Birth Doula Training

Working with birthing families is more than just a career; It’s a calling. Learn from experienced doulas currently practicing in the Seattle area so you can provide crucial support to expectant families in your community.

Program Overview

Birthing families across the U.S. and the globe are looking for the emotional, informational, and evidence-based support that only a birth doula can provide. Upon completion of this program, you will feel empowered to start supporting families as a doula, as you will have in-depth knowledge of pain management techniques, labor variations and complications, newborn care, lactation support, and more.

Program Length

Program Length: 32 or 36 hours - depending on the workshop format.



Course Details

Doula (doo’-luh) is a Greek word referring to an experienced woman who helps other women. Today, the word is used to refer to a trained person who provides physical, emotional, and informational support to a birthing person and their families before, during, and after childbirth.  

Doulas recognize that childbirth is a transformative life experience and strive to ensure that birthing people and their families feel empowered and informed throughout the birthing process and beyond, no matter what type of birth they have. 


The Simkin Center for Allied Birth Vocations offers various formats to meet the career, certification, and learning needs of our students. Our workshops are taught by experienced, working doulas and address the same objectives, preparing you for entry-level work as a birth doula. Please see the descriptions below to choose the workshop that’s right for you:

The 36-hour, Simkin Center Birth Doula Skills Workshop is hosted as a live-remote class via Zoom. This training meets and exceeds the certification requirement for hours and content required by many certification organizations, including the prerequisite requirements for Bastyr University’s Midwifery program. This workshop meets three requirements for DONA International Birth Doula certification: the DONA-approved Birth Doula Workshop, Introduction to Childbirth Education, and Lactation for Doulas classes. The depth and breadth of this quarter-long workshop allow more time for greater application of skills and concepts in class. Please be prepared to complete 2 hours of prep work before each class. 

The 32-hour, 2 & 4-week DONA-approved Birth Doula Skills Workshop is hosted in person at our Bastyr University facilities at the Seattle or Kenmore campus. This in-person workshop meets three requirements for DONA International Birth Doula certification: the DONA-approved Birth Doula Workshop, Introduction to Childbirth Education, and Lactation for Doulas classes. The workshop is fast-paced and intensive. Please be prepared to complete 4-6 hours of prep work before each class in addition to reading the fifth edition of The Birth Partner. Workshop taught by Kim James, BTD(DONA), ICCE, LCCE, CLE, NA-C.

The Birth Doula Skills Workshop curriculum includes:  

  • Anatomy and physiology of pregnancy, fetal development, labor, postpartum, and breastfeeding  
  • Components of prenatal care and the midwifery model of care  
  • Emotions of pregnancy  
  • Pain management techniques  
  • Medical procedures used in labor  
  • Labor variations and complications, including Cesarean birth 
  • Communication and listening skills  
  • The emotional and psychological aspects of giving birth and its significance in women’s lives  
  • The doula’s role, professional ethics, standards of practice, and certification  
  • Emotional support and physical comfort measures  
  • Support for difficult labors, Cesarean birth, and vaginal birth after Cesarean  
  • Newborn care and breastfeeding support  
  • Values clarification and cultural sensitivity  
  • Includes Introduction to Childbearing
  • Includes Breast/Chestfeeding for Doulas

The Birth Partner (Penny Simkin) 

All cancellation, transfer, make-up, and refund requests must be received in writing via email.

Cancellation Policy

  • Cancellation requests made at least 30 calendar days before the first day of the workshop are eligible for a full refund, minus a $150 processing fee.
  • Cancellation requests made less than 30 calendar days before the start of the class are not eligible for a refund.

Transfer Policy

  • Transfer requests must be made at least 30 calendar days before the first day of the workshop and will incur a $100 processing fee.

Make-Up Policy:

  • Attendance for 100% of the live course sessions (in-person or remote) is required.
  • No refunds are provided for no shows or missed portions of the course.
  • To obtain your certificate of completion, it is necessary for you to attend all sessions and successfully complete all assignments.
  • It may be possible to make-up missed sessions of the course with approval from the instructor and the Simkin Center Director, please note this option is not guaranteed.
  • Some sessions will require make-up attendance during a future Birth Doula Skills Workshop, please note that a $100 processing fee, plus $100 per makeup session will apply.
  • Make-up sessions must be completed within 9 months of your initial workshop.
  • If you have missed any sessions and need to explore your options for make-up, please contact us. We will be glad to assist you.

To be eligible for a refund or transfer, you must submit your request in writing via email, [email protected], even if you initiate the process via Catalog.

The Simkin Center reserves the right to cancel courses due to insufficient enrollment or circumstances beyond our control.

If you have any questions about our registration policies, please don't hesitate to contact us via email at [email protected] or give us a call at (425) 602-3378.