doula course

Doula and Labor Support Course 101

doula course


Students taking Doula and Labor Support Course 101 will learn coping techniques and strategies to comfort and provide physical and emotional assistance to pregnant women and their families. The empowerment doulas pass onto women comes from understanding how the body transforms. This course provides foundational knowledge about pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum, breastfeeding, and newborns.

Evidence shows that doula care improves birth outcomes:

  • Reduces fear and anxiety
  • Reduces need for medication
  • Reduces needs for medical interventions
  • Reduces cesarean births
  • Increases breastfeeding
  • Increases women’s feelings of empowerment and satisfaction
  • Decreases birth trauma

Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Identify attributes of doula care that improve birth outcomes
  • Implement techniques that assist with coping during labor
  • Recognize transformative phases of childbirth
  • Assist mothers with initial breastfeeding
  • Assess state of families during postpartum and provide care
  • Write a doula business plan

Course Credit

Approved by the CA Board of Registered Nurses and Childbirth Professionals International for 18 contact hours.


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1. The Doula Profession

This module explores the field and work of doula care. It explains the history and important role of doulas in improving birth outcomes. Students will gain greater clarity about their career journey to become a doula.

2. Pregnancy

Learn about the emotional and physical transformation of pregnancy. Understand the extraordinary abilities of a woman’s body to create a human being.

3. The Labor Process

This module explains how pregnancy transitions to labor and birth. Understand the benefits of labor’s intensity often described as pain.

4. Labor Support Techniques

Birth works extraordinarily well when women are able to work with their bodies. Learn a range of skills:  Rebozo, hypnosis, breathing, massage, etc. that help facilitate coping.

5. Doula Practicals

This module helps students define their doula philosophy. Understand how to facilitate interviews as families search for a doula match. Learn how to conduct effective prenatal appointments. Figure out what’s important to have in a doula bag.

6. Medications and Interventions

An overview of the most common medications used during labor. Understand the benefits and risks to medical interventions.

7. Informed Consent and Birth Plans

This module explains the benefits and issues to avoid with birth plans. Learn strategies to help expectant families communicate effectively with their care providers.

8. Postpartum

Understand strategies to assist families after their babies are born. Become familiar with the emotional and physical changes of postpartum.

9. Breastfeeding

This module teaches how to provide breastfeeding support. Understand the range of normal. Learn strategies to help new moms overcome breastfeeding challenges.

10. Newborns

Learn the practicals of caring for a new baby. Understand newborn behaviors. Find out how to help families navigate the overload of baby advice to discover their own parenting styles.

11. Challenges

Understand how to manage unexpected and challenging situations that can occur during childbirth. Learns strategies to help families process trauma.

12. Starting a Doula Business

This module covers the steps to start a successful doula business. Learn marketing strategies. Determine how to build effective partnerships.


Practicum Options

1.) In the accelerated program a six month practicum is provided at local hospitals so students can enhance their skills by immediately using their knowledge caring for expectant families.

2.) In the standard program students provide doula support to families they meet in their communities.

Required Texts

1. The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin

2. The Nursing Mother’s Companion – 7th Edition by Kathleen Huggins

3. The Expectant Father: The Ultimate Guide for Dads-to-Be by Armin Brott

4. Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn by Penny Simkin

Course Reviews doula review

I have learned how to explain the work of a doula, which is important and sometimes hard to summarize. I’ve learned the stages of labor, tools, techniques, and things to look out for. I’ve also learned valuable insights to starting up my own business and some marketing techniques I didn’t think of! I feel prepared and like having this certification will back my experience and goals in this profession. From Andrea

After taking this workshop, I’ve really understood the role of a doula and how much worth the work they do is. It’s incredible to support someone during the most vulnerable time. As if you were family, and in the end, it creates a closer sensation of the world being united. I feel that I can apply my training and feel confident that I can help however the couple feels. I realize every experience will be different which will make them all special. I also feel blessed to have been given the knowledge to better help my fellow women in ways that all women should help each other; emotionally, mentally, physically, in rough times, in happy times, etc. This course was a delight. Thank you. Anel

From this Doula workshop I have learned ways to support a woman in birth. One of the most important tools that I have learned is that the Doula Interview is both for the Doula and the Client rather than just for the Client. I have also learned useful business techniques as it pertains to starting my Doula Business. I feel much more prepared for the task ahead. I feel more confident that I can be a good Doula. Lara

I have learned so much from this workshop from comfort measures to female anatomy to the birthing process. I have in my mind the type of Doula that I want to be. Caring, compassionate, informative and very hands on. I feel more confident in taking the training. My Mom worked in the OB/GYN and NICU units at a few hospitals when I was a child so I have always been around this type of stuff. I used to go with her to Prenatal and Breastfeeding classes that she would teach. On top of what I have learned from her by adding this course to my knowledge list, I feel very confident that I can accommodate many women’s wishes. I’m very excited! No suggestions. The course was wonderful! Melissa

I learned a lot of very valuable practical skills for supporting a birthing woman. I also learned a lot about the business of being a doula. I feel inspired to get out there and support new families! I really enjoyed this course. There are no criticisms from me. It was very convenient and full of great information! Mishka

To interact more with client.Allow client to make own decisions. Different exercises and massage that can help during Labour. Very excited! Ready to get started. All Doulas should have a refresher course. Myrtle

I have learned more about the risks of interventions during birth (I never used any, so haven’t experienced an epidural or pitocin, for example).  From this workshop I have gotten a better sense of the practical considerations of preparing to go “a-doula-ing”, like planning my calendar, what to charge, how many clients I can support per month, etc.  I also got good reminders about how to approach a client and her partner, to be more sensitive and take my time. I feel ready to get going! There aren’t any suggestions that come to my mind.  You have done a fine job. Thanks, Anne

This workshop has inspired me and taught me priceless information and tools to use in my doula practice. I look forward to using the skills I’ve obtained to participate in more healthy pregnancies and births. Meagan

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