General FAQs

"The training was hands down amazing and full of rich knowledge. I am looking forward to building community and learning more with DTI." --A DTI Student

What can I expect with DTI’s online full-spectrum training?

  • 3 in 1! Prepare to feel confident working in any of the following ways: 1) birth doula 2) postpartum doula 3) reproductive health support doula.
  • DTI has been training doulas online for years with high marks from our students! You can learn on the go; perfect for tech-savvy students with busy schedules. No travel or childcare is required. Students benefit from returning to their course modules as often as they like during the 12-month program. The online course is provided via a state-of-the-art learning platform. Video lessons are captioned and audio files are transcribed.
    • Lessons are self-paced; a new module is released every 2 weeks. The training coursework can be completed in 3 months. During this time, students participate in weekly interaction with their classmates and educator via a closed Facebook group, plus live video calls via Zoom once per month. These calls provide an opportunity to dive deeper with the content in a webinar setting.
    • The cohort will be polled for the best available times and replays will be provided.
    • During the first 3 months, most students will benefit from carving out a few hours a couple of times a week to focus on their lessons and readings, write down some questions and observations in preparation for the next upcoming call, or to post in the discussion group.
  • After your 3 months of intensive coursework, you’ll be feeling confident and ready to support clients! (You can work as a doula sooner if you feel ready, even before your training modules are complete.)
  • You will then begin accessing DTI’s community mentorship program, designed to support our doulas as they begin to work in the field. This continues to include monthly video calls, one during the evening and one during the day, to accommodate most schedules.
  • All trained doulas can access a Proof of Training letter to provide for admittance in locations where this may be necessary.
  • If choosing to complete certification, requirements must be complete and submitted no later than 1 year after day 1 of your training to be eligible to become certified. If one year after day 1 of your training falls on a weekend or holiday, you may submit your materials on the first non-holiday weekday after your deadline. Extensions can be purchased if needed.
  • All virtual support is approved for certification purposes through the remainder of 2021. The team continues to evaluate our community’s needs and ability to adapt to working during the pandemic.

To certify, you will:

  • Provide documentation of attendance at 3 events as the primary doula, which occur during the certification period only.
  • Complete a minimum of 16 hours of postpartum care for at least two clients.
    • Documentation may be done either by the forms filled out by the families you work with, or alternatively by you, the doula.
  • Submit a story from the doula’s perspective on each birth you attend for certification.
  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of all books by completing the Required Reading List.
  • Write a business strategy outline
  • Infant and Child CPR certification
  • Construct a local resource referral list
  • Document observation of a childbirth education class or series for parents
  • Document observation of lactation/infant feeding support group or an infant feeding class for parents
  • Write an essay describing your role as a full-spectrum doula
  • Write an essay on how you see yourself making an impact as a doula and in the larger community.
  • Guidance for all of these requirements is provided through our amazing Team of Educators!

“I was interested in supporting my community and DTI made it easy for me to sign up for a training. I absolutely love my new path in life thanks to DTI and I love all of the learning material required for certification. I feel respected and heard, but most importantly I am a part of a community. Thank you so much for existing in this world today. I am forever grateful for this training to become a full-spectrum doula.” –A DTI Student

What is DTI’s mission?

  • We believe families deserve compassionate, evidenced-based support at all stages of life—no matter their gender, race, religion, class or sexual orientation. Together, we are cultivating culturally humble communities that reimagine the role of reproductive work.
  • You can view our mission and a full list of our values here.

What makes Doula Trainings International (DTI) different from other training organizations?

  • Over the last decade, Doula Trainings International has become one of the premier online and in-person doula training organizations in the world. With a network of educators, our team has trained thousands of birth workers across the US and internationally, with a commitment to autonomy, radical inclusivity, reproductive justice, collaborative entrepreneurship and intentional growth. 
  • DTI’s curriculum stands apart because of its focus on social justice and inclusion and its full-spectrum focus. No other trainings in the industry offers both of these together in one program. At DTI, full-spectrum comprises birth, postpartum, and reproductive health, teaching you how to support clients at all stages of the journey. From pre-conception, conception, to abortion, to loss and bereavement, to birth and postpartum, at DTI, all choices are valid. From medicated and unmedicated birth, to breast or chestfeeding, to bottle feeding, to attachment parenting or gentle sleep training methods and everything in between, DTI takes great care to shine a light on clients’ needs and autonomy while guiding doulas through a learning process allowing them to expertly understand and compassionately support these needs. 
  • DTI offers the only training in the industry which is followed by 12 months of guided support with live video calls each month and hands-on support from our educator panel.

“DTI’s full spectrum training is so wide, it’s like doing 3 different trainings. The monthly calls after the training keeps the community growing and sharing. That’s not happening in other trainings. I am so grateful and happy to have chosen DTI.” –A DTI Student

Why does DTI use gender affirming language?

  • DTI’s goal is to open the door wider to include as many different people as possible in our community. One way to do this is to use inclusive language throughout our course materials. Culturally humble educators and doulas can and should take the time to listen to the experience of all people as unique individuals to learn about their needs regarding learning environments, care providers, birth locations, and more.
  • A doula’s role is to affirm all pregnant people. Using the language “birthing families,” “pregant person” and “birthing person” when speaking to groups includes all and excludes no one. Our entire society is set up to affirm two genders when in fact, gender exists on a spectrum. Gender and sex are not the same thing. Clients who benefit from and prefer using gendered terms remain free to use this language with their doulas and other providers. 

Why is birth work a social justice issue?

  • DTI stands for autonomy. We believe in human rights. Therefore, protecting choice is imperative. Reproductive rights combined with social justice is defined as “the right to have a child, not have a child, and to parent children in safe, healthy environments.” To reach the point of having a choice, rights must come first.
  • We are always learning, growing, and studying about the larger healthcare system and how doulas can work most effectively as a part of the solution.

Why is DTI’s certification lifetime?

  • Rigorous and current. Directly following DTI trainings, our certification program is rigorous, up-to-date and supported by our educator team on a weekly basis. After completion of certification requirements, DTI doulas are experienced, well-educated and well-prepared to serve all pregnant and birthing families through the lens of cultural humility and reproductive justice.
  • Practical. Life happens! If you need to step away from doula work to have a baby of your own, or for any other reason, your certification will not lapse. You are able to stay plugged in and current in the field through our DTI annual membership.
  • Autonomous. We strongly believe in autonomy for all persons, including doulas. The doula role is non-clinical and should never be regulated or licensed. We have complete confidence in the training and support our doulas have access to in order to be effective change-makers in today’s birth climate.

“The online training was perfect for me as someone who works full time running my own business. I never felt rushed in trying to complete the modules and really enjoyed the mentorship calls. All the information was presented very clearly and although the videos were pre-recorded, I felt the gentleness and empathy from all the featured instructors.” –A DTI Student

I want to practice only as a birth doula or only as a postpartum doula. Which training should I choose?

  • For doulas who are already certain they will not be practicing as a birth doula in the near future, we offer postpartum only trainings. For doulas who are certain they will not be practicing as a postpartum doula, we offer birth only trainings.
  • We recommend that every prospective doula consider enrolling in full-spectrum. Many of our full-spectrum doulas are surprised by the passions they find during training! 
  • Full-spectrum doulas have much autonomy and choice over how you certify and practice, but our full-spectrum program will provide a basis of understanding for a much broader range of needs, which greatly enhances your ability to support clients at all stages even if you are just there for their births. In addition, the curriculum prepares you for many future possibilities of working in the field in non-traditional capacities. This sets you up for sustainability and fulfillment if you need to take a leave of absence from birth work. 
  • However, if you wish to start with just one certification, we are happy to have you.
    • After completion of your course, you become eligible to enroll in the Path 2 Birth or Postpartum, depending on which one you still need. 
    • After completing certification in both of these, you are eligible to certify as a Full-Spectrum doula by completing additional course content included in your membership and completing a short set of requirements.

What is a Path 2 Training?

  • If you are a practicing doula with proof of prior training and/or certification, you can select one of our Path 2 courses.
  • Path 2 courses are online only and are ideal for doulas who may be looking for the quickest path to certifying with DTI in either birth or postpartum, but not both at the same time. 
  • Practicing doulas may also choose to experience the Full-Spectrum course by enrolling through Path 1.
  • We recommend selecting the Path 2 course (Birth or Postpartum) which corresponds with the doula work you are currently doing. 
    • If you are currently practicing as a birth doula, you can select our Path 2 BIRTH course any time you are ready to begin. You will have 12 months to complete your coursework and submit materials to DTI for certification. You are then certified as a birth doula with DTI for life!
    • If you are currently practicing as a postpartum doula, you can select our Path 2 POSTPARTUM course any time you are ready to begin. You will have 12 months to complete your coursework and submit materials to DTI for certification. You are then certified as a postpartum doula with DTI for life!

What happens if I take a training but don’t certify?

  • Doulas wear many hats and there are different ways to work in the field. Doulas are non-clinical and therefore do not receive licensure prior to working. In fact, at DTI we believe it’s imperative to stop efforts to regulate doulas. Many DTI trainees complete certification and find a satisfying professional career as a doula; some doulas take their training and serve as community doulas, and still others use it to springboard into other areas of reproductive health. The possibilities are numerous!

What are the benefits of a professional membership with DTI?

  • At DTI, we certify for life. Any doula certifications you get by training with us are maintained by working in the field, so you can continue learning in a way that suits you best. When you register for a DTI training, your membership has additional perks on top of our community membership.
  • You will be prompted to renew your membership subscription one year after purchase. Doulas who cancel their subscription will be removed from the DTI community channels and groups, but you can join up again later.
  • Your training purchase includes one year of membership. All current DTI members receive:
    • Membership newsletter and Facebook group
    • Free shipping from the DTI shop 
    • 10% off the Born Into This Conference
    • $200 off our Childbirth Educator Training program
    • Slow Doula Method, a core concept for DTI doulas
    • DTI Expert Affiliate Interview Library, a resource for certification and beyond
    • Digital Portfolio, includes a build-your-own contract guide
    • A free Mini-Course each year
    • DTI Expert Locator Listing
    • Discounted or complementary access to advanced training from partners such as:
    • Re+Birth Equity Alliance
    • Trans Fertility Co.

    Do I have to be a DTI member to certify?

    • Yes. To be eligible to certify you must be an active member. Membership is required the first year after registering for your training and through your certification period. 

    Do I have to be certified to remain a DTI member?

    • No! The DTI membership supports all trained doulas in carving out a practice that suits them best.