Certified Labor Doula (CLD)

CAPPA is an international certification organization for Doulas, Childbirth Educators and Lactation Educators. Since our foundation in 1998, we have certified thousands of perinatal professionals. As one of the first and most comprehensive perinatal organizations in the world, CAPPA is respected for its longevity and its commitment to excellence in both education and unsurpassed student and member support. Choosing an organization for your education is an important decision. CAPPA offers stability that you can be confident in as you invest in your education and career.

Training Options

Scope of Practice

The Certified Labor Doula

CAPPA Labor Doulas fill an important role in providing emotional, physical, and evidence-based, informational support to the birthing woman and her family before, during, and after birth.

How CAPPA Labor Doulas work with families

The Labor Doula works with families during pregnancy, during labor and in the birth process, and in the immediate postpartum time, offering support, encouragement, information, comfort, and referrals as needed. Labor Doulas can be found working in the community in private practice, in cooperatives, as part of groups or agencies, as well as serving in various community programs.

How CAPPA Labor Doulas work within the healthcare system

Labor Doulas are skilled support persons who act as consultants and resources, not clinicians. They therefore work with the healthcare system by encouraging and promoting excellent communication between the birthing woman and the health care team, encouraging informed decision making and self-advocacy, supporting the choices of the birthing woman, providing non-clinical comfort techniques, and offering appropriate referrals when their observance or counseling uncovers situations that require healthcare attention or support.

Clinical Limitations of CAPPA Labor Doulas

CAPPA Labor Doulas are non-clinical professionals. CAPPA Labor Doula courses do not qualify a professional to act as a midwife or midwifery assistant, as any alternative medicine provider, or as any medical care provider. Labor Doulas do not diagnose medical conditions, perform clinical procedures, prescribe or administer treatment for medical conditions, make medical decisions for the birthing woman, or direct families to act against medical advice.

CAPPA does not train its certified professionals to prescribe, perform, or provide complementary/alternative therapies including, but not limited to, essential oils, placenta medicine, herbal treatments, etc. CAPPA professionals do not prescribe, perform, or provide alternative/complementary therapies as part of their role as a CAPPA certified professional. Those who are trained, certified, licensed, or a recipient of a degree in these therapies are required to present these services as separate from their role as a CAPPA certified professional.

CAPPA Standards

CAPPA Labor Doulas work within CAPPA’s standards of practice to uphold the following (available to read as individual documents): code of conduct, a grievance policy, mission statement, vision statement, organization philosophy, and social media policy. CAPPA Labor Doulas use current evidence-based knowledge information in their practice. They maintain their knowledge and skills through continuing education. They work within the legal framework of their individual community and region.

CAPPA Labor Doulas:

    • Provide non-biased emotional, physical, and informational support during pregnancy, labor and the birth process, and the immediate postpartum period
    • Work closely with the birthing woman and her family as she explores her values and needs surrounding birth
    • Encourage the birthing woman to seek care and a place of birth that reflects her values and needs
    • Assist in the preparation of birth preferences to facilitate communication with the birth team
    • Model, teach, and encourage effective communication
    • Encourage informed decision making
    • Provide information on birth options and resources
    • Provide the woman with non-medical comfort techniques for labor, such as positions and movement, comforting touch, visualization, breathing techniques, and affirmation
    • Seek to foster a cooperative, respectful, and positive atmosphere with the birth team
    • Provide support to the birthing woman’s partner or family
    • Support and assist initial breastfeeding
    • Assist the mother in processing her birth experience
    • Answer general questions about newborn care and breastfeeding
    • Refer to healthcare professionals when support requires clinical assessment, a need for prescription, or medical diagnosis
    • Who are trained, certified, licensed, or a recipient of a degree in alternative/complementary therapies including, but not limited to, essential oils, placenta medicine, herbal treatments, etc. are required to present these services as separate from the role of a CAPPA certified professional

The CAPPA Labor Doula is not a clinician and therefore does not:

    • Diagnose medical conditions
    • Perform clinical procedures
    • Interpret medical diagnoses or clinical results
    • Prescribe or administer treatment of medical conditions
    • Make decisions for the birthing woman
    • Speak for the birthing woman
    • Attend births that are intentionally unassisted by qualified medical professionals
    • Transport any family members
    • Prescribe, perform, or provide alternative/complementary therapies including, but not limited to, essential oils, placenta medicine, herbal treatments, etc. as part of the role of a CAPPA certified professional

Traditional (in-person) Course

This course is designed for students who choose to take the in-person training class.

Course Requirements

  • 2 years to complete your course from the date of your CAPPA in-person training class.
  • CAPPA certification candidates must be at least 18 years of age. No person under 18 years of age may attend CAPPA training classes.
  • Be a member of CAPPA.
  • Enroll in the Labor Doula Traditional Course in CAPPA Academy.
  • Attend a CAPPA Labor Doula training class.
  • Read the CAPPA Labor Doula training manual and the required books from the CAPPA required reading list.
  • Order, read, and complete all online content, including videos, from the Understanding Breastfeeding Book and the Understanding Birth Book available in the CAPPA shop. Details/forms are provided within CAPPA Academy.
  • Attend a minimum of three labors/births as a doula. You’ll be required to obtain evaluations from parents and healthcare providers. Details/forms are provided within CAPPA Academy.
  • Create a resource list with information on local support for parents. A guide for creating this list is included within CAPPA Academy.
  • In order for candidates to be eligible for CAPPA certification they must sign and agree to the following forms: Code of Conduct and Social Media Policy, Grievance Policy, Mission Statement, CAPPA Approach / Philosophy Statement, Vision Statement, and Scope of Practice.
  • Pass the multiple choice exam and essays in CAPPA Academy. An 85% passing grade is required.
  • Pass the Scope of Practice Pretest. A 100% passing grade is required.
  • Please view all of CAPPA’s Policies and Procedures.

Upcoming Training

Labor Doula Training – Atlanta, GA (Gwynne Knap)

December 6 @ 8:00 am - December 7 @ 5:30 pm EST

Labor Doula Training – New York, NY (Kristy Zadrozny)

December 7 @ 9:00 am - December 8 @ 7:00 pm EST

Labor Doula Training – Des Moines, IA (Katie Nyberg)

January 10, 2020 @ 8:30 am - January 11, 2020 @ 6:30 pm CST

Labor Doula Training -Mesa, AZ (Annamarie Rodney)

January 21, 2020 @ 8:00 am - January 22, 2020 @ 6:00 pm MST

Labor Doula Training – Cherry Hill, NJ (Jodi Green)

January 24, 2020 @ 9:00 am - January 26, 2020 @ 5:00 pm EST

Labor Doula Training – Evanston, IL (Heather McCullough)

January 28, 2020 @ 8:30 am - January 29, 2020 @ 6:30 pm CST

Labor Doula Training – Evanston, IL (Heather McCullough)

January 29, 2020 @ 8:30 am - January 30, 2020 @ 6:30 pm CST

Labor Doula Training – Torrance, CA ( Rená Koerner)

February 8, 2020 @ 8:00 am - February 9, 2020 @ 5:00 pm PST

Labor Doula Training – Houston, TX (Debbie Hull)

February 8, 2020 @ 8:30 am - February 9, 2020 @ 6:30 pm CST

Labor Doula Training – Philadelphia, PA (Jodi Green)

February 8, 2020 @ 9:00 am - February 9, 2020 @ 5:00 pm EST

Online Distance Learning Course

This course is designed for students who are unable to take the in-person training class.

Course Requirements

  • 2 years to complete your course once you enroll.
  • CAPPA certification candidates must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Be a member of CAPPA.
  • Enroll in the Online Distance Learning Course.
  • Read the CAPPA Labor Doula training manual, the required books from the CAPPA required reading list.
  • Order, read, and complete all online content, including videos, from the Understanding Breastfeeding Book and the Understanding Birth Book available in the CAPPA shop. Details/forms are provided within CAPPA Academy.
  • Attend a minimum of three labors/births as a doula. You’ll be required to obtain evaluations from parents and healthcare providers.
  • Create a resource list with information on local support for parents.
  • In order for candidates to be eligible for CAPPA certification they must sign and agree to the following forms: Code of Conduct and Social Media Policy, Grievance Policy, Mission Statement, CAPPA Approach / Philosophy Statement, Vision Statement, and Scope of Practice.
  • Pass the multiple choice exam and essays. An 85% passing grade is required.
  • Pass the Scope of Practice Pretest. A 100% passing grade is required.
  • Please view all of CAPPA’s Policies and Procedures.

Dual/Transfer Course

This course is designed for students who have already been certified or have trained with DONA. (Documentation required.)

Consists of two tracks. Track 1 is for doulas already certified with DONA. Track 2 is for doulas who have been trained by DONA but have not yet certified.

Track 1 and Track 2 Course Requirements

  • 1 year to complete your course once you enroll.
  • CAPPA certification candidates must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Be a member of CAPPA.
  • Enroll in Labor Doula Dual/Transfer Course in CAPPA Academy.
  • Read the CAPPA Labor Doula training manual and the required books from the CAPPA required reading list.
  • Submit a 1500 word essay on CAPPA’s Vision, Mission, and Labor Doula Scope of Practice.
  • In order for candidates to be eligible for CAPPA certification they must sign and agree to the following forms: Code of Conduct and Social Media Policy, Grievance Policy, Mission Statement, CAPPA Approach / Philosophy Statement, Vision Statement, and Scope of Practice.
  • Pass the multiple choice exam and essays. An 85% passing grade is required
  • Pass the Scope of Practice Pretest. A 100% passing grade is required.
  • Please view all of CAPPA’s Policies and Procedures.

Track 1 – Certified with DONA

  • Submit proof of certification.
  • Submit three letters of recommendation from previous labor doula clients.

Track 2 – Trained with DONA

  • Submit proof of training within the last 2 years.
  • Submit three parent evaluations and six caregiver evaluations (prior organization forms accepted) from births within the last two years.
  • Order, read, and complete all online content, including videos, from the Understanding Breastfeeding Book and the Understanding Birth Book available in the CAPPA shop. Details/forms are provided within CAPPA Academy.

Hospital Administrators

Is your hospital looking for ways to reduce your cesarean rate?  Increase patient satisfaction? Improve outcomes for mothers and babies?

The CHLD training program is designed to train and certify professionals in the varied skills of professional labor support, skills that have been proven by over two decades of research to reduce cesareans, improve outcomes for mothers and babies, and increase patient satisfaction.

Click here for more information on the Hospital Labor Doula course.

For more information, email info@cappa.net or call 770-965-9777.

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