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Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Birth Doula?

A birth doula is a professionally trained childbirth assistant who provides non-medical physical and emotional support during labor and birth and in the hours and early weeks after the baby is born. Birth doulas also usually work with families in late pregnancy to help them prepare for birth by providing education, information and resources.

What Is a Postpartum Doula?

Postpartum doulas care for the family after their baby is born. They provide families with information and support on infant feeding, emotional and physical recovery from childbirth, infant soothing, and coping skills for new parents. They may help with practical chores like light housework and meal prep.

What Kind of Training Does It Take To Become a Doula?

Training to become a birth or postpartum doula usually starts with attending a training workshop, either in-person or virtually. Attending our birth or postpartum doula workshop satisfies two-steps toward certification with DONA International and will prepare you to launch your doula practice as soon as you finish the workshop.

How Long Are Training Workshops?

We offer several formats for our birth doula training workshops — 3 and 5 day workshops and weekly evening courses held over several weeks for those who learn better in smaller chunks. Our 3-day workshops are offered virtually and in-person at our school in Sacramento and the 5-day workshops are all held in-person. Evening classes are held virtually. Our postpartum workshops are all held over 3 days and are offered both in-person at our school in Sacramento, as well as live virtual trainings.

Are There Any Certifications or Accreditations Required to Become a Doula?

The doula profession is currently not regulated by any regulatory or accreditation system, however this is changing. Many hospitals in our country are now requiring specific training and some are requiring certification to be able to attend births in their hospitals. Many hospitals specifically require DONA certification. Attendance at our training workshops satisfy one step toward full certification with DONA International.

What is needed for certification besides attending a workshop?

There are also reading assignments to complete and resources to gather in the community you’ll be serving. For our birth doula students, you’ll also need to attend a lactation course and complete a self-assessment questionnaire. For our postpartum students, there’s also an equity in birthwork education requirement to fulfill. We offer all of these classes for you at SCI. You’ll also be required to gain some practical experience after you attend your doula workshop. For birth doulas this means attending a three births as primary labor support and for postpartum doulas, serving three families.

Does SCI Offer Payment Plans?

Yes, we do offer payment plans. We can divide tuition into either 2 or 3 equal payments. You can choose whichever option is a better fit for you. For us to hold a spot for you in class, the first payment must be completed within 3 days of us sending you the invoice and tuition must be paid in full no later than one week before your workshop start date.