Ask A DTI Doula: How Do Doula Trainings Work?

Ask A DTI Doula: How Do Doula Trainings Work?

What does it look like to become a doula? What are some of the birth world’s most pressing issues? In our new series, Ask A DTI Doula, DTI educators and trained doulas will answer some of our community’s questions.

For the sixth piece in the series, we have a few notes from our admin team on how to train with us in 2020. We offer different online and in-person options we offer for new and/or trained doulas looking to expand their skill set, seek certification or get started.



1.) First—what kind of doula trainings does DTI offer?


A doula is a person who is trained to assist another birthing individual during childbirth and who may provide support to the family after the baby is born. Beyond a doula’s role within birth and postpartum support, we also believe that doulas are community-builders, modern-day healers, experts and professionals—and that we have the opportunity to change the world’s approach to reproductive health and birth.

So, you we have multiple training options at DTI. You can train with us online or in-person. You can take a full-spectrum doula training (which trains you to provide birth, postpartum and reproductive health support). You can train to become a birth doula or postpartum doula only.


2.) Ah, so you offer online and in-person options. What is the difference between an online and an in-person full-spectrum training with DTI?


The curriculum is identical for both programs and formatted to optimize your learning. With online training, you can learn on the go, which is perfect for tech-savvy students with busy schedules. (No travel or childcare is required.) The in-person trainings are available in select cities and require four full days of intensive learning, 9 AM  to 5 PM each day.

In-person students receive the benefit of circling up face to face. Online students benefit from returning to their course modules as often as they like during the 12-month program. The online course is provided via a third party state-of-the-art learning platform, Thinkific. The coursework is equivalent to the curriculum covered in a four-day workshop. 

Online, you engage in approximately 3 months of coursework and nine months of field work, though you can begin working with clients sooner if you feel ready. In person, you are ready to begin working in the field immediately following your training. In both programs, you remain engaged in a robust virtual learning community for a total period of 12 months, beginning on Day One of your training. Your certification requirements must be complete and submitted by this date (one year after Day One of your training) to be eligible to become certified. You can submit via the upload tool located in DTI’s membership portal. If one year after Day One of your training falls on a weekend or holiday, you may submit your materials on the first non-holiday weekday after your deadline.


3.) Of your doula trainings, which training should I choose?

We recommend that every prospective doula consider enrolling in full-spectrum. You have much autonomy and choice over how you certify and practice, but our full-spectrum program will provide a basis of understanding for a much broader range of needs, which greatly enhances your ability to support clients at all stages even if you are just there for their births. In addition, the curriculum prepares you for many future possibilities of working in the field in non-traditional capacities. This sets you up for sustainability and fulfillment if you need to take a leave of absence from birth work. 

If you’ve already trained/certified in postpartum and/or reproductive health, you would be a perfect candidate for our Birth doula training either online or in person. These separate birth and postpartum trainings are offered on a limited basis, but online sessions start more frequently.


4.) I’ve actually already trained with another organization, but I want to train with DTI, too. What are my options?


If you are a practicing doula with proof of prior training and/or certification, you can select one of our Path 2 courses. What is a Path 2 course?

  • Path 2 courses are online only and are ideal for doulas who may be looking for the quickest path to certifying with DTI in either birth or postpartum, but not both at the same time. 
  • Practicing doulas may also choose to experience the Full-Spectrum course by enrolling through Path 1.
  • We recommend selecting the Path 2 course (Birth or Postpartum) which corresponds with the doula work you are currently doing. 
    • If you are currently practicing as a birth doula, you can select our Path 2 BIRTH course any time you are ready to begin. You will have 9 months to complete your coursework and submit materials to DTI for certification. You are then certified as a birth doula with DTI for life!
    • If you are currently practicing as a postpartum doula, you can select our Path 2 POSTPARTUM course any time you are ready to begin. You will have 9 months to complete your coursework and submit materials to DTI for certification. You are then certified as a postpartum doula with DTI for life!
  • After completion of your course, you become eligible to enroll in the Path 2 Birth or Postpartum, depending on which one you still need. 
  • After completing certification in both of these, you are eligible to certify as a Full-Spectrum doula by completing additional course content included in your membership and completing a short set of requirements.


5.) So, why should I train with DTI? What makes Doula Trainings International (DTI) different from other training organizations?


DTI is a fully independent, professional membership organization and certifying body for doulas and childbirth educators. Our small business was founded in 2011 and we have certified approximately 400 doulas. We are not affiliated with DONA, Cappa or any other certifying body. We host our own, close-knit trainings led by a member of our educator panel. Our trainings are online or in select cities across the United States. 

DTI’s curriculum stands apart because of its focus on social justice and inclusion and its full-spectrum focus. No other trainings in the industry offer both of these together in one program. At DTI, full-spectrum comprises birth, postpartum, and reproductive health, teaching you how to support clients at all stages of the journey. From pre-conception, conception, to abortion, to loss and bereavement, to birth and postpartum, at DTI, all choices are valid. From medicated and unmedicated birth, to breast- or chest-feeding, to bottle-feeding, to attachment parenting or gentle sleep training methods and everything in between, DTI takes great care to shine a light on clients’ needs and autonomy while guiding doulas through a learning process allowing them to expertly understand and compassionately support these needs. 

DTI offers the only training in the industry which is followed by 12 months of guided support with live video calls each month and hands-on support from our educator panel.


Want to become a doula with DTI?


You can reach out to DTI at with any questions and you can also browse our 2020 training calendar to learn moreCurious about DTI’s programs? Click here to learn more about becoming a doula through the different programs we offer. (You must become a member of DTI first before you can register.)

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