the postpartum period. Postpartum doulas provide skilled, experienced, non-judgmental support which is respectful of the traditions, culture, and values of their clients. Postpartum doulas offer evidence-based physical, emotional, and informational support during the transitional period following the addition of a new baby. The postpartum doula strives to be an intuitive and knowledgeable presence, fostering parents’ self-confidence. Research shows that families who receive postpartum support have an easier time adapting to new family dynamics, have greater success with breastfeeding, increased self-confidence, and a lowered risk of postpartum depression and other mood disorders.

Professional Postpartum Doula Services

Physical Support

  • Assistance with breast/bottle feeding
  • Infant soothing
  • Facilitating parent-infant bonding
  • New parent coping skills/self-care
  • Light housework and organization
  • Nutritious meal preparation
  • Sibling and pet support

Emotional Support

  • Recovery from childbirth
  • Nurturing confident presence
  • Modeling behaviors with a kind, caring, and compassionate heart
  • Companionship
  • Assistance with medical appointments and errands

Informational Support

  • Supporting new family transitions
  • Exploring options and strategies
  • Providing community resources and referrals

Specialized Support

  • Cesarean birth recovery
  • Challenging or traumatic births
  • Parents without a family or friend support system
  • Women with a history of depression, anxiety, or other mood disorders
  • Multiples