CAPPA Certified Postpartum Doula (PPD) FAQs

The role of the CAPPA Postpartum Doula is to 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.

How CAPPA Postpartum Doulas work within the healthcare system

CAPPPA Postpartum Doulas are skilled support persons who act as consultants and resources, not clinicians. As a result, they 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

There are clinical limitations to what services CAPPA Postpartum Doulas can provide. Presently, CAPPA Postpartum Doulas are non-clinical professionals that do not to act as a medical care provider. They 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 Standards

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. Current evidence based information is used in practice and knowledge and skills are maintained 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