Interior Hero

Birth Doula Certification

You want to become a birth doula! It’s such an incredible time to be helping families through their births — hospital birth, home birth and birth center families all need your support.


You have the potential to touch so many lives! It’s exciting to imagine the unique skills and gifts you’re going to bring to this amazing work.  Your journey starts by choosing a DONA Approved Birth Doula Training Workshop. These high-quality workshops all meet DONA International’s highest professional standards,  which means you’ll be learning the skills you really need to provide excellent service to every family you support.

In your birth doula training you can expect to learn not only the how to doula, but also the why we doula.  Workshops cover evidence-based information about the benefits of doula support, the history of birth, the significance of doula support to families, practical hands- on techniques, as well as the steps to begin a career as a birth doula.

Find a doula training        Read Birth Certification FAQ      

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We’ve been doing this for over 25 years, and we understand both the skills you need and what makes a great training. Our experienced trainers know what makes a training both effective and meaningful.

Our training program is a comprehensive process that includes in-class work as well as home-study.  

The Birth Doula Certification curriculum is designed to cultivate well-rounded doulas who are prepared to provide excellent doula support! Training includes: participation in a DONA approved doula workshop; supplementary text reading from our reading list, training in breastfeeding and basic childbirth education, hands-on support with clients, networking to develop a resource list for your community, business webinar training, an essay to share what you’ve learned, and written references.

What are my next steps?

Want the details?

First: Download our helpful guide for information (including fees) on the full certification process:

Download Guide


 Prefer something visual?

This infographic will give you a quick glance at the steps to certification.  Full info will be found in your certification packet. 

Download Infographic


 Ready to order your certification packet?

The certification packet will have necessary information and forms for your pathway to certification.  Packets may be purchased after attending your DONA International-approved training workshop.

Order Packet


DONA Document Library

The DONA International resource/document library is filled useful items to help you along the way.  Download forms, read recent press releases/white papers, and find links to additional member resources all in one place. Visit Resource Library

Want to read some of our birth doula certification FAQ’s?

Download Birth Certification FAQ

*Note that the resource library is not designed to replace the certification packet, but rather as a supplement.

Ready to get started?

Find your doula training workshop and get signed up:

Find a workshop

* This certification overview is for birth doula certification packets purchased AFTER October 21, 2015.

If you have already taken your training and purchased a packet BEFORE October 21, 2015, contact the professional staff in our home office for more information.

Already certified?

DONA certified doulas are required to maintain certification through attendance at approved continuing education opportunities.  Explore our continuing education pages to learn more about the requirements and opportunities for recertification.
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What’s an advanced doula?

The DONA International Advanced Doula designation honors DONA certified birth and postpartum doulas who have made major contributions to DONA International, to the doula profession, and in the maternal-child field. Visit our Advanced Doula page to meet our doulas with Advanced Doula credentials AdvCD(DONA), and AdvPCD(DONA).

How do I apply?

The advanced doula application cycle for 2018 is now closed.  Applications will be accepted during International Doula Month (May), in 2019.

“DONA International was always my first choice for training and certification.  The amount of support and mentorship I’ve been given is priceless. The organization is very well respected and reflects how I feel about being a doula.  I’m honored to have CD(DONA) behind my name.”

Nikki Knowles