FAQ for Doula and Childbirth Educator Training and Certification: Birth as Heroic Journey

What is the Doula and Childbirth Educator Training and Certification program? Who is it for?

The title of Birthing from Within’s Doula and Childbirth Educator Training is “Birth as a Heroic Journey” (BAHJ).  This program offers a dual certification and prepares you to work with childbearing families as a birth doula and/or childbirth educator.  You can choose to certify as a birth doula, childbirth educator, or both.  The course fee is the same regardless of which path you choose, but you must complete separate certification requirements and pay separate certification fees for each certification at the end of the course.   

This course is intended for anyone who works with or wants to work with pregnant and birthing families, including doulas, nurses, midwives, therapists  and more.

What is the format of the course?

BAHJ is primarily an online course that includes teaching videos, resources, home practices, teaching tools, and journal prompts, as well as a monthly live video call relating to the course content. The live calls alternate between morning and evening times (PST) to accommodate a variety of schedules and time zones. All live calls are recorded for participants to watch later if they are not able to attend live. During the live calls, participants can ask questions, practice, review case studies, etc. We encourage you to join the live calls no matter where you are in the course content, as they are intended for community building and group learning. There is also an online forum, which is especially beneficial for those who cannot attend the live sessions.  

Once you purchase the course it is available to you within one business day.  You will have access to a self-paced course, Introduction to Birthing from Within: Heart of Mentoring right away. The first online BAHJ module will be released on the course start date. Module 2 will open on the first day of the following month. Each remaining module will then become available to you on the first day of the next month. This will give you an opportunity to familiarize yourself with how the modules are formatted and what to expect along the way. There are additional “skills courses” for the childbirth educator and doula tracks that are released in month three. Everyone has access to both skills courses, but you are only required to study the one for the track in which you are certifying. 

How long is the Birth as a Heroic Journey program?

The Birth as a Heroic Journey course is nine months long and includes nine live calls.  After the last live course call, you have twelve months to certify as a childbirth educator and twenty-four months to certify as a doula. You have access to the online material for twelve months after the last live call. 

What is the anticipated time commitment? Can I work at my own pace?

BAHJ is designed so that busy people can weave it into their daily lives. Participants should expect to spend around 3-6 hours per week on the modules, homework assignments, and practice sessions with parents, in addition to the one-hour live sessions each month. Since each module’s material is foundational to the next, and since the course is built around the map of the Heroic Journey, our intention is that participants will move through the course at the pace of approximately one module per month, working through the material in the order in which it is presented. However, you have access to all course material, and are always free to move ahead, slow down, or skip around as desired/necessary.

Is there homework? Am I expected to be working with parents throughout the course?

Yes, there is homework. Each module will include reading, journal prompts, and audio and video resources. Participants will benefit most from this course when they practice new skills with parents (or other people) each month, so that by the end, they will feel competent in sharing Birthing from Within's effective and enriching teachings.

Will I receive tools such as forms, outlines, and/or a syllabus to use for my future practice as a Doula or Childbirth Educator?

Birthing from Within childbirth educators and doulas learn how to respond to parents’ needs, rather than relying upon set-in-stone syllabi and outlines.  BAHJ participants receive “maps” (what we call teaching tools) of all of the processes/techniques that they study, and will discuss and practice how to combine these maps to build sessions that work for their own contexts and clients.

Are there additional costs that I might incur during the course?

There is a reading list for the course which can be found here. All participants must have a copy of Ancient Map for Modern Birth by Pam England. Currently, these books are hard to come by. If you are in the US and would like to purchase a copy, please reach out to the office at contact@birthingfromwithin.com.

If you choose to become certified at the completion of the course, there is a $150 certification fee for each certification - childbirth educator and/or doula. 

We encourage participants to become members of Birthing From Within; membership includes a variety of benefits and carries a $120 annual fee. Membership is required for certification.

What is the certification process?

Both childbirth educators and birth doulas must complete the following general certification requirements: 

  1. Be a current member of Birthing from Within. Annual membership is required in order to obtain and maintain lifetime certification. 
  2. Attend a Crossing the Threshold retreat. You can see our entire lineup of retreats here, and click on any of the links to register. Information on pricing and specific dates can be found on our website by clicking the links above.
  3. Complete the Birth as a Heroic Journey program. This includes:
    1. Attending and participating in all Live Calls. (If you cannot attend a call, listening to the recording, and providing a short written response in the comments in the community forum is required).
    2. Completing the required reading.
    3. Completing the Home Practices - uploading recordings, articles, or responses to the Facebook group as assigned.
    4. Submitting thoughtful responses to each module’s assessment.
    5. Submitting Mid-Course recordings demonstrating your developing mentoring skills (module 5)
  1. Submit the certification application and pay the $150 Certification Fee for each certification you are seeking.
  2. Receive feedback from the course Facilitator to discuss any further growth that is needed before certification can be confirmed. Most participants who stay on track with each module, diligently complete the home practices, and participate fully in the course will find that they are ready for certification.


For those seeking birth doula certification, in addition to the general requirements above, you must:

  1. Complete the Birth Doula Certification: Doula From Within (Doula Skills Course) online module.
  2. Complete the required reading from the Doula Reading List.
  3. Attend a minimum of 4 births after beginning the course.
  4. Conduct prenatal visits, covering required objectives.
  5. Conduct postpartum visits, covering required objectives.
  6. Complete birth summary forms for each birth.
  7. Receive evaluations from client and care provider for each birth,
  8. Participate in the Doula From Within live calls, where you will:
    1. Present two birth summaries to your cohort.
    2. Provide birth summary feedback to one other doula in your cohort.
    3. Receive birth summary feedback from one other doula in your cohort.     
  9. Complete the Doula From Within Certification Application and submit all  documents within 2 years of the last live course call for your cohort. 


For those seeking childbirth educator certification, in addition to the general requirements above, you must: 

  1. Complete the Childbirth Educator: Mentoring From Within (Childbirth Educator Skills course) online module. 
  2. Complete Home Practices.
  3. Practice the skills and process with pregnant parents.
  4. Submit the final certification recordings and accompanying evaluations demonstrating your mentoring skills. Your selections should demonstrate your growth as a mentor, and dedication to mastery of the processes and Core Mentoring Skills. (See full list of requirements for certification recordings in the Childbirth Educator: Mentoring From Within online module.)
  5.  Complete the Childbirth Educator Certification Application and submit all materials  within 12 months of the last live cohort call. 
What type of work will I be able to do after completion of this course?

Birthing from Within childbirth educators and birth doulas are equipped to work in both group and private settings, virtually or in-person, and also weave their new skills into their existing work as doulas, midwives, nurses, therapists, etc.

Who do I contact if I have questions?

If you have any other questions, please email us at contact@birthingfromwithin.com.

Where are you located?

We are U.S. based and all courses are in PST unless otherwise noted.