A labor doula, or birth companion, is a person who is knowledgeable about, and experienced in, the birth process. A labor doula provides emotional, physical, and informational support to a mother before, during, and just after childbirth.
Details about our Labor Doula Program, including requirements, current costs and scholarship information, are published annually in our Student Handbook and Catalog.
Birthingway is committed to supporting students in our Labor Doula Program in a variety of ways, such as providing mentoring opportunities, phone support with our Specialized Program Coordinator, monthly continuing education opportunities, and networking support through our website. Birthingway also offers a unique Labor Doula Scholarship Program to students who are from, and are interested in working with, under-served communities.
Birthingway’s Labor Doula program is a two step process. First, students must successfully complete the eight week training workshop, The Labor Doula: Assisting Women with Birth. Then, if the student wants to pursue certification, they must apply and enroll in the Labor Doula Program. While enrolled in the program, students must attend and document five births as a student doula, as well as complete independent work. During the practicum, students receive guidance from the Specialized Programs Coordinator who provides them with birth leads, additional learning opportunities, and one-on-one mentorship support.
Labor Doula Program Fees
Labor Doula Workshop Fee* $500.00
Application Fee $25.00
Enrollment Fee $75.00
Registration Fee $60.00 per term
Technology Fee $40.00 per term
Certification Fee $50.00
Re-certification Fee $50.00
*Students are also required to purchase a course-pack. Please see registration materials for current course-pack fees.
Length of the Labor Doula Program
The length and timing of the Labor Doula Program is primarily up to the individual student. If you are pursuing certification, you have up to two years from the time you complete the training workshop to begin the practicum. Once you begin the practicum, you have up to one year to complete the requirements and apply for certification. Some students prefer to complete their birth experience and independent work quickly and finish within two terms, while other students choose to work through the practicum more slowly, completing their work in three or four terms. If more time is needed, a student may petition for an extension from the Specialized Programs Coordinator.
Labor Doula Program
• To train students in labor doula skills.
• To assist students in acquiring labor doula work experience.
• To train students with competence in basic research and information literacy skills.
• To provide students with labor doula applications for a variety of therapeutic modalities.
• To prepare students to provide individualized doula care.
• To provide clarity around scope of practice of a labor doula.
• To teach and promote biodynamic birth principles.
• To use diverse methodologies based on biodynamic educational principles that encourage integration of intellect, senses, intuition, and judgment in learning situations.
• To support students with reaching their educational and professional goals.
• To encourage an evolved awareness of professional ethics and relationships with peers, preceptors, clients, and others as articulated in the MANA Statement of Values and Ethics.
• To encourage and support students to be change agents in their communities.
A certified labor or postpartum doula from Birthingway signifies that the holder is a doula prepared for entry into active practice. They must have the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and judgment to function in a broad variety of situations and to render a wide spectrum of client support. Therefore, the following abilities and expectations must be met and maintained through certification and re-certification. Failure to maintain Technical Standards may result in dismissal from the program. Students or applicants who have questions regarding standards are encouraged to contact the SPC.
• You must be able to observe demonstrations in the biodynamic model of care
• You must have sufficient use of the sensory, visual, hearing and/or motor systems to support women in birth and families in the immediate postpartum period.
• You must be able to communicate in English with accuracy, clarity, efficiency, and sensitivity, both verbally and in writing.
• You must have the skills to analyze and synthesize information, solve problems (within scope), and reach therapeutic judgments.
• You must be able to acknowledge evaluation and respond appropriately.
• You must possess the interpersonal skills to develop rapport and positive relationships with clients, care providers, hospital staff, and colleagues.
• You must have perseverance, diligence, and consistency to complete the practicum. Therefore, you must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads; to function effectively under stress; to adapt to changing environments/family structures; to display flexibility and to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the problems and needs of many clients.