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. After completing your workshop and all certification requirements, you will receive a digital certificate. Physical certificates can be purchased for $10 in the DONA Boutique.  

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 lactation, newborn feeding, 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 Descargar Guia





 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 ordered 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/position 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

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 a Community Centered Doula?

A community-centered doula (CCD) provides emotional, physical, informational, and relational support during pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period up to one year after birth in communities that are impacted by social systems that create adverse maternal health outcomes. A CCD provides culturally congruent support. 

How do Community Centered Doulas work?

Using a peer-to-peer support model, Community Centered Doulas (CCDs) help clients navigate pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period recognizing the social determinants of health that increase the risk of perinatal and infant mortality and morbidity, as well as laws, policies, and systems that negatively impact marginalized and/or under-resourced communities.

The CCD-client relationship extends well beyond that of a birth or postpartum doula, typically beginning in early pregnancy and continuing until at least one year after birth. During that time, CCDs offer emotional, physical, informational, and relational support related to childbirth education, lactation promotion, and parent education, and connect families to health-care resources and services. 

CCDs are also trained to interact and communicate with other human services, social services, and perinatal health professionals that may comprise the family’s support system.


“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