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 intakes:
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.
We recommend a time commitment of a minimum of 5 hours per week for online course work, as well as reading, assignments, etc. Your instructor will advise you in advance of assignment due dates.
The physical aspects of the program are related to the practicum components and require additional time over and above the minimum 5 hours a week. Practicum components consist of doing research, securing volunteer experience and attending births in your area.
Important Note: Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, the Birth Attendance portion of the practicum is currently being replaced with alternative practicum projects, in order to comply with safe social distancing protocols. Registered participants will be notified with updates as they occur.
View or download our Birth Doula Course Overview
View or download our Birth Doula Frequently Asked Questions
Most birth doulas are self-employed, allowing you to support the number of clients that works best for you.
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.
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.
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 needs to be completed in order to receive 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: (A. Two Birth Attendance) OR (B. One Birth Attendance + 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. Practicum 2 is meant to provide the hands-on experience necessary for starting a career as a Doula.
A. Two Birth Attendance Only
The documentation from health care professionals and the birthing family can assist the student in determining their strengths, along with providing feedback on areas where skill building may be necessary.
Students will attend two births and receive two completed evaluations for each birth. One must be from the birthing family and the second must be from a birth professional (e.g. Doctor, Nurse, Midwife, Mentor Doula).
The student will also write a birth summary on their involvement for each birth.
B. One Birth Attendance + Community Research
This Practicum option involves the attendance and documentation of one birth as well as 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 attend 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) in order 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.
To earn your Continuing Education Doula Certificate, you must complete all of the following:
Please complete the Birth Doula Application for Registration Form and send the completed form to the Kimberley campus.
Participants must be comfortable with using computers, email, and internet. Instructions on how to access the course are provided to all registrants prior to each module starting. Online technical support is also available during the program.
A required reading list will be available online at the start of the Birth Doula Studies Program. Most books can be borrowed through your local library.
Applicants are contacted regarding payment method options after their application form has been reviewed and accepted for registration.
College of the Rockies offers a number of Continuing Education face-to-face and online programs such as the online Birth Doula Studies Program that may have a specific refund policy in place, in addition to minimum enrolment requirements, in order to run the programs.
Registration and/or payment deadlines are set in order to review enrollment for that purpose as well as for giving the program instructor time to prepare for the programs that are running. If the minimum enrollment has been met on or before the deadline (and if the program is not full), the registration period may stay open until the program starts.
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.
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.
Note: This policy is current at the time of web posting, but is subject to change.
View or download Birth Doula Refund Policy
Explore the links and resources below to obtain more information related to doula training and careers!
Certificate of Achievement
Categories: Health & Human Services, Continuing Education Program
Interests: Work With My Hands, Care for Others, Start or Run Your Own Business, Teach Others, Not Have a Desk Job