Childbirth International (CBI) students and graduates will seek to uphold core values as they relate to ethics and professionalism. They are expected to demonstrate honesty, integrity, transparency, and professional responsibility in their work and their interactions with clients, colleagues, their community, and the broader community of birth and lactation professionals. This Code of Ethics and Professionalism outlines our commitment to ethics and professionalism, and our expectations of CBI students and graduates.
Components of the Code of Ethics and Professionalism
The Code of Ethics and Professionalism covers:
- social media use
Code of Ethics Expectations
Honesty embodies how a birth and lactation professional communicates and represents themselves in terms of education, experience, limitations, and boundaries.
A CBI student or graduate will be honest about:
- Their training and education
- Their experience and limitations
- Their availability to their clients
- Their own self-care needs
- Communicating their own personal boundaries with clients
Integrity explores values and how they impact a birth and lactation professional’s clients, peers, community, and their reputation.
A CBI student or graduate will demonstrate integrity through:
- Maintaining client confidentiality unless required to divulge information by law or by following express permission from their client
- Respecting the dignity (emotional, physical, cultural, spiritual) of clients and their supporters
- Reflecting on their own decisions and actions
- Respecting the expertise, perspectives, and experiences of the client’s chosen support team
- Demonstrating courtesy, respect, and fairness toward others
- Encouraging respectful care for all clients
- Avoiding giving advice or recommendations
- Only providing services for which they have been trained and clearly identifies when a service they are providing relates to skills they have learned through non-birth and lactation professional training
- Acknowledging that disparities exist for marginalized and vulnerable individuals
- Avoiding an adversarial stance with a client’s support team
- Correctly identifying the author of any materials they use and seek permission before using those materials
- Avoiding promotion of, recommending, or providing samples of products that undermine breastfeeding (e.g., bottles, teats, pacifiers, formula milk)
- Not using, selling, sharing, or distributing CBI materials to anyone without permission (unless the materials are being shared with a client and CBI has given permission for this)
- Not using any CBI training materials or documentation to establish their own training program, or training other individuals (whether for free or not)
- Please Note: Any CBI student or graduate who provides training that CBI deems to be in competition with CBI will be removed from the CBI student website and will no longer have access to course materials online or any updates to those materials. If a CBI student has not paid in full at this time this is identified, a refund will not be due to the student.
Transparency describes how a birth and lactation professional discloses their professional affiliations, business standards, conflicts of interest, and terms of service with their clients, peers, and community.
A CBI student or graduate will be transparent about:
- Their fees, cancellation and refund policies
- The services they offer and limitations to those services
- Times they are unavailable and backup arrangements they have arranged
- Making every effort, as soon as is practicable, in disclosing circumstances that prevent them from delivering their services because of ethical or personal conflicts
- Disclosing any conflicts of interest they have, including conflicts of interest related to their direct family members
- Disclosing any affiliations they have that directly link to their work as a birth and lactation professional
- Disclosing their income as required by law, appropriately meeting taxation requirements, and meeting local and regional requirements for maintaining their business
Responsibility addresses how a birth and lactation professional executes the roles and behaviors related to clients, colleagues and peers, the industry, and to oneself.
A CBI student or graduate is responsible for:
- Supporting client autonomy in decision-making
- Delivering the services they have promised
- Being punctual for client meetings
- Acting in a way that prevents infection or injury in themselves or their client to the best of their ability
- Providing information to the extent the client desires and within the boundaries and limitations of the birth and lactation professional
- Collaborating with a client’s chosen support team
- Supporting a client’s decisions
- Building personal and positive relationships with clients and their chosen support team
- Building professional positive relationships with healthcare providers
- Taking steps to resolve conflict wherever possible
- Seeking out opportunities to develop and build competency
- Submitting all business and taxation documents as required by local and regional laws
- Promoting best practice related to reproductive and infant health
- Valuing tools and skills (e.g., research, evaluation, assertiveness, communication, and decision-making) that enable clients to achieve their goals and take responsibility for their own decisions
A CBI student or graduate does NOT provide medical assessment, diagnosis, or medical treatment.
Social media can be a valuable tool for the birth professional to promote their business and establish a network of peers and colleagues. It also introduces challenges in protecting client confidentiality and has the potential to introduce the birth and lactation professional to conflict which can rapidly escalate. A key thing to remember with social media is that the internet is forever.
When engaging with social media, a CBI student or graduate will:
- Be respectful in communication on social media platforms
- Avoid engaging in defamatory or inflammatory language
- Maintain the privacy and confidentiality of the client and their family
- Avoid posting any images or identifying details of clients or their family on CBI hosted social media platforms
Agreement to Code of Ethics and Professionalism
When a student starts training with Childbirth International, they are required to read and agree to the Code of Ethics and Professionalism.