Baby Feet

Virtual Doula Support Experiences

Many certifying doulas are able to assist clients virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic, so DONA is approving ONE virtual experience to be submitted for certification.

To take advantage of this option for postpartum support experiences, use the Virtual Postpartum Support Record Sheets and Evaluations in the “Certification Candidates” group in DONA Connect.  You will need to print the Postpartum record sheets, fill them out with the information requested, and add the completed pages to your certification packet. Submit your completed packet and certification application.

For Birth Doula Support Experiences, if you are using the pre-April 15 2023 application packet, use the Virtual Birth Doula Support Record Sheets and Evaluations as above.  If you are using application packet released April 15, 2023, simply check “virtual” on the first page of the record sheet included with your packet. 

COVID-19 Policy Exceptions

We are honored and determined to support you on your journey towards certification. The DONA International Certification team and Board of Directors recognize the challenges certifiers face completing the certification requirements during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 1-year extensions were granted for all certification packets and workshops which expired in 2020, 2021, and 2022.  

** 6-month extensions, beyond the 1-year COVID-19 relief extension, can still be purchased in the DONA Boutique at**

In the meantime, to stay connected and up-to-date on the latest Certification news, please keep your membership current.

Have additional questions? Join the conversation in the Certification Candidate Community on DONA Connect.

You can also check-in at the Certification Office Hours, held once a month. We are here to support you!


Provisional Certificate

To assist birth doulas who are currently not allowed in a hospital to offer in-person support to clients, DONA International is offering Provisional Certification for those who have completed ALL of their certification packet except their three (3) birth support experiences and related paperwork. This provisional certification may help birth doulas gain entry into the hospital to provide in-person support by providing the hospital administration with documentation that the doula is formally working towards certification with the support of an international certifying organization. This Provisional Certification, if granted, expires after 1 year.

To qualify, you must:
1) Have a current birth doula certification packet.
2) Submit proof of the restrictive hospital policy that excludes doulas.
3) Have completed ALL PARTS of the birth doula certification packet EXCEPT for the birth experiences and related paperwork.
4) Paid the application fee and DONA membership fee in full.

How the process works:
1) Complete ALL PARTS of the certification packet, except for the three qualifying birth experiences and related paperwork.
2) Provide the hospital policy that explicitly states the restriction excluding doulas.
3) Pay all of your fees using your log-in portal on the DONA website (Application Fee and Membership Fee)
4) Follow the instructions given via email after paying the application fee to further submit the certification packet online. 

Alternate Path to Birth Doula Certification 

DONA International is pleased to offer an Alternative Path Birth Doula Certification process for people who already have doula experience. 

Who qualifies?

  1. Any doula who has previously been certified with DONA International, but whose certification lapsed more than 4 years ago.
  2. Any doula who has certified with another organization AND who has attended at least 40 births as a doula.
  3. Any community-doula who trained with an organization that did not offer certification AND who has attended at least 40 births as a doula.
If you meet the stated criteria you will be eligible to APPLY for this option. A decision is made by the Certification Director.
If you do not meet the criteria, then you will need to purchase the Birth Doula Certification Packet, which is DONA’s traditional certification process.
How the process works:

For formerly DONA certified doulas:

  1. Get an alternative path application packet from the DONA Boutique
  2. Complete a DONA approved birth doula workshop
  3. Ensure your DONA membership is current and valid for the coming year at the time of application
  4. Updated your resource and referral list with your application
  5. Show proof of 15 hours of continuing education in the last three years
  6. Pay the certification reactivation fee
  7. Apply

For all other qualified doulas:

  1. Get an alternative path application packet from the DONA Boutique
  2. Complete a DONA approved birth doula workshop
  3. Become a member of DONA International
  4. Fulfill the Childbirth Education, including the Racial Equity and Inequities, requirement
  5. Fulfil the Lactation Support Education requirement
  6. Do the required reading (2 papers and 4 books)
  7. Do a self-assessment questionnaire
  8. Complete resource and referral list
  9. Obtain letters of references from three previous birth doula clients
  10. Purchase the certification application fee
  11. Apply