Colleges to Become a Doula: Info on How to Choose

Most doula training programs are offered through community organizations and hospitals, though some colleges also include certificate programs for those wishing to become a doula. Professional certification for doulas is optional, but typically demonstrates knowledge, skills and competency.

How to Select a Doula School

A doula trainee will learn to offer physical and emotional support to a pregnant woman and her family before, during and after childbirth. A few colleges offer doula certificate training programs for individuals interested in entering the supportive role. Students wishing to begin the practice may also find 2-day workshops, which provide the necessary education and knowledge to assist a new mother with delivery, infant support and postpartum expectations. These programs may include practical experience in a volunteer capacity at an affiliated hospital or clinic.

Students looking for doula training may consider the following:

  • Professional certification may be beneficial, and certifying organizations include additional training in areas such as prenatal and infant massage therapy, childbirth education or high-risk pregnancy.
  • Students that wish to broaden their knowledge and obtain multiple credentials may benefit from enrolling in a college that offers doula, nutrition and counseling training within a larger midwifery program.
  • Credit obtained in a doula certificate program may transfer for those wishing to continue in a medial or health-related degree program.

Doula Program Overviews

Certificates for Birth or Labor Doulas

Workshop and training opportunities for birth and labor doulas focus on preparation for childbirth. Students learn the physical and emotional support strategies often necessary during the birthing process. Birth doulas can be responsible for relaying information to the expectant mother, as well as ensuring that the birthing experience is as pleasant as possible. Students in these programs also study topics like:

  • Pain management
  • Communication skills
  • Fetal development

Certificates for Postpartum Doulas

Assistance with breastfeeding, general housework, mood disorder management and infant care are typically the expected responsibilities of the postpartum doula. Training programs for postpartum doulas concentrate on subjects like:

  • Childbirth process
  • Hormonal levels
  • Breastfeeding

10 Programs for Doulas

Training Provider Location
Bastyr University Kenmore, Washington
Birthingway College of Midwifery Portland, Oregon
Birthwise Midwifery School Bridgton, Maine
Florida School of Traditional Midwifery Gainesville, Florida
Midwives College of Utah Salt Lake City, Utah (Distance learning only)
South Louisiana Community College Lafayette, Louisiana
Southwest Wisconsin Technical College Fennimore, Wisconsin
DONA International Nationwide
CAPPA Nationwide
Birthways, Inc. Chicago, Illinois

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