Find quick answers from our comprehensive list of questions and answers regarding doula training with New Beginnings.
- Does New Beginnings Doula Training offer certification?
- Why should I get certified as a doula?
- Why does New Beginnings Doula Training contain so much medical information?
- Will I receive a certificate at the end of New Beginnings’ birth doula training program?
- What are the requirements to complete Certification with New Beginnings Doula Training?
- How will my assignments be graded and what happens if I don’t pass an assignment?
- How many births do I need to attend to complete the New Beginnings Doula Training program?
- Do I have to find my own connections and births or does New Beginnings Doula Training help market my services?
- Do I need to have a high school diploma or GED to enroll in New Beginnings Doula Training? Is there a minimum age requirement?
- How long does it take to complete the program requirements for New Beginnings Doula Training’s birth doula certification?
- Something came up; can I pause the birth doula training program or will I lose my progress?
- The program is self paced, so I can finish anytime between a couple months to a couple years depending on my availability and such. Does that mean there are no time limits on any of it?
- I’m interested in becoming a doula but have a limited amount of time to become certified. My daughter/sister/friend’s due date is very soon. Is there any quick way to get certified?
- Is New Beginnings Doula Training ALL online?
- Is online doula training and certification as effective as an in-person training class?
- Do I have to attend any classes in-person as a part of my doula training?
- Is New Beginnings Doula Training valid where I live?
- Is New Beginnings Doula Training recognized in countries besides the U.S?
- I just signed up for New Beginnings Doula Training program, but didn’t receive any additional information. What should I do?
- I have registered for New Beginnings Doula Training’s birth doula program, when will the courses begin?
- Do I need to order books on my own, or will you send them to me as a part of the registration process?
- What books do I need to buy/borrow to complete the birth doula program?
- I live (outside the United States) and I don’t think I will get any books if I order them from you. Can I purchase them myself?
- How much do the books cost for New Beginnings Doula Training’s birth doula program?
- Does the edition of the books matter?
Trainer / Coaching Calls
- How much does it cost to become a doula?
- It’s really only $25 per month? Are there any additional fees for New Beginnings Doula Training?
- What is the total end cost of New Beginnings Doula Training birth doula program upon completion?
Subscriptions / PayPal
- How will I be billed for doula training?
- Do I have to use PayPal to pay for doula training through New Beginnings Doula Training?
- My main email address is different than the email address associated with my PayPal account. Will that be a problem?
- How do PayPal subscriptions work? How will I be billed from month to month?
Pausing / Cancellation
- When can I cancel my registration?
- What happens to my account and course progress when I cancel my training?
- I’ve decided doula-work is not for me. Can I cancel my subscription permanently?
- Are there any penalties for pausing or canceling my subscription for doula training?
Students & Alumni
- Who do I contact if I need help with my doula training?
- How do I contact my trainer?
- Can I ask for a different trainer if I don’t like the one assigned to me?
- How do I find doula clients?
- Do I have to do course assignments in order or can I hop around a bit?
- It is difficult to do some of the assignments because of personal circumstances, religious beliefs, or local conditions beyond my control (such as were seen with COVID restrictions). Do I have to finish every one exactly as it is given?
- Do I really need both books to progress through the doula training course work?
- How are assignments graded? What happens if I fail an assignment?
- When I submit an assignment, does it need to be written in essay form?
- I had to take a break from my training, but now I am ready to continue. What do I have to do to start my training again?
- What is the cost for returning to training?
- Do I have to start over from the beginning when I come back to my training after having taken a break?
- How long is certification good for through New Beginnings Doula Training?
- How do I renew my birth doula certification?
- What is the cost to renew my doula certification through New Beginnings Doula Training?
Yes, you can be certified through New Beginnings Doula Training. However, because doulas are not medically trained personnel, certification is currently not required to work as a doula. Anyone can work as a doula regardless of whether or not they have been certified to do so, (except in the state of Minnesota.) That said, a certification course like New Beginnings offers the assurance that you have received a solid education for both you and your clients’ benefit. Full Explanation »
There is a lot you can learn on your own by just attending births, and this is acceptable for many people who are going into doula work. These experiences can offer you information and insight into how to be a doula. However, as in any field of study, knowledge is power. New Beginnings is for those who want to delve a little deeper and understand more completely the hows and whys of labor and the work doulas do. Additional Reasons Why to Certify »
New Beginnings’ goal is to provide the complete support and care that a doula provides to as many women as possible. Notice the difference. We don’t wish to train as many doulas as possible; we want to train doulas to serve as many expectant mothers as possible. Given that mission and focus, a doula needs to be versed and trained on how to function within a medical environment.
Yes, upon course completion, you will receive a digital certificate of completion in both PDF and PNG formats. The PDF version is print quality. In addition to receiving these digital files, you will also have a web page posted specifically for your certification. This will serve the dual purpose of validating your credentials and advertising your services as a doula. We have discontinued mailing printed certificates in favor of the digital version. The digital version allows us to provide an extra layer of validation. View Current Listing of Certified Doulas »
The following requirements must be completed to receive birth doula certification through New Beginnings Doula Training:
Read through all course work.
Read assigned readings
Complete 45 written assignments.
Provide full doula support for 2 clients.
Attend 2 births (ideally for the 2 clients that you have provided full support for).
Submit 2 birth packets.
Read full details for Certification Requirements >>
There are no “pass” or “fail” grades when working through your course materials. Rather, assignments are designed to assess comprehension and mastery of the topic being discussed.
All assignments are submitted in a written format only. No multiple choice quiz-style questions. The assignments are structured in such a way to assess critical thinking skills and comprehension of the topic presented. While assignments are to be written, there is no predefined writing format, essay style, or length requirements for each answer.
When an assignment is submitted, your trainer will review your submission and mark the assignment as “complete” or “incomplete”. If marked as “incomplete” then your trainer will offer additional feedback in the comments and then you will be able to rework the assignment and resubmit it for review. Trainers follow a predefined course rubric when assessing if an assignment is to be marked “complete” or “incomplete”.
New Beginnings Doula Training requires that you attend two (2) births during the training process. Because specific skills are being taught and practiced, then previously attended births usually do not qualify for the requirement.
Yes and Yes. While we don’t have established connections with birth professionals in most communities (to do so would be logistically impossible), we do prepare our students to establish those connections where they live. A primary aim of our program is our emphasis on community and working yourself into the established birthing community where you live. To that end, we do tend to give a little more attention to the medical aspects of birth, so that our doulas feel confident and comfortable working alongside other members of the birth team.
We also encourage community outreach through our assignments. These community assignments help you develop relationships with prospective connections and clients, otherwise known as marketing.
No, there are no educational prerequisites for enrolling in our certification program. Whether you are still in high school or never completed your high school education (or the GED equivalent,) you are welcome to register for our training program. Please note that our program is a reading-intensive program which includes college-level, research-based medical papers. As such, the program may or may not be suited to your particular style of learning.
Based on past student performances, we estimate that all course work and practice take between 150 – 200 hours. Ideally, the course is set up so that it can be completed in a 6 to 9 month time frame. However, considering that two certification births are required to finish, it often takes closer to a year. That said, there is no minimum or maximum time requirement. Students with a background in nursing or other birth-related professions may find that they are able to complete their training in less time. Course Requirements and Process »
If at any time during the course you need to take a break, for any reason, then you can contact your trainer and they will arrange for your progress to be paused. This will immediately suspend payments and save your progress “as is”. When you are ready to resume, you can contact New Beginnings to restart the program or to continue where you had formerly left off. This will resume payments with no stacked fees nor penalties.
Yes, New Beginnings Doula Training programs are entirely self-paced. There are no start dates, no open-enrollments dates, and no time frames to complete assignments. Because we all live busy lives, we understand that it can be hard to commit to a regimented schedule.
Pausing or taking extended breaks from your training is also allowed and acceptable. We often can’t predict major life events that consume large amounts of time.
Though you will have no required classroom times or attendance, we do strongly encourage potential students to self-assess their current time commitments, and then, plan to dedicate a specific amount of time per week towards doula training, such as 5 to 10 hours per week.
Yes, since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, new hospital restrictions have prevented family members and friends from being present at birth. New Beginnings Doula Training offers a basic doula certificate, which takes about 16 hours to complete and meets the basic doula certification requirements that many hospitals have for doula support persons. These certificates are good for only 30 days. For additional information about the basic doula certificate and requirements, please send us a direct inquiry or talk with your trainer after registration.
Yes, New Beginnings offers doula certification worldwide, but entirely online. There are two (2) books you will be required to purchase, but we currently have no in-person classes. That said, we do have a Facebook group where our students and alumni chat and share notes and stories together. And we have a directory of graduates displaying names, locations, and contact information for connection purposes. Additionally, you are expected to get involved in the community where you live in order to create connections and to network with your local birth community.
While it may seem counterintuitive, research has demonstrated[need reference] that online education in doula training has proven to be a more effective form of preparation than the traditional weekend workshops. The skills and actions that a doula can develop through online learning are typically more advanced and comprehensive than what will be presented in an in-person workshop. Online training allows time for internalizing of important concepts that pertain to doula work, and then to put them into access when they are working with their first birth clients.
Yes, New Beginnings Doula Training is presented exclusively online. There are no in-person workshops or classes associated with the training or certification process.
While our training is entirely online, students are expected to complete several learning projects within the communities where they live. These activities are generally flexible to your location and are designed to open doors into your local birth community for future opportunities.
Our service is exclusively an online service that is available worldwide, anywhere where an Internet connection is available. New Beginnings Doula Training itself is managed in the state of Missouri in the United States, and our staff is spread across five different states. New Beginnings does not seek outside endorsement or validation of our training services, because of this then we are able to keep our prices competitively lower. For more information on the discussion surrounding government standards for doula certification, please consider the U.S. National Library of Medicine article on the topic.
Note: This is a rapidly evolving topic that New Beginnings is actively watching and involved in. So far, the state of Minnesota is the only state government which has laws regulating doula training. Medicaid is working on a doula law project that may require or affect certification processes in the near future. Read more about the Doula Medicaid Project here >>
Worldwide, Australia has a training standard for doulas, but doesn’t prevent training through other organizations that are not compliant with the standard.
Yes, New Beginnings Doula Training is a valid doula certification program throughout the world. Because of the non-medical nature of doula support in the birthing process, governments in general do not have a certification standard to practice as a doula.
The Australian government does have a standard in place which allows vocational training organizations to demonstrate the validity of its training through the Cert IV standard. Currently, only one doula training organization in Australia holds the Cert IV recognition. There are no laws in place which require training through that one organization (which can be financially and logistically impractical for many because of the costs and in-person nature of the training). Some government agencies require certification for the purpose of reimbursement, but generally speaking, beyond certification, requirements are loosely regulated.
For more information, please consider the U.S. National Library of Medicine article on the topic.
After you have completed the payment process through PayPal, you should receive a follow-up email to the email address that was connected to the PayPal account used to pay for registration. Your confirmation email from New Beginnings Doula Training will have a link to complete the registration process. If you don’t find it in your inbox, then check your spam filter.
If you used a friend’s or family member’s PayPal account, then the email will be sent to their email address. Some students no longer have access to the email address associated with their PayPal account.
Either way, if you don’t receive the follow up email, or don’t have access to the account where it was sent, then feel free to contact us. We can easily regenerate the link after we have validated your registration.
One exception to this is if you have paid with an eCheck through PayPal. eChecks typically take 3 – 5 business days to clear the bank and for funds to become available to PayPal. Your registration cannot be completed until funds have cleared through PayPal. If funds have been transferred, and you are still waiting to register, then please contact us.
The New Beginnings course is designed to be accomplished in your own time. So there is no official “beginning” or “ending” date. You can start whenever you wish, pause when needed, and end when you have finished all the assignments and are ready for certification. There are two (2) books to purchase in order to effectively complete the course. Buying those books is an excellent first step while you get acquainted with the course materials.
Students are required to purchase their own books prior to or at the start of their training. New Beginnings Doula Training does not maintain multiple copies or any sort of inventory of books required for the training program.
Books may be purchased through any reputable bookseller online. We recommend checking books-a-million.com, thriftbooks.com, ebay.com or amazon.com. We do not receive any commission on links to these books from our websites. It is possible to borrow the books from a friend or your local library. However, purchasing is preferable to borrowing, since you will be referencing them often.
Books are not required before starting your training, but will be needed to complete reading assignments associated with course assignments.
There are two (2) books used in the course that you will need available to reference.
The Birth Partner: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and All Other Labor Companions by Penny Simkin 4th or 5th edition.
Homebirth in the Hospital: Integrating Natural Childbirth with Modern Medicine by Stacey Marie Kerr
Yes, also, New Beginnings Doula Training does NOT sell the two books required to complete our training.
The approximate cost for both books together is USD $45, depending on location. Get full details »
If all you have available is a different edition of the books than what we recommend, then you can still use that edition for the course. (1st edition Homebirth in the Hospital and 4th or 5th edition The Birth Partner.) Just note that some of the page numbers may be different, so you will have to hunt more diligently for certain information.
Trainer / Coaching Calls
Trainers are assigned new students on a daily basis during normal business hours ( Monday – Friday ). You can expect your trainer to reach out to you within 48 hours of being notified of your registration.
For example, if you signed up after hours on Monday, then your trainer will be assigned to your account on Tuesday, and then you can expect an email from your trainer by the end of the day on Thursday.
If you were to sign up on a Saturday afternoon, then your trainer would be assigned on Monday and then you would expect an email from them by the end of the day on Wednesday. The email will contain contact information for your trainer and an invitation to schedule your first coaching call together. These phone calls usually last around 15 minutes, depending on your needs. You can begin working on course assignments even before the email, if desired. Meet our team here.
Replying to your trainer’s initial introductory email is recommended, but not required, to progress in the course. As long as you respond accordingly to their marking your assignments as incomplete or complete, you are not required to interact personally with them or schedule any coaching calls. Considering there are no additional costs for you to utilize their support, it is encouraged to at least reply to their initial email so they know they are able to contact you if they need to.
New Beginnings offers one (1) simple fee for certification: USD $25 per month until completion of the training. Average length for certification is 9 to 12 months. There is no minimum or maximum amount of time to complete the training. There are no hidden fees. If at any time you need to pause the training, then your progress will be saved and the monthly charge will be suspended. When you wish to resume, then you can continue where you left off and your monthly charge will be renewed with no penalties and no stacked fees.
The only additional cost for New Beginnings Doula Training are the two required books sold separately. The approximate cost for both books is USD $45, depending on location. Get full details »
Beyond the monthly fee of $25/USD, (and the one-time fee for books,) there are no additional fees for certification through New Beginnings Doula Training. We get asked this question quite often because other doula training organizations have membership fees, class fees, or certification fees on top of the base fee for registration. However, it’s true! We have combined all financial requirements into one monthly fee of $25.
It depends on how long a student takes to finish. The course is self-led, so there is no one-size-fits-all “total cost” for the program. The total amount each student pays is based solely on how long it takes them to complete the course.
Subscriptions / PayPal
Billing happens once a month, on the same day each subsequent month as when you first registered. The bank or credit card that you used at registration will be billed each month until the end of your training. So if you registered on the 15th, then you will be billed on the 15th of next month.
Preferably yes. Presently, Paypal is the only automated solution that we have integrated with our billing system.
If you would rather not create a PayPal account to set up your subscription, you can opt to create a guest subscription by clicking on the “Pay with Debit or Credit Card” gray button below the login area.
However, having a PayPal account will make it easier to manage, pause, or cancel your subscription from within PayPal’s website.
If you are absolutely opposed to using PayPal as a payment service, a subscription invoice, payable with a bank card via Stripe.com, may also be sent to you upon request. Again, these subscriptions are harder to manage, but can be negotiated within one business day upon written inquiry.
Generally no, but you may have trouble accessing your registration link if you do not have access to the email address associated with your PayPal account. If this happens, you can email us directly and request a registration link after payment has been made.
During the registration process, you will have the option to specify different emails for primary communications and your PayPal account. If your PayPal email address is different from the primary email address, then it is important to keep the PayPal email account as it is registered with PayPal so that your account is properly credited for future payments.
A PayPal subscription is billed on the same date of the month (date, not day of the week) as when the subscription was first initiated. So for example, if a subscription is created on February 5th, then the next payment would be drawn on March 5th, then April 5th, May 5th, and so forth.
PayPal does NOT send advance notice of when a payment is to be drafted. If funds are not available on the bill date, then PayPal will attempt to draft a payment again in 5 days. If the second attempt to collect fails, then PayPal will attempt to draft a payment once more in another 5 days, or 10 days after the original payment due date. If the payment is unsuccessful after the third attempt, then the subscription will be suspended and your student account will be marked as inactive.
We do not charge penalty fees for late or non-payments.
Pausing / Cancellation
Registration and subscriptions may be paused or canceled at any time. There are no fees or penalties for doing so. To request to pause or to cancel your training, you may contact your trainer directly, or use our contact form. A link to cancel your subscription with Payal is also provided from the billing section of the course website.
A canceled subscription with PayPal will move your account to inactive status at the end of the current billing cycle (30 days after the last payment was received). Any progress made towards your certification will be saved indefinitely.
Absolutely. Our default action for canceled accounts is to move them to an inactive status. An inactive account is non-billable. Additionally, an inactive account blocks access to all course materials and submitted assignments.
Upon written request, accounts may be completely removed from our course website. When this happens, all records (including course progress, submitted assignments, and transaction receipts) are destroyed and become irretrievable. We don’t like to do this, but it is possible.
Due to the need to maintain records for bookkeeping purposes, we are unable to remove account information from our bookkeeping system.
No, there are no penalties, no early-termination fees, and no contract fees for pausing or canceling your subscription. Additionally, there are no fees for resuming training after having paused your training. Simply, you only have to pay for the months that you are actively training, and you are free to pause or cancel your training at any time. There are no contracts. There are no hidden subscription fees. There are no limits for how many times you are allowed to pause either.
It depends. We typically do not offer refunds on the first month’s registration because there are manual processes that take place on our end almost immediately after a registration is completed.
For subsequent monthly payments, when no actions have been taken on an account, we will consider the eligibility of the account for refund, upon written request from the student.
No requests for refunds will be considered for transactions older than 30 days, no exceptions.
Upon written request, an account may be considered eligible for one month’s refund only. Refunds are processed through the funding source for which the requested payment refund was received.
For example, if a payment was made with your credit card via PayPal, your refund should be returned to your credit card via PayPal.
Typical turn-around time for a refund to return to your funding source is 10 business days or two weeks. This time frame allows us time to receive and process the request on our end. PayPal’s default time frame for refunds is 5 business days or one week. The refund process is never instant or immediate, due to security checks that are beyond our control.
Students & Alumni
Your assigned trainer will always be your first point of contact when you have specific questions about your training and progress. For more general questions, you can also post inquiries to our dedicated facebook group for students and alumni.
Within a couple days of your registration, your trainer will email you a welcome email with details on how to contact them. If you can find that email, then you can reply to it and it will go directly to them. If you cannot find the email, then you can contact us and we will get you connected. Replying to any of your instructor’s comments on your submitted assignments will also go directly to them.
Definitely. Contact the office, and we can resolve the issue or reassign you to another trainer with no penalties on your progress.
Finding doula clients first requires that you are ready to be found. Work on your certification and skills. Research your local resources. Connect with your local community and crisis centers. And let people know that you are available. We have written a couple posts on it on our blog to help. (There is lots of other quality information to research and peruse elsewhere on our blog too.) In addition, feel free to check out our YouTube Channel for more ideas and discussions on doula work and advocacy.
While it is recommended to at least read the course work in order so it is more easily understood, many of the assignments are able to be temporarily skipped. If you find yourself stuck on an assignment, then feel free to set it to the side and work on another assignment instead. Also contact your trainer through the method of communication they provided in their welcome email, or through a comment on one of your submitted assignments. They will be happy to listen, brainstorm with you, and find solutions.
When an exception is possible to be granted to any course assignment, it must be granted in writing on a case-by-case basis. Connect with your trainer if you have difficulties completing any of the assignments.
Yes. Both Homebirth in the Hospital and The Birth Partner are needed as reference materials to effectively complete the New Beginnings course.
All assignments through New Beginnings Doula Training are submitted in a written/ open-text/essay format. Our trainers are looking for comprehension of the subject material being reviewed. Assignments are marked as “incomplete” or “complete”.
If an assignment is marked as “incomplete,” then students have the opportunity to ask questions of the instructor and to resubmit the assignment as many times as necessary to complete the assignment.
No. When you submit an assignment, you are not required to write an essay. Your trainer will not grade you based on spelling or grammar or word construction abilities. Your trainer is only looking to see if you answered all the questions asked in the assignment clearly and accurately. If a paragraph-style response is required, then the curriculum will state that explicitly. If an assignment is marked incomplete, then an explanation and a request for further or different answers will be included with the marking. Also sometimes a trainer will ask for further clarification in some of your answers in order to mark the assignment as complete. This does not hinder or lower your finishing grade at all.
Account reactivation is a manual process at this point in time. Please use our contact form to connect with office staff to request an account reactivation. If your training/billing had been previously paused, then it may be as simple as a click of a button on our end. In some instances, or if your billing has been suspended or canceled, our office staff will give you instructions on how to set up a new billing subscription to continue with your training.
There are no penalties or reactivation fees for returning to your training. Our flat, monthly subscription fee of $25/month is all you will ever pay while your training account is active.
No, you are able to resume where you left off, if for any reason you have had to take a break from your training. You are not penalized for pausing your training. However, if you have been away for a while, we might recommend that you review parts of your training. You will never be asked to resubmit assignments that have already been submitted and graded as “complete”.
Certification through New Beginnings Doula Training is valid for 2 years from the date of Certificate Issuance. After that, your certification may be renewed for an additional 2 years. Contact us when you are ready for recertification and we’ll help you do it.
Your birth doula certification may be renewed every two years by completing the continuing education requirements and paying the renewal fee. Continuing education requirements consist of 20 hours of continuing education credit plus the submission of one completed birth packet from a birth attended in the past 2 years.
The cost for renewing your doula certification is $50 USD.
No, our current training program is focused on birth doula certification. Eventually we hope to expand, but not yet.
Typically not. Because our curriculum is heavily research-based, we find that the unique assignments and exercises performed while training with New Beginnings vary enough from other training programs to not be considered compatible.
No, New Beginnings Doula Training is an independent training organization. DONA certification is not necessary to work as a doula. Because doulas are not medically trained personnel, certification is not mandatory (except in the state of Minnesota) to work as a doula. New Beginnings, like DONA, offers a training course and a certification process to acknowledge those who have taken the time to train as a doula.
Full Explanation »