Birth & Postpartum Doula Training

doula trainingSpecial Package

Invest in both the Birth Doula Workshop and the Breastfeeding Basics for Doulas classes together now and save!

Sign up for the Birth Doula Workshop and our professional Breastfeeding class and complete THREE DONA certification requirements for birth doulas in three days and one evening. NOTE: The Breastfeeding Basics for Doulas class is included in our Postpartum Doula Workshop and should not be purchased separately if you plan on taking that class.

2017 DONA Birth Doula Workshop & Breastfeeding Class Package ($580; $525 ERD)
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See also our Doula Business Builder Deluxe Training Package below.


DONA Birth Doula Workshop

With Patty Brennan

2017 Training Schedule & Fees

2017 DONA Birth Doula Workshop ($535; $485 ERD)
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Workshop Description

Join us for a professional training that blends a deep appreciation for the miraculous physiology of women’s bodies with a practical approach to the challenges of giving birth in a fear-based culture. How can we guide the birthing mother and her partner out of fear to strength and empowerment?

In this hands-on training, we will practice:

  • support techniques for normal birth
  • how to troubleshoot common challenges
  • how to best facilitate informed choices
  • centering techniques, acupressure, massage and use of the rebozo
  • comfort measures and natural approaches to pain management
  • communication and advocacy skills for navigating the medical setting effectively
  • movement & positioning to support physiologic birth

Additional topics covered:

  • the doula’s role prenatally, during labor and in the postpartum period
  • nutritional counseling and discomforts of pregnancy
  • anatomy and physiology of pregnancy, labor and birth
  • overview of the labor and birth process
  • the meaning of “support”
  • emotional needs of the mother
  • breastfeeding and the doula’s role
  • and more!

Help put an end to birth trauma … Become a doula!

Your instructor, Patty Brennan, has created this dynamic training based on her 35 years of experience as a doula, childbirth educator, homebirth midwife and doula program visionary. You do not need to be a mother yourself, nor have a medical background to become a doula — just a passion for birth and the desire to empower other mothers to have the best possible experience.

This workshop includes the pre-requisite “Intro” training and fulfills two steps toward professional birth doula certification through DONA International.

Read what past participants in this class have to say:


“This workshop was amazing! Patty is an excellent speaker and her passion for the importance of a doula really showed throughout the sessions. This was a very well organized workshop in a great facility.” — Noelle Zalar, Oregon, OH

“Thank you so much–I can’t get enough! I only wish I could take this workshop and the postpartum one over again for the first time. What an education and experience! Best $$ I ever spent.” — Kat Oshman, Ann Arbor, MI

“I took your birth doula class to help my daughter through labor…. She did fantastic, remained in full control, trying a lot of different positions and various techniques…. We tried and did many things I learned in class and I appreciated everything you taught and suggested.” — Dana Borenitsch

“I absolutely loved this experience. Worth my money and time investment. I am so thankful I undertook this venture. I feel inspired and filled with recognition of my soul’s purpose. Thank you for being here and running such an amazing workshop.” — Jess Juntunen, Hancock, MI

“Patty was such an inspiring woman to learn from as I begin this new part of my life! Her energy, enthusiasm, and passion for serving mothers and their babies (and partners!) will stay with me forever.” — Kate Louik, Ann Arbor, MI

“Great learning environment. Best class I have ever attended.” — Michaela Anderson, Adrian, MI

“As a young woman who has never experienced pregnancy or birth, the subject was a bit overwhelming at times. But your teaching style made the material so approachable, understandable, and fun.” — Mary Colleen Casey, Ypsilanti, MI

“Entire weekend was so amazing, inspiring, and informative, I never wanted it to end. I hope to take more classes with Patty in the future.” — Sarah Barrette, Grand Rapids, MI

“Unfortunately, I received my [initial] doula training from another trainer … thank goodness Patty has renewed my faith in DONA and the holistic model that it originally represented. It was well worth the extra miles to get here!” — Kristin Kelly, Traverse City, MI

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Breastfeeding Basics for Doulas

With Barbara Robertson, MA IBCLC

2017 Training Schedule & Fees

2017 Breastfeeding Basics for Doulas ($80; $65 ERD)
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doula trainingWorkshop Description

Join us for a professional workshop taught by lactation educator extraordinaire Barbara Robertson. Learn the very latest in evidence-based breastfeeding support from an expert lactation consultant and breastfeeding educator. This class will enhance the doula’s ability to assist breastfeeding mothers immediately post-birth and in the early days postpartum. Barbara’s enthusiasm for all things breastfeeding is contagious! Topics include:

  • a new look at breast anatomy and physiology
  • importance of skin-to-skin contact
  • newborn self-attachment at the breast
  • a new view of positions and latch-on
  • getting off to the best start possible
  • how to know baby is getting enough/not getting enough breastmilk
  • when to make a referral

This class fulfills a DONA International certification requirement for birth doulas. (It is included in the DONA Postpartum Doula Workshop and fulfills the pre-requisite for that class. If you are intending to take the Postpartum class, you do not need to register for this class separately.)

Read what past participants in this class have to say:


“So positive and reassuring. Practical and empowering of mothers and doulas. Wonderful!” — Ann Smith, Berkley, MI

“It was fabulous. Inspiring, informative, engaging.” — Kat Kieffer, McClure, OH

“I had the privilege of attending Barbara Robertson’s course and wow, did I enjoy it! Living two-and-a-half hours away, some might think it would make more sense to complete the breastfeeding requirement locally, but after attending your DONA Birth Doula Workshop, I knew I wanted to take the class at the Center. I really appreciated the outstanding quality of the workshops.” — Allison

“Thank you for your enlightened approach to educating doulas on breastfeeding. Your humor and energy made the subject even more interesting.” — Valerie Mangual

Loved, loved, loved it. Super informative.” — Cameron Shaw

“You have such a way of teaching, it makes something not so simple, very simple.” — Sara Pratt

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DONA Postpartum Doula Workshop

With Patty Brennan & Guest Instructors

2017 Training Schedule & Fees

In Ann Arbor, MI

2017 DONA Postpartum Doula Workshop ($595; $535 ERD)
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In Kalamazoo, MI

2017 DONA Postpartum Doula Workshop ($595; $535 ERD)
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postpartum doulaWorkshop Description

This 30-hour training prepares you to create your own postpartum doula business offering excellent, skilled, in-home support services to families with newborns. The workshop fulfills two steps toward professional Postpartum Doula Certification through DONA International. Click here for information on DONA certification requirements and fees. Topics include:

  • Breastfeeding—doula support skills and troubleshooting strategies
  • Babywearing—safety, pros and cons of a variety of slings, babywearing twins, and “how to” (hands-on)
  • Postpartum Depression—recognizing the symptoms, how and when to make a referral, and doula support strategies
  • Infant care and baby calming techniques
  • Twins & Multiples—how doulas can help
  • Holistic healing support and comfort measures
  • Identifying “Red Flags”—referral triggers and limiting liability for doulas
  • Shaping a postpartum doula practice (acing the interview, shifts, fees, services offered)
  • Changing Roles—evolving needs of all family members and doula support strategies
  • Grief and loss support, effective communication skills, and more!

Postpartum Doula Training Pre-requisites

DONA requires that participants complete a Breastfeeding Basics class prior to taking the Postpartum Doula Workshop. This training includes the Breastfeeding pre-requisite and the DONA Postpartum Doula Workshop in one four-day workshop that fulfills two certification requirements.

Read what past participants in this class have to say:


“I could not have envisioned a more intelligent and comprehensive four days. I learned so much and continue to be so excited about this new path I’m on. I feel so fortunate to have crossed paths with you. Thank you sincerely for the formidable training!” — Kim Manasevit, Brookline, MA

“Just wanted to thank you for an amazing weekend. Each day was super and surpassed my expectations.” — Jody Swank, Mattawan, MI

“I was very pleased with my experience at the Center. Patty was very professional, yet caring and was an excellent example of someone who is passionate about their work and dedicated to assisting mothers and babies. I was reassured that becoming a postpartum doula is what I want to do. I also was given great advice for starting my own business and was given many of the skills I felt I lacked to become a doula. I would highly recommend this training to anyone and cannot say enough good things about it!” — Leah Segura, Bay City, MI

“Patty is an excellent trainer. I felt welcomed, accepted, and appreciated. The training was extremely informative and I learned lots of tools for working through potentially challenging situations. I enjoyed the training and feel very equipped. I appreciate Patty’s openness and hospitality! Overall this was Excellent!” — Kelli Brien, South Bend, IN

“I truly feel that I got an education (informational, emotional, spiritual) through this course. It was tough to fork over the fee because it was a huge chunk of my savings, but it is, hands down, the best money I’ve ever spent.” — Kat Oshman, Ann Arbor, MI

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Doula Business Builder Deluxe Training Package

Investment: $947; $1,000 on payment plan

doula business guideInvest in our Doula Business Builder Deluxe Package. This comprehensive training package is substantially discounted and includes DONA International Birth and Postpartum Doula Workshops, pre-requisite classes, and training in how to put it all together into a life-changing, successful mother-baby business. Plus, two BONUS offers! Your choice of 2017 training dates. Payment plans available.

Doula Business Builder Deluxe ($947)
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Doula Business Builder Deluxe (1st of 4 payments of $250)
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What’s in the Deluxe Package? Great value!

If you are thinking of becoming both a birth and a postpartum doula, then this package is for you! The package includes the following:

Plus two Free Bonus Offers to help you jump start your business:

How it Works

To register, you may choose between a one-time payment of $947 OR four installments of $250 each. On the payment plan, your credit/debit card will be charged on the same date each month for three consecutive months following the initial payment. (Other types of payment plans are available, but need to be approved in advance; email We want to make this work for you!) Please list your choice of 2017 training dates in the “Questions or Concerns?” box towards the bottom of the registration page. (If the 2017 workshop dates don’t work for you, then you would be welcome roll your registration forward to our 2018 dates, but I won’t have those dates posted till later this summer.) If you need to change chosen dates later, you can do so, but we ask for a minimum of four weeks notice. This training package will save you money! Please read our Refund Policy.

Doula Business Builder Deluxe ($947)
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Doula Business Builder Deluxe (1st of 4 payments of $250)
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See at a glance how this package saves you money.

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