Doula Training Program

A baby's hand holding an adult's hand

Are you passionate about pregnancy, birth and postpartum care? Do you hope to have a positive impact on birth experiences for families? A career as a Birth and Postpartum Doula may be your calling!

The new Douglas College Doula Training Program offers students the opportunity to train as both a Birth and Postpartum Doula simultaneously. Our program provides students with an in-depth understanding of pregnancy, birth, lactation and postpartum knowledge they need to support expecting and new families giving birth in B.C. Our comprehensive training program prepares students to start their business and offer both Birth and Postpartum Doula care services together. 

A doula is a trained, non-clinical professional who guides and supports families during pregnancy, labour, birth and postpartum care of the newborn and birthing person. You will acquire the knowledge required, practical skills and confidence to support and empower pregnancies, labours, birth and the postpartum period.

Upon successful completion of this program you will be awarded a Douglas College Continuing Education Certificate of Completion (non-credit).

Course outline and expectations

Students will have the advantage of comfortable online learning experience with live zoom sessions and complete the course with an in-person workshop, to enhance their learning and prepare them to support birthing families confidently.

Zoom sessions and weekly homework

Students meet over Zoom with instructor once a week, for 12 weeks, in a three hour live class session. There are quizzes and small learning assignments to check their understanding.

 90% attendance is mandatory. If student is unable to attend a session, this must be communicated in advance and approved by instructor. Following the course over class recordings only is not an option.

Workshop

Students are required to participate in the in-person workshop hosted at our New Westminster campus. This workshop provides the hands-on techniques and knowledge required as Birth and Postpartum Doula. 

Prenatal class observations

Students are strongly recommended to observe prenatal classes. Opportunities may be arranged through Douglas College’s Prenatal and Newborn care program to observe classes locally. Online classes are an option for distant learners, if classes aren't hosted in their communities. 

Mentorship

Students will have access to mentorship (via text/email) from experienced doulas for their first client within 6 months after completing the program.

Eva Bild is a childbirth, lactation, and sleep educator and birth doula trainer with over 30 years of experience. She practiced as a birth doula for 25 years and has attended over 160 births. She trained as a Childbirth Educator with the Vancouver Community College. She completed the Douglas College Breastfeeding Course for Health Professionals. She offers her services in Victoria as a Lactation Educator and provides Breastpump rentals.

Eva trained as a doula in 1994 and was certified as a doula by DONA International in 1999. As a DONA International Approved Birth Doula Trainer, she trained over 700 doulas. Her workshops have been attended by aspiring doulas from all over BC, Alberta, Yukon and Washington State.

Eva has now retired from teaching for DONA International in order to focus on the Douglas College Doula Training program. She is proud and excited to be designing a course specifically for British Columbian Birth and Postpartum Doulas. She looks forward to many more years of training doulas with Douglas College.

Crystal Colbourne is a birth and postpartum doula and a childbirth educator. She started her training with Douglas College in 2005 at a DONA approved doula workshop. After supporting families, she welcomed her third child and took a step back from birth support. In April 2020, she started her Non-profit called Rising Mama Collective. She is passionate about supporting families in their postpartum period, with a special emphasis on mental health. In order to continue supporting families in their perinatal experiences, she expanded her education by enrolling in the Childbirth Educator Program at Douglas College in 2021. Since completing the program in 2023, she has been working full time in the birth world as a birth and postpartum doula, as well as a Childbirth Educator. She lives in Chilliwack, has  been married 16 years, has 3 beautiful children, loves coffee, the ocean, animals, people, books and cooking. 

Educating families and empowering them in their birth journey is her passion in life. She is excited to expand her reach by supporting new doula students in the exciting and fulfilling career as a doula. 

  • History of birth
  • Guiding principles of doula work
  • Standards of practice and code of ethics for doulas
  • Evidence basis for doula care
  • Long term impact of the birth experience
  • Reproductive anatomy
  • Hormones of pregnancy, labour and birth
  • Basic fetal development
  • Stages and Phases of Labour
  • Positions and movement in labour
  • Pain in Labour
  • Relaxation in labour
  • Pharmaceutical pain management of labour
  • Birth interventions
  • Advocacy and informed decision making
  • Business of being a doula
  • Communication and trauma informed care
  • Challenging and complicated labour
  • Cesarean birth
  • Immediate Postpartum period
  • Newborn needs
  • Caring for a newborn- the basics
  • Caring for the new family
  • Postpartum mental health
  • Lactation- initiating breastfeeding, supporting other feeding methods

Required reading

Each of these books looks at different aspects of pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding or postpartum from a different perspective. Together they provide a wide range of evidence-based information. They also provide the basis for a birth library that you will consult time and time again throughout your career. We also provide an extensive reading list for continued learning.

Required Reading List.pdf

Are attending births required to complete the program?

No. We offer optional mentorship for your first birth after completing your training. We don't want you to stress about finding a client. We prepare you to offer your services as soon as you complete the program so you will feel confident and excited (and likely still nervous) about supporting families in their prenatal, birth and postpartum journeys. We encourage doula support groups with other students, and have experienced doulas connect with students to offer insights and answer any questions they may have.

What if I can't attend the workshop?

Attending the in-person workshop, and all of the live zoom sessions are required to complete the program. If the dates conflict with your schedule, we encourage you to wait until the next course run and register when you can join all the classes and the workshop. Requests for missing one class may be accommodated but require instructor approval.

What if I only want to attend births/support postpartum?

There is value in offering both Birth and Postpartum services. You may want to offer Birth services for some of the year, and offer Postpartum services when on-call support doesn't work for your schedule. Training as both enables you to provide continous and comprehensive care to families from their pregnancy to postpartum. We've combined the trainings to make it stress free and simple to expand your knowledge, and business opportunities. 

Course Dates and Tuition

CRN 21132April 16th - July 7thSpecial introductory price $1,450.00
 Required weekly online sessionsRequired in-person workshop
 

Tuesdays - 6:30 - 9:30 pm PST

April 16, 23, 30

May 7, 14, 21, 28

June 4, 11, 18, 25 

July 2

Fri July 5th - 6:30 - 9:30 pm PST

Sat July 6th & Sun July 7th - 9:00 am-5:00 pm PST

New Westminster Campus Boardroom

 

To be added to the waitlist for the 

September intake, please email:

ce_perinatal@douglascollege.ca

Ready to register?

Continuing Education registration information
Learn More

Contact information

Email Darelle Walker, Perinatal Program Assistant, Faculty of Health Sciences

Email Christine Sexauer, Prenatal/Perinatal Program Coordinator, Faculty of Health Sciences