How to Become a Doula

  1. Talk to doulas in your area to see if becoming a doula is for you. See Find A Doula (insert link) for a list of doulas practicing in your area.
  2. Enroll in a birth or postpartum doula training course near you. Check out www.dona.org and www.cappacanada.ca for training courses coming to your area.
  3. Begin your certification process. DONA International (www.dona.org) and Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association (CAPPA) (www.cappacanada.ca) are two of the more well-known certification bodies serving doulas in Canada. Check out their websites for specific certification requirements.
  4. Join the NSDA! Through the NSDA you will be exposed to a network of individuals who are active in your local birth community, including private doulas, volunteer doulas, childbirth educators, holistic healthcare providers and many others. Networking will give you the opportunity to learn about pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding; to meet potential back-up doulas for your practice; and most importantly, to meet people who can support you on your journey to become a doula and continue to support you once you receive your certification.
  5. Educate yourself. Read lots of books about pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and newborn care. Attend education sessions and workshops in your community whenever you can, both for the information shared and the networking experience.
  6. Attend births. Births are the best place to learn how to support a labouring woman and her partner.
  7. Get postpartum support experience. Attend local breastfeeding drop-ins or La Leche League meetings to immerse yourself in the world of breastfeeding support. You will hear stories from women who are having a hard time, as well as advice from trained professionals. All of this information will inform your practice as a doula.