© MaaHoo Studio / Stocksy United

Postpartum Doula Training and Certification

About Postpartum Doula Training

Many families find the initial weeks after the arrival of a baby challenging. They’re learning how to care for a new baby, helping siblings adjust, and trying to get some sleep! A Postpartum (Postnatal) Doula can make this transition easier. Your presence can help parents enjoy the early days with their baby and discover the techniques that work for them. Our ANCC accredited online Postpartum Doula Training and Certification program provides you with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to be there for parents in these early days.

Postpartum doula training programs often focus on physical techniques or skills that you can use during the early postpartum period. Being a postpartum doula though is much more than simply making healthy family meals, or caring for an older child. Parents are trying to make decisions about where their baby will sleep, which vaccinations to choose, how to calm a crying baby, and learning how to breastfeed. All of these are things that a postpartum doula can help with. At CBI we make sure you have a thorough grounding in these areas and more.

As a student you’ll develop strong communication skills, learning the important skills of reflective practice, and active and effective listening. You’ll learn techniques for helping a client debrief their birth, identify how they want to parent their new baby and support them through any difficult decisions. You’ll cover basic first aid measures, healthy meal planning, recognition of home safety, and tips on household tasks. In the physiology module, you’ll look at maternal and infant health, nutrition, sexuality and relationships in the postpartum period. You’ll also cover all the business aspects – how to build your client base, paperwork, forms and legal issues, advertising and promoting your business.

Certification: Certified Postpartum Doula (CPD)

Duration: 4-7 months

Time Limit: None

Delivery: Online

Cost: From $620 or 5 payments of $134

Refunds: Full refund within 2 days, less administration fee ($50)

One Payment: US$660 (printed manuals + online access)

Green Option: US$620 (online only – no shipping)

Five Installments: US$142 per month (printed manuals + online access) or US$134 per month (online only)

Payment plans (5 installments) include an administration fee of $10 per month.

If you choose the payment plan and the printed manual option, you will have immediate access to the course manuals on the student website and your paper manuals will be sent to you when the final payment is made.

  • Reflective Practice Assignment
  • Physiology exams (online, open book)
  • Postpartum support evaluations for 2 clients
  • Postpartum services survey
  • Book reviews for 2 books
  • Module evaluations

Five Payments

US$ 142

per month for 5 monthsPay over five easy monthly installments with online access immediately and your paper manuals will be sent to you when the final payment is made. Monthly payments include an admin fee of $10.

Add to cart

One PaymentMost Popular

$ 660

Single PaymentPay one single payment and receive your paper manuals as well as online access through the student website.

Add to cart

Green Option

$ 620

one paymentBe gentle on the environment! Complete your course online and save money and trees! The Green Option is also available in monthly installments for $136 per month for 5 months.

Add to cart

Course Syllabus

No other postpartum doula course covers the same depth of topics as you’ll cover with Childbirth International. In addition to the skills required as a Postpartum Doula, we also focus on strengthening your knowledge base of newborn care, parenting issues, developing communication skills, and building or growing your business.

During your training you’ll cover four main topic areas:

  • Communication Skills
  • Postpartum Physiology
  • Being a Postpartum Doula
  • Building Your Business

Take a look at the topics below that are covered in your postpartum doula training. If you prefer to read it later you can download the syllabus.

Communication Skills

Enhancing your communication skills enables you to build strong relationships with clients and caregivers alike. Many of you will work in challenging environments. During the course, you’ll explore these challenges and develop skills in building relationships with caregivers, without compromising your professionalism or your client’s wishes.

At the heart of every CBI training and certification program is reflective practice. But what exactly is “reflective practice”?

At its simplest, reflective practice is looking at what you’ve done, or didn’t do, and reflecting on it. In relation to CBI training, though, it’s so much more. Reflective practice is about examining choices and decisions, considering them from different perspectives, thinking about alternatives, learning from them, and then applying that learning to your work. It demonstrates best practice in continuing education, increases confidence and professionalism. It’s an incredibly valuable skill that you can pass on to your clients and help them to assimilate their experiences.

All CBI training programs have an ongoing reflective practice focus. In every assignment you submit, this will be evaluated by your trainer, providing you with feedback on this aspect and help you to see your own growth in this area. You’ll be encouraged to reflect on the language you use, your participation in discussions and how you approach every aspect of your work.

At the end of this module, you’ll write a reflective essay that will be reviewed by your trainer who’ll provide feedback and assessment.

Topics in this module

  • effective communication
  • language and communication
  • active listening skills
  • reflective practice and debriefing
  • diversity & cultural humility
  • evidence-based care and informed choice
  • grief and loss
  • professional practice
  • perspective and recognition

Being a Postpartum Doula

Develop your hands-on skills as a Postpartum Doula, enabling you to provide the best care possible, and identify strategies for establishing and developing your business. You’ll learn how to support a new parent in the early weeks, and feel confident in taking care of themselves and their new baby. You’ll learn how to provide information that helps them to overcome any problems and make those first few weeks joyful. During this module, you’ll submit reviews of three books, a survey, reflection on your experience as a postpartum doula, and a reflective evaluation of this module. These will all be reviewed and assessed by your trainer.

Topics in this module

  • meal planning and preparation
  • household tasks
  • home safety
  • first aid measures
  • postpartum education
  • debriefing the birth
  • supporting clients parenting
  • cultural practices
  • breastfeeding support
  • newborn care
  • caring for multiples and infants with special needs
  • supporting parents during hospitalization

Postpartum Physiology

Gain a thorough understanding of the anatomy and physiology of the postpartum period. All student materials are focused on evidence-based care. Evidence-based means the maternal and infant care that is based on sound research. The opinions and thoughts of experts on pregnancy and birth are referred to throughout your student manuals – it’s important to hear the views of others in the field to build your own knowledge base. At the end of this module, you’ll complete the online, open-book tests to assess your learning. You’ll also submit a reflective evaluation of this module which will be reviewed and assessed by your trainer.

Topics in this module

  • postpartum maternal physiology
  • sexuality and relationships
  • postpartum physiology of the baby
  • infant health and health problems
  • routine postpartum procedures
  • nutrition and exercise
  • introduction to lactation

Building Your Business

The Building Your Business module provides you with everything you need to know about starting up, or growing, your business. We take away the daunting aspects of running a business and help you to find strategies to get started. With this in mind, our easy step-by-step process will soon have you on track with a business plan (that you understand!) and all the documentation you need for success.

This is an optional module and does not include any assignments. However, some students prefer to have more guidance. For this reason, we offer three different mentorship options that you can choose from.

Topics in this module

  • becoming a birth and parenting professional
  • determine your personal and business goals
  • learn marketing strategies such as segmentation, targeting, and positioning
  • develop a customer profile
  • analyze your competitors
  • determine your unique selling point
  • identify ways to broaden your products and services
  • develop your brand
  • learn the basics of website design
  • develop a social media strategy
  • determine your advertising approach
  • learn how to carry out financial analysis and avoid debt
  • understand the different options for a legal business structure
  • time management and ways to deal with work stresses

I enjoyed the interactive, learning experience of using the internet and being able to access information easily, the links to other resources, the videos, the 3-D examples. It really helped the learning experience. Much of the material was familiar to me because of other training situations but none was as exciting to do. I looked forward to getting to my course for more! The practical nature of my trainer's suggestions was great. I really enjoy putting into practice ideas and skills. There were several occasions where I asked for advice and how to handle a situation, and I received helpful information that worked!

Fiona, Bermuda

I liked all of my training - from the readings to the student discussion forum; the student chats and feedback from my trainer. If I had to pick a favorite part it would be REALLY learning how to teach parents to advocate for themselves and take responsibility for their decisions. If I had only learned that one thing, I think I would have called the training successful. It is by far the most valuable tool I have in my so called 'bag of tricks'.

Jamie, Maryland, USA

I enjoyed the manuals and the organization of the course. I really liked my trainer - she is GREAT! I really felt that she was reading my work thoroughly and her feedback always was very valuable. Comments from her contributed not only to my papers, but also to my personal life. Thanks for that!

Linda, Latvia

The most enjoyable part of my postpartum training was learning so much information about pregnancy, birth, postpartum and the newborn/baby care. The number of resources available through this course are amazing. My trainer is one of the most encouraging, wise women I could have asked for. Although we haven't met in person, she treated me as if she knew me personally. Her feedback made me think about my work at a deeper level. She is such a kind woman and very good at what she does.

Lori, Hanover, Canada

I enjoyed a thorough program that allowed for adequate time to process the materials and was accepting of on-going life experiences, both past and current. I also appreciated the diversity of students from all over the world, and the opportunity to experience the wide variety of perspectives and approaches. My trainer added to my experience in many ways. She demonstrated her love for this work and shared her wisdom when asked. She encouraged questions and authentically expressed empathy for life experiences others were going through. She's dedicated to using her energy to support others in the fields of women’s health - an excellent trainer!

Margaret, Texas, USA

© Lorado / iStockphoto

Questions About Postpartum Doula Training

Is this course accredited or recognized?

Yes!! Childbirth International Training is accredited with distinction as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. We are the only doula training organization to have been accredited with distinction by the ANCC. Your final certificate will show the continuing education hours and can be used for any organization that recognizes ANCC continuing nurse education hours. Read more about our accreditation.

Do you have discounts or scholarships available??

We do not offer scholarships at this point in time. We do, however, have a number of discounts. Existing students and graduates receive a 15% discount on all subsequent courses that they purchase. If you purchase more than one course together, a discount of 15-25% is available. We offer group discounts for friends or work colleagues who register for the same course together. Our Green option allows you to reduce the cost of training by working online. In addition, we have payment plans available to enable you to pay for your course over five months.

How much can I earn as a Postpartum Doula?

There are large differences in how much postpartum doulas earn. It depends on where you live, the clients you are supporting, and the package of support that you provide. Postpartum doulas generally charge an hourly rate of between $15-$45 an hour. If you’re working overnight with a family or providing support for older siblings or twins, you might charge a higher fee.

What other costs are there for Postpartum Doula Training?

Absolutely none! We charge a single price for your training. You will have no accommodation or travel costs, no recertification or membership costs. Ever! We believe you should be able to complete your training as easily, flexible and cost-effectively as possible! Once you have earned your certification with Childbirth International it is for life!

Do you recognize my previous training?

If you’ve certified with another organization, or have experience as a birth or postpartum professional, we welcome you to CBI! We have many experienced professionals who join us – some of our graduates chose CBI even after they had 20-30 years experience! Your previous experience can be enormously beneficial in your training as a postpartum doula. Perhaps you’ve completed other postpartum doula training programs or been working as a postpartum doula for a long time. You might have experience as a nanny, nurse or a midwife. Whatever your experience or previous training, it can help you to understand some of the concepts covered in your CBI postpartum doula training. Our goal is to build on what you already know and help you to become a more knowledgeable and effective professional. While we don’t offer discounts for previous training, you won’t ever have to pay membership or recertification fees ever again once you choose Childbirth International!

Do I have to have given birth to be a postpartum doula?

Not at all! Being a postpartum doula is about using your skills to support parents in creating the families they wish to be and communicate effectively with their caregivers. The skills required to enable you to do this are covered in your training. You don’t need to have experience as a nanny, nurse or midwife in order to be a great postpartum doula. Some students have had children themselves, others haven’t. There are no prerequisites for you to study with Childbirth International. It doesn’t matter how many children you have had (or maybe you have not had any), if you’ve never experienced a vaginal birth, or if you’ve never breastfed.