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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


It is an exciting time to be a DONA International doula, a member of the premier doula association in the world. Women across the globe appreciate and value the experience of having a doula– a knowledgeable, experienced companion – who stays with them through labor, birth and beyond. Birth doulas offer emotional support, encouragement and wisdom throughout labor and birth. Postpartum doulas support women and families through the transformation that a new baby brings to a family.

With over 7000 birth and postpartum doula members and growing, we are the largest doula association in the world. We support doulas by providing quality training and meaningful certification. We serve mothers and families by providing access to information and research about doulas, childbirth and the postpartum experience. DONA International certification sets the bar for doula education and professional development. It indicates to families that a doula has achieved a high level of training and professionalism.

Click here to contact your Regional Director!



September 18-21, 2014
Kansas City Marriott Downtown
Kansas City, MO

Please click here for details.


Read and Follow The DONA Doula Chronicles

The DONA Doula Chronicles is a blog that seeks to inform, educate, inspire and build awareness of the broad scope of birth and postpartum related issues. The primary goal is to enhance the knowledge, resources and practices of birth and postpartum professionals with posts on business and marketing tips, research, interviews and much more.


*Third Party Reimbursement Update*

By Tammy Ryan
DONA International Third Party Reimbursement Coordinator

With the growing and ever-changing interest in and information regarding reimbursement of doula fees through state Medicaid and expanding public/private partnerships in the United States, DONA International will be updating our policies and the information found in the Third Party Reimbursement Packet. Thus, the Packet will no longer be available on the web site during this revision and update. The CPT code currently recommended in the Packet for use by birth doulas is not a doula code but a midwifery code. Some doulas who have used this code experienced problems with insurance companies. DONA International wishes to spare our members from any negative repercussions and is, therefore, no longer promoting the code. Additionally, the code currently suggested in the Packet for use by postpartum doulas is non-specific and no longer recommended.

As soon as there is a code that is designated just for birth and postpartum doulas, we will release a revised Third Party Reimbursement Packet. In the meantime, DONA International advises our members not to submit third party reimbursement claims. We ask for your patience as there are many exciting opportunities in progress at the state and federal levels. We are committed to bringing you the most up-to-date information for your doula practice.


John H. Kennell, MD
DONA International Founder
1922 – 2013

It is with great sorrow that we share the news of the August 27, 2013 death of one of our beloved founders, John H. Kennell, MD. A pediatrician, Dr. Kennell and his colleague, neonatologist Dr. Marshall Klaus, conducted the earliest controlled trials examining the effects of continuous support on labor outcomes. They noted impressive results.

In 1992, Drs. Kennell and Klaus, Phyllis Klaus, Penny Simkin and Annie Kennedy founded Doulas of North America (now DONA International) to train and certify labor support companions. His famous quote about doulas has inspired families and birth advocates worldwide: “If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it.” (1998)

Dr. Kennell is renowned as an expert on bonding and attachment. He is the co-author of many respected books, including The Doula Book and Bonding: Building the Foundations of Secure Attachment and Independence. Dr. Kennell is remembered not just for his key role in founding DONA International but also for his humility, grace and tenderness.

He is a featured speaker on the DONA International video, Essential Ingredient: Doula, where he shares his great respect for the doula’s role in establishing a strong foundation for mothers and babies.

Our hearts go out to Dr. Kennell’s family, especially his wife Peggy. The family has asked that if desired, donations in his name be directed to DONA International to support our mission and the vision of Dr. Kennell and all of our founders. Please note that donations are not tax deductible. Mail your donation to DONA International, 35 East Wacker Drive, Suite 850, Chicago, IL 60601. Please be sure to indicate that this is a donation in memory of Dr. Kennell.

Rest in peace, Dr. Kennell. Thank you for all of the gifts you offered up to the world. Our lives are transformed because of you.


Doula Spirit Photo Contest, May 2014

In celebration of International Doula Month, we will honor our members, their doula spirit and the contribution they provide to mother/baby care by illustrating the birth or postpartum doula’s story through photos, videos and essays. See the attached contest submission requirements.


Order Your DONA International Branded Apparel & Gifts

DONA International is pleased to announce that it has partnered with CafePress to offer DONA International branded and 20th Birthday Celebration clothing, jewelry, and other special items. Check out the new items by clicking here.


Check out this FREE sample of the International doula, our quarterly publication for members.

Volunteer for DONA International
Click here for information on open position on the Board of Directors and various committees.











If you haven't been able to join us for the 11th through 18th DONA International annual conferences, or if you would just like to relive moments, you can purchase CDs of the general and concurrent sessions. Buy one or all of them and learn from the best. Refresh and renew yourself with great new information.

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

Learn How to Become a Doula
Through evidence-based research,
DONA International Certification can quickly help you develop both birth and postpartum skills. Learn more...

The Essential Ingredient: DOULA
The Essential Ingredient: DOULA is a documentary produced by DONA International in 2010 featuring commentary by all of DONA International's esteemed founders and some of its celebrated past presidents speaking on the origin and rationale of doula support. Their words are complemented by inspiring visuals of treasured birth and postpartum moments courtesy of Jodie Myers / MyBirthMovie. You are encouraged to use this documentary in your practice. Embed it on your web site and share it with potential clients and professional. You can view this documentary now* on-line on Vimeo and YouTube.
*Please be advised that you may not edit or cut the video or remix portions of it for other projects.

The Essential Ingredient: Doula

Browse the DONA Boutique

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

Photography above by:
© Sandra Vander Schaaf Photography
Used with permission.





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