Certification Requirements

Frequently Asked Questions on Certification Requirements

In this section, we address some of the commonly asked questions about certification requirements and any restrictions or limitations. We are all about training without boundaries!

Do I have to be a nurse or a midwife?

We have no prerequisites for any of our courses. Being a birth and lactation professional is about using your skills to help parents have the births they desire, be the parents 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 nurse or midwife in order to be a great birth and lactation professional. 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), it doesn’t matter if you’ve never experienced a vaginal birth, or if you’ve never breast/chest fed.

Do you have an age limit for students?

Anybody can study with Childbirth International, whether they are aged 16 or 65 (or older!) We recognize that everyone has unique skills and experiences that can make them the perfect birth professional for a specific type of client. For example, in the Birth Doula field, as a younger doula you might be the perfect support for young women looking for peer support. As an older doula, you might be the perfect support for someone looking for life experience. Every birth and lactation professional has something different to offer.

Will my certification with another organization be recognized?

Your previous experience can be enormously beneficial in your training as a birth and lactation professional. Perhaps you’ve completed other doula training programs, or have been working as a birth and lactation professional for some time. You might have experience as a nurse or a midwife. Whatever your experience or previous training, it can help you to understand some of the concepts covered in your training.

If you’re certified with another organization or have experience as a birth and lactation professional, we welcome you to CBI! We have many experienced professionals who join us – some of our graduates choose CBI even after they had 20-30 years of experience! Our goal is to build on what you already know and help you to become a more knowledgeable and effective professional.

Will my local hospital recognize my training?

We’re often asked whether the training that you complete will be recognized by hospitals. If you’re self-employed and have been hired directly by your client as an independent practitioner, this doesn’t appear to be a problem anywhere in the world. If you come across a hospital that requires a specific training organization, we can provide you with written details of the training you’ve undergone with Childbirth International, indicating the depth and quality of training. To date, no Childbirth International student or graduate has been denied the opportunity to work in a hospital because their training didn’t meet hospital requirements. As the only birth and lactation training organization accredited with distinction by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, we are recognized as offering the most comprehensive courses available.

What are your certification requirements?

All students submit two communication assignments to demonstrate their proficiency in reflective practice. Your trainer will provide feedback and guidance on each assignment. Each course has a series of online physiology exams to demonstrate your knowledge of both normal and abnormal conditions. These are open-book exams.

Once you’ve worked with clients in your role, you’ll submit evaluations, completed by yourself, to outline your learning from the experience and how you will apply that to your future work. You don’t need to submit evaluations from clients or medical caregivers. We’re interested in the learning you took from the experience! Every student carries out a survey of resources in their local community.

You will also reflect on readings or videos that provides a different perspective and consider bias and how evidence is presented. We do not require set books to read because of the comprehensive course materials you will have.

Finally, the Childbirth Educator and Lactation Counselor courses have a number of smaller assignments for completing a teaching plan (Childbirth Educator) and case studies (Childbirth Educator and Lactation Counselor).

You can compare our certification requirements on the Birth Doula course with other organizations:

Do I have to keep paying to recertify or for membership?

We don’t require you to pay membership and recertification fees in order to stay certified.

We provide training – and we’re really good at it! Similar to a university program, you deserve to have your hard work acknowledged for life! We’re not going to charge you every three years to prove that you still have the knowledge and skills that you built. We also will not charge you to continue to belong to CBI – your membership is lifelong.

If you need to show recertification in order to belong to a local organization (e.g., DASC) can do so – you can submit the required documents for proof, we will review them and reissue your certificate with the recertification date. And we’ll do this for a minimum fee that just covers our costs.

How long do I have to finish?

We do not impose time limits on our courses. We recognize that you may be balancing several roles, working through your course while holding down a full-time job, or you find that life just gets in the way. Take as long as you need to complete your course!