Read books from the required reading list and the DONA Position Paper.
The current reading list is found in the Birth Doula Certification Guide above. It is helpful to complete the required reading before the workshop, especially if you are new to the field, but it does not all have to be done by then. It is required to read The Birth Partner, 4th Edition by Penny Simkin before the workshop. You will sign a Statement of Completion of Required Reading which is included in your certification packet.
Childbirth Education Requirement
(Please meet this requirement prior to the workshop.)
This step is a part of your training to become a doula. In order to certify doulas, DONA needs to have documented proof that you have obtained at least a minimum level of basic knowledge regarding the childbearing year. Even if you have had children and taken a childbirth class then, DONA asks that you acquire this information from a more objective and doula-focused viewpoint. This also assures that workshop participants have this basic understanding of childbirth and have current information before attending, because the Doula Workshop focuses on advanced skills and the role of the doula.
There are three possible ways you can meet this requirement:
1) Completing an Introduction to Childbirth Education for Doulas course of at least 7 hours length that is taught by a DONA-Approved Birth Doula Trainer. It is listed on the DONA website as Intro. (You do not also have to observe a childbirth series) I offer an 8-hour course on the Day 1 of the Birth Doula Workshop, for those who need to meet this pre-requisite, and you will find a course description on the Workshop Agenda page.
2) Observing (as a non-pregnant participant) a comprehensive childbirth education series, preferably 12 hours or more of in-person instruction time taught by a certified childbirth educator, such as ICEA, Lamaze, Bradley, Birth Works, ACBE, or Hypnobabies. Try to find an evidence-based class in your area. Have the instructor sign the Childbirth Class Observation Form, which can be found here: -OR-
3) Training and active practice as a childbirth educator, midwife, or labor and delivery nurse. You will need to send proof of these in your certification packet.
Complete the Basics of Breastfeeding requirement by one of the following options:
(Note: This step does not have to be completed before the Birth Doula workshop but is recommended before attending your first experiential birth!)
1) Completion of an approved on-line lactation study program. Here is the link: Lactation Training for Doulas. I recommend the 5-CEU course for Oregon Doulas, because of the Medicaid population we are able to serve.
2) Participation in a breastfeeding class/workshop of at least 3 hours minimum taught by an IBCLC, CLE, or CLC. An observation form can be found in your certification packet or download it now. -OR-
3) Completion of lactation consultant, breastfeeding peer counselor, or community breastfeeding educator training. (Examples: La Leche League, WIC, Nursing Mother Council, etc.)
Attend a DONA approved Birth Doula Workshop of at least 16 hours in length.
This is your primary training in becoming a Birth Doula. The Birth Doula Workshop that I offer is a total of 24 hours over three days, so you will be fully ready to get started into the field. For a course outline of this workshop and fees, see the Workshop Agenda page. See the Schedule and Locations page for a training in Oregon.