Birth Doula Studies
Do you light up when you think about pregnancy, birth, babies, and new families? Would you like to make a positive difference in the life of a mother-to-be? Our Birth Doula program provides the education you need to provide support to expectant moms and their families during the birthing process.
A birth doula is a non-clinical care provider who provides information as well as physical, emotional, and often spiritual, support to a pregnant woman. Doula’s generally provide two prenatal visits, attends the birth, and provides information and support in the early postpartum period.
This program has two intakes per year.
Next program intake:
- Fall: September 20 – December 12, 2021 (plus practicum studies)
- Winter: January 31 – April 24, 2022 (plus practicum studies)
Birth Doula Studies Certificate
As a birth doula, you can work with other healthcare professionals, including doctors, midwives, holistic practitioners, and other doulas in a variety of settings. This program is offered online but provides the structure and support you need to succeed as a professional doula in your community.
To earn the Birth Doula Studies Program Certificate of Achievement (Continuing Education) you need to complete the following:
- Birth Doula Studies Online Modules 1, 2 & 3 (12 weeks)
- Practicum 1: Volunteer Hours & Book Reports (additional time during and after course modules)
- Practicum 2: Community Research Project (additional time during and after course modules)
- Practicum assignments are designed to supplement the knowledge students gain from the online course modules and may include but are not limited to: Networking in their community; Participating in workshops; Conducting interviews; Research and report writing.
A minimum of 5 hours per week is recommended for the online course modules (weekly assignments, reading, discussion posts) plus additional time as needed during and after the course modules for Practicum assignments. Your instructor will advise you in advance of assignment due dates.
Practicum assignments require additional time during and after the 12 weeks of online coursework.
Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, the Birth Attendance practicum has been removed from this program, to comply with safe social distancing protocols, and has been replaced with alternative practicum projects which can be done remotely, virtually, or online. Registered participants will be notified with updates as any changes occur.
Why Choose Birth Doula as a Career?
- Make a positive difference in the life of a mom-to-be and her family at one of their most important moments.
- Explore whether continuing on to a career in midwifery or maternity care is right for you.
Most birth doulas are self-employed, allowing you to support the number of clients that works best for you.
PVPS-261 – Module 1
A doula is a trusted birthing companion who provides information and physical, emotional, and often spiritual support to a woman before, during, and just after childbirth. As a doula, you draw upon your knowledge and experience to help provide the information necessary for your client to make informed choices throughout the birth process. This module is an introduction to the role of a doula. You learn more about yourself and how you can use this self-knowledge to support your clients. In this module, you also learn about the scope of practice of a doula, how you can best support a woman in birth within your scope of practice, and how to assist your clients during the stages of natural birth as a member of the maternity care team.
PVPS-262 – Module 2 – The Doula During Childbirth
Module 2 of the Birth Doula Certificate program furthers your understanding of how the doula helps her clients, from providing support for maternal changes during pregnancy right through to the early postpartum period. A significant and intense part of this module is focused on the development of your knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and medical terminology related to childbirth and hospital procedures. This knowledge helps you to translate or interpret medical terminology and proposed procedures for your clients so they are more able to make informed decisions for themselves. You also learn about ways in which doulas provide balance on the maternity care team during childbirth and about ways to support the new family during the immediate postpartum period.
PVPS-263 – Module 3 – The Baby, the Business and You
Module 3 of the Birth Doula Studies program furthers your understanding of how the doula supports her clients through the postpartum period. You will learn more about the newborn baby and how to support the new family. In addition, you learn how to move forward into your new role as a doula. We talk about challenges that you may face in your new professional life and how you – the caregiver – can give care to yourself. In this module, we also explore how to set up a successful doula business and how to use cost effective marketing to become known and respected within your community.
In addition to online Modules 1, 2 and 3, the following practicum assignments need to be completed to earn the Birth Doula Studies Continuing Education Certificate.
PVPS 264 – Practicum 1 (Volunteer Experience + Book Reports)
Practicum 1 is to assist students with networking in their community, enhancing their knowledge and assisting them with further community opportunities for learning.
A minimum of 20 hours of volunteer experience is required within 6 months of program start date. Resources and instructions will be posted online in the course.
Book Reports 1 & 2
Read and report on 2 books from the required reading list within 6 months of program start date. Resources and instructions will be posted online in the course.
PVPS 265 – Practicum 2: Community Research
Students may begin Practicum 2 at any time after the course commences and it will be due within one year from the program start date. This Practicum involves an in-depth community research project on Lactation or Bereavement. Both Lactation and Bereavement are specialized areas of birth and students are to seek out resources in their communities.
Lactation: Students are required to interview a Lactation Consultant or Breastfeeding Counsellor. They are to participate in a Lactation workshop and to write a research paper on what they have learned, how breastfeeding is promoted in their community, how they can incorporate more breastfeeding knowledge to new families and whether there are community groups available such as La Leche League.
Bereavement: Students are to interview a Credentialed Bereavement Doula Grief Counsellor or member of their Hospice Society (or a combination) to gain dimension into the stages of grief as it pertains to Pregnancy and Infant Loss. They will be required to research what resources are available in their community in terms of their local hospital as well as a local funeral home.
Minimum Age Requirement:
- 18 years old at the time when Practicum begins.
You should know how to use a computer and the required software for the program. You should be comfortable communicating to the instructor and other students online (using email and discussion boards). Proficient English Language skills are required along with:
- Proficient reading and writing skills
- Good communication skills
- Computer and internet skills
- A genuine desire to support childbearing families
- Comfortable discussing all aspects of childbirth
Minimum Computer Skills:
Students need to be able to use the required software required for the program and should be able to perform the following:
- Use a web browser
- Create and save documents
- Locate and upload a file
- Send and receive email
To ensure the best learning online learning experience, you will need:
- A good computer
- Good internet
- Microsoft Word
Note: Microsoft Office 365 suite of products is provided free to all registered students for the duration of the program.
(Apple products should be able to run the Microsoft Office 365 applications needed for this program, however there is no IT service support available for it. Students are responsible for getting their own software if their operating system/device doesn’t run the free programs provided.)
Please complete the Birth Doula Studies Program Application Form and send the completed form to the Kimberley campus.
Applicants are contacted regarding payment method options after their application form has been reviewed and accepted for registration.
Required Texts or Materials:
A required reading list will be provided online at the start of the program. Recommended resources and reading material should be available for free either online or through community library resources.
View or download the Birth Doula Studies Program Refund Policy
Computers and Technology Issues
It is the participant’s responsibility to ensure that they have access to the appropriate technology to complete the course. If the participant’s computer breaks down due to a virus or has internet problems, they will need to find another source to access the course. Internet cafes, libraries and some Colleges usually provide public access to computers/internet at minimal cost. Once the course is in progress, there are no refunds.
Program and Course Changes
The College of the Rockies reserves the right to make whatever changes are deemed necessary as a result of changing circumstances, including cancellation, re-scheduling or other adjustments of programs and courses.
Information and Resources
Explore the links and resources below to obtain more information related to doula training and careers!