General FAQs

"This training is exactly what I was looking for. It has so much emphasis on equality and understanding everyone is different. The course has really changed how I see the world. I am so excited to start working as a doula! "
--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, including monthly Q&A 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, required documentation must be submitted no later than 1 year after day 1 of the cohort launch. Two-month or six-month extensions can be requested and 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.
  • Check out DTI’s FREE Digital Doula course, open to all.

Your full-spectrum certification requirements are:

  • Provide documentation of support for 3 events as the primary doula, which occur during the certification period only. For the full-spectrum certification, this can include 3 labor doula supports, or you can substitute one of these for a different reproductive health event, such as abortion care, miscarriage or loss, or support before, during and after a fertility treatment.
  • Submit a story from the doula’s perspective on each event you attend for certification.
  • Provide documentation 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.
  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of all books by completing the Required Reading Checklist.
  • 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

Can I become certified sooner than 12 months?

  • If you complete all of the requirements listed above, you are welcome to submit your materials for review and approval at any time. Students must allow up to 10 weeks for the review and final approval process.
  • Most participants find they need the 12 months to become established in their work and create a thriving, sustainable practice.

What happens if I don’t complete all of the requirements in 12 months?

  • We have both 2-month and 6-month extension options available. If your 12-month time period expires without requesting an extension and you find you would like to pick up your work again later, we recommend going back to the beginning of the training process.

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!

Is your certification valid outside of the United States?

  • Yes! Doulas have the freedom to work anywhere they choose, including internationally.
  • To work as a doula, licensure is not required. Doulas do not have one central regulatory body. Given that our work is one hundred percent non-clinical, regulation is not required. Certification is a professional marker that many doulas choose to pursue, but it should not be a requirement before working as a doula.

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.

What is the cost? Why does DTI’s program cost more than others?

The full-spectrum program is $1554 which includes 1 year of membership ($157). Many doula trainings are just that — an intensive curriculum without support for the journey beyond. DTI offers a full team of experienced educators to support you after the training as you work on carving out your unique path as a doula. The full-spectrum program offers support for doulas working in a variety of ways and settings. If you plan to build a business around your services, you will have several potential revenue streams.

Do you offer payment plans?

Yes. The standard plan is 4 payments of $388.50. The first payment is required to register and the remaining payments are automatically charged once per month after registration until completed. If you are in need of a customized plan, please email to inquire.

Do you offer scholarships?

Yes! Learn more and apply HERE.

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.

“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?

  • If you already feel certain you will not be practicing as a birth doula in the near future, we offer postpartum only trainings.
  • If you already feel certain you will not be practicing as a postpartum doula in the near future, we offer birth only trainings.
  • After completion of your course, you become eligible to enroll in the Path 2 Birth or Postpartum, depending on which one you still need.

What is a Path 2 Training?

  • Path 2 courses are well-suited for those already practicing as doulas.
  • Path 2 courses are completely self-paced and do not provide a dedicated instructor.
  • For instance, if you are already practicing as a birth doula, you may wish to complete the Path 2 Postpartum course.
  • The relevant certification requirements are the same as listed above, though you will work from a birth-only or postpartum-only reading list and lens.
  • Path 2 doulas have access to our Certifying DTI Doula support as well.
  • If you wish to certify as a reproductive health doula, we recommend you consider taking a full-spectrum training.

I’m already a practicing doula and I’m interested in your reproductive health course. What options do I have?

You are welcome to purchase and complete our Reproductive Health Certificate Course. Please be advised that completion of the course is not a certification or CEU-based, but can be viewed as continuing education.

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 resources.

    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.