Colleges to Become a Doula: Info on How to Choose

Dec 07, 2019

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.

A few colleges offer doula certificate training programs, and students wishing to begin the practice may also find 2-day workshops, which provide the necessary education and knowledge to assist a mother with delivery, infant support and postpartum expectations. These programs may include practical experience in a volunteer capacity at an affiliated hospital or clinic.

Programs for Doulas

There are only a handful of accredited programs that offer training to become a doula. Below is a list of schools with certificate programs:

College/Universities Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Cost (2019-2020)*
Bastyr University Kenmore, Washington 4-year, private not-for-profit Certificate $689
Birthingway College of Midwifery Portland, Oregon 4-year, primarily associate's, private not-for-profit Certificate $525 (program fee)
Birthwise Midwifery School Bridgton, Maine 2-year, Private for-profit Certificate $450

Source:*School websites

School Selection Criteria

Students looking for doula training may consider the following:

  • Look for programs offering professional certification that has been accredited by the Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association (CAPPA) or Doulas of North America (DONA).
  • Students who 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 medical- or health-related degree program.

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.

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, and breastfeeding.

There are only a select number of accredited programs that offer professional certification in becoming a doula. These short programs consist of classes and may require hands-on training.

Next: View Schools

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?