Doula training in California

In the state of California, you can operate as a doula without having a certification because there is no requirement to be certified.  Many women who are still training or have become doulas choose become certified for professional benefits, however, it is entirely voluntary within the state.  Additionally, California does not require a degree from high school or college in order to work.

The following is a list of educational resources and classes available in the California area which can be used for your doula training.  The required classes that are part of a certification curriculum will be noted in the details.  You do not have to be actively pursuing a certification in order to attend these classes.

Doula Training in Santa Cruz, CA

Organization Name: Sierra Childbirth
Instructor:  Janine Maitri
Phone:  530-446-6403

Course and Workshop Details 

This is a 1 day Introduction to Childbirth course and a 2 day birth doula training workshop.  There will be an OPTIONAL 1 day Breastfeeding for Doulas course.  The 2 courses and the workshop are all required to be certified by DONA.  The dates and times are listed below:

  • Introduction to Childbirth course: Feb 24, May 19, Aug 25, Dec 1
  • Doula training workshop: Feb 25-26, May 20-21, Aug 26-27, Dec 2-3
  • Optional Breastfeeding for Doulas course: May 22, Aug 28, Dec 4

Costs and Fees

The cost for doula training workshop with the Introduction to Childbirth course is $475.00.  There is an early registration discount of $50.

Registration Details

To download the registration form, click here.

Doula Training in San Diego, CA and Huntington Beach, CA

Organization Name:  Preparing the Parents
Phone:  619-583-1129

Course and Workshop Details and Requirements

  • 1 day Introduction to Childbirth Class (required for those seeking a DONA certification)
  • 2 day Birth Doula workshop (required for those seeking a DONA certification)

Course and Workshop Topics
The Introduction to Childbirth class will cover the following topics:

  • The different styles of birth
  • The process of labor and delivery of a baby
  • Commonly used terminology
  • Discuss various medical interventions such as cesarian sections
  • Learn breathing techniques

The interactive Birth Doula workshop will cover the following topics:

  • Discuss the benefits of a doula in her role to support both the mother and newborn
  • Engage in hands-on techniques to provide comfort
  • Identify positions for optimal positioning of the fetus
  • Discuss the boundaries and challenges of a doula’s job
  • Learn how to set up prenatal contacts with your client as well as other aspects of running your business such as marketing and contracts
  • Discuss the Code of Ethics and the certification process for DONA


Before attending the workshop, read the following books from the DONA reading list:

  • “Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn” by Penny Simkin 
  • “The Birth Partner” by Penny Simkin

Costs and Fees

The full 3 day workshop including both the Introduction to Childbirth class and the Birth Doula workshop is $425.  If you wish only to take the Birth Doula workshop alone, the cost is $375.
Registration Details

Registration and pay online through Paypal here.  Alternatively, you can mail the payment to:

Stacey Scarborough
Attn: DONA, Int. Doula Workshop
4794 Winona Ave.
San Diego, CA 92115-2004

Doula Training in Los Angeles, CA, Sacramento, CA, San Francisco, CA, and Vacaville, CA

Organization Name:  Doula Space
Phone:  707-319-9977

Course and Workshop Details and Requirements

  • 16 hour Birth doula training workshop (counts towards DONA certification)
  • Introduction to Childbirth for Doulas class (can be used to replace the 12 hour childhood series for the DONA certification requirement)
  • Doula online training course (attend a Childbirth preparation class or the Introduction of Childbirth class as a hand-on requirement to the online class)

Course and Workshop Topics
As part of your doula training, these courses will cover the following:

  • Learn relaxation and breathing techniques for labor
  • Discuss the importance of massage and touch in providing comfort and stress reduction
  • Identify various positions for labor and birth
  • Connect with nurses, midwives, and seasoned doulas
  • Learn practical hands-on skills that a doula provides to the mother
  • Online training will use online presentations, emails, online discussions, and personal training to mentor you as a doual
  • Discuss the ethics, standards, and requirements for certification


Attend a Childbirth Preparation series

Costs and Fees

Birth doula workshop – $350
Introduction to Childbirth for doulas class – $150
Introduction to Childbirth for doulas class and birth doula workshop – $500
Online doula training – $325
Registration Details

Registration and pay online through Paypal here.