ACBE's Birth Doula Workshop

A Birth Doula is a professionally trained support person who provides continuous physical,

emotional, and informational assistance to the mother before, during, and after childbirth.


Our birth doula training program is designed to provide you with the skills necessary to become a professional birth doula.  You will learn how to support clients through their labor and birth experiences, empowering women and their partners as they make choices through the pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum stages.


ACBE's 3-day Birth Doula Workshop fulfills two of three in-person training requirements for birth doula certification through DONA International: Introduction to Childbirth for Doulas (included on Day 1) and DONA Approved Birth Doula Workshop. ACBE's Breastfeeding Education class is designed to fulfill DONA's Breastfeeding Education requirement.


The Birth Doula Workshop is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing for 23.5 continuing education hours.  CEP #9357.  This continuing nursing education activity is also approved by the Wisconsin Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation for 24.75 contact hours.  WNA provider approval number WICEAP-8001.

Course Objectives:

At the end of the Birth Doula Workshop, the participant will be able to:

  • Explain the differences between the roles of the doula, midwife, doctor, nurse, and partner when attending a birth

  • Verbalize the impact of birth on a woman’s life

  • Identify normal physical changes associated with pregnancy

  • Define the differences between minor discomforts of pregnancy and warning and danger signs during pregnancy

  • Understand how a history of sexual abuse or birth trauma may affect pregnancy, labor and birth, postpartum recovery, and breastfeeding

  • Define the components of initial contact and home visit with the client

  • Discuss the onset of labor, including the six signs of progress in labor

  • Demonstrate at least four physiological positions for labor and birth

  • Define the difference between an induction of labor for medical needs vs. social reasons

  • Identify at least four non-invasive techniques for relief of pain in labor

  • Describe at least three labor support techniques for relief of back labor

  • Define advantages and disadvantages of labor epidurals

  • Discuss the doula's role when caring for a client who has an epidural

  • Discuss the doula's role during difficult labors and births

  • Describe the relationship between a doula and mother during a cesarean birth

  • Describe the normal newborn and newborn procedures at birth

  • Discuss the importance of early breastfeeding for both the mother and the baby

  • Identify requirements for birth doula certification through DONA International

  • Describe how the normal postpartum period differs from postpartum mood disorders

  • Explain the importance of postpartum follow-up and processing the birth experience, including closure with the client

  • Discuss methods for building and marketing a birth doula business


The Birth Doula Workshop is considered the first step in DONA International's birth doula certification process.  There are no prerequisites to attend our workshop, but we highly recommend reading DONA's birth doula certification guide (see below) prior to attending the course.

The following two books are recommended for reading prior to the workshop:

  • The Birth Partner (Simkin)

  • The Doula Book (Klaus, Klaus & Kennell)