DONA International


11th Annual DONA International Conference

Build Doula Skills

Certification Overview

Birth Doula Certification

Birth Doula Cert. FAQs

Postpartum Doula Certification

Postpartum Doula Cert. FAQs

Find a Doula Workshop


Birth Doula Recertification

Postpartum Doula Recertification


Birth Doula Trainer

Postpartum Doula Trainer

Continuing Education

International Conference

Get Involved

DONA International
PO Box 626
Jasper, IN  47547
(888) 788-DONA (3662)
Fax: (812) 634-1491
Contact Us


Birth Doula Certification

Become a Birth Doula

When you become a certified birth doula, you gain a respected credential. DONA International certification means that you have met a high international standard, ensuring expectant parents and their medical team that you will adhere to the highest standards of conduct and ethics. It means you are trained to support a woman emotionally, as well as educated to help her determine the services and information that she needs during labor and childbirth.

To become a DONA International certified birth doula:


Verify that you are a current member of DONA International. Join now.


Read five books from the required reading list and the DONA International Birth Doula Position Paper.


Complete one of the following:
A. Training in Childbirth Education or Midwifery
B. Work experience in Labor and Delivery as a Registered Nurse
C. Observation of a Childbirth Preparation series (not as an expectant parent)


Purchase a birth doula certification packet.


Find, register and attend a DONA International-approved workshop of 16 hours or more for birth doulas.


Provide doula service to a minimum of three clients after taking the training course. The births documented must meet the following criteria:

  • They occur after you attend a DONA International-approved workshop of 16 hours or more. Labor support must begin before or at the onset of the active phase of labor. For certification purposes, active labor will be considered 4 centimeters.
  • The three births combined must have the doula present for a minimum of 15 hours total.
  • Your presence as the birth doula must be continuous.
  • You must remain for the birth of the baby to provide immediate postpartum support.
  • Every vaginal exam must be documented on the Birth Record Sheet’s Labor Progression Chart.
  • Cesarean births may account for only one of the three required birth experiences.


Document each of the three births for which you provide labor support with:
A. DONA International Birth Record Sheet
B. A 500-700 word account of each birth
C. Client Confidentiality Release Form


Provide good evaluations of your doula services from at least three clients, three primary care providers and three nurses or midwives.


Read and sign the DONA International Code of Ethics and the DONA International Standards of Practice.


Complete the Basic Knowledge Self-Assessment Tool


Read and sign the DONA International Code of Ethics and the DONA International Standards of Practice.

For additional information, refer to the DONA International Birth Doula Certification Kit, available at the DONA Boutique.