What to do about a 'bad doula'?
If you have been in the doula field long enough you have likely heard your share of stories about the 'bad doula'. I remember one that was told to my client from her OB. He said that there were a few 'bad doulas' that had to be escorted out of the hospital by the security guards. Really? I was so intrigued by this tale that I had to verify it at the hospital where the incident supposedly occurred. As you can imagine that story was completely false. Another story that pops up every year is the one about the 'bad doula' that left her client in labor because the client decided to get an epidural. I have heard this one multiple times over the years. Is it true? I sure hope not. I really doubt it.
So many of the 'bad doula' stories are incorrect. I tend to just ignore most of these. They are usually too far fetched to even be believable. So, what do we do when the 'bad doula' stories are actually TRUE?
If we know a doula is
- consistently practicing out of scope
- not showing up for births
- giving incorrect or dangerous information?
Is it our responsibility to warn the community? Do report the 'bad doulas' to their certifying organization (if they have one at all)? Do we warn care providers in the area? I wish I had the answers to these questions.
What I do know is that 'bad doulas' are not only a problem for the clients that they work with, but also have an impact of the doulas in their community. Enough 'bad doula' behavior and the other doulas might feel the negative effects.
Do you have any experiences or insight to share? Please post your comments!