Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Thinking about becoming a doula?

Let us answer some of the most frequently asked questions you never thought to ask!

How long is the Doula workshop?
Our workshop run over two or three days depending on the location, usually on a weekend. Once you register you will be sent a confirmation email which will include further information about how to get to the location, parking/public transit, how to dress, what to bring, etc.
You are a doula at the end of the workshop. There are of course other steps to become a CERTIFIED doula, but this workshop will allow you to work as a doula.

How much does doula training cost?
The fee for our workshop ranges from $400 to $550+HST (depending on the location). This includes the DONA approved training manual and all snacks for the workshop.

How do I register?
Registration can be done online or by phone. Click here to view upcoming classes and register online for doula training.

What is your cancellation policy?
Full cancellation available within 24 hours of booking. Refunds are available 30 days or more before workshop start date minus a $40 handling fee. No refunds will be made within 30 days of the workshop, however registrants may apply the fee towards a future workshop held by Discover Birth Inc. Cancellations within one week of class must pay a $50 administration fee to rebook and apply their credit towards another workshop. NO EXCEPTIONS

Can I bring my nursing baby?
Breaks will occur in the AM and PM for 15 minutes and about an hour over the lunch hour. You may use these times to meet with your family, to nurse a baby, etc. Quiet babies in arms (usually under 3-4 months old) are welcome to be with you during the workshop, but we ask that you excuse yourself if baby is making noise (happy or otherwise). Childcare is not provided and older babies are not permitted in order to allow for an ideal learning environment for all participants.

How long does it take to become a doula?
Because much of your program is self-study, the amount of time it takes you to become a doula can vary from a short few months to a couple of years. We’ve seen our trainees do it in as few as four months. The page about “Certification” is a guideline timeline for you to review along with costs to give you an idea of the whole process.

What’s it like to work as a doula?
We get asked this question all the time, but it’s a tough question for us to answer!!
Working as a doula has a lot of ups and downs, like any career. But here are some of the things you might want to consider as you’re deciding if this is the right path for you:
Do you love to support women and families in their OWN choices and decisions?
How much money do you want/need to make from being a doula?
Can you handle working on-call?
Do you work well with others and can you see yourself working alongside a variety of other medical professionals?
What is your motivation for wanting to become a doula?
What are your long-term plans in the field?
Working as a doula can be the most amazing experience and is such an honour to be a part of. If you are thinking this is the right path for you then we encourage you to come to our workshop! If you feel passionate about helping women and families then this could be your next dream job!

I want to become a midwife, can this training help me?
Many people become doulas to get a taste of the birthing field before committing to becoming a midwife or applying into the midwife program. It’s also a great way to boost your resume if you’re sure you’re going to be applying to a midwifery school. Many of Doula School’s trainees are in the Midwifery Program right now!!

What job opportunities are there after I complete my Doula certification?
This varies in each area, but there are generally three main ways to work as a doula:
Work on your own by running your own private practice
Join a team of doulas who work together to support one another with marketing and advertising
Work for an agency that takes a commission on any work you do, but frees you up from having to do any marketing

How much money can I make working as a doula?
Like anything in life, the amount of effort you put out is the amount of benefit you’ll get in return. We’ve seen doulas make anywhere from $0 (those who want only to work as volunteers) to $80,000 a year.

Do I have any pre-requisites before I attend a doula workshop?
Our Doula Training weekend will be focused on your role as a doula. We won’t cover a lot about the normal process of labour, stages of labour, medications and their benefits and risks, etc. We expect that you will already have this basic information. Our training can then focus on YOUR new doula role in relation to these topics. If you have already done a class in the past for your own birth or have had children yourself, you may find that you already possess this basic knowledge of childbirth. In this case, it’s acceptable for you to not do a class before the workshop. But note you will still be required to redo these classes in order to become a certified doula. It is still part of the certification process and you will NOT be exempt from this even with a lot of experience or having done prenatal classes for your own birth in the past. If you are either a labor and delivery nurse or you have completed training as a childbirth educator through one of our approved organizations, you can supply a certificate of completion or a letter verifying your nursing experience to meet this requirement.

How do I find a Childbirth Education class to take?
DONA used to have specific requirements about the type of class that qualified for certification. But due to the fact that our doulas reach far and wide across the world, it was becoming impossible for a lot of candidates to find the type of class that fit those requirements. Therefore as of Jan 2105 they have readjusted this requirement. They recommend that you attend as thorough a class as you can find, but there are no longer restrictions on the number of hours or certification the educator must possess. Please make sure your class covers normal labour, comfort measures, medications, interventions, baby care and breastfeeding.

How can I find a Childbirth Class in my area?
Try contacting ALL hospitals, birthing centers, health clinics, etc. that offer childbirth education classes to find out if the class is taught by an educator who is certified through one of the approved organizations.
The Yellow Pages may also have listings for area childbirth educators or childbirth education courses.
You can also search the Internet for the names of each organization. These web sites offer you links to “find an educator” in your state. You could also do an Internet search in the following format for direct links – (example “Lamaze Toronto”).
Try contacting other doulas, midwives or other professionals in related fields in your area to find resources for childbirth classes.
There is an Introductory Course for Doulas (Intro) being offered by the trainer in conjunction with my DONA approved birth doula workshop. Will this complete my CBE component for certification?
Yes, if an Intro is offered in conjunction with your workshop, your attendance and completion of this course fulfills the CBE requirement for certification. However, most doula trainers will only provide this in areas that don’t have qualifying classes, since it’s preferable to do it while observing actual class participants who are pregnant, to learn from their questions and discussions.
What books are on the required reading list for Doula training?
You must read the latest revision of both of DONA International’s Position Papers and the book listed under Required Reading. In addition, you need to read at least one (1) of the most recently published editions of the books from each of the six (6) additional groups of books listed. To confirm and verify your reading, include the signed Statement of Completion form with your certification application.

Group 1 - Read at least ONE of the following:

The Doula Book: How a Trained Labor Companion Can Help you Have a Shorter, Easier and Healthier Birth by Marshall and Phyllis Klaus (2012, or later)

Birth Ambassadors: Doulas and the Re-Emergence of Woman-Supported Birth in America by Christine H. Morton with Elaine G. Clift (2014, or later)

Group 2 - Read at least ONE of the following:

  • The New Pregnancy & Childbirth: Choices and Challenges by Sheila Kitzinger (2011, or later)
  • Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn: the Complete Guide by Penny Simkin, April Bolding, Ann Keppler, and Janelle Durham (2010, or later)
  • The Mother of All Pregnancy Books: an All-Canadian Guide to Conception, Birth and Everything in Between by Ann Douglas (2012, or later)
  • The Simple Guide to Having a Baby: a Step-by-Step Illustrated Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth by Janet Whalley, Penny Simkin and Ann Keppler (2012, or later)

Group 3 - Read at least ONE of the following:

  • Optimal Care in Childbirth: the Case for a Physiologic Approach by Henci Goer and Amy Romano (2012, orlater)
  • An Easier Childbirth: a Mother’s Guide to Birthing Normally by Gayle Peterson (2008, or later)
  • Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin (2008, or later)
  • Natural Hospital Birth: the Best of Both Worlds by Cynthia Gabriel (2011, or later)

Group 4 - Read at least ONE of the following:

  • Breastfeeding Made Simple: 7 Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers by Nancy Mohrbacher and Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, (2010, or later)
  • Dr. Jack Newman’s Guide to Breastfeeding: the Canadian Expert Offers the Most Up-to-Date Advice on Every Aspect of Breastfeeding by Jack Newman and Teresa Pitman (2015, or later)
  • The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by Diane Wiessinger, Diana West and Teresa Pitman (2010, or later)
  • The Nursing Mother’s Companion by Kathleen Huggins (2015, or later)

Group 5 - Read at least ONE of the following:

  • This Isn’t What I Expected: Overcoming Postpartum Depression by Karen Kleiman and Valerie Davis Raskin (2013, or later)
  • The Hidden Feelings of Motherhood by Kathleen Kendall-Tackett (2005, or later)
  • Transformed by Postpartum Depression: Women's Stories of Trauma and Growth by Walker Karraa (2014, or later)
  • Postpartum Depression and Anxiety: A Self-Help Guide by Pacific Postpartum Support (2014, or later)

Group 6 - Read at least ONE of the following:

  • The Doula Business Guide: Creating a Successful Mother Baby Business by Patty Brennan (2014, or later)
  • Doula Programs: How to Start and Run a Private or Hospital-Based Program with Success! by Paulina Perez with Deaun Thelen (2010, or later)
  • The Only Grant-Writing Book You’ll Ever Need by Ellen Karsh and Arlen Sue Fox (2014, or later)
  • Winning Grants Step by Step: The Complete Workbook for Planning, Developing and Writing Successful Proposals by Tori O’Neal-McElrath (2013, or later)
  • You, Inc.: The Art of Selling Yourself by Harry Beckwith and Christine Clifford (2011, or later)
  • Worth Every Penny: Build a Business That Thrills Your Customers and Still Charge What You’re Worth by Sarah Petty and Erin Verbeck (2012, or later)
  • Body of Work: Finding The Thread That Binds Your Story Together by Pamela Slim (2013, or later)
What do I need to bring to the workshop?
Please bring things for your comfort ie pillows, a yoga mat (if you have one) and dress in layers so you can adjust what you're wearing to the temperature of the room (which we often have very little control of). We also ask that you bring the book The Birth Partner: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas and All Other Labor Companions by PennySimkin (2013, or later)
I have additional questions, who can I call?
Please read through these FAQs. They answer most questions, but if you still have unanswered questions, we’re happy to answer them. You can reach our main line at 1-877-BIRTH36 (247-8436) or through our contact form.

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