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, use the Virtual Postpartum and Birth Doula Support Record Sheets and Evaluations in the “Certification Candidates” group in DONA Connect.  You will need to print the record sheets for Birth or Postpartum, fill them out with the information requested, and add the completed pages to your certification packet. Submit your completed packet and certification application.

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.

If your Certification Packet and/or Doula Training Workshop expired in 2020, 2021 OR is expiring in 2022, we are granting a one-year extension, at no extra cost, to give more time for candidates to complete the certification process.

So, what does this mean? If the certification packet or training workshop expires anytime in 2020, 2021 or 2022, you now have one additional year from the original expiration date to complete all requirements of the certification process and turn the completed packet and application for certification in for review.

Certification packet originally expired February 14, 2020 – NOW expires February 14, 2021.
Certification packet originally expires February 14, 2021 – NOW expires February 14, 2022.
Certification packet originally expires February 14, 2022 – NOW expires February 14, 2023.

Training workshop originally expired November 12, 2020 – NOW expires November 12, 2021.
Training workshop originally expires November 12, 2021 – NOW expires November 12, 2022.
Training workshop originally expires November 12, 2022 – NOW expires November 12, 2023.

Only one 1 year extension will be granted. If your 2020 COVID-19 relief extension expires in 2021, that is the expiration date, it does not again extend to 2022. The same goes for COVID-19 relief extensions that expire in 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.

Who Qualifies:
1) A person who is the holder of a current birth doula certification packet.
2) A person who has proof of the restrictive hospital policy that excludes doulas.
3) A person who has completed ALL PARTS of the birth doula certification packet EXCEPT for the birth experiences and related paperwork.
4) A person who has 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. An Instructional video is pinned to the top of the DONA Connect Certification Candidacy group to help you.

Alternate Path to Certification (Birth)

DONA International is pleased to offer an Alternative Path Birth Doula Certification process. You can pursue the Alternate Path to Certification if either of the following apply:
  • You have previously completed in-person doula training and received certification that is now expired (in-person training must be older than 4 years but not more than 8 years).
  • You have supported a minimum of 40 births as a certified birth doula, certified or experienced community-centered doula, licensed or certified or professional midwife or midwifery student, or licensed nurse.
DONA International is piloting this Alternate Path to Certification and is interested in receiving applicants who are/were:
  • DONA International doulas who’ve let their membership lapse for 4 years or more
  • Nurses with experience in the maternity ward or Labor & Delivery (current, retired, home visiting nurses, postpartum nurses, pediatric nurses, L&D nurses)
  • Midwives or midwifery student (current or retired)
  • Former certified DONA doulas who want to come back to the work and left DONA as a member in good standing
  • Current and experienced community-centered doulas seeking the support and credentials of a new organization

The Alternative Path certification packet is valid for one year from the date of purchase. It is a “move at your own pace” program, so it is possible to complete the certification before the packet expires.

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.

What do I need to do?

  • Attend a DONA approved 16-hour Birth Doula Workshop (The workshop is valid for 1 year)
  • Purchase a DONA International Alternate Path to Certification packet.
  • Read and sign the DONA International Birth Doula Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.
  • View a DONA International business webinar.
  • Develop a list of at least 45 local resources in at least 30 different categories.
  • Sign the website content release form.
  • Confirm your current DONA International membership.
  • Pay the certification application fee at
  • Fulfill the Childbirth Education requirement
  • Get a letter of reference from a person that has worked with you in a birth-related capacity.
  • Complete the required reading and statement of completion.
  • Fulfill the Lactation Education requirement.
  • Complete the Application for DONA International Alternate Path for Certification.