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11th Annual DONA International Conference

Build Doula Skills

Certification Overview

Birth Doula Certification

Birth Doula Cert. FAQs

Postpartum Doula Certification

Postpartum Doula Cert. FAQs

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DONA International
PO Box 626
Jasper, IN  47547
(888) 788-DONA (3662)
Fax: (812) 634-1491
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Postpartum Doula Certification FAQs

Frequently asked questions about DONA International certification and training

Whether you want DONA International certification as a Birth Doula, a Postpartum Doula or a Trainer, you will want to make sure the workshops you take are DONA approved.

1.

How would I know the workshop I am taking is DONA International-approved?

2.

Do I have to be a member of DONA International to order my Certification Packet?

3.

I have been working as a postpartum doula for years. Can I get credit for that experience and shorten the certification process?

4.

I was trained by a trainer who is now DONA approved. Can I now be grandmothered in as a postpartum doula? Do I still have to pay to attend a DONA-approved training workshop?

5.

I am certified by another organization as a postpartum doula. What do I have to do to be certified by DONA International?

6.

For the requirement of attendance at a breastfeeding course, do the classes offered by hospitals to prepare mothers to breastfeed qualify?

7.

I have attended a breastfeeding peer counselor training class. Will this meet the breastfeeding education class requirement for postpartum doula certification?

8.

Do I have to be a member of DONA International to order my postpartum doula certification packet?

9.

How long does a candidate have to complete the certification requirements?

10.

How much do the DONA International-approved postpartum doula training workshops cost?

11.

In the population I work with, breastfeeding is uncommon. Do I still need two out of three certifying experiences to be with breastfeeding mothers?

12.

Two of my clients did not have any other adult support in their lives when I provided postpartum doula services. Will they count towards certification?

13.

I did not get a release signature from one of my clients. Can I still use this postpartum support experience for certification?

14.

What are you looking for in the essays that I need to write about my postpartum support experiences?

15.

What are you looking for in the essays on the value of postpartum support?

16.

How do I verify my DONA International membership?

17.

Where should I send my completed certification packet and application fee?

18.

After I send in my completed certification packet, when will I hear from DONA International?

19.

I want to be both a birth doula and a postpartum doula. Should I become a birth doula first?

 

ANSWERS

1. How would I know the workshop I am taking is DONA International-approved?
Find DONA International-approved workshops through our online locators: Find a DONA International birth doula workshop, Find a DONA International postpartum doula workshop, Birth Doula Trainer Workshops and Postpartum Doula Trainer Workshops.

2. Do I have to be a member of DONA International to order my Certification Packet?
No, but DONA International members get a discounted rate when purchasing their packets, and you must be a member at the time you submit your packet for review.

3. I have been working as a postpartum doula for years. Can I get credit for that experience and shorten the certification process?
Everyone becomes a DONA International certified doula in the same manner. The reason we decided to certify postpartum doulas was to ensure the standardization of care within our organization. The only way to ensure to families that the letters PCD (DONA) after postpartum doulas’ names share a common knowledge base, code of ethics and standards of practice is to require postpartum doulas to be trained in the same way.

4. I was trained by a trainer who is now DONA approved. Can I now be grandmothered in as a postpartum doula? Do I still have to pay to attend a DONA-approved training workshop?
In order to achieve standardization of training and give meaning to certification, we do not grandmother in doulas on the basis of previous training. However, some DONA-approved postpartum doula trainers offer scholarships or reduced fees for people they have trained in the past. Trainers set and collect their own workshop fees. Contact your trainer and ask her about her policy.

5. I am certified by another organization as a postpartum doula. What do I have to do to be certified by DONA International?
Yes, if you can provide a copy of the certificate and an outline of the course work. Both must accompany your application for DONA International postpartum doula certification.

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6. For the requirement of attendance at a breastfeeding course, do the classes offered by hospitals to prepare mothers to breastfeed qualify?
They will meet the requirement if when you observe the class, you are not an expectant parent and if the breastfeeding classes are not for less than six hours of instruction. A letter or certificate from the instructor must accompany your application for DONA International certification.

7. I have attended a breastfeeding peer counselor training class. Will this meet the breastfeeding education class requirement for postpartum doula certification?
Yes, if you can provide a copy of the certificate and an outline of the course work. Both must accompany your application for DONA International postpartum doula certification.

8. Do I have to be a member of DONA International to order my postpartum doula certification packet?
No, however you must be a member when you submit your certification materials for review.

9. How long does a candidate have to complete the certification requirements?
When you receive your certification packet from DONA International, there is a date stamped on the inside. You have two years from that date to complete the certification process. If your packet expires, you may purchase a one-time, six-month extension for $10. After the six-month extension, if you do not complete the process, you will have to purchase another certification packet. You can request your packet either before attending a DONA International-approved workshop or after. You must complete your certification requirements within four years of attending a DONA International-approved Postpartum Doula Training Workshop.

10. How much do the DONA International-approved postpartum doula training workshops cost?
Workshops vary in cost, depending on the trainer and the expenses involved in hosting a training. Trainers set their own fees. Some fees include tuition, books, meals, etc. Contact your trainer to ask what is included.

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11. In the population I work with, breastfeeding is uncommon. Do I still need two out of three certifying experiences to be with breastfeeding mothers?
Yes. It is an important part of your education. When you do work with a breastfeeding family, you will be better able to support and educate them if you have had some experience.

12. Two of my clients did not have any other adult support in their lives when I provided postpartum doula services. Will they count towards certification?
While the work you did was extremely important, you still need to have evaluations from two partners or other adult support people for certification. Research indicates that the support received from family members has a dramatic positive impact on the postpartum period for mother and baby. It is important that a doula have experience in supporting and educating family members.

13. I did not get a release signature from one of my clients. Can I still use this postpartum support experience for certification?
To accept a postpartum support experience, we must have a signature releasing the information.

14. What are you looking for in the essays that I need to write about my postpartum support experiences?
For each experience, you must provide a written description of the experience, including the services you provided, the family’s reaction to your support and what you learned.

15. What are you looking for in the essays on the value of postpartum support?
The idea here is to help you clarify for yourself and others how you view your role as a postpartum doula. Skills and knowledge are extremely important, but so is a sense of purpose and an understanding of the essence of doula support.

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16. How do I verify my DONA International membership?
When you mail your application for certification to DONA International, you must be a current member. You can verify your membership by checking the mailing label on the latest issue of DONA International. The expiration date of your membership appears in the upper right corner of the mailing label.

17. Where should I send my completed certification packet and application fee?
Send your certification packet and application fee to:
DONA International
P.O. Box 626
Jasper, IN 47547

If you send your packet with another carrier besides the U.S. Postal Service, send it to:
DONA International
40 N. Kluemper Road
Jasper, IN 47547

*Please do not send it signature required on receipt. You may send a self-addressed, stamped postcard and we will acknowledge receipt.

18. After I send in my completed certification packet, when will I hear from DONA International?
Certification usually takes about two months.

19. I want to be both a birth doula and a postpartum doula. Should I become a birth doula first?
This is a decision that you need to make based on your own situation. You might choose one first because of the availability or location of training, or because one is more marketable than the other in your region. Another option would be to work on them at the same time. Some of the readings overlap, and if you are hired for postpartum, you might find it easier to be invited to attend the birth, and vice-versa.

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