CAPPA Certified Postpartum Doula (PPD)
Scope of Practice
CAPPA Postpartum Doulas fill an important role in providing emotional, physical, and evidence-based informational support to the new family after the birth of their baby.
How CAPPA Postpartum Doulas work with families
The Postpartum Doula works with families in the postpartum period; offering support, information, instruction, comfort, and referrals as needed. Postpartum Doulas support the mother’s recovery, give instruction on infant care and feeding, and assist with household organization. Postpartum Doulas can be found working in the community in private practice, in cooperatives, as part of groups or agencies, as well as serving in various community programs.
How CAPPA Postpartum Doulas work within the healthcare system
Postpartum Doulas are skilled support persons who act as consultants and resources, not clinicians. They therefore work with the healthcare system by encouraging and promoting excellent communication between the new family and the health care team, encouraging informed decision making and self-advocacy, supporting the choices of the new family, providing non-clinical care, and offering appropriate referrals when their observance or counseling uncovers situations that require healthcare attention or support.
Clinical Limitations of CAPPA Postpartum Doulas
CAPPA Postpartum Doulas are non-clinical professionals. CAPPA Postpartum Doula courses do not qualify a professional to act as a medical care provider. CAPPA Postpartum Doulas do not dispense medical advice, diagnose medical conditions, interpret medical diagnoses or clinical results, perform clinical procedures, or prescribe/administer medications or treatments of any kind.
CAPPA Postpartum Doulas work within the CAPPA’s standards of practice to uphold the following (available to read as individual documents): code of conduct, a grievance policy, mission statement, vision statement, organization philosophy, and social media policy. CAPPA Postpartum Doulas use current evidence based information in their practice. They maintain their knowledge and skills through continuing education. They work within the legal framework of their individual community and region.
CAPPA Postpartum Doulas
- Provide non-biased emotional, physical, and informational support during the postpartum period
- Encourage the family to seek care that reflects their values and needs
- Models and teaches effective communication
- Encourage informed decision making
- Support the physical and emotional healing of the mother
- Provide information on care options and resources for the mother and newborn
- Support and assists with infant feeding
- Educate the family on newborn care and characteristics
- Provide support to the new mother’s partner and/or family
- Assist with household organization
- Refer to healthcare professionals when support requires clinical assessment, a need for prescription, or medical diagnosis
CAPPA Postpartum Doulas do not
- Diagnose medical conditions
- Interpret medical diagnoses or clinical results
- Prescribe or administer treatment of medical conditions
- Perform clinical procedures, including: taking infant’s temperature or administering medications to infant or mother
- Take over complete care of the infant, including: buckling infant into car or car seat and cutting infant’s nails
- Transport any family members
- Stay alone with babies or other children
- “Sleep train” babies
- Act as a housekeeper or nanny