19 May

Do Doulas Need to be Certified?

01 CAPPA Certified ProudToBeDo Doulas Need to be Certified?

Do doulas need to be certified? The short answer is, no. Truthfully, anyone can say they are a doula. At this time, there is not a governing body that oversees certification requirements and ensures doulas follow a universal standard (but there is legislation in place working to change this!). This can contribute to why some hospitals are hesitant to have doulas in the room. Some “so-called” doulas may challenge the staff, speak on behalf of the patient, encourage patients to do things that go against medical advice, etc. I’m shaking my head because this is NOT what professional/certified doulas do at all. To learn more about what our role is, click here!

What are the benefits of hiring a certified doula? This depends, but to put it simply, the doula is required to maintain the Code of Conduct, Scope of Practice, etc., and complete an intense education and practical learning process of her (or his) governing organization, before being granted certification. In other words, you can be assured that your certified doula has been trained in a serious way! There are many training organizations for birth professionals. When pursuing training, a doula often selects an organization that most similarly aligns with her philosophy of offering services and maintaining her private practice. As a perspective client looking to hire a doula, you may ask the doula which organization she trained with and look into her program if you are curious.

On the flip side…There are many fabulous doulas who are not certified! *gasp* That’s right, some AMAZING doulas are not certified. Your doula may have been a doula for years and has more tangible experience than that of a professionally certified doula. Or, it’s possible the doula completed the professional training and did not go on to become officially certified. Or maybe your doula is in the process of becoming certified…it can take awhile.

In my case, I chose to pursue certification. I love that I am part of an organization of birth professionals that uphold very high standards and offer quality services for clients. To learn more about my certifying organization, visit: www.cappa.net. Furthermore, your momma instinct is going to tell you if you’ve found YOUR doula, certified or not!


Today, I received word that I am now an officially CAPPA Certified Labor Doula!!! I’ll add the fancy letters, CLD, behind my name. Throughout my journey as a doula, I have been so blessed to work with beautiful families as they bring their little ones into the world. I am grateful for each experience as it has contributed to the long road that has lead to me pursuing and completing this professional certification. THANK YOU to all of you who’ve contributed along the way!!! BIG hugs!!! – Doula Jenny