DONA International


11th Annual DONA International Conference

The DONA International

History & Mission

Board & Leadership

Get Involved


for Birth Doulas

for Postpartum Doulas


for Birth Doulas

for Postpartum Doulas

Our Founders

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DONA International
35 E. Wacker Dr., Ste. 850
Chicago, IL 60601-2106
(888) 788-DONA (3662)
Local: (312) 224-2595
Fax: (312) 644-8557
Contact Us
Office Hours
Monday Friday
8:30 am 5:00 pm Central Time


DONA International’s history and mission are closely linked


DONA International began in 1992, when a small group of some of the foremost experts in childbirth decided that the time had come to promote the importance of emotional support for mothers and their partners during birth and the postpartum period. Convinced by significant evidence of the importance of doulas to a mother’s (and consequently to a family’s) wellbeing, they created an association for a relatively new group of professionals steeped in timeless tradition – doulas.

What they created is an organization that supports doulas who strive to help women and their partners to have satisfying childbirth and postpartum experiences. Doulas support childbearing families emotionally, and help them feel comfortable and nurtured. Doula care has been studied extensively in scientific trials and the results show remarkably improved physical and psychological outcomes for both mother and baby.

We would like every woman who wants a doula to have one. We also want doulas to be well prepared for their important role. Our mission is to provide training and certification opportunities for doulas of varied cultures, educational backgrounds, ethnic backgrounds and socio-economic levels. Also, we aim to educate health care providers, the public and third-party payers of the benefits of a doula’s presence during childbirth and postpartum.


The mission of DONA International is to promote high quality birth and postpartum support by setting the standard for the doula profession through evidence-based training and certification for doulas of diverse backgrounds.

Statement of Values

In alignment with our Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice, we will welcome and embrace the strengths of our differences, encourage involvement and provide equal access to opportunities and information for all members and clients.

We define diversity as individuality. This individuality may include a wide spectrum of attributes like personal style, age, race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, language, physical ability, religion, family, citizenship status, socioeconomic circumstances, education and life experiences.

Statement of Goals

  • Be the premier organization worldwide for evidence-based doula training, certification and continuing education.
  • Increase the use of doulas worldwide through the promotion and advancement of the doula profession.
  • Build and maintain a sustainable foundation for DONA International members.
  • Be a valued source of information on the benefits of doula care.


To view the Bylaws of DONA International, please click here.

Organizational Grievance Procedure

An organizational grievance is an objection lodged against the DONA International Board of Directors and/or an individual DONA International member in a leadership position, in which the Board or Leader is accused of behavior that violates DONA International's Standards of Practice and/or Code of Ethics, or which is believed to have caused harm to DONA International, its members or the general public, or which illustrates failure to fulfill duties as a Board or Leader, and which is protected by a Whistleblower Policy.

To download the Organizational Grievance Form, please click here.
To view the Whistleblower Policy, please click here.





Join DONA International Today!
Click here to become a member of the world's premier doula association.

Learn More About Doulas
Read DONA International's Position Papers on Birth and Postpartum, and other evidence-based research.

Read The DONA Doula Chronicles
See the DONA blog for research, resources and inspiration.

Photography above by:
© Connie M. Ross
Used with permission.





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