Birth Support Privacy Policy

This Privacy Policy outlines how I collect, use and share information about you when you use my birth doula services.

It does not apply to the practices of any third parties that I do not own or control, such as Facebook, email providers, mobile phone service providers, or any other methods I may use to keep in contact with you. You can find out more about any third party privacy policies by consulting their websites.

What Information I Collect

Prior to booking I ask for your estimated due date (EDD) and postcode.

When booking I use an agreement which records certain information about you, including: your name, your date of birth, your contact details, any relevant medical information such as medications, allergies or medical conditions, your partner’s contact details (if applicable), an emergency contact, and the agreed on call dates, which are based upon your EDD.

I keep some short notes about meetings held with you, or any contact we have had. These are not overly detailed but contain pertinent information specific to your experiences and needs during pregnancy and birth.

I sometimes take photographs on my phone during or after a birth, if you request that I do so, or you give me specific permission to do so.

I record my business mileage, which details the reason for any business journeys (including your name) along with the distance travelled.

I keep the following data about all the births I have attended in a spreadsheet: your name, EDD, on-call dates, baby number, planned type and place of birth, actual birth date, actual type and place of birth, coping measures/pain relief, assisted delivery, stitches, feeding choice, fees and expenses (if applicable) that have been paid, and where the booking came from (eg, social media, referral from another doula etc).

Storing This Information

Information about you is stored in the following ways:

  • Paper documentation is kept under lock and key.
  • Digital documentation is kept on an encrypted data drive.

Information about you is stored for the following lengths of time:

  • Photographs taken on my phone during births are kept until I can transfer/send them to you, and then deleted from my phone, unless I ask/you give me express permission to keep one or two of them for future use. They are then stored on my encrypted flash drive.
  • Booking documentation and mileage information is kept for 6 years for auditing and financial purposes – this is a legal requirement.
  • Any notes taken during your pregnancy are kept for the duration of your pregnancy, and for three months after the birth.
  • Contact information for partners and/or emergency contacts is kept for the duration of your pregnancy, and destroyed after the postnatal visit.
  • Emails and messages sent as part of your initial enquiry to me are kept until your EDD has passed, and then deleted.

How I Use Your Information

Your privacy is very important to me. I will not give your contact details to anybody else, unless you expressly give me permission to do so, for example, if we are arranging a back-up doula, or I am unable to provide you with doula support and am helping you to find another doula. I will never share the contact details of your partner and/or emergency contact with anybody else.

I do use the information I have on you:

  • To provide birth doula services to you, including visiting you at your home, supporting you during your pregnancy and birth, supporting your partner during your pregnancy and birth, and supporting you both during the early postnatal period.
  • To find answers to questions relating to your pregnancy and birth on your behalf, where we have agreed that this is the best course of action.
  • To contact your partner or emergency contact in the case of an emergency that renders you incapable of contacting them yourself.
  • To comply with any legal obligations, such as retaining information for tax purposes.
  • For the purpose of improving the birth doulaing services that I provide, by reflecting on the service I have provided to you with another doula.

Sharing Your Information

There are specific circumstances in which I may share your information with third parties. You may decline to give or withdraw your consent for me to share any information about you at any time.

After your birth, I usually debrief with at least one other doula. This ensures that I reflect fully on the experience that we have had together. It is very important for me to reflect upon each birth so that I can learn from new experiences and resolve any potential issues before I see my next clients. This continual process of reflection and learning helps me to become a better doula.

I may refer to your experiences when talking to other clients, as an example of a particular topic we are discussing (for example, if your birth involved a transfer, or was especially long or short, etc). I will never refer to you by name.

Occasionally I may wish to ask other birth workers for resources, signposts or information that is pertinent to your circumstances. I would only do so in person, or in private online groups of other birth workers such as midwives, doulas, antenatal teachers, hypnobirthing teachers etc. Because of the nature of the internet, I cannot guarantee the security of these groups. However, I will always strive to keep my questions as non-specific and vague as possible, and will never refer to you by name, so as to ensure you cannot be identified by what I say.

Your Rights

  • You have the right to see all the information I keep about you at any time.
  • You have the right to not give consent to me keeping any information about you.
  • You have the right to request that I destroy any information I do have about you.
  • You have the right to request that I do not share your information with any other third parties, or only with specific third parties, or only via certain methods.

These rights also apply to your partner and/or emergency contacts.