Birth Doula Training and Certification

About Birth Doula Training

Childbirth International’s accredited online birth doula training and certification will cover everything you need to have the confidence and skills to accompany parents on the exciting journey of pregnancy and birth. Your training program includes four modules: Communication Skills; Physiology of Pregnancy, Birth, and Postpartum; Being a Birth Doula; Building Your Business. You will have the flexibility to study whenever or wherever you want with the online student website or choose a printed set of paper course manuals which will make a valuable addition to your library. We are excited to join you on your path to becoming a birth doula!

Becoming a birth doula is so much more than encouraging words during labor. Most of the hard work is done well before labor ever starts! Choosing the right caregiver, preparing physically and emotionally for the arrival of a baby, dealing with unexpected events – all of these are things that a birth doula can help with. We make sure you have strong knowledge in all these areas and more. With ongoing support and guidance from your trainer together with a strong emphasis on evidence-based practice, you’ll be able to provide the very best support to your clients.

As part of your birth doula training program, you’ll have access to a worldwide network of other birth doulas and trainers. Whether you need tips on finding clients, how to help a specific client problem, or ideas for balancing your work and personal life, you’ll find support and guidance. This support will continue even after you finish your training!

Want to see how CBI compares to other birth doula training organizations?
USA comparison chart
UK comparison chart
Australian comparison chart

Join our Facebook group to learn more about options for Birth Doula training and certification: Becoming a Doula 

If you are unhappy with your course in any way, you can cancel within 48 hours of purchase and receive a full refund (less a $50 administration fee). You can read our refund policy for full details.

Certification Requirements

  • Two reflective practice assignments
  • Physiology exams (online, open-book)
  • Birth reflections for two clients (no need for a care provider and client evaluation)
  • Birth services survey
  • Reflections on two readings or videos
  • Evaluation of each module

Pricing

FIVE PAYMENTS

US$155/month

  • Five easy payments
  • Immediate course access
  • Printed manuals at end of the plan
  • Admin fee ($10/month)

ONE PAYMENT

US$725

  • One single payment
  • Immediate course access
  • Printed manuals sent immediately
  • No admin fee

RECOMMENDED

GO GREEN!

US$680 or $146/month

  • One or five payments
  • Immediate course access
  • Work online/offline
  • Gentle on the planet!

Read the payment plan terms and conditions

Topics in Your Birth Doula Training

Choosing birth doula training with Childbirth International means having access to dedicated trainer support throughout your course, the latest evidence on pregnancy and birth, and the most comprehensive training manuals available. This is not simply a program that teaches you a few hands-on skills over a weekend and then leaves you on your own to learn the essentials of supporting a client. We cover four subject areas in the Birth Doula training program: Communication Skills; Pregnancy, Birth and Early Postpartum Physiology; Becoming a Birth Doula; Building Your Business.

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 and one that we believe is essential in a birth doula training program.

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 assignment that will be reviewed by your trainer who’ll provide feedback and assessment.

Topics in Communication

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

Pregnancy, Birth, and Early Postpartum Physiology

Understanding the normal physiology of pregnancy, labor, birth and the early postpartum period provides you with the knowledge you will need for working with pregnant clients. A strong understanding of physiology is an essential part of your birth doula training. The physiology module begins with the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and stages of fetal development. Next, you will explore the normal processes during labor and birth and the early postpartum period.

Understanding normal physiology in pregnancy and birth, together with knowing the evidence that relates to common interventions, is essential knowledge for all birth doulas!

Once you have a strong understanding of normal physiology, you will dig deeper into the concepts of active and expectant management of labor, and common routine interventions. You will consider the importance of nutrition, exercise, and the risks of nutrition-related illnesses. We will explore the concept of pain during labor, its physiological purpose, and options available for pain relief.

With up to one-third (and sometimes more!) of people having cesareans, it is important to understand the process of cesarean birth, ways to minimize the risk of a cesarean and the issues related to vaginal birth after a cesarean (VBAC).

As a birth doula, you’ll be supporting clients in the first few weeks after birth. In order to prepare for this, you will develop an understanding of lactation and discover tips for helping with the more common feeding problems. Finally, you’ll look at prenatal testing and screening, and the ethical issues related to this.

Topics in Physiology

  • physiology of pregnancy
  • physiology of labor
  • postpartum period
  • nutrition and exercise
  • pain in labor
  • management of labor
  • routine procedures during labor
  • cesarean and VBAC
  • introduction to lactation
  • prenatal testing and screening

Becoming a Birth Doula

In this module, you’ll explore the role of a birth doula and the benefits to the family of support at this time. Every birth doula training needs to cover the stresses you might confront, and how these can be managed. You will learn all the steps to getting started as a birth doula and the equipment, forms, and handouts that can help you on your journey.

Birth doulas have the privilege of sharing a very special time with a family. This privilege comes with unparalleled rewards, but can sometimes include challenges!

You’ll look at your responsibilities at the different stages of working with a client – before the birth when you are working together to help them prepare, during labor, and the early postpartum period. Equally important, this module will help you manage your first client interviews and dealing with the stress of being on call.

Because your clients will sometimes have challenges, you’ll learn the different strategies to help during these. In particular, supporting clients during and after a cesarean, when a client chooses an epidural, birthing without the support of a partner, or giving a baby up for adoption.

Finally, you’ll consider different ways that you can establish yourself in a community and how to build peer relationships that help you find clients. The introduction to complementary therapies will provide you with a basic understanding of a range of therapies clients might use. This module guides you through all the steps for how to become a birth doula!

Topics in Becoming a Birth Doula

  • getting started as a doula
  • working with a client prenatally, including birth plans and debriefing
  • working with a client during labor – positioning, hands-on skills, complementary therapies
  • adapting your role in homebirths, cesareans, and epidurals
  • challenging births such as posterior, precipitate, and unexpected outcomes
  • working with a client postpartum
  • supporting clients in crisis
  • equipment, supplies, and documentation
  • alternative ways of working

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.

Birth doulas can, and do, have successful businesses that support them and their families. But to achieve that, developing business skills is essential. We want you to succeed, not just in your training, but in your business being sustainable, profitable, and personally satisfying!

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 Building Your Business

  • 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