Birth and Postpartum Doula Training
Our seventeen module program is available in a number of ways. Our standard delivery is a hybrid course with 7 days of face to face training in the below locations and all supporting coursework provided online. The course covers many aspects of pregnancy, the mechanics of labour, feelings, possible fears and challenges, homebirth, hospital policies and procedures, postnatal issues, breastfeeding and postnatal Doula-ing.
We know everyone learns differently, so we have a number of training options.
Blended In Person + Online
Our blended offering includes the equivalent of 7 in person days as well as an online component to be completed over 12 months. These class sizes are kept small and intimate facilitating the ability for our students to share in a safe space and get the most out of classes when we train together in person.
Training delivery options
6 days online over Zoom from 9:30am - 2:30pm
7 days over two weekends, Weekend 1: Friday-Sunday and Weekend 2: Thursday-Sunday from 10am - 4pm
classes every 2nd Thursday between 10am and 4pm*
7 day Intensive
7 consecutive days of face to face learning from 10am - 4pm
You are assigned to a class and an educator so they get to know you as you submit your work and provide continuity in your marking. The nineteen module program is available online through CANVAS - Student Online Learning System for self paced learning and some modules are accompanied with a relevant DVD link. The course is self paced and you have 12 months to complete the content.
What does Face to Face training look like?
Our face to face training is a small and intimate space, giving students a safe space to share and get the most out of classes.
Training is held over 7 days, split into two long weekends - Friday Saturday and Sunday and a few weeks later Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday (some locations differ, please see dates on the website). A Sydney Intensive class will be held regularly for those who have the ability to attend classes on a regular fortnightly basis.
What does Virtual training look like?
Our virtual training is available around the world to anyone with access to internet. It is also kept small and intimate to give students a safe space to share and are a wonderful alternative for those students who want some personal contact but cannot make in-person training.
This training is designed to fit around your life, from the comfort of your home, making it an option around work commitments, school runs, babies and all of the demands there are to juggle, while still having an opportunity to connect with fellow students and be guided by an experienced educator through key aspects of the curriculum.
Training is held via zoom over 6 days, between 9:30am-2:30pm.
Find a course
Upon completion of the following 19 modules along with your 3 student experiences, you will become a certified Birth and Postpartum Doula.
The training covers four areas:
Prepare for work as a birth doula: This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to work as a birthing doula. You will learn how to apply legal and ethical practices to the work role while maintaining a safe working environment. The birth doula works within the scope of their own role and uses a range of communication skills to work as part of a broader team.
Promote an empowering birth experience: This unit applies to birth doulas who will work independently with a woman to promote an empowering birthing experience, within the legal and ethical practices related to the work role. You will learn of the important of organisational policies and procedures.
Provide doula support services during labour and birth: You will learn how to provide labour and birth support in a range of settings. This work is undertaken using a collaborative approach as part of a broader team of healthcare professionals to implement the birth support plan.
Provide post-natal doula support service: This unit focuses on skills and knowledge required to develop, implement and monitor a plan for post-natal doula support services.
The program is made up of 17 modules:
Module 1: Welcome. Course expectations. Your core beliefs and attitudes towards birth. Clarifying the Doula role.
Module 2: First trimester of pregnancy - mum, partner and baby. Relief of early discomforts. Pre Natal testing. Sexual and reproductive health rights. Journal keeping. Creating your own relaxation space.
Module 3: Second trimester – mum, partner and baby. Nutrition and exercise in pregnancy. Natural remedies. Relaxation tools. Homebirth. Consent in pregnancy and labour. Third trimester and complications.
Module 4: Positions of the baby, Optimum birthing positions. Birth preparation. Effective communication. The Doula Heart Network charity arm. The Groundwork Program.
Module 5: Pre-labour. Medical inductions. Fear in birth. Fears of the Doula. Childbirth complications.
Module 6: Early vs Established labour. Endorphins. Dads/partners. Doulas and support people.
Module 7: Transitions in life. Transitions in birth. 2nd stage of labour. Indigenous birthing culture. Understanding the LGBTQI+ community.
Module 8: Reassessment of the Doula role. Doula research and statistics. Your doula bag. Birth plans and preferences. Positive affirmations. Maternal decision making.
Module 9: Pain and its contributors. Methods of pain relief, natural and medical.
Module 10: Caesareans. VBAC. Understanding the microbiome and vaginal seeding.
Module 11: Unexpected outcomes. Grieving and healing. Miscarriage, termination and stillbirth laws. End of Life Doulas.
Module 12: Self-awareness. Self-care. Personal supervision – why and who? De-briefing.
Module 13: Siblings at birth. Introducing older children. 3rd Stage. Placenta encapsulation. Lotus birth.
Student Experience Readiness: What you need for your Student Birth Experiences
Module 14: Breastfeeding. Bottle-feeding. Working with mums for the best outcome. Resources.
Module 15: Baby growth and development. Vitamin K and Hep B. Routine newborn checks. Procedures and screening.
Module 16: Understanding sleep and settling for babies. New parents support. 24 hr clock. Baby massage and bathing.
Module 17: The role of the postnatal doula. 4th trimester. Working with complex needs clients. Professional boundaries
- Getting Started: Starting your Doula business. Working under agreements. ADC Community and ongoing support. Welcome to your Doula-hood!
Students have the support of their trainer as well as the wider ADC training team. Our on call phone is available to students 24/7.
Students may choose to join the ADC Community student membership which will provide access to the masterclasses and resource centre to assist with your studies and closed Community Facebook group among other benefits. The ADC Community student membership can be purchased for $50, which is more than 50% off the annual membership fee for ongoing community membership.
To gain your certificate, all student Doulas will need to meet the following requirements:
Complete pre-course information sheet and made payment in full
Complete all modules of coursework and participate in the training delivery option of their choice
Have a current First Aid, CPR and WWCC before taking on your 3 experiences
Support 3 experiences as a Student Doula (a small fee is charged to the client)
Develop a resources list for pregnant women and new parents
Demonstrate openness and an ability to integrate knowledge and feelings
"I feel very proud to be a part of the college & to have undertaken my training with these amazing women. The course was empowering & transformative. A wonderful 20 week course that I would recommend to any woman. I feel calm, confident & prepared to support women throughout their pregnancy and birth as their doula." - Sarah Coulter