Postpartum Doula Certification Programs

Becoming a certified postpartum doula, or CPD, is a fantastic way of advancing your postpartum doula training and receiving practical, hands-on experience.

Neither a college degree nor a certification is required, however, many doulas get certified in order to acquire more skills, gain exposure to different viewpoints, and to make professional contacts.

Postpartum doula certification programs will train you through skill development workshop, coursework, engaging in discussions, and reading training literature.  The feedback that you will receive from engaging in real life support situations is invaluable to helping you become a better postpartum doula.

Is a Postpartum Doula Certification Right For You?

Although, being certified is definitely beneficial to your career, a certification is not required to practice and not all postpartum doulas are certified.  There are several important factors to consider while deciding whether or not to pursue a certification.

First, getting a certification is fairly expensive.  Enrolling in workshops and classes, purchasing books, get getting renewing your recertification can often times cost $500 or more.  Second, if you lead a busy lifestyle and have a family to take care of, commuting to workshops and completing the administrative duties of getting certified can take up a lot of your valuable time.  There are ways to gain real world experience as a postpartum doula without having to spend money.  There are volunteer programs available to train potential doulas in postpartum situations.

Keep these factors in mind and discuss these issues with your family to see if a certification is the right choice for you.

Topics Taught in a Postpartum Doula Certification Program

Postpartum doula certification programs provide training on a wide range of topics which will enable you to become a better coach, support giver, and businesswoman.  The course material and workshops will cover all aspects of caregiving to the mother, her newborn, and her family. Completing the program will better prepare you for the professional world as a postpartum doula.

Below are typical postpartum doula topics will be taught in a certification program:

  • How to engage and communicate with the mother and family to understand their needs and values
  • How to provide evidence-based care and education in a non-judgmental and non-biased fashion
  • Learn how to provide emotional and physical support to the mother in the process of healing and stress relief
  • Provide education on how to increase the chance of successful breastfeeding and common challenges that can potential occur
  • Learn how to give newborn care in the form of proper diapering, bathing, and swaddling
  • Newborn safety issues concerning food, toys, and clothing
  • Understand a newborns sleeping patterns
  • Empowering the mother and/or father to become a self-confident parents 
  • Gain the knowledge to know when and where to refer to medical professionals who are qualified to perform medical diagnosis

List of Postpartum Doula Certification Programs

DONA International

DONA, Doulas of North America, has one of the largest postpartum doula certification programs in the world.  The certification is recognized in North America and abroad.  Click here to learn more about how to become a certified DONA postpartum doula..


CAPPA, Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association, offers a curriculum to become a certified postpartum doula.  Like a DONA certification, a CAPPA certification is also recognized in the US and internationally.  Click here to learn more how to become a certified CAPPA postpartum doula..

Birth Arts International
Brith Arts International has both online and distance learning options for postpartum doula certifiication, providing flexible training to suit your needs.  Click here to learn more how to become a certified Birth Arts International postpartum doula..