No Doula Certification Births With Birth Boot Camp DOULA

No Certification Births For Birth Boot Camp DOULAS

Tradition is wonderful, but sometimes it becomes necessary to question why a certain tradition lives on. In the doula certification world, there is a long tradition of certification births that must be finished before you are officially a doula. While there are good intentions behind the certification birth requirements for doulas, in truth, requiring certification births that meet strict guidelines only serves to devalue the doula profession as a whole.

Maybe you've heard the story of the woman who cuts the ends off her pot roast before putting it in her (large) pan. When her mother notices, she asks why she is doing that. The daughter had never even thought to question why it was done, it was just something she'd seen her mother do all her life. Come to find out, the pan her mother cooked the roast in always seemed too small, so she cut the ends off the pot roast, but she should have just bought a new pan!

What does pot roast have to do with doula certification? Doula certification programs have always required certification births. To keep with tradition, we considered this requirement as part of the Birth Boot Camp DOULA program. As we started asking ourselves hard questions about the purpose of certifying births, we determined that just because they have always been part of the process, doesn't mean they are still useful.

In fact, a strict certifying birth requirement can hold a doula back professionally. In effect, it is time that doula certifying organizations metaphorically buy a pan that fits. At Birth Boot Camp DOULA we do not require certification births to become a doula. We have found a better way.

Why Require Doula Certification Births?

What constitutes a certifying birth? First, some organizations require the doula to be at the birth for a set amount of time for it to count towards certification. Birth Boot Camp teaches that labor is variable and takes as long as it needs, so setting a minimum time is not compatible with what we know about birth. Second, at Birth Boot Camp, we feel that women don't need vaginal exams to progress in labor.

To require a doula to be present from an arbitrary dilation calculation is not supported by our philosophy and continues to promote the erroneous idea that dilation is the only way of measuring labor progress. A final concern is that the Birth Boot Camp DOULA program has a huge emphasis on relational - not just physical - support. We train our doulas to connect with their clients so that they can best serve them. A certain number of certification births does not give us information about a doula's skills in this area.

Continuous Doula Accountability

If the purpose of certifying births is accountability and experience, there is a better way. Birth Boot Camp DOULAS are accountable, not only for the first few births they attend, but all of them throughout their career with Birth Boot Camp DOULA!

Based on the number of Supporting Arms booklets they order for their clients in a given year, our doulas are required to fill out a Birth Summary for 80% of them. We aim for 100% but realize this isn't always possible. Our doulas, like Birth Boot Camp Instructors, keep statistics to be transparent and measure their own effectiveness so we can make changes as needed. Accountability for a doula should last far longer than her three certifying births.

An evaluation form is sent to every Birth Boot Camp DOULA client so that they may evaluate the care they received from their doula This form does not actually go back to the doula, but to our Doula Certification Coordinator, who can then share the evaluation with the doula if the client gives permission. So, the two evaluations are coming from the doula and her client, not a care provider who may have spent only minutes in the doula's presence.

Care providers and nurses may be willing, but generally they have no relationship with the doula or any incentive to help her reach her goal of certification. The most important opinion is that of the birthing mother. We seek her views on the birth and role of her doula and value them highly. At Birth Boot Camp DOULA, certification births are not held over the doula's head, and ongoing evaluations simply become a part of constantly striving to be a better doula.

Changing the Culture of Free Doulas

It is impossible to have a conversation about certification births without addressing free doulas. At Birth Boot Camp DOULA, we talk a lot about professionalism, scope of practice, and sustainability. Doulas being forced to complete certification births perpetuates the problem of couples always looking for a free doula and a culture that undervalues the unique supportive role of female birth workers.

Birth Boot Camp DOULAS complete a heavy workload, followed by an intense 3-day workshop. They complete an exam at the end of the workshop, and upon passing, they are declared certified. They are ready to work! We recommend they charge a starting wage at their discretion, charging not below $300. A Birth Boot Camp DOULA will never be encouraged to work for free nor will she be so desperate for her certification births that she feels compelled to work for free.

Doulas Supporting Doulas

Birth Boot Camp DOULAS leave training with all the skills, knowledge and business savvy to be incredible doulas. She is not left to figure things out on her own, as she has a tremendous support team at Birth Boot Camp Headquarters and among her fellow Birth Boot Camp DOULAS. We have created an avenue to launch new Birth Boot Camp DOULAS to success and help them to reach their goal of having an enjoyable, profitable, and sustainable career as a doula.

Our mentorship program is designed to develop each Birth Boot Camp DOULAs relational support skills, business model, support them through their early births, and enhance what they learned through Birth Boot Camp DOULA training.

At Birth Boot Camp DOULA we have aimed to create a unique and superior doula certification program. We are not afraid to break tradition in order to make better doulas who can have lasting careers where they are compensated for their efforts. There is no doula certification program that offers the training, materials, and ongoing support that Birth Boot Camp DOULA does. Join our ranks today!


Holly S

This makes so much sense! I love that BBC keeps stats on everything, so that doulas can have transparency and hold themselves accountable for the quality of care they provide; it seems obvious that this is an effective way of making sure the program trains good doulas. (Not that I have any doubts; everything that BBC does is pretty amazing!)


I love THIS!! can’t say how much! Is there any time you’d consider doing a class in another location? I’m in Nebraska and would LOVE to do my doula training with you! But that’s quite a jaunt!


We have no plans for that at this moment. We did just have someone certify in Nebraska though! Check out our instructor map and contact her! Maybe she can give you some tips on how she made it happen. We try our best to make it worth your while. We would love to see Nebraska grow!


I would love to be a Birth Boot Camp certified doula! I am already an instructor and LOVE it and the ladies that run it.

Cameo S

I think birth is such an amazing experience and as a doula I could have the ability to help shape another woman’s birth experience, helping her feel empowered as she brings life into this world. Doulas rock!


Seriously…This makes so much sense!! How can we expect potential clients to value our services and experience if our certifying bodies don’t? Bravo! :)


I love how forward-thinking Birth Boot Camp is! Ya’ll aren’t afraid to be different or take a stand to change the status quo for the better!


Our goal is to improve the birthing climate for women and their families, and obviously, some things need to be re-assessed. Thanks for commenting!


I love that you guys are breaking the mindset that a lot of people have of “I can just find a doula that will work for free”. Doulas work hard and put a lot of time and effort into their work, not to mention all the time and money spent during training and certification. You truly do get what you pay for and doula’s deserve to be able to have a sustainable profession just like everyone else.


I love that you guys are breaking the mold. So many people just follow the routine of those set before them without asking why. I’ve been interested in becoming a Doula for a long time. Considering it more seriously lately… I may be joining your ranks soon!


We can’t wait to have you join us! Feel free to message us or call us if you have any questions. Also, seek out our private Facebook group, Love What You Doula, for more interaction with some awesome women!


When I was an intern in high school, I was at a fork in the road with what I wanted to do in life. Did I want to be Nurse Practitioner, or Neonatal Nurse or better yet just a Phlebotomy Tech.? One day, I saw a live C-section and received my answer. I wanted to work with pregnant women and their babies. Not only that, I wanted to be involve from the time the pregnancy started til the baby entered the world. How humans are made is so fascinating that I couldn’t see myself doing anything else. I also want to be the health care professional that just delivers the baby. I want to be the change for the industry for Doulas and Midwives. Take the stigma away and prove that it is beneficial to have one. I am just so excited about this field. i feel like I am rambling. Best wishes to anyone studying to be a Doula or a Midwife. :)


This was a fascinating read, and I’m glad to hear that you are changing the doula training paradigm. Your program gives me hope that the goal of becoming a working doula by next year may be possible!

JA Martin

I wish I had know about this when I was having babies!! I like this concept so much, I am considering becoming a Doula myself

Laurie McGowan

I was so excited about the program that after certifying as an Instructor. The back end piece of the company is awesome and after 4 years of humming and hawing over doula certification, I am taking the leap. And that was even with certifying births. I am even more thankful now as it shows how much the organization cares for their doulas and how much they want to see their doulas succeed with sustainable businesses.


Women’s work, if there is such a thing, is important. The work done by women is too often undervalued. This is an important service and we do important work.

Leslie Geick

SO excited to become a part of the ranks at Birth Boot Camp! I am ready to be able to reach MORE families, and to help them on the journey to having an exceptional birth experience!


I honestly hadn’t ever thought about it this way, but I love the different perspective and believe it is an absolutely valid point!! I really look forward to becoming a Doula through Birth Boot Camp Doula program!


Wow! As a veteran teacher, I appreciate your evaluative process and respect for the challenges of a new doula. I would be honored to train with you — I completed my first training last fall and STILL trying to complete those first, certifying births. As a work at home mama, it is challenging to offer all of my services for free while still covering childcare and gas, let alone working towards additional training that will improve my knowledge and skills for families.


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