How long it takes to become a doula

What does it take to become a doula?

Becoming a doula takes dedication, determination, and self-motivation.  The time it takes to become a doula depends on whether you choose to be a certified or non-certified doula.  A certified doula takes longer to train because she has to meet the requirements of the certification organization.

Becoming a certified doula is not required to practice as a doula.  However, getting a certification adds to your credentials and gives you an edge in the job market.  Because it takes more time to become a certified doula than a non-certified doula, take into consideration how much time you have available to train before making your decision.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Certified Birth Doula?

To become a certified birth doula, she needs to complete the requirements of the certification granting program.  These requirements involve reading training literature, attending multiple births, attending training workshops and classes, and writing essays.

As an example, let’s look at the time it takes to fulfill the requirements from DONA International:

  • Attending a Breastfeeding class takes 1 day.
  • Attending an Introduction to Childbirth class takes 1 day.
  • Attending a DONA approved birth doula workshop takes 2 to 3 days for 8 or 9 hours each day.
  • Providing birth labor services to 3 clients can take a few weeks to several months depending on how quickly you can find and schedule your clients to support them during birth
  • Reading 7 doula training books typically takes an hour a day.
  • Viewing an online seminar takes a few hours.
  • Writing an essay on birth doulas takes a few hours.
  • Compiling a list of prenatal resources available locally in your area takes 1 to 2 days.
  • Obtaining written references from healthcare professional takes can take a few days depending on how quickly your references respond.

As you can see, the process of becoming a certified doula can take up to several months to a year to complete, especially if you have a family to take care of during your training. It takes work and effort, but the rewards are well worth it when a mother thanks you for helping her through her labor and birth.

How Long is Doula Training to Become a Non-Certified Doula?

It takes much less time to be a non-certified doula because there are no formal requirements to fulfill. Typically, she reads training literature and attends births in order to gain experience.  This takes a few weeks to complete.  The career path to a non-certified doula is much more flexible and allows you to train at your own pace.