The services of doula or birthing coaches will be regulated, Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad said today.
Dzulkefly was quoted by Malaysiakini as saying that the regulation, which will be prepared by the Ministry of Health, is needed to prevent any untoward incidents.
“We have been monitoring this matter and I have raised this (the need for regulating doula services) in the previous Cabinet meeting.
“We are observing the involvement of doula and our own practices so that we can come up with some form of regulations.
“We are not out to restrict village midwives that, once upon a time, was part of our tradition, but we want to prevent any untoward incidents,” he said.
The services of doula entered the spotlight last February, after the death of a newborn during a home birth in Johor was allegedly linked to the actions of a doula.
However, Johor police have cleared the doula of any wrongdoing.
A doula service is common for those who prefer a home birth over a hospital birth.
Its purpose is to support women, both physically and emotionally, during labour and make their postnatal process more comfortable.