Certified Labor Doula (CLD)

COVID-19 UPDATE (3/23/2020)

Rushed packets will still be a priority, but there may be a delay as the office is working in a limited capacity. We still aim to get packets approved in a timely manner and thank you for your patience during this time.

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.

Certification Course 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 client and their 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 client and the health care team, encouraging informed decision making and self-advocacy, supporting the choices of the birthing client, 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 client, 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 person and family as they explore their values and needs surrounding birth
  • Encourage the birthing person to seek care and a place of birth that reflects their own 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 client 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 person’s support partner and/or family
  • Support and assist initial breastfeeding
  • Assist the family in processing their 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
  • Listen as the birthing person processes their birth experience
  • Are required to present the following services as separate from the role of a CAPPA certified professional: Doulas who are trained, certified, licensed, or a recipient of a degree in alternative/complimentary therapies including, but not limited to, essential oils, placenta medicine, herbal treatments, etc.

CAPPA Labor Doula do 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 client or family
  • Speak for the birthing family
  • Attend births that are intentionally unassisted by qualified medical professionals
  • Transport any family members
  • Prescribe, perform, or provide alternative/complimentary therapies including, but not limited to, essential oils, placenta medicine, herbal treatments, etc. as part of the role of a CAPPA certified professional

Last Updated 5/21/2020

Traditional Course ( For students who take an In-person or Virtual training )

Course Fees*

This course is designed for students who choose to take the in-person training class.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many in-person classes are now available virtually!

Training Class $450.00 and up
Annual Membership $75.00
CAPPA Academy $175.00
Understanding Birth Booklet $25.00
Understanding Breastfeeding Booklet $25.00
Starting Total Cost** $750.00 and up, not including cost of books
**Additional fees may apply, such as extensions, resubmissions, or rush result fees.
*All fees listed in USD.

Course Requirements

  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Attend a CAPPA Labor Doula training class.
  • Read selected books from the CAPPA Labor Doula Required Reading List.
  • Read the CAPPA Labor Doula Training Manual (received at training).
  • Complete all requirements below within 2 years of the training class.
  • Become a Member of CAPPA.
  • Enroll in the Labor Doula Traditional Course in CAPPA Academy and complete the items below.
    • Pass the Scope of Practice Pretest. A 100% passing grade is required.
    • Read and watch the video clips from the Understanding Birth Booklet. Download and complete the assignment from CAPPA Academy.
    • Read and watch the video clips from the Understanding Breastfeeding Booklet. Download and complete the assignment from CAPPA Academy.
    • Attend a minimum of 3 labors/births as a doula. You will be required to obtain 3 total evaluations from parents and 6 total evaluations from 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 found in CAPPA Academy.
    • Sign and agree to the following:
      • Code of Conduct
      • Social Media Policy
      • Grievance Policy
      • CAPPA Mission
      • CAPPA Approach
      • CAPPA Vision
      • Scope of Practice
    • Pass the multiple-choice exam. A passing grade is 85% or higher.  If a student does fail an exam, resubmission fees may apply.
    • Pass the essay exam. The essay exam is graded on a pass-fail basis.  If a student does fail an exam, resubmission fees may apply.
  • Please view all of CAPPA’s Policies and Procedures.

Last Updated 7/29/2020

Upcoming Training

Labor Doula Training – LIVE ONLINE (Debbie Hull)

October 31, 2020 - November 1, 2020, starting at 8:30 am CDT

Labor Doula Training – Campbell, CA (Megan Bunch)

November 13, 2020 - November 15, 2020, starting at 9:00 am EST

Labor Doula Training – Evanston, IL (Heather McCullough)

November 14, 2020 - November 15, 2020, starting at 8:30 am CST

Labor Doula Training – LIVE ONLINE (Katie Nyberg)

November 18, 2020 - November 20, 2020, starting at 9:00 am CST

Labor Doula Training – LIVE ONLINE (Gwynne Knap)

December 4, 2020 - December 5, 2020, starting at 8:30 am EST

Labor Doula Training – LIVE ONLINE (Abby Bordner)

December 4, 2020 - December 6, 2020, starting at 8:30 am MST

Labor Doula Training – LIVE ONLINE (Laura Speece)

December 4, 2020 - December 6, 2020, starting at 8:30 am EST

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

December 5, 2020 - December 6, 2020, starting at 9:30 am EST

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

January 23, 2021 - January 24, 2021, starting at 9:00 am EST

Labor Doula Training – LIVE ONLINE (Abby Bordner)

February 5, 2021 - February 7, 2021, starting at 8:30 am MST

Online Distance Learning Course

Course Fees*

This course is designed for students who cannot attend a training.

Annual Membership $75.00
CAPPA Academy
(Students receive a hard copy of the Labor Doula Manual and 3 Labor Doula Scope of Practice cards.)
$600.00
Understanding Birth Booklet $25.00
Understanding Breastfeeding Booklet $25.00
Starting Total Cost** $725.00 and up, not including cost of books
**Additional fees may apply, such as extensions, resubmissions, or rush result fees.
*All fees listed in USD.

Course Requirements

  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Read selected books from the CAPPA Labor Doula Required Reading List.
  • Become a Member of CAPPA.
  • Enroll in the Labor Doula Online/Distance Course in CAPPA Academy.
    • Complete all requirements below within 2 years of enrollment.
    • Read the CAPPA Labor Doula Training Manual (mailed to students).
    • Watch all video/audio course content within CAPPA Academy.
    • Pass the Scope of Practice Pretest. A 100% passing grade is required.
    • Read and watch the video clips from the Understanding Birth Booklet. Download and complete the assignment from CAPPA Academy.
    • Read and watch the video clips from the Understanding Breastfeeding Booklet. Download and complete the assignment from CAPPA Academy.
    • Attend a minimum of 3 labors/births as a doula. You will be required to obtain 3 total evaluations from parents and 6 total evaluations from 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 found in CAPPA Academy.
    • Sign and agree to the following:
      • Code of Conduct
      • Social Media Policy
      • Grievance Policy
      • CAPPA Mission
      • CAPPA Approach
      • CAPPA Vision
      • Scope of Practice
    • Pass the multiple-choice exam. A passing grade is 85% or higher.  If a student does fail an exam, resubmission fees may apply.
    • Pass the essay exam. The essay exam is graded on a pass-fail basis.  If a student does fail an exam, resubmission fees may apply.
  • Please view all of CAPPA’s Policies and Procedures.

Last Updated 7/29/2020

Dual/Transfer Course

Course Fees*

This course is designed for students who have already been certified or have trained with DONA. (Documentation is required.  Please email info@cappa.net to be approved.)

Consists of 2 different 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
Annual Membership $75.00
CAPPA Academy
(Students receive a hard copy of the Labor Doula Manual and 3 Labor Doula Scope of Practice cards.)
$225.00
Starting Total Cost** $300.00 and up, not including cost of books
Track 2
Annual Membership $75.00
CAPPA Academy
(Students receive a hard copy of the Labor Doula Manual and 3 Labor Doula Scope of Practice cards.)
$225.00
Understanding Birth Booklet $25.00
Understanding Breastfeeding Booklet $25.00
Starting Total Cost** $350.00 and up, not including cost of books
**Additional fees may apply, such as extensions, resubmissions, or rush result fees.
*All fees listed in USD.

Track 1 Course Requirements

If you are certified with DONA:

  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Read selected books from the CAPPA Labor Doula Required Reading List.
  • Become a Member of CAPPA.
  • Enroll in the Labor Doula Dual/Transfer Course in CAPPA Academy.
    • Complete all requirements below within 1 year of enrollment.
    • Read the CAPPA Labor Doula Training Manual (mailed to students).
    • Pass the Scope of Practice Pretest. A 100% passing grade is required.
    • Submit proof of certification with DONA.
    • Submit 3 letters of recommendation from previous labor doula clients.
    • Submit a 1500-word essay on CAPPA’s Vision, Mission, and Labor Doula Scope of Practice.
    • Sign and agree to the following:
      • Code of Conduct
      • Social Media Policy
      • Grievance Policy
      • CAPPA Mission
      • CAPPA Approach
      • CAPPA Vision
      • Scope of Practice
    • Pass the multiple-choice exam. A passing grade is 85% or higher.  If a student does fail an exam, resubmission fees may apply.
    • Pass the essay exam. The essay exam is graded on a pass-fail basis.  If a student does fail an exam, resubmission fees may apply.
  • Please view all of CAPPA’s Policies and Procedures.

Track 2 Course Requirements

If you are trained by DONA:

  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Read selected books from the CAPPA Labor Doula Required Reading List.
  • Become a Member of CAPPA.
  • Enroll in the Labor Doula Dual/Transfer Course in CAPPA Academy.
    • Complete all requirements below within 1 year of enrollment.
    • Read the CAPPA Labor Doula Training Manual (mailed to students).
    • Pass the Scope of Practice Pretest. A 100% passing grade is required.
    • Read and watch the video clips from the Understanding Birth Booklet. Download and complete the assignment from CAPPA Academy.
    • Read and watch the video clips from the Understanding Breastfeeding Booklet. Download and complete the assignment from CAPPA Academy.
    • Submit proof of training by DONA dated within the last 2 years.
    • Attend a minimum of 3 labors/births as a doula. You will be required to obtain 3 total evaluations from parents and 6 total evaluations from healthcare providers.  Previous organization forms will be accepted.  CAPPA details/forms are provided within CAPPA Academy.
    • Sign and agree to the following:
      • Code of Conduct
      • Social Media Policy
      • Grievance Policy
      • CAPPA Mission
      • CAPPA Approach
      • CAPPA Vision
      • Scope of Practice
    • Pass the multiple-choice exam. A passing grade is 85% or higher.  If a student does fail an exam, resubmission fees may apply.
    • Pass the essay exam. The essay exam is graded on a pass-fail basis.  If a student does fail an exam, resubmission fees may apply.
  • Please view all of CAPPA’s Policies and Procedures.

Last Updated 7/29/2020

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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