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


Postpartum Doula Certification

Become a postpartum doula

When you become a certified postpartum doula, you gain a respected credential. DONA International certification means that you have met a high international standard, ensuring mothers and families that you will adhere to the highest standards of conduct and ethics. As a certified postpartum doula, you will be prepared to offer the families you serve evidence-based information and support on infant feeding, emotional and physical recovery from childbirth, infant soothing and coping skills for new parents. Your certification shows families that you are prepared to help them successfully transition into a new family dynamic.

To become a DONA International certified postpartum doula:


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


Purchase a DONA International Postpartum Doula Certification Packet.


Read the DONA International Position Paper “The Postpartum Doula’s Role in Maternity Care.” Link to paper.


Read books from the required reading list.


Complete one of the following before completing the postpartum experiences to be submitted for certification:

  • Added an infant to your own family within the past five years
  • Had experience as a postpartum doula (minimum of 8 hours)
  • Had experience providing care to an infant less than 10 weeks of age (minimum of 8 hours)
  • Attended an infant care or parenting class
  • Shadowed an experienced postpartum doula (minimum of 8 hours)
  • Volunteered with infants in a daycare or with a new family


Submit at least one of the following:

  • Certificate of attendance from a Lactation Consultant/ Breastfeeding counseling education or peer counseling training through La Leche League or local nursing mother’s group.
  • Proof of completion of an online study program. Lactation Education Resources offers a basic, “Complete Self-Learning Program” that is affordably priced. Learn more
  • Proof of participation in a breastfeeding workshop offered to birth and postpartum related professionals, such as those offered at conferences and by local lactation consultants (three hour minimum).


Attend a DONA International-approved Postpartum Doula training course of 30 or more hours.


You must also submit copies of good evaluations from:

  • At least three clients to whom you have provided a minimum of eight hours each of postpartum support after attending the DONA International-approved postpartum doula training. At least two of the mothers must be breastfeeding at the time you are working with her.
  • Three partners or spouses of the above clients.
  • Any healthcare professional.
    (All evaluation forms are provided in your certification packet.)


A 300-500 word account for each certifying postpartum experience, including each of the following: the doula’s role, mother’s reaction to the support she received, what the doula learned from the experience.


A 1,000 word, typewritten essay on either your goals as a postpartum doula or the value of postpartum support.


Current adult and infant CPR certification.


A complete list of local resources.


One personal and one professional reference (include name, relationsip and telephone number.


A completed self-assessment checklist.


Sign verification of completion of reading requirements.


Sign DONA Postpartum Doula Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.


Pay your Certification Application processing fee with your completed application.

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