Doulaing the DoulaBirth Doula Training and Certification

DTD Certification Details

What are the Certification Requirements?

Our certification program has 5 components: Social Learning; Mentored Group Support; Providing Labor Support; Affirmation of Doula’s Skills; and Reflective Practice.  We use Thinkific to administer our online certification program. Preview the program here! 

Workshop Learning: 

Attend the Childbirth for Professionals Course*

Attend the Birth Doula Training Workshop*

Attend the online Postpartum for Professionals Course

Sign and agree to follow our Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics.

Take our infant feeding class OR Obtain a lactation credential OR attend a lactation workshop on our Recommended List.  You can also ask if another training would meet the criteria.  

*After completion of these two courses, the certification candidate can complete the rest of the criteria in any order they wish. 

Mentored Group Support:   

We offer a six month “Foundations of Practice”, which helps you to focus on your target clients; set up your paperwork; decide on a media/marketing strategy; your vision for your doula life; preparation for client meetings, and support for attending your first births.  Foundations of Practice meets every three weeks for six months in a small group. You also receive a one hour one on one session with your Coach, which you can take advantage of at anytime in the six months. 

Everyone is required to complete the Reading List (six print or audio books from 21 choices).  You can upload your book response in writing or via video.  A few times a year we offer the Reading List as a Book Club. Book Club meets six times and meetings are every three to four weeks. The first hour will cover book group discussion, and the second hour focuses on listening to your birth and client stories. You are responsible for making sure that the facilitator can tell that you read the book and thought about it during your discussion.  

Provide Birth Doula Support:  

Attend six births, at least four of them in person.  If you do virtual support, we prefer at least one of them to be lengthy periods of time where you and the client in communication.  That’s all.  (We have no requirements about when to arrive, where to meet, what kind of birth outcome, etc. If you’re providing labor support and centering your client’s needs, that’s the criteria that matters to us. Our hope is that by requiring six births, you will have a variety of experiences.) 

Write up a timeline or birth story that is no longer than two, single spaced, typed pages in 12 point readable font.  

Affirmation of Doula Skills:  

Share the Feedback Form from the six parents who you served as their doula. (Whatever feedback questions you are asking parents, we want to read what they wrote to you.)

Submit six Nurse/Midwife Feedback Sheets from nurses or midwives who had the opportunity to observe you. 

Observation or Interview: At any birth, you can be observed for two hours by a DTD certified doula and have them fill out the Observation Form.  Observation can be in-person or virtual. If virtual, observations need to be in chunks of at least thirty minutes at a time where doula and client can be seen.) We included this for doulas who might want to bring along another doula.  Alternately, you can choose to do a  interview with one of our Certification staff members to talk about the births you’ve attended. 


For each birth, submit a one to two page Reflection Sheet or video, answering six questions. 

That’s our program!

Accommodations to Accomplish Certification

If writing the six birth stories and Reflection sheets would be a barrier for you, you can submit a video or audio tape with your organized thoughts.  Keep the total length of your tape to around sixty minutes, please no more than 75 minutes. We want to provide this service for people who have dyslexia or another disability, or do not communicate well in writing English. These should not be barriers to birth doula certification. If you need other accommodations that we haven’t anticipated, please call or email us. 

What does your program cost? Do you have a payment plan?

Click here to find out why we are passionate about what we do and transparent about what your money is paying for.  

When am I done with certification? When all the meetings are attended or all the paperwork has been received?

You have completed certification when you complete the requirements and submit them for review; and receive approval of your application from us.

How long can I take to complete certification?  t done with all my births when my group meetings are over? What happens then?

Most people have their own goal and timeline for completion. We would hope that you would complete the process within two years of your workshop. If you need more time, just let us know. We are here to work with you, not make it harder.

Do I need to recertify? How long is my certification good for?

Yes. Certification is good for two years. After renewing twice, you are eligible for Lifetime Birth Doula Certification.  Go to this page for Recertification details.

Is there a chance I might not get certified?  What are my options?  

If your birth story descriptions and reflection sheets are minimal or less detailed than we want, we’ll tell you what needs to change and give you the opportunity to resubmit it. 

If we did not feel ready to stand by you as a doula, we would give you a specific reason or reasons. If the reason is that you are not demonstrating a reliable doula skill set, we would give you specific items to work on at your next several births. Those items might relate to emotional support, physical support, or communication skills. You can then submit additional birth stories, reflection papers, and observation forms. 

If the reason has to do with questioning your ability to abide by our ethical standards, we will be clear with you about what our concerns are. Our goal is to give you the benefit of the doubt and nurture you. We need to balance that by maintaining the integrity of what we stand for and the quality of doula we want DTD to represent.  It is possible that there might be an ethical conflict that we cannot agree on.  However, I (Amy) think it would be unusual not to have a conflict like that surface much earlier in your training period.  

Questions? Ask our