All about DTI

What can I expect from DTI’s full-spectrum training?

  • We've been training doulas both online and in person for years with high marks from our students!
  • Online students learn on-the-go; perfect for tech-savvy students with busy schedules. No travel or childcare is required.
  • Select in-person trainings offered in DC, LA, and Berlin, as well as through our educators at MomCares Baltimore and Amelia Mattocks Doula!
  • Although there are no deadlines to complete training or to certify with DTI, the online course is designed to be completed across the span of 1 semester or roughly 3 months, with live instruction from the educator team. If in person, the pre-requisite videos + 4-day workshop is an intensive version of the online material.
  • After completing your training, it's time to connect with your local community! You are now qualified to work with clients as a birth doula, postpartum doula, and a reproductive health support doula. Certification is optional but useful!
  • As you get busy building your doula practice, connect with your DTI community often. Participate in community chat as well as special workshops every month.
  • Students benefit from returning to their course modules as often as they like. The online course is provided inside our private community. Video lessons are captioned and audio files are transcribed.

What content does the training include?

Review the content outline HERE

What's the difference between an online and in-person training?

  • When you register for any DTI training, you gain access to our full suite of courses and resources, plus ability to complete your certification on any timetable that works for you, provided you remain a current member.
  • If you register for one of our 4-day workshops, you'll also experience training in a retreat-style setting with plenty of warm connection!
  • One year of membership is included in your course purchase. After the first year, optional membership can be renewed for $19.99/mo. or $220/yr. (8% savings)
  • Registered participants' training course opens instantly so you can begin your modules right away. Look out for the virtual live classes as well, so you can jump right into the next one. If you miss it, no worries. That topic will repeat again in a few weeks. And you can also catch the replay any time you are ready to dive in!
  • After the 4-day workshop and/or completing your modules, all students continue receiving monthly support: virtual live classes, doula storytelling hours, and other specialty workshops (offered each month through the membership).

We hope to see you there! Book a Free Discovery Call with our friendly program specialist if you still have questions.

What support does DTI offer its doulas after training?

DTI's program is unique in that support is offered ongoing, so that you can jump in (or jump back in) any time with no deadlines. After you complete your online training course (or 4-day workshop) you can begin working with clients right away. Or you might feel you need more time and would like to attend some of our live instructional calls which occur on a rolling basis. We are here to guide you as you begin this important work!

What are the requirements to become certified?

The checklist is pretty simple!

  1. Support 2 or 3 clients as a labor doula. If 3, your requirement is complete. If 2, you may support a 3rd client for another reproductive health need, such as fertility, loss, or a pregnancy release (full-spectrum doulas only). If you have questions about what is considered client support, we provide comprehensive guidance.
  2. Support 2 clients as a postpartum doula (full-spectrum and postpartum-only doulas)
  3. Complete the required forms and write journal entries for these client interactions.
  4. Complete the reading checklist
  5. Create a resource referral list to share with your clients, to include a broad range of reproductive health support (practitioners, providers, or other supportive resources).
  6. Observe and document attendance at a childbirth education class or series in your community.
  7. Attend and complete an Infant and Child CPR Certification.
  8. Observe a class for expectant or new parents. This could be a new parent support group, a breastfeeding class, or a newborn care class in your community.
  9. Write a simple Business Strategy Outline to set you on the right path when leaving the program.
  10. Write 2 brief essays: one describing the role of the doula and another sharing how you wish to make an impact in your community as a doula.

That's it! Once your documents are completed and submitted through our system, a DTI team member will review and approve within 4-6 weeks.

Begin your doula work any time you are ready. There are no deadlines with DTI. As long as your membership remains current, you are welcomed to submit your certifying doula work any time. The certifying doula work must have occurred sometime after beginning your training and within the last 12 months from the day you are submitting.

We recommend that you begin seeking client work no later than the end of month 3 after starting your program to ensure the best motivation and continuity.

What happens if I take a training but don’t certify?

  • Certification is not required to be a great doula.
  • Doulas are special non-clinical healthcare providers. Licensure is not required and certification is a personal choice. At DTI we believe it's imperative to push back on efforts to regulate doulas.
  • Doulas wear many hats and there are different ways to work in the field. Sometimes trained DTI doulas don't complete certification and still find satisfying work as a doula. Still others use it to springboard into other areas of reproductive health. The possibilities are numerous!

What happens if I don’t complete all of the requirements in 12 months?

  1. There are no deadlines to complete certification with DTI, provided your membership remains current.
  2. 1 year of DTI membership is included with any doula training course purchase. Inside your welcome email, follow the instructions for setting up a Membership & Learning account. A card is required for setup, but you will be charged $0.00. Choose a renewal interval that works for you, monthly or annually. The membership will auto-renew 1 year later, unless you cancel.
  3. Current members also retain access to their course lessons.
  4. Members who have lapsed for longer than 6 months may certify by purchasing the DTI Certification Pathway.

Should I offer support at no cost to clients before I certify?

We strongly recommend using a written document (contract) and setting a fee for your services with your very first clients, immediately following your training. Developing a professional practice provides the highest rate of long-term sustainability for our doulas. However, this approach is a personal choice. DTI advocates for autonomy for the doula to develop a practice which feels authentic to themselves and the communities they serve.

I want to practice only as a birth doula or only as a postpartum doula. Which training should I choose?

  • If you already feel certain you will not be practicing as a birth or reproductive health doula in the near future, we offer postpartum only trainings.
  • If you already feel certain you will not be practicing as a postpartum or reproductive health doula in the near future, we offer birth only trainings.
  • Check out our 2023 Schedule for birth-only or postpartum-only training dates. These trainings are offered exclusively online.

Can I become certified sooner than 12 months?

  • If you complete all of the requirements listed above, you are welcome to submit your materials for review and approval at any time. Students must allow up to 10 weeks for the review and final approval process.
  • Most participants find they need the 12 months to become established in their work and create a thriving, sustainable practice.

Is your certification valid outside of the United States?

  • Yes! Doulas have the freedom to work anywhere they choose, including internationally.
  • To work as a doula, licensure is not required. Doulas do not have one central regulatory body. Given that our work is one hundred percent non-clinical, regulation is not required. Certification is a professional marker that many doulas choose to pursue, but it should not be a requirement before working as a doula.

What makes Doula Trainings International (DTI) different from other training organizations?

  • Ongoing support! Many of the doula trainings offered are just a short workshop without support for the journey beyond. Signing up with DTI affords you lifetime access so long as you are a current member, including a comprehensive curriculum with virtual support from your community every step of the way.
  • Rigorous and current. DTI doulas are experienced, well-educated and well-prepared to serve all pregnant and birthing families through the lens of cultural humility and reproductive justice.
  • Giving back is built into the model. Each registrant becomes part of a greater purpose. As an organization DTI is committed to offering a minimum of 60 scholarships per year. We meet this goal through our pay-it-forward model, allotting 25% of all full paying members' tuition fees into the scholarship fund.
  • Practical. Once earned, certification is lifetime. Life happens! If you need to step away from doula work to have a baby of your own, or for any other reason, once earned your certification will not lapse. All doulas who train with us are able to stay plugged in and current in the field through either monthly or annual DTI membership.
  • Autonomous. We strongly believe in autonomy for all persons, including doulas. The doula role is non-clinical and should never be regulated or licensed. We have complete confidence in the training and support our doulas have access to in order to be effective change-makers in today’s reproductive health climate.

What is the cost to become a doula?

  • The DTI full-spectrum program is $1,297 online or $1,897 in person. This provides 3-in-1 training and includes a year of membership (a $240 value). Many doula trainings are just a training — a short workshop without support for the journey beyond. Signing up with DTI affords you lifetime access to a comprehensive curriculum with virtual support from your community every step of the way.
  • You might also choose to sign up for a standalone birth or postpartum course for $697.
  • The Certification Pathway is included in each course purchase. No need to purchase separately, unless your membership has lapsed for longer than 6 months.
  • Each registrant becomes part of a greater purpose. As an organization DTI is committed to offering a minimum of 120 scholarships per year. We meet this goal through our pay-it-forward model, allotting 25% of all full paying members' tuition fees into the scholarship fund.
  • Aside from the cost associated with purchasing books from the reading list, DTI's program is all-inclusive. There are no hidden fees or confusing processes to maintain your status as a doula. It's a misconception that DTI's program costs more. Add the total of separate workshops and required fees together from other programs, and DTI's full-spectrum offering is roughly the same.
  • DTI offers a full team of experienced educators to support you after the training as you work on carving out your unique path as a doula. The full-spectrum program offers support for doulas working in a variety of ways and settings. If you plan to build a business around your services, you will have several potential revenue streams.

Do you offer payment plans?

Yes. You may select the 50% deposit option when checking out. The remaining balance is due 30 days later.

Do you offer scholarships?

Yes! Learn more and apply HERE.

What is DTI’s mission?

  • We believe families deserve compassionate, evidenced-based support at all stages of life—no matter their gender, race, religion, class or sexual orientation. Together, we are cultivating culturally humble communities that reimagine the role of reproductive work.
  • Learn more about our mission & values.

Why does DTI use gender affirming language?

  • DTI’s goal is to open the door wider to include as many different people as possible in our community. One way to do this is to use inclusive language throughout our course materials. Culturally humble educators and doulas can and should take the time to listen to the experience of all people as unique individuals to learn about their needs regarding learning environments, care providers, birth locations, and more.
  • A doula’s role is to affirm all pregnant people. Using the language “birthing families,” “pregant person” and “birthing person” when speaking to groups includes all and excludes no one. Our entire society is set up to affirm two genders when in fact, gender exists on a spectrum. Gender and sex are not the same thing. Clients who benefit from and prefer using gendered terms remain free to use this language with their doulas and other providers.

Why is birth work a social justice issue?

  • DTI stands for autonomy. We believe in human rights. Therefore, protecting choice is imperative. Reproductive rights combined with social justice is defined as “the right to have a child, not have a child, and to parent children in safe, healthy environments.” To reach the point of having a choice, rights must come first.
  • We are always learning, growing, and studying about the larger healthcare system and how doulas can work most effectively as a part of the solution.

All about Scholarships

What does the DTI scholarship include? 

The DTI scholarship covers the full cost unless specified otherwise, of the training of your choice. Applicants chosen for a scholarship are still responsible for paying the DTI membership fee of $220/year. To learn more about DTI Memberships, click HERE

Who can apply for DTI scholarships? 

DTI is committed to our mission and values that reimagine the role of reproductive work that is disproportionality affecting marginalized communities. Our scholarship program is for black, indigenous, and/or person of color (BIPOC) and/or trans, two spirited or gender non-conforming birth workers.

Which trainings does the DTI scholarship cover?

The DTI scholarship can cover full-spectrum, birth, and postpartum doula training. You will specify in your scholarship application which training you would like to attend. Please click HERE

for additional details on each training.

When will I know if I have received a scholarship?

Scholarship applicants selected to receive a scholarship will be notified four weeks in advance of their training date via email. The selected scholarship applicant has 48 hours to accept their scholarship; if they have not registered for the course within the 48 hours, another scholarship applicant will be selected and notified promptly. Once all scholarships have been allotted for a training date, an email will be sent to scholarship applicants notifying them the selected training date scholarships have been allocated.

How many scholarships does DTI have? 

Each training is allotted 2-4 scholarships depending on how many participants register for the training and external funding.

Can I select more than one training date for a scholarship? 

Yes! You can select as many training dates that you would like to be considered for a scholarship.

Are trainings in person? 

We will be bringing back in-person trainings in 2023.

Who can I contact if I have additional questions regarding DTI scholarships? 

Please email for any additional questions.