Frequently Asked Questions About DTD Courses & Certification

We do our best to answer as many questions as we can to help you make the most informed decision for your education as a future doula, practicing doula, or medical professional. We’ve gathered our most common questions and included the answers here. If you cannot find what you are looking for, do not hesitate to contact us for help!

Doula's are going over training materials

Course and Workshop Costs FAQs

Yes! We offer course bundles at a discount, so you attend more courses and workshops for less than their a la carte pricing.

View Bundles

This course is $200 and can be paid in full or through equal monthly payments through our payment processor.

This course is $700 and can be paid in full or through equal monthly payments through our payment processor.

This course is $100 and can be paid in full or through equal monthly payments through our payment processor.

This course is $125 and can be paid in full or through equal monthly payments through our payment processor.

The Basic Success Package includes all four of our core courses:

  • The DTD Childbirth Course
  • Birth Doula Training 3-Day Workshop
  • The DTD Postpartum Course
  • The DTD Infant Feeding Course

Plus the Birth Doula Certification Program

The Premier Success Package includes all four of our core courses:

  • The DTD Childbirth Course
  • Birth Doula Training 3-Day Workshop
  • The DTD Postpartum Course
  • The DTD Infant Feeding Course

Plus the Birth Doula Certification Program and:

  • Book Club group meetings
  • The Foundations of Doula Practice Course
  • A one-year membership to our Advanced Learning Community

2 Private coaching sessions with your trainer

DTD Childbirth Course FAQs

You are welcome to attend even if you are not interested in doula training. Some people attend because they are trying to figure out if they’re interested! For others this is really helpful information to have for their career, or they are just curious to learn about childbirth.

No, this childbirth course focuses on giving you information you need to feel well versed in basic pregnancy and childbirth issues. The doula training focuses on developing support skills to use during different situations you’ll encounter as a doula, nurse, and midwife.

While we recommend taking it before, you can take the DTD Childbirth Course after without any consequences to your learning experience. We’ve designed it that way!

Everyone is welcome to take the DTD Childbirth course whether they are taking a doula workshop with another instructor, training organization, or simply want the general pregnancy and birth knowledge this course offers.

When you register, you will choose your preferred date for both the DTD Childbirth Class and the Birth Doula Training.

Birth Doula Training Certification FAQs

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.

We know YOU. Your trainers and assistants spend time with you during your training period. By the time we are done, we’ve spent almost forty hours together. We can build on that relationship to continue to nurture you through your first clients, structuring your practice, and developing your doula skill set during the Foundations of Doula Practice course.

Our process is research based, grounded in the seventy plus doula interviews Dr. Amy Gilliland has conducted. We want you to exhibit the skills you were taught in your training when you are supporting clients. We are asking your clients, some nurses, and another DTD certified doula to affirm for us that you do possess these skills.

Dr. Gilliland’s published research shows that birth doulas grow in skill level by attending births and reflecting on what they learned at each birth. Our certification steps align naturally with this process of doula development. When we read your reflection papers or other’s observations, or talk with you about doula work, we are looking for specific themes. These themes are consistently present in interviews with doulas. The presence of these ideas or questions means that you are on the correct trajectory on your growth as a doula.

Another pattern was that newer doulas got through the predictable challenges of the novice and advanced beginner stages when they had support from others and felt a sense of community. Our model is designed to help you to connect with others and build your own birthwork support system. Some people are already embedded in their community and only need a certification program that nurtures them, but not a group program like Foundations. That’s why we have a Basic Success Package.

We know humans like social learning, storytelling, and connection. People get more done when they are accountable to other people. Doulas need supportive relationships with other doulas to thrive. So our Premier Success Package includes both the Book Club and Foundations of Doula Practice. Together, they support our certification process by offering several months in interactive groups, covering the required reading, building your confidence and structuring what you need to make your doula vision happen in the real world.

After you complete the DTD Childbirth Course and Birth Doula Training and are accepted into the Certification Program, we provide you with a Provisional Certificate. It is good for six months, is renewable, and reads, “Has completed their course requirements for Birth Doula Certification and is qualified to offer professional labor support to pregnant people and their families”. It’s typical for many health care professions to complete course work, then do field work with patients or clients to complete full certification. Our process mirrors what is familiar in many hospitals and health care systems.

Post Partum Training FAQs

With candidates living in different areas, we wanted to make sure we could boost everyone equally in building their business. We believe in our candidates and want to use our resources on your behalf. With our help, you can get started immediately after your training. We offer:

  • Your Foundations of Doula Practice course covers multiple ways to find your target market, client relationship skill building, and social media marketing
  • For one year, you have your own small group web page, featuring only your group member’s contact information AND three short bullet points about what makes each of YOU special. It will also include material on why your training and qualifications make YOU the better choice.  This is useful as your first web page and establishing your legitimacy as a provisionally certified DTD Postpartum Doula.
  • Listing in our searchable DTD Doula Directory
  • We will promote you as an individual postpartum doula on our social media accounts including your photo and location

We firmly believe your target market is out there and waiting to hire you. You just need to help them find you!

Continuing Education for Medical Professionals FAQs

In my twenty years of training nurses in labor support skills, all of the nurses have said they learned new meaningful concepts. The trainings changed how they approached laboring patients, how they viewed childbirth, and gave them strategies to use that they did not know about before. My approach is from a interpersonal neurobiology perspective, and to understand how the laboring brain actually functions and what that laboring brain’s priorities are. From there, we examine what strategies enhance the brain’s inborn functioning, and what practices inhibit it. This approach is often unique and memorable. We do cover positioning and comfort measures that evolved from physical therapy and midwifery practice, which historically are separate from nursing education.

No nurse comes into the workshop knowing nothing! However, all have said they didn’t realize how much more there was to learn. Another gift of the workshop is that your staff increases their communication with one another, shares their successes and failures in certain situations, and creates stronger bonds. There is plenty of time for sharing and interaction built into the workshop. Many nurses say that being around people who believe in women’s bodies and their ability to birth their babies was inspiring and renewing.

Yes. Dr. Gilliland is licensed by the California Board of Nursing as a continuing education provider, #16959. Depending on it’s length, the Adding To Your Labor Support Toolbox workshop offers 4 or 5 CEs. Any Birth Doula Training taught by Dr. Gilliland is worth 28 nursing CE’s when the pretest and other online preparation tasks are completed.

Yes, however that would not be a full doula training workshop. There are advantages to three days: multiple exposures to new strategies builds confidence and more willingness to apply what has been learned with patients. There is something significant about having two sleep periods; the brain processes and retains the material more effectively because of the third day. After all, you want your staff to use what they’ve learned and support one another in doing so. You are making an investment in them and want to maximize their chances of success. The third day does that.

If you really only have two days, we can work together to meet your objectives.

The business and marketing sections of the course are separate online self paced courses. They are not included in the in person curriculum. Our certification process is simple and easy for nurses to accomplish, and only needs a few minutes to cover fully.

Some people read the popular book The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin, PT, then introduce themselves at a friend’s birth as the laboring person’s “doula”. These people might be “doulaing” their friend, but they are not trained. They may behave in ways that a professional doula would never do, but because of the casual use of the word, they cause damage our reputations. Another possibility is that the doula has taken a training but for their own reasons, has decided not to follow the doula’s standards of practice.

The behaviors that nurses, medical care providers, and professional doulas find most irritating are: speaking on behalf of the mother, openly criticizing medical care or staff, giving medical advice, telling the mother what to do, and having a resentful or suspicious attitude. I want to assure you that these behaviors are not condoned or conducted by professional doulas, who desire respectful and collegial relationships with nursing staff and medical care providers.

Professional doulas consider this to be as much of a problem as you do. It may be helpful when a doula introduces herself, and is not wearing a nametag or certification badge, to ask: “Oh great! Where did you take your training?” If the person is not trained, this question will easily allow the nurse to put the support person into the ‘friend’ category. If the doula has taken a training, this can lead into a conversation about her experience, relationship with the laboring family, and so forth. Doulas prove themselves through their professional conduct and keeping the focus on the laboring person and their partner.

Recertification FAQs

Recertification happens on the second and fourth anniversaries of your initial certification. Then you are certified for life.

  • June 2022: achieve initial certification (good for two years)
  • June 2024: recertify; (good for two years)
  • June 2026: recertify and receive lifetime certification (no more fees)
  1. Update us on your accomplishments and current feelings about birth work – no more than one to two pages.
  2. Obtain 16 CEs on topics related to birth doula work anytime in the two-year period. Show by submitting a certificate of attendance with your name on it.
  3. Submit two to three birth stories and “Reflection After A Birth” sheets for the review committee to read.


If you didn’t attend any births, but you or your intimate life partner had a pregnancy, you can share with us how that experience changed how you see labor support.


If you didn’t attend any births, you may substitute three intentional conversations you had with people about their births. Summarize for us what you learned from listening to each person.

  1. Pay the fee.

The cost is $100.00. $30.00 pays for the online directory listing for two years; the rest goes to your packet reader. If you don’t want to be in the directory, we will put your funds towards the scholarship program.

You receive:

  • Your renewal certificate, written and electronic
  • Letter from your packet reader
  • More DTD swag – because it’s fun!

The goal of our program is to cement the good habits that will take you from the Novice and Advanced Beginner stages of doula skill to a Seasoned doula and beyond. Those habits are continuing education, immersive experience, and listening and reflection. In those five years, we ask you to document and continue to develop those skills and positive habits. Then we feel our job in shaping you is complete and we welcome you to Lifetime Certification.