POSTPARTUM DOULA

training and certification

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 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 her birth, identify how she wants to parent her new baby and support her 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 health of the mother and baby, 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

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

One Payment: US$630 (printed manuals + online access)

Green Option: US$600 (online only – no shipping)

Five Installments: US$131 per month (printed manuals + online access) or US$125 per month (online only)

Payment plans (5 installments) include an administration fee of $5 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 3 books
  • Module evaluations

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

Five Payments

US$ 131

per month for 5 monthsPay over five easy monthly installments with online access immediately and paper manuals sent to you when the final payment is made.

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One PaymentMost Popular

$ 630

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

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Green Option

$ 600

one paymentBe gentle on the environment! Complete your course online and save money and trees! The Green Option is also available in monthly installments.

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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, Postpartum Doula Skills and Business Skills. Click on a topic area below to find out more. If you’d like to read the full syllabus, you can download the information pack.

Communication Skills

Enhance your communication skills, enabling you to build strong relationships with clients and caregivers alike. Many of you will work as doulas 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. She’ll give you 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 Communication Skills
  • effective communication
  • language and communication
  • active listening skills
  • reflective practice and debriefing
  • diversity of clients
  • evidence-based care
  • understanding research
  • grief and loss

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 care of women and babies 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 Postpartum Physiology
  • postpartum physiology of the mother
  • sexuality and relationships
  • postpartum physiology of the baby
  • infant health and health problems
  • routine postpartum procedures
  • nutrition and exercise
  • introduction to lactation

Postpartum Doula Skills

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 mother in the early weeks of parenting, and feel confident in taking care of her and her new baby. You’ll learn how to provide information that helps her 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 Postpartum Doula Skills
  • recognizing perspectives on birth and parenting
  • 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

Business of Birth

The Business of Birth provides you with everything you need to know about starting up, or growing, your business. We take away the unknown and daunting parts of running a business and help you to develop strategies that will make your business successful. Throughout the module you’ll develop a comprehensive business plan that will be easy to complete. This is an optional module and does include any assignments. If you would like business mentorship with your trainer during this module you can add the mentorship option and she will give you guidance on your business plan and website/marketing materials.

Topics in Business of Birth
  • becoming a birth and parenting professional
  • determine your own 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
Father and baby