Become a Doula

What is involved with becoming a doula?

Most doula training and certification programs require some combination of the following steps:

  • fulfillment of training pre-requisites to ensure that class participants are well versed in the basics of childbirth education and breastfeeding
  • completion of professional doula training; see Center for the Childbearing Year for more information
  • completion of required reading
  • completion of hands-on experiential training (attending births as a doula and/or providing in-home services to families postpartum; documentation of same; and submission of positive evaluations from clients served)

It is reasonable to think that one could complete all training and certification requirements within a two-year period. For highly-motivated folks, it might take considerably less time, while for others, it might take longer (depending on life circumstances).

Doula Scholarship Program

Michigan Doula Connection is sponsoring partial scholarships to make doula training more affordable for low-income women. At this time, a limited number of partial scholarships are donated by Center for the Childbearing Year. This opportunity is available to qualified candidates interested in becoming birth or postpartum doulas and volunteering their services to low-income families in their communities. If you are awarded a partial scholarship, you will be able to register for a doula workshop for the substantially discounted fee of $250. In exchange for training, scholarship recipients agree to provide a package of free services to three women/families in their community within 18 months of completing the training (see details below). Completing these services also helps you complete the hands-on experiential requirement for professional DONA International doula certification.

Michigan Doula Connection is 100% web-based. As such, it is essential that all participating applicants be web-able and check email regularly. Please understand that we are only able to accept applicants who are able to manage the online application process in a timely manner and without our assistance.

Applicant Qualifications

For All Candidates:

  • Demonstrate financial need. Scholarships are limited to those who cannot otherwise afford to take doula training.
  • Have an email address that you check regularly (at least 3-4 times per week)
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be a high school graduate (GED acceptable)
  • Be a resident of Michigan and plan to continue to reside in Michigan long enough to fulfill your volunteer commitment as outlined below
  • Have transportation available

For Birth Doula Applicants:
Commit to providing a free package of services to three women that includes: three prenatal visits (if there is time before she births), labor and birth support, and one postpartum home visit. Birth services should be completed within 18 months of finishing the training. Please be aware that this commitment involves being “on-call” 24 hours a day, seven days a week for a period of two weeks before and two weeks after your client’s due date. Once the mother births, of course, you are no longer on call, but you will need to provide the required postpartum visit. If you are currently pregnant or have a job with inflexible work hours or an unreliable childcare situation, these realities are likely to be incompatible with being “on-call” and we ask you to seriously consider whether you will be able to fulfill this obligation before you apply.

For Postpartum Doula Applicants:
Commit to providing a minimum of 8 hours of free postpartum services to three families within 18 months of completing training. For each family, the doula will provide at least two visits per week for two weeks lasting a minimum of three hours each.

Workshop Schedule & Application Deadlines

DONA Birth Doula Workshops
The DONA Birth Doula Workshop meets on Friday & Saturday 8:30am–6pm and Sunday 8:30am–5pm at Center for the Childbearing Year in Ann Arbor. You must be able to attend all hours of the workshop to qualify. There are no make-ups available for scholarship recipients.

  • November 13-15, 2015 (Deadline October 16)

Postpartum Doula Workshops
The DONA Postpartum Doula Workshop meets Thursday–Saturday 8:30am–6pm and Sunday 8:30am–4pm at Center for the Childbearing Year in Ann Arbor. You must be able to attend all hours of the workshop to qualify. There are no make-ups available for scholarship recipients.

  • March 10-13, 2016 (Deadline February 11)
  • October 6-9, 2016 (Deadline September 8)

How to Apply

Please click on one of the Scholarship Application links below save it to your desktop. Complete the application, save the file, and then send by email attachment to: To be considered for a spot in the training, you must email your application by midnight on the deadline date listed.



Notification ~ PLEASE READ

  • Confirmation of receipt of your application will be via email, typically within 72 hours. If you do not receive a confirmation email, you should check with to ensure we received your application.
  • Within a couple of weeks following the application deadline deadline for each training, we will make our decision and you will be notified, one way or the other, of your status. This will be only two to three weeks prior to the training.
  • Scholarship recipients will be given a link to register for the workshop at the $250 fee. You will have a time-sensitive opportunity to accept the scholarship and make a payment in order to reserve your spot in the upcoming training, so please plan accordingly.
  • You may not transfer a scholarship option to another training date. If you are unable to attend a workshop after being invited to register at the scholarship rate, then you must repeat the application process.
  • For candidates not chosen for a partial scholarship, payment plans are available.

Frequently Asked Questions

Location of Trainings
All trainings will be held at Center for the Childbearing Year, 722 Brooks St., Ann Arbor, MI 48103. (We are about 1 mile from the Amtrack station.)

Accommodations for Out-of-Towners
Here is a list of local hotels.

Children at Trainings?
Breastfeeding in-arms infants under six months of age are welcome at the trainings. You must provide childcare for your other children. There are two 15-minute breaks and a one-hour-long lunch break each day. Older breastfeeding babies may be brought to our training center during breaks to nurse and the needs of pumping mothers will be accommodated. We have a refrigerator/freezer available.

Questions about the DONA International doula certification process?
For more information, see Center for the Childbearing Year. There are separate processes for birth and postpartum doulas. We will review the requirements, in detail, during the doula training weekend so you will have an opportunity to get all of your questions answered.

Questions regarding the content of each training?
Please read the individual course descriptions at Center for the Childbearing Year. There is lots more information on that site as well!