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Birth and Postpartum Doula Recertification


Doulas who earn and maintain our certification are the best of the best. Not only are they well trained, but our certified and recertified doulas also have a strong sense of professionalism and integrity.

DONA International certified doulas are required to recertify every three years. DONA International doulas who have certified and recertified show that they are dedicated to keeping up with evidence-based information and trends.

Our recertification process ensures that the doula remains proficient in the field, as well as keeping their skills and knowledge base up-to-date. Throughout this page, you’ll find helpful information, as well as our downloadable forms to assist our certified doulas in maintaining a long career as a DONA International certified doula. In alignment with our green initiative, all certificates are now provided digitally. Physical certificates can be purchased for $10 in the DONA Boutique.  


It’s as easy as 1-2-3 to keep your certification status active with DONA International! Read on for details.

Continuous Membership

DONA certified doulas must maintain continuous membership with DONA International. 

When applying for recertification, a recertifying doula whose membership has lapsed no more than one (1) year may purchase the lapsed membership time and must also pay any applicable late fees and certification reinstatement fees according to the Lapsed Membership Policy.

Continuing Education

DONA certified doulas must earn a minimum amount of contact hours of continuing education approved by a recognized organization (See recertification guide/packet).  Contact hours must be earned during the three (3) year certification period.

Certified Birth Doulas: Obtain a minimum of fifteen (15) contact hours in a birth and/or parenting related field.
Postpartum Doulas: Obtain a minimum of eighteen (18) contact hours in areas relating to the perinatal or postpartum period (birth, lactation, postpartum mood disorders, etc.) or early parenting.

Submit Fees & Documentation

Doulas should submit the completed processing fee and paperwork online before the expiration of certification.

The recertification fee auto populates in the doulas member portal six months before certification expiration.  Once the fee has been paid(step one), doulas will receive instructions and a link to the online submission form(step two).  Official paperwork submitted online should include a completed DONA Application/Affidavit for Doula Recertification (Birth Application or Postpartum Application) verifying attendance at the continuing education program(s), as well as a copy of the Certificate of Attendance indicating the number of hours earned, the name of the approving organization, the topic, the date and your name. Alternative contact hours should be documented as described in the Birth Recertification Guide or Postpartum Recertification Guide. 

Approved Continuing Education 

Doulas have four pathways to gain continuing education hours.  Any combination of the below may be used.

Annual Conference and DONA International Webinars

Attend a DONA International annual conference! Attendance at the full conference (in person or virtual)satisfies the minimum number of contact hours required for recertification. Visit the DONA International annual conference page for conference details. DONA International also offers several continuing education webinars in both doula practice and doula business categories.  Visit the continuing education page for more info.

DONA Approved Continuing Education Hours

Contact hours earned through continuing education programs, workshops, and seminars approved by DONA International are approved for recertification.

Hours Offered by Approved Organizations

Hours offered by recognized organizations that provide contact hours for perinatal/child health professionals are acceptable forms of contact hours. Examples include, but are not limited to, state/provincial nursing organizations, Lamaze International, International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA) and International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE). See a full list of acceptable CE providers in the certification guide/packet: Birth Doula Recertification Guide or Postpartum Doula Recertification Guide.


Hours approved as alternatives to continuing education can make up continuing education hours.  Alternative hours include nontraditional learning and leading others (such as peer group leadership or offering educational talks for the community). Full lists of alternative education can be found in the recertification guides:  Birth Doula Recertification Guide or Postpartum Doula Recertification Guide.

DONA Document Library

The DONA International resource/document library is filled with 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. If you’re looking for a form, take a peek at the resource library! 


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