By Adrian Lim
KUCHING, Nov 24: The Health Ministry has no plan to regulate the birth trend using doula services in Malaysia.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said doula is not registered with any regulatory bodies in Malaysia, adding that doula and midwife which are not recognised by the Health Ministry are therefore not midwifery nurses under the Midwives Act 1966 (Act 436).
He added any individual who practices midwifery and violated Section 14(1) of the act could be fined RM2,000 or face imprisonment not more than one year or both if convicted.
“Doula serves as a companion to pregnant women and they are not qualified to provide medical advice. They are just assisting pregnant women and they provide after birth support for mothers to take care of their babies.
“A doula is prohibited to give medical advice related to pro natural birthing or gentle birthing,” he said during a question and answer session in Parliament today.
Dr Adham was replying to Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii who asked the Health Ministry whether the ministry has any plan to regulate the trend of giving birth for doula service in Malaysia.
Dr Adham explained the role of doula has limitations and they just provide emotional and mental support for pregnant women and expecting mothers.
He said if doula desires to provide services to expecting mothers, they are required to undergo training and follow the guidelines and policies as stipulated by the Health Ministry.
Dr Adham noted that the training and services provided by doula in Malaysia at the moment were unclear.
Nonetheless, he said the Health Ministry has taken initiatives to increase the rate of safe delivery for pregnant women including those at homes. — DayakDaily