DONA International Doula Certification

Why affiliate with DONA International?

All doula trainings offered at the Center are approved to fulfill DONA International doula certification requirements for both birth and postpartum doulas. In addition, our Doula Business Development Training is approved for 7.0 DONA continuing education credits that can be applied toward re-certification requirements.

DONA International Doula CertificationDefinition of “Premier”

First in position, rank or importance
First in time, earliest


For an organization to call itself “premier” is a measurable claim rather than
a simple assertion. By definition, there can only be ONE premier
doula training and certification organization.

#1 Position. DONA International is the oldest, largest and most prestigious (PREMIER) professional doula training and certification organization in the world. Since 1992, DONA has set the standard for scope of practice, evidence-based training, certification and re-certification for doulas.

International Reputation. DONA’s founding members—Penny Simkin, the late John Kennell, the late Marshall Klaus, Phyllis Klaus, and Annie Kennedy—are internationally renowned maternal-infant advocates and doula movement pioneers. They have set a high bar for excellence in our profession.

Sustainability. As a nonprofit organization, DONA International was never intended to generate income for the benefit of an individual or group of individuals. Any funds earned by DONA are invested in serving the needs of members and the overall mission of the organization. Under the leadership of a Board of Directors, this nonprofit is designed to be in existence “in perpetuity.”

Adaptability. DONA has proven that it can and will evolve in response to member needs, an ever-changing culture of birth and emerging market trends. There is nothing that shows the strength of an organization more than bouncing back stronger after a couple of tough years (let’s call it growing pains). Well done DONA!

Portability. Through DONA International’s global marketing efforts and referral system, DONA credentials are recognized and command respect worldwide.

Community. Stay current on major events and advancements in the doula profession and perinatal field through DONA International publications, conferences, webinars, social media, networking opportunities and access to leaders in the profession.

Benefits of DONA International Membership

  • Receive International Doula. Members receive a quarterly magazine focusing on issues related to birth and postpartum support and the doula profession.
  • Receive eDoula. Members receive a quarterly e-newsletter that keeps them up to date on DONA International news, doula trends and more.
  • Access The DONA Doula Chronicles blog. Provides timely information, resources and inspiration.
  • Join the DONA Member Facebook group. Provides a safe space for peer-to-peer support for both new and seasoned doulas.
  • Purchase doula liability insurance. Guaranteed group rates for DONA members through CF&M Group Insurance.
  • Enjoy member discounts. Attend the annual conference and webinars at discounted member rates; numerous opportunities for continuing education.

Benefits of DONA International Doula Certification

  • Be recognized. International recognition as a certified professional doula with the world’s premier doula organization; very portable credential. Wear your DONA International “certified doula” nametag with pride!
  • Join a referral network. DONA International has the most extensive and thorough online referral system of any doula organization. Certified doulas receive a listing in DONA’s Referral Directory.
  • Command higher fees. Doula surveys have established that (1) certified doulas make more money than uncertified doulas and (2) DONA-certified doulas command higher rates than doulas certified by other organizations. See Kim James’ blog post for the details.
  • Maintain high standards for the doula profession. DONA-certified doulas agree to work within an evidence-based scope of practice that limits doulas to support practices that truly benefit and empower families while prohibiting practices that may prove harmful.

Understanding the DONA International Doula Certification Process

There is more to certification than just attending a workshop. Upon completion of your doula training, you will be provided with your Certificates of Attendance. Our DONA Birth Doula Workshop fulfills two certification requirements because it includes the Introduction to Childbirth for Doulas class. Our DONA Postpartum Doula Workshop fulfills two certification requirements as well, including the Breastfeeding Basics requirement.

After training, you will need to purchase a certification packet from the Doula Boutique on the DONA website. The packet contains all of the forms you will need to complete the full DONA International doula certification process, including evaluation forms to document your attendance at three births as the primary doula (birth doulas) or three families served (postpartum doulas). In class, we will have a sample packet on hand and review all requirements to ensure that you get all your questions answered regarding the certification process.

I do not recommend that you purchase the certification packet prior to the training weekend unless you expect to begin doula work immediately post-training. When you purchase your packet, it will be date stamped and you will have two years from that time to complete all the requirements. If you do not complete the process within this time frame, you would need to purchase a new packet. Since you cannot use doula experience prior to the training as counting towards fulfilling requirements, there is no incentive to put yourself on the timeline till after the workshop. You have a total of four years from the training date to complete the process without having to repeat the training.

Learn more about DONA birth doula certification requirements.

Learn more about DONA postpartum doula certification requirements.

Is Re-certification Required?

Yes, every three years. To be recertified, doulas must maintain continuous active membership in DONA International. In addition, birth doulas must complete 15 hours of approved continuing education each three-year period and postpartum doulas must complete 18 hours of continuing education each three-year period.

Cost of DONA International Doula Certification

  • Certification Packet = $50
  • DONA Membership = $100
  • Certification Application Fee = $110

Please note that there is a separate certification process for birth and postpartum doulas, so if you plan on carrying a dual certification, then you will need to purchase two packets and pay two application fees.

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