Last week, DONA International announced revised requirements and documentation for birth doula certification.

“As we see changes in the maternity care environment and hear from our members on what they need to succeed as professional birth support providers, it is important that we make adjustments to our criteria and processes to ensure that doulas receive the necessary training and experience to be an effective doula while continuing to uphold the high standards for the profession that the CD(DONA) designation provides.” — Sunday Tortelli, President, DONA International Board of Directors

Birth doula certification by DONA International still involves hands-on and individual study including a workshop, childbirth education, breastfeeding education, and readings. Additional options have been added to several requirements to assist doulas in obtaining the education DONA International feels is necessary for professional labor support while offering greater flexibility to members. Newly added is the requirement to view a DONA approved business themed webinar so that certifying doulas also receive important training on managing their doula practice. Committing to DONA International’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice remains as does birth support experience. Certifying doulas must still submit evaluations for three births. Under the new requirements, only two evaluations per birth are required – one from the birthing person and one from an attending healthcare provider (doctor, midwife or nurse).

The new birth doula certification requirements for DONA International are outlined here (hat tip to Melissa Harley, Southeastern US Regional Director, DONA International, for the infographic):

DONA Birth Certification (1)View a larger version of this infographic here.

An overview of the new birth doula certification requirements can be found on the DONA International website with additional links to the reading list, etc. An updated suggested timeline and associated costs for birth doula certification is available as well.

For those already pursuing birth doula certification who have a DONA International birth doula certification packet purchased before October 21, 2015, no changes are necessary. However, doulas may choose to certify using the new options for the childbirth education requirement (using the new forms) and evaluations for births attended after 10/21/15 (also using the new instructions and forms).

A comparison of the previous and new requirements (again hat tip to Melissa Harley for the infographic):

Certification Changes Comparison (1)View a larger version of this infographic here.

Refer to your certification packet or contact with questions about birth doula certification with DONA International.