Colleges to Become a Doula

In addition to clinical care from physicians, expectant mothers can benefit from the emotional support provided by doulas who help them prepare for childbirth and make the transition to the initial stages of motherhood. Read on to learn more about what doulas do. Learn about training programs and voluntary certification, and see what the job prospects are for this career. Schools offering Family Nurse Practitioner degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Doula?

Also known as birth assistants or labor companions, doulas are professionals trained to provide emotional support to women at all stages of childbirth. As a doula, you would act as a liaison between mothers, their partners, their families and the attending nurses and physicians. You would also use therapeutic techniques to reduce stress or mitigate pain during labor. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, the presence of a doula can decrease the need for forceps delivery, caesarian sections, prolonged labor and infant hospitalization.

What Colleges Offer This Type of Training?

Some colleges and universities offer doula training in the form of 4-day on-campus workshops taught by professional midwives or certified doula instructors. Topics of discussion can include breastfeeding support, emotions associated with pregnancy, newborn care, professional ethics and techniques for providing physical comfort. These programs might require you to complete assigned readings or observe a childbirth education class before attending.

Doula training can also be provided to nursing school students who would like to supplement their clinical skills. Some schools sponsor workshops, while others allow student nurses to volunteer their services to expectant mothers.

Can I Become Certified?

You can obtain voluntary certification as a doula from professional organizations, such as DONA International and the Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association (CAPPA). Certification is usually broken down into two options: birth doula and postpartum doula. CAPPA offers an additional antepartum, or pre-birth, certification.

Certification requirements are fairly extensive. Qualifications can include the completion of approved childbirth education and breastfeeding courses as well as a doula workshop. Distance education students might be interested to learn that some of these training materials are available via DVDs or online independent study courses.

You might also need to complete an assigned reading list, write an essay and provide doula services to at least three clients. CPR training is required for some certifications.

Where Can I Work as a Doula?

After completing a training program, you may be able to sign on with a volunteer doula agency. Some doulas set up their own practices or work for hospitals. You might also continue your education and become a midwife. Unlike doulas, these health care professionals can provide medical services, such as gynecological exams.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Loyola University New Orleans

    Loyola University New Orleans responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Loyola University New Orleans:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Kaplan University

    Kaplan University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Kaplan University:

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  • George Mason University

    George Mason University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at George Mason University:

    • Master

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  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • The George Washington University

    The George Washington University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at The George Washington University:

    • Master
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • American University

    American University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at American University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Benedictine University

    Benedictine University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Benedictine University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Keiser University

    Keiser University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Keiser University:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

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