Principles of Service

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The SBD Principles of Service serve as the governing policies and procedures for all certification services and credentialing processes.

All candidates for SBD certification and established SBD certificants are responsible for reading and understanding the SBD Principles of Service. The complete SBD Principles of Service are comprised of multiple portions, each containing information regarding specific areas of standards and application processes.

Stillbirthday may deny certification or recertification (as applicable), revoke certification or recertification, or issue other sanctions when a candidate does not comply with any of the SBD Principles of Service. All alleged violations of the SBD Principles of Service should be submitted in writing to stillbirthday in a timely manner.

The SBD Principles of Service are updated periodically. Candidates are responsible for making sure they have the most current information and that they meet the current standards when they apply for certification. Please read the SBD Principles of Service thoroughly. If you have any questions about the SBD certification process or the information contained in the SBD Principles of Service, please contact SBD at (816) 343-4615 or send an email to Heidi.Faith@stillbirthday.com. SBD’s international office is open Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to noon, central time.

 

Birth and Bereavement Doula support is extremely important.  The doulas who are published at stillbirthday in our graduate collection with their certificate of completion are given stillbirthday permission to wear their SBD credential, to bear their certificate, and to bear the exclusive mark of the stillbirthday certified Birth and Bereavement Doula logo, because these individuals have successfully completed our rigorous training program and remain in compliance to all of the following.  These Principles of Service (POS) are the Code of Conduct and Service of all stillbirthday certified Birth and Bereavement Doulas:

This is the stillbirthday certified Birth and Bereavement Doula logo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Professional SBD Principles of Service

  Stillbirthday grants public certification for individuals who have successfully completed our training program and who have therefore earned the title of “Birth and Bereavement Doula.”
This list of credentialed SBD Doulas is freely available for confirmation here.

  The federally registered certifier mark is a kind of stamp of approval (think “Energy Star Efficient” for example), is evidence that each individual who bears it has  received approval and authorization from stillbirthday to do so; the individual has passed a national/global standard of excellence, receives a unique identifier code, a signed and published certificate, is part of a public notice listing, is considered regularly audited by the general public and by the certifying organization, and whose bearing of the label of Birth and Bereavement Doula serves itself as a trademark, and that failure of the individual to comply with the Principles of Service can result in revocation of said credential and all affiliated privileges.  Being part of the stillbirthday community as a Birth and Bereavement Doula is in itself an honor, a commitment, and a longterm relationship, demonstrating quality of care and excellence in service.

Federal USPTO Registration Serial # 86484906 CERTIFICATION MARK
Authorization to regulate the profession of Birth and Bereavement Doula   # 86316468

This list of credentialed SBD Doulas is freely available for confirmation here.

Our registration is available year round.  We provide several classes a year.  Get registered today!

The certification mark, as intended to be used by authorized persons, is intended to certify that the person displaying the mark has completed education course work requirements and work experience requirements of the certifier in the field of being a birth and bereavement doula , has completed examinations in this field administered by the certifier in a satisfactory manner, has agreed to adhere to the certifier’s standards of professional responsibility, continuing education and other post-certification requirements.
We serve with: 

Love. 

 We understand that the form of initial contact made by stillbirthday clients is likely through the means with which stillbirthay established. Therefore, we strive to be active in those outlets regularly, and we aim to diligently consider the urgency and immediacy of the matter and realize that this particular service can require spontaneous sacrifice of time, money, and service. We sacrifice when we can, but do not provide beyond what we are reasonably able, as we balance honoring family commitments as well. Careful reflection and willingness to serve are crucial to our role.

 We are capable of providing services in multiple outcomes: birth in any trimester, rainbow, live birth, NICU support.  We determine fair fees for our services, for every family and outcome.

 The word “doula” dates to ancient times and is used frequently in the Bible. Today’s meaning has changed, but the emphasis is still on non-medical support. Doulas listed at stillbirthday represent stillbirthday while still maintaining legal autonomy. Doulas listed through stillbirthday have a tremendous responsibility to seek to serve both the interests of the client prior to labor and the changing interests of the client throughout labor. Because of the magnitude of this role, doulas work under the authority and in the presence of accountable providers during the birth (midwives or doctors), who make ultimate decisions as they find necessary. The role of educating, informing and encouraging the client, including suggestions for or suggestions of delay of any intervention, does not hold within it liability for any outcome, physically or emotionally, experienced by the client or the family (the provider should be apprised of all suggestions prior to labor, and the provider supervises the course of the pregnancy and the laobor). We understand that our position is one that can be easily targeted as the family endures their grief. We allow the family to bring any compliments but also any complaints, concerns or questions, to the founder of stillbirthday, where the family can have a chance to explain their feelings. We are not responsible to bear the burden of attacks, criticism or complaints against our service and can come to the professional SBD doula group for emotional support when faced with a grieving and angry family. Stillbirthday is likewise not responsible for any outcomes, either physically or emotionally, in any birth or in any aspect of utilizing this website. The medical provider (midwife or obstetrician) assumes all responsibility for decisions made through the course of the pregnancy, birth, and postpartum.

 The role of birth & bereavement doula incorporates all of the benefits of birth support as well as all of the benefits of bereavement support.  While the role of birth & bereavement doula is revolutionary through stillbirthday, we do shape our curriculum and our services according to the best research and resources on labor, birth, postpartum support and in bereavement support.  Here is one article that has helped shape our principles of service: Guidelines for Health Care Professionals Supporting Families Experiencing a Perinatal Loss.

 The title “Birth and Bereavement Doula” and likewise, “birth and bereavement” (birth & bereavement, etc.) is a term unique to stillbirthday.  As a credentialed SBD Doula you agree not to create a fictitious title for your services or to bear the titles of any other organization that you are not authorized to bear.  If the words of “Birth and Bereavement Doula” need to be altered in any way you agree to consult with Heidi Faith and to receive written permission to alter your title wording.

 

Joy.

 The SBD Registry can be a resource for the SBD Doula® in good standing.

 Visit to learn more information on the stillbirthday federally protected mark and other benefits of becoming a stillbirthday certified doula.

 All SBD team members can request a letter of endorsement for academic or professional purposes at any time.

 

Peace. 

 [facing DOLIU] Support through birth in which a decision on the part of the parent needs to be made in regard to the duration of life in utero (DULIO), for any reason whatsoever, is different from support provided for loss in which such a decision is not whatsoever part of the experience, in that this support also includes full option counseling, or gentle referrals to full option counseling resources who are prepared to offer information and counseling regarding all options in a way that speaks to the situation much more comprehensively than through a singly political or religious outcome-based approach does. In regard to elective abortion, our position mirrors that of the American Congress of Obstreticians and Gynecologists (ACOG), American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM), and the American Medical Association (AMA) in their guidelines, code of ethics, and policy, that in the event of a maternal decision involving duration of life in utero, the mother should be counseled in all of her options free from collusion (or the assumption that she has already obtained such counsel). Thus, stillbirthday’s position regarding elective abortion is that life, from conception, is inherently valuable, has opportunity for hope, and that every mother, from self-determination of motherhood or conception, whichever is sooner, has the right to dignity, validation and healing.

 [facing DOLIU] The SBD doula program is not persuasionary.  Our doulas seek instead to support people, to support birth, to offer healing support in bereavement.  We serve all families by first slowing down, validating, then providing options and supplementing resources.  If any level of support is outside of our moral convictions, we are not obligated, endorsed or enabled by stillbirthday to provide such support.  We are neither prohibited by stillbirthday to provide such support that is both in compliance with the stillbirthday Principles of Service and within our own individual moral bounds. We can choose to draw from the doula training experience and resources for mentorship or guidance on any situation in which we are uncertain of how to provide the core tasks of comprehensive support to the family.  If at any time we are present through the decision making process and/or birth in which the decision of duration of life in utero is made in favor of the shorter span of pregnancy in which the decision and/or labor process is integral to the death of the baby, and, we do so in a manner that is decision focused rather than person focused, and/or in a way that does not mirror the humble reverence of people, life, hope, love and healing upon which this organization was founded on, I will email Heidi Faith and request a full refund and revocation of my involvement in this program.  That my tuition itself is applied toward spreading our message of hope and healing does not purchase justification to act contrary to the message of our organization and stillbirthday maintains an expectation that all persons bearing the name reflect that truth.

 [facing DOLIU] Those SBD doulas who have a self-determined moral, emotional and interpersonal ability to serve with presence those families who face the decision of duration of life in utero, through any decision depicting carrying to term, any decision depicting elective abortion, or any combination of these decisions, do not call themselves abortion doulas per stillbirthday POS, but may choose to call themselves such for identifying or SEO purposes.  Those who do are requested by stillbirthday to include DOLIU, with this statement placed visibly on publications that speak to this role:  “Facing the decision of duration of life in utero (DOLIU) can be the single most difficult decision a parent can face.  I validate you.  You are not alone.”  If the doula has a self-determined moral parameter or limitation around such support, for example, the ability to serve families facing the sooner side of birth when there is a confirmed fatal diagnosis of the baby in utero (often known as TFMR, or Termination for Medical Reasons), preface the statement in quotations to include this.  For example: “Facing the decision of duration of life in utero (DOLIU), when there is a confirmed fatal diagnosis of your baby in utero, can be the single most difficult decision a parent can face.  I validate you.  You are not alone.”  Here is DOLIU further explained.  We are a person-first community of support.  We support mothers in their feelings and decisions, we do not endorse or stand to encourage or promote any decisions (i.e. one does not support abortion, but rather supports a mother facing a decision regarding the duration of life in-utero).

 [facing DOLIU] Those SBD doulas who have a self-determined moral, emotional and interpersonal ability to serve families who face the transition of fostering or adoption, whether supporting the biological mother, or the intending parents, do not hold persuasionary influence on the decisions or outcomes involved but instead seek to support the healthiest transition of all individulas involved, including validating the bereavement that is part of the process, and providing options for healing and for as healthy a transition for the baby or babies.  We strive toward person first, decisions second based language (i.e. “Deciding on an adoption plan for your child.”)

 [facing DOLIU] SBD doulas are not required, expected, encouraged or enabled to make decisions contrary to or in jeopardy of each owns self-determined moral, psychological or theological conviction.  It is the responsibility of the individual doula to prepare him or herself legally, psychologically, and theologically in what they believe the implications may be, and if their decisions may or may not weaken the value of support for birth and/or support for bereavement.  In broaching this frame the doula might articulate something similar to “It is because of the magnitude of how birth can meet with bereavement that I feel ill equipped to provide presence [at such particular juncture].  I will provide you with further options and supplemented resources [including presence in facing ___].”

 [with situational awareness] While we strive for humility, we do not compromise our own worth.  We are worthy and valuable and make decisions most in line with our safety, psychological and spiritual welfare and provisional needs.  We steward conflict in these areas as best we can.

 [with inclusion of all involved] We are prohibited from discrimination on basis such as faith and require a non-discriminatory sense of inclusion and a zero bias/pressure/total neutral approach even if/when we do speak through the lens of our own faith or any other experience as it applies to birth and/or to bereavement.  If serving a client along any stretch of the journey is outside of our own personal moral conviction, we refer to other resources for that stretch of the journey and do so with honor and respect.

 [with other organizations] The SBD certification program is affordable precisely so that SBD doulas can further their education and invest in other trainings, gaining wisdom, knowledge and tools from multiple sources.  This reinforces the message that we are all in this together and that learning is an ongoing experience, one that betters us for our engaging in.  Therefore as an SBD Doula, I am inherently encouraged to further my learning, but not to thwart others from stillbirthday to do so.  Stillbirthday is competitive academically as a stand-alone certification in Birth Doula support, but the structure is created so that SBD is not in competition with other organizations but instead allows SBD doulas to pursue further learning if they choose.

 [with internal conflict and needs] The SBD Doula agrees to ongoingly pursue professional level psychological and/or spiritual support from accredited and trusted resources for the development and maturation of their own journey.  The SBD Doula can choose to decline such an investment but does so with the knowledge that it is not endorsed by stillbirthday.  The SBD Doula agrees either way to maintain accountability to constantly strive toward the balance of both, daring to show up, and, becoming the well to mirror what the needs are of those we serve.

 Because of the unique nature of our role in supporting families and other birth and/or bereavement professionals, we aim to bring the most honor to all involved in a situation, starting with and centered on the family – this includes: not participating in heresy or speculations regarding any aspect of accountability, guilt or blame in any situation.  We will neither promote nor participate, publicly or privately, in “bail money fundraisers” for any person of any birth related situation at any time, as this is to participate in speculation which is beyond the scope of our practice.  We in similar line do not engage in class action disputes but handle conflict personally.  Our goal is to meet the families we serve where they are in their situation, and to present supportive, healing options and resources to them.

 We strive for harmonious and amicable relationships with others in fields of profession similar or affiliated with ours.  We aim to maintain the highest integrity with all conflict resolution.  Respect should be maintained at all times.

 

Patience. 

 Unless I am already certified as a birth professional, I agree to consider apprenticeship for a short time under a local tenured birth professional (in or outside of stillbirthday), and/or providing a minimum of one family with sliding or discounted birth support, enough to cover my financial investment into serving them. This family can have any expected outcome.  This is for the family’s benefit, as each birth experience brings me new information and my very first encounter with birth may be more emotionally invoking than even my training has prepared me for.  It has been proven by numerous seasoned doulas that one lowered rate birth offers just enough freedom from performance anxiety to become the confident support you need to become familiar in your role.  This can be for birth in any trimester or expected outcome.  Becoming familiar with birth is important, and each birth has the opportunity to teach us something valuable.  This said, every birth teaches us something new and no level of tenure surpasses authentic vulnerability, humility, and fully entering into each birth we serve.

 

Kindness. 

 In social media, blog posts, and other communications, I understand that I am not required to encompass every belief or opinion expressed within stillbirthday or by others who may or may not appear to represent stillbirthday or carry the SBD credential.  I understand that neither does my SBD credential mean that stillbirthday fully endorses any belief or opinion I may hold, or other organization, professional scope or personal practice I may be affiliated with.  Within the SBD Principles of Service, I agree to uphold the highest possible definition of ethics, integrity and love for families, in the unique and important way that looks from within my own moral, philosophical and spiritual framework.  Within the SBD POS, I can count on my fellow SBD doulas to meet me where I might not be able to cross, and I the same for them.  I am not required to profess to be of any faith or religion, sexual orientation or ethnicity.  Similarly, a stillbirthday doula profile might include connections or endorsements that are upheld by the doula individually and not an endorsement whatsoever by stillbirthday.   SBD believes that each of our personal values is inherently and profoundly significant and none are to be discredited.  We can and do honor one another while maintaining the worth of our own.  Every person deserves respect.  We speak of and toward one another and our organization with respect and affirmation.

 [client versus others] We respond respectfully in situations in which upholding the wishes of the parents (our client) conflicts with the desires of the extended family or others; when such conflict becomes unavoidable the doula will make the decision that she believes brings the most positive resolution to the client.

 All services, including doula services, are listed through stillbirthday voluntarily. There are no paid employees and the site creator and each doula has the right to remove her listing at any time.

 Professional misconduct, including substantially insufficient advancement in practice, or activity such as forgery, deceit, blatant falsification, theft, or other criminal activity result in immediate revocation of stillbirthday credentials, which includes the nulling of all gifts and awards as part of the graduate packet, through the course of the SBD career and everything that entails.  Measures are always offered in stillbirthday, including by Heidi Faith, founder of stillbirthday, herself.  This can include a temporary respite from other stillbirthday areas as an act of bringing the individual first to a quiet place to privately talk.  The stillbirthday doula who has engaged in any area that others have taken notice, including but not limited to blatant disregard for self or others, blatant gossip or evil speech, derogatory, demeaning, disrespectful banter or actions of self, colleagues, Stillbirthday University, any kind of bribery, trickery, harmful engagement, any kind of manipulation or other areas of concern agrees to participate and comply with such measures of reconciliation, and to strive toward amicable peace and reconciliation of the circumstances.  Because stillbirthday is the industry standard in birth & bereavement support, obtaining the SBD credential is a privilege and is the responsibility of the bearer, not stillbirthday, to aim to maintain: the SBD credential can be revoked due to issues of misconduct.

Academic degrees are a university’s certification to the world at large of the recipient’s educational achievement and fulfillment of the institution’s standards. To hold that a university may never withdraw a degree, effectively requires the university to continue making a false certification to the public at large of the accomplishment of persons who in fact lack the very qualifications that are certified. Such a holding would undermine public confidence in the integrity of degrees, call academic standards into question, and harm those who rely on the certification which the degree represents. Waliga v. Bd of Trustees 1986

 If it is determined that any professional, individual or organization has acted outside of the scope of these principles, the situation will be reviewed and appropriate actions will be determined, which may include revocation of SBD credentials, and all the privileges they entail.

 

Goodness. 

 I agree to present a rating sheet and/or details to rate my services online, or, the opportunity for honest review and feedback, at every birth/postpartum visit I attend, because every birth can teach me something, and every family should have that opportunity.

 When seeking to work as a source of referral within hospitals or other facilities, I agree to present our Documentation Package for Hospitals (which includes Hospital Release) along with any other information the facility may require.   If you are familiar with Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, stillbirthday has mirrored our patient release form to be similar to theirs for uniformity and simplicity within hospitals and paperwork.

 [financial integrity] The SBD Doula understands that the freedom of our role is not for sale.  Corporate sponsorship, insurance reimbursement, agency models, working for hospitals, or other tertiary monetary reimbursement that a doula may consider, do not ever, nor should they ever, come at a compromise of the values of the doula.  We understand that it is quite plain: we either work for the family, or, we don’t.  We will not make financial decisions that alter or jeopardize what the family should expect from our independent, autonomous role.  Similarly, appropriate financial structure for our clients is only part of the map of the longterm journey.  Continuing to doula our own heart with the skills provided in the training, and with ongoing opportunities both in or outside of stillbirthday, are tools for the doula to include on the journey.

 [financial integrity] While the SBD Doula is a fully autonomous entity with full liberty to determine contracts and fees, stillbirthday as a foundation sets a paradigm of abundance and so we each strive to provide our services as affordably to the family as possible, including pro-bono, sliding or bartered services whenever we deem appropriate to do so.  The creative, collective avenues of recognition and support that stillbirthday offers through its platform are just a few ways that make this possible.  Offering flexibility in our internship, bereavement or other rates does not disqualify the doula profession but makes doula support accessible and awareness to our role further reaching than locking in rates.  Receiving the skilled care of a doula is not a privilege of the financial wealthy; offering the skilled care of a doula is a privilege to the servant.   These payment options may be outlined by the doula, depending on the circumstances surrounding the unique birth experience and her limited availability.  The general stillbirthday approach to financial consideration when serving a family in which the hiring of the doula was in preparation of an expected live birth outcome but in which unexpected fetal demise occurs is as follows: presentation of the option to family 01 to receive full or partial financial reimbursement with consideration to the possibility of immediate and unexpected financial costs in conjunction with the countering possibility that the family may perceive reimbursement as a rejection or diminishment of the reality of their baby.  If the family welcomes the reimbursement, the doula understands the possibility of the family hiring them again in subsequent births, of the family highly recommending the doula to others, and, the possibility that financial reception can be made through adjusting the fees, contracts, and amounts of reimbursement, as well as general, time lapsed, fundraising.  If the family chooses for the doula to maintain full compensation, doula in turn invests this funding as a hold, to be financially stable to present this option again to family 02.  Therefore, when family 02 chooses to receive full or partial compensation, rather than the doula telling the family that this is simply part of their contract, or because the doula has maintained a general savings fund, the doula articulates to family 02 that the financial provision is possible as a legacy of family 01.  In this way, family 02 therefore may either choose at the immediate time, or later, to invest in the doula’s work as a gift to family 03.  In this way, the stillbirthday approach to financial consideration is to aid in the legacy of the babies and families we serve.

 [up to date on research and skills] Stillbirthday credentialing means that the doula has successfully completed the curriculum and the additional tasks of completion from SBD University.  It is the responsibility and sole liability of the doula to maintain abreast with the current findings and best evidence based research on all areas that relate directly or indirectly to the role of the allied healthcare professional, including compliance with any and all health and safety regulations and legal policies.  This includes but is not limited to HIPAA regulations, Universal Safety Precautions, Neonatal Resuscitation and Liability Insurance for Allied Healthcare Professionals.  Stillbirthday is not liable in any way to any organization, institution, parent, family or doula, to any individual or entity, for any harm or damage in any way; this includes any untoward outcome from actions by the doula.

 We aim to connect the family with as many applicable resources as possible; therefore, we refer families back to stillbirthday for ideas, resources, and information.

 We strive to continue learning more about birth and about bereavement through stillbirthday, outside unaffiliated resources as appropriate and through self-study, so that we may provide optimum care to families.

 [cannot drive and doula] We make a commitment as the doula to not transport clients and as appropriate, including driving to a client, we make a commitment  to not text while driving.  We make initial contact in public locations, give a trusted love one our check in information, and in many other ways explored in training make decisions that are founded in safety first.  While we have gleaned such safety guidance from stillbirthday we do not hold stillbirthday liable for any outcomes of any decisions we choose or do not choose.

 

Faithfulness. 

 Stillbirthday holds publicly verifiable evidence to each stillbirthday doula’s current status of successful completion of our program and compliance with our Principles of Service.  These are verifiable through this page.  If an individual is not published on this list, they are not stillbirthday certified.

 I agree to be as transparent, authentic and honest in my representation of my personal and professional experiences as possible.  For example, if I have not experienced the struggle to conceive or pregnancy and infant loss, I agree to make mention to this truth in my stillbirthday URL and on all of my marketing materials.   One example of wording may be “Although I have not experienced a struggle to conceive or pregnancy and infant loss, I have completed the SBD comprehensive training and seek to honor families giving birth in any outcome and in any trimester.”

 I agree to be as transparent, authentic and honest in my representation of my business title, logo, abbreviation, etc. as possible.  This transparency may mean humility and it may mean compromise, in the event that a preferred business name, etc., is already secured by any doula or birth professional credentialed through stillbirthday or not.  I agree to respect, honor and preserve the intellectual property of those who are on this journey, and refrain in every way from violating, manipulating, counterfeiting, duplicating, rationalizing or even borrowing from those with ideas I find are appropriate to my expression, without express written consent and endorsement by all parties involved.

 I agree to be as transparent, authentic and honest in my representation of my relevant personal and/or professional background as possible, to include for example becoming and remaining CPR certified.  In this line, the stillbirthday doula certification is an academic institution, not an employment agency or entity.  As such, investigative findings including but not limited to child abuse, endangerment, professional negligence or any other related or not related criminal offenses, are neither part of the stillbirthday doula admission nor graduation process, and should therefore be pursued by the doula’s interested or potential clients.

 I agree to be transparent, authentic and honest in my representation of my status with stillbirthday.  I agree to not solicit favors, discounts, affiliations or any other in-kind gifting based on my status with stillbirthday.  I understand that stillbirthday has established relationships with similar organizations based on advertising, promotions or other higher order relationships and in the event I may directly or indirectly benefit from such relationships I agree to be transparent, authentic and honest in my representation of any such beneficial relationships, exchanges, promotions or advertising and seek to be part of the flow of positive promotion, abundance, and mirror back the message of village love, that we are all in this together.  Singling myself out without credit to the village of love I am part of only takes away the sense of community the families I serve could otherwise richly benefit from.  Stillbirthday will seek to provide any promotional material or other resources to strengthen the message for awareness events or vendor tables, including the use of the stillbirthday doula logo as issued to credentialed stillbirthday doulas.  I agree to use what is offered and within the context given, and agree to not utilize any information or materials of stillbirthday that are explicitly or inexplicitly confidential and/or proprietary material.  When in doubt I seek guidance directly from stillbirthday leadership, namely contacting the founder, Heidi Faith, directly, for express written permission in regard to any materials, or ideas in question.

 I agree to be as transparent, authentic and honest in the development of my professional skills, services and connections with others, and will not compromise integrity for personal gain.

In this line, if I am an SBD Doula who also provides professional services for which stillbirthday does not train or credential for, I agree to be articulate and transparent in contracts and in services to differentiate the origin of my roles and services.  The SBD doula training does not prepare a doula for placenta encapsulation.  There are many very real considerations for not presenting placenta encapsulation to bereaved mothers, including pathology of the placenta, hormonal implications involved directly or indirectly in the pregnancy loss, and a lack of evidence based approach of placenta encapsulation in pregnancy and infant loss.  If I am trained in placenta alchemy, I still understand that it is beyond the SBD Principles of Service to present a death notification,  however, as a placenta alchemist, I may discover fetal papyraceus.  It is my responsibility to ensure the mother is aware of this, before any placenta transformation is done.  If I am a placenta alchemist, I might consider taking the stillbirthday chaplaincy program on information regarding appropriate death notification.

 

Gentleness. 

 What happens during the course of pregnancy loss, at any gestation, is in fact, birth. It is important to validate this experience for what it is.  While it is important to mirror back the definition used by your client, we start from this point and only then move in the direction that mirrors most adequately.  In this line, we strive to provide appropriate language options to our clients and mirror the language chosen by them to best depict their story and experience.

 We are birth doulas and bereavement doulas.  This means that we serve both of these enormous realms and we serve in the places where they meet.  In order to do this well, it means that we serve not only the immediate moments in real time, but we draw from the experiences of families and the experiences of our training to offer a long term perspective that may not be considered by the family so freshly facing birth and/or bereavement.  “I understand this is a difficult perspective to consider, but the many families who have been in this place before you have found that ___ has offered substantial impact on their long term journey” can be a very common approach in serving families.  If the SBD doula recognizes that a long term implication of an immediate decision may be especially negative or especially positive, he or she will offer this perspective to you.  This can include options prior to birth, during birth, during the welcoming and during the farewell.

 [toward each other] When participating in our online group or in other communications, we will respond to each other in a manner that brings the most consideration to feelings (many of us are bereaved parents, too), while still cultivating an environment of exploration of ideas. Within stillbirthay, we navigate conflict resolution, including offering alternative perspectives or approaches and private consultation/mediation.  Every SBD Doula has access to email Heidi Faith for private mediation, mentorship or other conflict resolution of any nature.

 Every birth and bereavement situation is unique, each requiring varying levels of support. While sometimes physical presence is needed, sometimes what is critical to the mother is simply phone contact, including a follow up phone call to offer healing resources. Conversely, we may provide presence throughout labor, birth, the Welcoming, the Farewell, a portion of the healing journey, or in any of these “seasons” we believe is appropriate and realistic for us to do so.  While the SBD Chaplain may be better equipped to officiate the farewell of the parents’ choosing, the SBD Doula may be asked to perform this great honor as well.  We use discernment, team work and safety awareness in making our level of involvement decisions.

 [projecting feelings onto family] We do not pressure, bully, beg, gossip about, accuse, project onto, suggest or even hint at our desires for the family’s many, many childbirth and end-of-life decisions they need to face. We provide all information honestly and without bias, and we acknowledge the decisions the family makes.  When a family makes a decision outside of our moral or ethical frame and/or we face an internal conflict in which we wish a decision would be made differently, we can utilize the confidential mentorship of the stillbirthday founder as well as the many resources within stillbirthday.

 We understand that pregnancy loss birth, at any time in pregnancy, has many important similarities, and many important differences to, live, positive outcome deliveries. While we strive to magnify the similarities, we respect those differences, particularly when the level of care needed surpasses our own ability to provide.

 [projecting feelings onto care team] We strive to work in conjunction with the medical and family support team. We do not present pessimistic or accusatory positions against any of the support team, but support any decisions the family may have, and seek to answer gently and supportively any questions the family may have.  If a conflict arises between the SBD doula and a provider on the care team, the SBD doula addresses the conflict with the highest amount of humility, integrity, and regard for the individual, their station, and their perspective, and seeks to neutralize any disagreement by basing all reactions upon the core value of legitimately seeking to grow and be better.

 We honor the family’s decisions regarding utilizing medical care, or the cessation of life-sustaining or death-delaying medical care when the diagnosis is certainly fatal.

 When attending bereavement births, we strive to provide a continuum of care through labor to the early postpartum period. However, there may be circumstances which may limit or prevent this.

 We understand that the fatal diagnosis of the baby does not make unsupervised delivery of the baby any safer a decision, regardless of gestational age of the baby, and do not serve to replace an OB, nurse, or midwife, one of whom should be involved during the birth if the gestational age of the baby is older than about 10 weeks (and an additional family member or friend should be present if the mother is having an early miscarriage naturally at home).  Utilizing or forfeiting such care provider role is at the sole discretion of the client and stillbirthday is not liable to any outcome with or without a doula or other care provider present.  Doulas serving at birth within their limited capacity without another provider present will include such clause in their own contract presented to the clients they serve that outlines their expectations, rights and conditions to do so.

 

Self-Control. 

 The foundational underpinning of stillbirthday doula support is this four point model of care: slow down, validate, provide options and supplement resources.  This underpinning is woven into every concept of every chapter of our training and is applicable in every circumstance in which we serve another.

 [boundaries of role] The SBD doula does not issue diagnostic reports nor deliver death notifications.  Your SBD doula will not confirm a suspected or impending loss but will refer you to the support who can.  Delivering death notification to loved ones is a specialized areas of support that our SBD Chaplains may perform.

 [speaking, presenting, teaching] The SBD doula logo and/or credential does not mean stillbirthday endorsement of the individual as a speaker, trainer, or other role.  The SBD doula has stillbirthday permission to present information for their own purposes under stillbirthday approval for the sake of growing their own community as well as the stillbirthday community.  If in such work, though, the intention is to instead replace, thwart or in any way prevent a person from proceeding in growing and developing within the stillbirthday community, this is a violation of our do not compete within our Principles of Service.  Stillbirthday likewise will never seek donations or ask for in-kind services or donations, via SBD doulas, online communication or letterhead.

 [speaking, presenting, teaching] The SBD doula agrees to present corporately approved literature and imagery for professional marketing purposes, including logos, pamphlets, business cards, rack cards or text books, for use at vendor tables or other presentations.

 If we have additional skills, talents or services related to pregnancy in any way, that is run as a business, we do not use stillbirthday as an advertising front to pressure clients, bereaved or otherwise, to purchase goods or services.

 We may or may not choose to establish a doula agency, hire backup doulas, or become a hired backup or retained doula for other birth doulas in our area.

 We understand that our communities may be filled with birth professionals of various experience, structure and personal and/or professional beliefs; we may be presented with the challenges of respectfully and responsibly recognizing how our autonomous business structure meets with those factors held by those already established in the community.  We do not engage in intentional, rogue undercutting of our contract fees for mere personal profit and while a regional price set helps very much as a guide, we are not required to simply comply with a regional price set or business structure.  We strive to be open to the private counsel, mentorship and wisdom offered by seasoned birth professionals, however, we make our business decisions autonomously, following the expectations of the stillbirthday Principles of Service, not solely by the recommendation, pressure, complaining or even the bullying by others.  What can benefit one business by a reduced rate, sliding, bartering or sale, can just as equally benefit another; a tenured birth professional by their experience, tenure, multiple credentialing and extended, multi-roled or advanced skills or services shows the worth reflected in their different pricing.  It is in this line that it is considered giving ourselves a raise as we gain a greater skill set.

 The SBD doula agrees to publicly reference/source/acknowledge his or her currently successful credentialed status in promotional opportunities or conversations, in an appropriate, relevant, accurate, positive and meaningful way.

 Stillbirthday certified doulas can choose from any of the following pre-selected and copyright protected terminology to describe their services:

  • Supporting Birth Diversity©
  • Support for birth.  Support for bereavement.  Support for both.©
  • Support for birth in any trimester and support in any outcome.©
  • When you only have moments to tangibly parent, we help make the moments count. ©
  • If your birth plan goes astray, I never will.©
  • I do{oula}.©
  • DOLIU©

{non-compete} The SBD doula agrees not to directly or indirectly compete with the message, ministry and/or business of stillbirthday.  The term “non compete” means that the SBD doula will not own, manage, operate, consult, or to be employed in a business and/or ministry substantially similar to, or competitive with the present or future business, message, vision, teaching, ministry, outreach or purpose of stillbirthday.  This includes but is not limited to literature, teaching mechanisms, structure, content, tools or any other form, tangible or intangible, or medium or mechanisms that may be directly or indirectly affiliated or recognized as originating at, in, with or part of stillbirthday or any of it’s message, purpose, content, ministry or business.  The SBD doula acknowledges that stillbirthday may provide student or doula access to confidential access and good will.  The SBD doula agrees to retain said information as confidential and not to use it on his or her own behalf or disclose to a third party for any reason.  This agreement extends between colleagues in all confidential debriefing, as well as extends to the SBD doula, successors, assigns and personal representatives.  The SBD doula agrees not to engage in hate speech, gossip, slander or disparage stillbirthday in any way or through any outlet or in any way thwart, stumble, divert or block a professional or a family from the services or community of stillbirthday.  The SBD doula agrees to be in compliance with stillbirthday policy and protocol.  Those in violation may face immediate revocation of credential and all it entails, and may be liable to financial, legal or other punitive damages.

 {non-compete exception} Stillbirthday is considered a University.  Therefore alumni who are invited or solicit to speak, present or teach into a very niche demographic, community or subject can do so while bearing the SBD credential, and he or she can offer this limited teaching, with or without recompense.  We also offer a specialized platform from within stillbirthday where we motivate and encourage alumni to learn from one another.
The only official representation of stillbirthday is the founder.  Cross promotion or assumption of endorsement may become a conflict of interest; at which time such occurrences will be resolved at the discretion of the founder, but may include deletion or removal of content or author from stillbirthday designated areas.

 [Non-Disclosure Agreement (Unilateral NDA)] The signing of Principles of Service is considered a legally binding unilateral NDA, protecting stillbirthday, its founder and any and all construed representatives of stillbirthday, to include volunteers, from any and all disclosure of content, conversation or information shared for any purpose and by any medium or any form in the student or doula role.  Stillbirthday hereby reserves the right to pursue any and all financial compensation and legal action to the fullest extent of reasonable consideration for any and all violation.

All stillbirthday content is copyright protected and proprietary. Ideas, conversations, and information learned through email updates, phone calls, any form of social media including our private online group, promotional savings or events, anything learned or derived through the website, or in-person contact between any members of stillbirthday (doulas or mentors for example) should maintain creative and intellectual copyright protection; we will properly credit sources of content. Additionally, we will maintain confidentiality through each of these avenues as appropriate.

 {clause of second chances} Amnesty/Reasonable Accommodation If you believe your credential has been revoked or your situation is considered under review and you believe this is in any way an error, you are invited to re-affirm your commitment to the stillbirthday Principles of Service by re-signing these Principles of Service. Because stillbirthday is a growing organization, we do make space as we deem appropriate and reasonable for reconciliation in consideration of evolving challenges or considerations.  If an SBD doula’s credential has been reviewed or revoked, that SBD doula’s intent to realign with the spirit and message of our ministry and business should include such re-affirmation by re-signing the POS.  Re-affirmation by re-signing the Principles of Service, including any updates it may contain in general and to better address the situation, waives and ceases the SBD doula’s pursuit of any and all other forms of mediation or reconciliation, and Reasonable Accommodation does not mean SBD endorses any breaches that may have come to question nor a guaranteed reinstatement but if offered is considered a one-time grace of probation and amnesty, a cease and desist, and any further, uninterrupted, unchanged, unceasing, unresolved, unremoved or additional indications contrary to such agreement to the Principles of Service ultimately will result in the final and irreversible revocation of the credential.  Email Heidi.Faith@stillbirthday.com with your intent to resign the POS for expeditious republication.  In this consideration, the SBD doula relinquishes opinion of the best practices of pursuit and outcome made by stillbirthday.  Only such re-signed Principles of Service are up for consideration for republication/reinstatement of the credential/certificate in our publicly accessible listing.

 We maintain confidentiality of client information and do not publicly announce, on social media sites or elsewhere, when being hired for a birth, when leaving for a birth, while at a birth, or when leaving a birth by including any personal or identifying information whatsoever, to include but not limited to: photographs of the family or baby, actual names of individuals or of facilities involved, for many reasons, including the mishandling of client trust for promotional content/gain this can depict.  We do however disclose location information to our safety support team, including but not limited to our spouse or other loved one.  We do not make any public announcement of birth, diagnosis or death on social media sites or elsewhere, including photos, unless a signed release by the mother has been secured, and that this permission is made expressly clear in all dialogue (“posted with permission”).  This release will include expectations regarding the moderating or forfeiture of moderating all comments derived from the posting, and will include a forfeiture of liability (stillbirthday and the doula) in situations in which the posting becomes the first notification of the event for a loved one.  We instead invite parents to create their own birth announcement and/or death announcement on our forum, for example, and from there it can be shared at the parents’ discretion.  In addressing the need for general acquaintances to know why a doula may not be available, one can simply publish “I am mobile” or another general statement that does not suggest serving a family.  Because this high standard of stillbirthday doulas is counter-cultural to many other birth doulas, we offer a one-time private counsel for edification before additional steps of correction are taken.

 We maintain confidentiality of client information and only share details privately within our SBD professional group to assess the situation and gain insight and additional useful information. Beyond this, any information shared about the client should be permitted by the client in advance, and understood that loved ones may want to know in advance of the wishes of the client to share information in whatever way the couple decides.

 We maintain confidentiality of client information, of proprietary information and of friendships, and do not misuse avenues of publication, including electronically, blogging, social media, newspaper or other print, in any way or format or method, including “check in” posts at hospitals, announcements, “vaguebooking” negative opinions or experiences regarding clients or professional experiences or encounters, “live” streams, snap chatting, or any other way in which such might be misused, for any purpose or agenda.

 We maintain confidentiality of fellow stillbirthday classmates and colleagues.  The ability to utilize such resources as our SBD U Admissions, classroom, Global group, workshops, and other collaborative groups and events are all considered a privilege that may be revoked at any time if the highest level of confidentiality and honor of all involved is not maintained.  At no time can any content from these exclusive encounters, including screen capturing, distributing, or by any other means may such privileged information become accessible to anyone outside of these encounters without express written consent from the founder of stillbirthday.

 We maintain confidentiality and uphold respect and honor for each individual we encounter in a professional capacity, including our clients, colleagues and peers.  If I am teaching a birth preparation class to parents or am attending a teaching event myself (for examples) or am in any group setting of a professional capacity – physically or virtually – I agree to obtain written permission, in writing or in online text, of the individuals included in such photos, before printing, copying or sharing any photos or writings that include them from the event.  I agree to offer “tagging” or “location” as an option on social media.  I understand that at any time the person(s) involved may become uncomfortable with the photo, writing, or any dialogue generated as a result of the original publication, and I understand that the person(s) involved have full liberty to request removal at any time – and I will strive to comply immediately and to the best of my ability.

We collaborate well.

In this line, if you are not a midwife, nurse or doctor, you agree that your role is not diagnostic.  In the event of an unexpected presentation of features or circumstances that may warrant a diagnosis or notification, you agree to support the family with what you do know, void of any assessment or assumption and complete with providing options and supplementing resources. Relaying a difficult and/or fatal diagnosis is the responsibility of the primary care provider.

In this line,  you understand that an introduction to non-medical options does not make you an expert, and that even non-medical options can have medical impact.   You agree that all essential oil or herbal suggestions should be presented clearly with your client, confirmed with the client’s trusted care provider and any suggestion you present should not be in conflict with the care provider’s assessment.  Furthermore you agree never to treat or diagnose independently of the trusted care provider, you agree to remain in total compliance of doTERRA Independent Product Consultant, Young Living, or other product policies as applicable and you confirm that you will only addresses oils or herbs with such cautions as stated by the product company and always with the approval of the trusted care provider, and stillbirthday is not responsible whatsoever for any untoward outcome for the use, sale or distribution of any essential oil or herbal product or service.  The doula should establish with his or her client regarding any waiver of liability involved.*

In this line,  you understand that an introduction to your client’s interpretation of their circumstances does not make you an expert.  Nothing should ever surpass the communications between patient and provider, and in most instances, there is more actual data involved in patient/provider communications than what the doula may ever know. From exploring GPA to possible causes for pregnancy & infant loss, the undercurrent of our training is always that we combine our client’s interpretation of things with what is known medically, and that both are important. In chapter 4 we look at some non-medical options simply for exposure to them, and this gives us the tools to provide options or to have a knowledgeable footing in dialogue, but just about every single we say needs to come with the preface, implicit or on the safer side explicit, that we don’t know the full picture because we are not the provider, and the postscript, again either implicit or on the safer side explicit, to verify and dialogue with the provider to more appropriately and accurately explore the options and ideas presented.

In this line, if you are an SBD Doula who has referred your client to additional resources, including another stillbirthday doula, you agree to allow for a relationship to grow between them and that any concerns, complaints or questions the client might share with you about the newer serving doula that you will defer those questions back to the newer doula, and that you will speak highly of the doula and not solicit and perpetuate negativity.   It is important for us to understand that bereavement can occasionally seem to increase or perpetuate areas of entitlement, vulnerability, pinning resources against each other, inappropriate expectations or positioning in a manner to receive attention even in a non-uplifting way.  Simply, we respond expecting that our clients are hurting.

In this line, if you are a midwife, nurse or doctor, who has completed the stillbirthday training, or you are a stillbirthday Chaplain serving in the capacity of Chaplain, you agree to presenting your diagnosis or death notification in a way that is honoring to the mother, including utilizing time, position, demeanor, body language, voice tone, and observations in a way that magnifies the reality of the personhood of the child, the motherhood of your patient, and the journey she may be facing.  Our training exposes you to many different scenarios and valuable resources to complete this enormous task.

If you are a professional photographer, or have another immediate birth and/or bereavement specialty, you agree to discussing the nature of your dual profession with your client so that they can properly navigate whether to expect you to be a photographer who understands birth, or, a doula who may capture a few professional photos.  Whenever possible, you allow the client to determine which role emphasis is best for their situation.

If you are a midwife serving out-of-hospital births, to list with stillbirthday, you agree to holding current liability insurance.  You also agree to discussing demise plans, including your role and what services your client can expect, and the statistics of pregnancy and infant loss with each of your clients prenatally:  our birth & bereavement doula training guides you in how to do this.

In this line, if you are an SBD Doula who utilizes any stillbirthday program, such as our Love Steps Forward program, you agree to the rules and risks of that program.

 As part of true informed consent, we each as credentialed SBD Doulas may present suggestions, ideas, tools and resources that we believe best serve clients to our greatest abilities, including resources outside of stillbirthday, to include but certainly not limited to areas regarding the use of essential oils, placenta alchemy, or other resources.  When doing so, we strive for articulation in any waiving of liability for resources, organizations and individuals referenced directly or indirectly as necessary, and always seek to work in harmony, never contrary to, the trusted care provider, extended family or others who are part of the support team.

If you are a doula certified with another organization, stillbirthday desires respectful connection.  You are not required to forfeit any other certification prior to obtaining your SBD credential and SBD works well in conjunction with others.  We do not sign any waiver of another program based on the completion of ours.  Because each organization has its own scope of practice or principles of service, those doulas with multiple credentials will need to discern independently the best path in accordance to the expectations of their certifying organizations.  This means that it is absolutely appropriate for an SBD doula to behave in a more conservative manner in offering resources and support for a family if that maintains the doula’s compliance with another organization.  SBD recognizes that we have a breadth of conflict resolution perspectives because our frame is geared toward, rather than away from, engagement and participation in the support we offer.  This clause does not supersede our non-compete clause.

If you are a nurse or doctor who has completed the stillbirthday training, you agree to incorporating such skills into your role as well as welcoming whenever possible, an independent, professionally trained stillbirthday birth and bereavement doula or chaplain into the care team for the patients you serve experiencing perinatal or neonatal demise.  Our SBD chaplains, for example, provide “bridge support” for families experiencing an emergency hospital transfer in labor and birth.

In this line, you understand that friendships among individuals within the stillbirthday community are not an exemption of stillbirthday policy or principles.  If you have registered, taken or certified with stillbirthday and then have created or co-created a competitive organization or partnered or participated in the creation, development or advancement of said secondary organization, and there is no way of regulating the contents contributed are not influenced by your stillbirthday journey and as such you will automatically be disqualified from any or all benefits of stillbirthday without notice per the discretion of the best interest of the families who need support.  We have a do-not-compete, and there is no scenario that supercedes this.  Stillbirthday makes awesome connections and you can feel inspired while remaining entirely within a place of uncompromised integrity.  We collaborate well, because it is the only choice that is the best advantage for the only focus we ought ever to have – the next family.  No agreement spoken or written would ever supersede this – please know this clearly and let’s keep our focus where it needs to be.

In this line, if you are an SBD Doula who has been invited to and/or has agreed to embark in a voluntary role within stillbirthday in any capacity that distinguishes you as an individual who has become a volunteer of stillbirthday, or in other ways affiliated, you agree to refer to these Principles of Service to the depth of integrity, spirit of love, and embodiment of healing that these are each and all intended to reflect.  By embarking in such a role you are verifying your acknowledgement of understanding that stillbirthday is founded in and passionately in line with serving to the depth of integrity, spirit of love and embodiment of healing for all and at all times.

 A claim to not understand any of these principles as they are or in revision is not a forfeiture to comply with them; your SBD credentialing is based on your remaining within these guidelines.

 This is the thesis principle: these principles can be revised and amended at any time.  The spirit as well as the content of these principles should be honored.  It is the responsibility of the doula to remain familiar with the stillbirthday website and principles of service.

 

As Students. 

 All of the above applies to students or anyone engaged in any role or capacity within stillbirthday.  We do not honor a platform for behavior that is disparaging.  For students, please turn here to your Welcome Letter, where you will sign agreement to these Principles as well as have a space to share your narrative portion of registration.

 

 

Agreeing to and Signing
the SBD Principles of Service

 

 

 

 

 

 

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