How to Become a Postpartum Doula

If you love taking care of newborns and assisting a new mother as she turns into a wonderful parent, then consider a career as a postpartum doula.

It’s not hard to get started.  Keep reading for some of the most common career choices that you will want to keep in mind as you pursue your goals.  Think about your values and your passions and how they would fit into your training as a postpartum doula.

Birth Doulas Transition to Become Postpartum Doulas

Birth or labor doulas serve their clients during her late pregnancy, labor, and childbirth.  It is natural for most birth doulas to continue serving their clients as they recover from birth and began their journey as a parent.  This transition from a birth doula to a postpartum doula is easy because the mother and doula have developed a relationship filled with companionship and communication.  If you are training to become a postpartum doula, then consider being a birth doula as well.

How to Become a Certified Postpartum Doula

Certification can come with many benefits and is a great feature to add to your resume.  However, getting certified takes both time and money and is not necessarily the best path for every single postpartum doula.  Keep in mind that you are not required to have a bachelor’s degree or a certification to become a postpartum doula and experienced doulas without a certification can do a great job.  Most uncertified postpartum doulas gain experience through providing support through a volunteer or low-fee basis.

If you do decide to receive further training to get certified, then you must enroll and complete the curriculum in one of the many postpartum doula certification programs.  These programs provide training in the form of workshops, classes, and reading material.  Most programs also require attending to a mother and her baby in her postpartum period in order to gain real world experience.

How Long Does It Take to Get Certified as a Postpartum Doula

To become a certified postpartum doula, she needs to complete the requirements of the certification granting program.  These requirements involve reading training literature, supporting support to families with newborns, and attending training workshops and classes.

Different training programs have different requirements.  As an example, let’s look at the time it takes to fulfill the requirements from DONA International:

  • Attending a Breastfeeding class takes 3 hours.
  • Attending a DONA approved postpartum doula workshop takes 2 to 3 days.
  • Viewing a doula business webinar online takes 1 day.
  • Providing postpartum doula support to 3 families with newborns can take several months depending on how quickly you can schedule your clients as well as how long each client requires support
  • Reading postpartum doula training books typically takes an hour a day.
  • Writing an essay on postpartum support takes a few hours.
  • Compiling a list of support practitioners and local resources takes 4 to 5 days.
  • Obtaining written references from healthcare professional and written feedback from mothers you have supported takes can take a few days depending on how quickly your references respond.

The process of becoming a certified postpartum doula can take up to several months to half a year to finish,  The time frame is different for every doula-in-training because of many factors such as family life, the pace of learning, and how quickly you can find clients.