Doula Training Scholarships

Birth doula scholarships are provided with funding from a March of Dimes Community Grant. Postpartum doula scholarships are donated by Center for the Childbearing Year.

Program Description

A limited number of birth and postpartum doula training scholarships (these are two separate training processes) are available to qualified candidates interested in serving low-income families in their communities as a volunteer doula. Scholarships cover the full cost of training, including the pre-requisite classes. Both birth and postpartum doula training scholarships may be awarded to one individual, but only after the individual has completed all requirements associated with the first scholarship awarded.

In exchange for training, birth doula scholarship recipients agree to provide a package of free services to five women/families in their community within 18 months of completing the training (see details below) and postpartum doula scholarship recipients agree to provide a package of free services to three families (see details below). If awarded a scholarship, you will be asked to sign a contract that summarizes your agreement to provide free doula services to low-income families. We ask that all applicants give serious consideration to their ability to follow through on this commitment in a timely manner.

Michigan Doula Connection is a web-based nonprofit program. As such, it is essential that all participants be web-willing and check email regularly. Please understand that we are only able to accept applicants who are able to manage the online application process.

Applicant Qualifications

For All Candidates:

  • Demonstrate financial need. Scholarships are limited to those who cannot otherwise afford to take doula training. You must be low income to apply–see our Income Guidelines.
  • 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)
  • Plan to continue to reside in Michigan long enough to fulfill your volunteer commitment as outlined below
  • Have transportation available
  • Be available for all training dates
  • Complete the advanced doula training, The Doula’s Role in Reducing Childbearing Risks. The program will take place at Center for the Childbearing Year in Ann Arbor. Participants will have the option to attend in person or participate via Skype as a live, interactive webinar OR download the recorded training from the website.

For Birth Doula Applicants:

  • Be a resident of Michigan; priority will be given to residents of Wayne and Oakland counties who are available to serve families living in Detroit and Southfield. A limited number of scholarships for women living in other counties throughout the state are available.
  • Have demonstrated an interest in working with pregnant women or new moms and babies.
  • Commit to providing a free package of services to five 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 she 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:

  • Preference given to candidates who reside in Michigan counties of Washtenaw, Jackson, Livingston, Oakland, and Wayne.
  • Have demonstrated an interest in working with new mothers and babies.
  • Commit to providing a minimum of 12 hours of free postpartum services to three families within one year 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.

2014 Training Schedule & Application Deadlines

Birth Doula Scholarship Package

The DONA Birth Doula Workshop meets on Friday & Saturday 8:30am–6pm and Sunday 8:30am–5pm. Choose one of the following:

  • February 21–23 (Deadline January 24)
  • April 25–27 (Deadline March 28)
  • July 25–27 (Deadline June 26)
  • November 7–9 (Deadline October 12)

Postpartum Doula Scholarship Package

The DONA Postpartum Doula Workshop meets Thursday–Saturday 8:30am–6pm and Sunday 8:30am–4pm. Choose one of the following:

  • March 20–23 (Deadline February 20)
  • October 16–19 (Deadline September 18)

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.


  • Confirmation of receipt of your application will be via email, typically within 72 hours.
  • Within one full week following the application deadline date for each training, we will make our decision and you will be notified, one way or the other, of your status. Typically, this will be three weeks prior to the training. All applicants will be given equal, unbiased consideration, regardless of when your application is submitted, as long as it is prior to the deadline.
  • Please do not call or email to inquire about your scholarship status. All candidates will be notified by email, one way or the other, precisely three weeks prior to the first training date.
  • All scholarship recipients will be required to confirm acceptance of the scholarship terms via signed contract, by the deadline date listed in their notification email. Failure to do so will result in forfeit of the scholarship. Failure to do so twice will result in exclusion from future consideration as a serious candidate.

What’s Next?

After training, scholarship recipients will be provided with instructions for completing their volunteer commitment, including:

  • how to register in the online Doula Registry as a volunteer doula,
  • how to complete reports for services provided to families
  • options for completing the advanced doula training, The Doula’s Role in Reducing Childbearing Risks


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 and the Greyhound bus terminal.)

Accommodations for Out-of-Towners

Center for the Childbearing YearHere is a list of local hotels. If you cannot afford to stay in a hotel, you can “camp out” at the Center. We have a bathroom (no bath/shower) and kitchenette with refrigerator and microwave available. We are close to any number of grocery stores and inexpensive restaurants. We have two couches and a number of floor pillows, but you will need to bring whatever you require for your sleeping comfort. If you are planning on spending the night, we cannot accommodate partners and children (for women only).

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 on each of the longer training days. Older breastfeeding babies may be brought to our training center during breaks to nurse and the needs of pumping mothers will be accommodated.

Questions about the DONA International doula certification process?

There are separate processes for birth and postpartum doulas. Please go directly to the DONA website for a list of requirements. We will go through 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 on Center for the Childbearing Year’s website. There is lots more information on that site as well!