Doulaing the DoulaDONA International Birth Doula Training Workshops

Beginning Doula Workshops

A Doula…

  • recognizes birth as a transformational life experience.
  • understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a person in labor.
  • assists a laboring person in preparing and carrying out plans for the birth.
  • stays by the side of the laboring person throughout labor without a change of shift.
  • provides emotional support, practical comfort measures, and objective viewpoint and information to aid decision making.
  • supports the laboring person’s partner(s) in their own experience of the birth
  • enhances the birthing family’s communication with clinical care providers.
  • treats a person’s birth experience as a source of positive memories, rich rewards and feelings of accomplishment.
  • weaves together the needs of the laboring person, partner(s), and clinical care provider.

Course Content


During this intensive three day workshop, students will:The workshop is designed to help participants become expert labor support providers. It utilizes texts, your 300+ page reference manual, videos, slides, games, activities, and role play to build theoretical knowledge and practical skills. It is one step in the process of certifying as a birth doula with DONA International.

  • Discuss the emotions and psychological processes associated with labor and birth.
  • Discuss the role of the labor support person during the prenatal, labor and delivery, and post partum periods; emphasizing the importance of appropriate, culturally sensitive support.
  • Practice hands on skills in positioning and comfort measures.
  • Learn how to enable women and their partners to cope with complications in pregnancy, labor and early postpartum.
  • Describe the doula’s scope of practice and ethical standards.
  • Learn the practical aspects of setting up a doula practice, including the establishment of fees and records, finding your first clients, and planning your own first steps. (Over 50+ pages of business resources!)
  • Not have training in clinical skills, which are outside the scope of practice of the doula.

After attending all of the required components of the workshop, participants receive a completion certificate.  This is not the same as certification. This graphic explains the difference.

These Topics Are Covered In The Training:

  • The Unique Power of the Doula
  • Best Practices for Prenatal Visits
  • Emotional Support Strategies
  • Physical Support Strategies
  • Use of the Peanut Ball
  • Epidural Support and Positioning
  • Working with Doctors, Midwives and Nurses
  • Creating A Team Atmosphere in the Labor Room
  • Trauma Informed Care/ Doula’s Role in Trauma Prevention
  • Challenging Labors
  • Supporting Partners and Family Members
  • Crafting Relationships with Male Partners and Fathers
  • Doula Self Care
  • Immediate Postpartum and Third Stage
  • Supporting the “Golden Hour” for the Infant and Parents

  • First Latch and Breastfeeding Positioning
  • Postpartum Visits
  • Writing a Birth Story
  • When the Doula or Client is Traumatized by the Birth
  • Recognizing Postpartum Depression
  • DONA Birth Doula Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice
  • DONA Certification Requirements
  • How Community Doulas Mend Racial Disparities in Birth Outcomes
  • Ethical and Fun Social Media Practices
  • Running a Business Resources
  • Targeting and Defining Your Client Market
  • Individual Plan for Locating Clients
  • First Steps for Growing Your Business

What Makes Doulaing The Doula Trainings Special? 




Course Schedule


A detailed outline is included in your registration confirmation.

All three days meet from 8:30 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. with a  one hour lunch break on Day 1 and 2, and 45 minutes on Day 3 (eating in class after break is fine).

You will be provided with a completion certificate at the end of the workshop. The California Board of Nursing has approved the basic workshop for 15 CE hours.  The workshop length has been approved by DONA for 24 hours of instruction. I have been told that DONA contact hours are accepted as continuing education units by ALACE, AAHCC, CAPPA and Lamaze International for re-certification of childbirth educators. However, please check with your certifying organization to be sure.


It is a good beginning and I have a much better idea of what I'm taking on. I've also learned so many new skills and tools to take with me to the next births not to mention tons of resources to help me expand my knowledge and skill base in the future.