Certified Postpartum Doula (CPD)

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 CAPPA Certified Postpartum Doula

CAPPA Postpartum Doulas fill an important role in providing emotional, physical, and evidence-based informational support to the new family after the birth of their baby.

How CAPPA Postpartum Doulas work with families

The Postpartum Doula works with families in the postpartum period; offering support, information, instruction, comfort, and resources as needed. Postpartum Doulas support the mother’s recovery, give instruction on infant care and feeding, and assist with household organization. Postpartum 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 Postpartum Doulas work within the healthcare system

Postpartum 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 new family and the health care team, encouraging informed decision making and self-advocacy, supporting the choices of the new family, providing non-clinical care, and offering appropriate resources when their observance or counseling uncovers situations that require healthcare attention or support.

Clinical Limitations of CAPPA Postpartum Doulas

CAPPA Postpartum Doulas are non-clinical professionals. CAPPA Postpartum Doula courses do not qualify a professional to act as a medical care provider. CAPPA Postpartum Doulas do not dispense medical advice, diagnose medical conditions, interpret medical diagnoses or clinical results, perform clinical procedures, or prescribe/administer medications or treatments of any kind.

CAPPA Standards

CAPPA Postpartum Doulas work within the 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 Postpartum Doulas use current evidence-based 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 Postpartum Doulas:

  • Provide non-biased emotional, physical, and informational support during the postpartum period.
  • Encourage the family to seek care that reflects their values and needs.
  • Model and teach effective communication.
  • Encourage informed decision-making
  • Support physical and emotional healing
  • Provide information on care options and resources
  • Model infant care
  • Encourage the family to make parenting choices that reflect their values and needs
  • Support and assist with infant feeding
  • Educate the family on newborn care and characteristics
  • Educate families how to maximize age appropriate infant sleep
  • Provide support to the parents and extended family
  • Assist with household organization
  • Provide resources when support requires a healthcare professional, clinical assessment, a need for prescription, or medical diagnosis

CAPPA Postpartum Doulas do not:

  • Diagnose medical conditions
  • Interpret medical diagnoses or clinical results
  • Prescribe or administer treatment of medical conditions
  • Perform clinical procedures, including taking infant’s temperature or administering medications to infant or mother
  • Prescribe, perform, or provide alternative/complementary therapies including, but not limited to, essential oils, placenta medicine, herbal treatments, etc. without further training. These services must be provided separately from the role of the CAPPA certified professional.
  • Make parenting or infant care choices or decisions
  • Transport any family members
  • Stay alone with babies or other children routinely and for extended periods of time
  • Buckle infants or other children into cars or car seats or install car seats in cars
  • Teach a cry it out approach
  • Act as a housekeeper or nanny

Last Updated 4/22/2020

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
Mother & New Baby Care 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 Postpartum Doula training class.
  • Read selected books from the CAPPA Postpartum Doula Required Reading List.
  • Read the CAPPA Postpartum 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 Postpartum 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 Mother & New Baby Care 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.
    • Provide proof of current infant and child CPR certification through the American Heart Association, the Red Cross, or ProTrainings, LLC. CPR class must have in-person manikin practice.
    • To qualify for CAPPA Postpartum Doula certification, you must work for 3 families and receive evaluations from each. The work with these families must be during the first 4 months postpartum. You must work for a minimum of 60 hours combined total across the 3 families.
    • Obtain 2 letters of recommendation from either a certified childbirth educator, certified labor doula, midwife, OB, pediatrician, certified lactation consultant, certified lactation educator, or certified postpartum doula.
    • 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 9/18/2020

Upcoming Training

Postpartum Doula Training – LIVE ONLINE (Katie Nyberg)

November 5, 2020 - November 6, 2020, starting at 8:30 am CST

Postpartum Doula Training – St. George, UT (Michelle Holmes)

November 6, 2020 - November 7, 2020, starting at 9:00 am MST

Postpartum Doula Training – Foxboro, MA (Jodi Congdon)

November 7, 2020 - November 8, 2020, starting at 8:30 am EST

Postpartum Doula Training – Evanston, IL (Heather McCullough)

November 11, 2020 - November 12, 2020, starting at 8:30 am CST

Postpartum Doula Training – LIVE ONLINE (Prinscilla Moore)

November 13, 2020 - November 15, 2020, starting at 6:00 pm CST

Postpartum Doula Training – LIVE ONLINE (Annamarie Rodney)

November 20, 2020 - November 21, 2020, starting at 8:00 am EST

Postpartum Doula Training – Salt Lake City, UT (Michelle Holmes)

November 20, 2020 - November 21, 2020, starting at 9:00 am MST

Postpartum Doula Training – LIVE-ONLINE (Laura Nance)

November 20, 2020 - November 22, 2020, starting at 1:00 pm EST

Postpartum Doula Training – LIVE ONLINE (Kimberly Bepler)

December 1, 2020 - December 13, 2020, starting at 5:00 pm MST

Postpartum Doula Training – Denver, CO (Carolyn Butler)

December 5, 2020 - December 6, 2020, starting at 8:30 am MST

Online Distance Learning Course

Course Fees*

This course is designed for students who can not attend a training.

Annual Membership $75.00
CAPPA Academy
(Students receive a hard copy of the Postpartum Doula Manual and 3 Postpartum Doula Scope of Practice cards.)
$600.00
Mother & New Baby Care 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 Postpartum Doula Required Reading List.
  • Become a Member of CAPPA.
  • Enroll in the Postpartum Doula Traditional Course in CAPPA Academy and complete the items below.
    • Complete all requirements below within 2 years of enrollment.
    • Read the CAPPA Postpartum 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 Mother & New Baby Care 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.
    • Provide proof of current infant and child CPR certification through the American Heart Association, the Red Cross, or ProTrainings, LLC. CPR class must have in-person manikin practice.
    • To qualify for CAPPA Postpartum Doula certification, you must work for 3 families and receive evaluations from each. The work with these families must be during the first 4 months postpartum. You must work for a minimum of 60 hours combined total across the 3 families.
    • Obtain 2 letters of recommendation from either a certified childbirth educator, certified labor doula, midwife, OB, pediatrician, certified lactation consultant, certified lactation educator, or certified postpartum doula.
    • 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 9/18/2020

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.)

Annual Membership $75.00
CAPPA Academy
(Students receive a hard copy of the Postpartum Doula Manual and 3 Postpartum Doula Scope of Practice cards.)
$225.00
Mother & New Baby Care Booklet $25.00
Starting Total Cost** $325.00 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 Postpartum Doula Required Reading List.
  • Become a Member of CAPPA.
  • Enroll in the Postpartum Doula Dual/Transfer Course in CAPPA Academy and complete the items below.
    • Complete all requirements below within 1 year of enrollment.
    • Read the CAPPA Postpartum 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 Mother & New Baby Care Booklet. Download and complete the assignment from CAPPA Academy.
    • Provide proof of current infant and child CPR certification through the American Heart Association, the Red Cross, or ProTrainings, LLC. CPR class must have in-person manikin practice.
    • To qualify for CAPPA Postpartum Doula certification, you must work for 3 families and receive evaluations from each. The work with these families must be during the first 4 months postpartum. You must work for a minimum of 60 hours combined total across the 3 families.
    • Obtain 2 letters of recommendation from either a certified childbirth educator, certified labor doula, midwife, OB, pediatrician, certified lactation consultant, certified lactation educator, or certified postpartum doula.
    • Submit a 300-500 word essay on CAPPA's Postpartum 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.

Last Updated 9/18/2020

Scroll to Top