Why is DONA International the “gold standard” in doula training and certification? Because DONA was founded by leaders in the field of birth, postpartum, physiology, psychology, public health and parenting, and those leaders conducted the original research into the value of having a supportive companion in the birth room, solely to care for the birthing person. And DONA International continues to lead the world in the number of certified and member doulas and by being a non-profit organization with the mission to promote high quality birth and postpartum support by setting the standard for the doula profession through evidence-based training and certification for doulas of diverse backgrounds.
Sunday Tortelli has trained nearly a thousand doulas in Ohio and surrounding states since 1997. Her workshops have a reputation for being a warm and welcoming space where we explore the intricacies of birth work. Filled with evidence-based information, hands-on practice, group engagement, lively discussion, enthusiasm, compassion, humor and lots of storytelling, participants leave with a sense of purpose and an appreciation for their own doula heart.
2019 Workshops Scheduled in Cleveland, Ohio
August 24 and 25, 2019 — DONA approved birth doula workshop
August 23 — Optional prerequisite courses
Introduction to Childbirth for Doulas
Breastfeeding for Doulas
December 7 and 8, 2019 — DONA approved birth doula workshop
December 6 — Optional prerequisite courses
Introduction to Childbirth for Doulas
Breastfeeding for Doulas
What the birth doula workshop and optional prerequisite courses cover
Day One —Introduction to Childbirth for Doulas Prerequisite Course
The third trimester of pregnancy and fetal development
The stages and phases of normal labor and birth
Labor coping techniques
Variations in labors
The newborn’s first hour
Evening One — Breastfeeding for Doulas Prerequisite Course
The benefits of breastfeeding
Anatomy and physiology
The infant’s contribution — readiness and reflexes
Breastfeeding positions and latch
Early breastfeeding challenges
Days Two and Three — DONA Approved Birth Doula Training Workshop
The significance of birth to birthing people and their families
The role of the birth doula with the client and family before, during and after the birth
The benefits of continuous support by a birth doula on obstetrical and psychological outcomes, based on the research
The emotional and physical needs of birthing people and their partners
Comfort measures and optimal birth positions
How to know if the client is or is not coping well
The birth doula’s role when the client has an epidural
The birth doula’s role when the client has a cesarean
The DONA International Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics
The process for DONA International certification
Two-day birth doula workshop
$375 — save $100 by registering more than one (1) month in advance
One-day introduction to childbirth for doulas course (optional prerequisite course)
Three-hour breastfeeding for doulas course (optional prerequisite course)
One partial scholarship per workshop is offered through the Birth Workers of Color Grand Challenge. See the details for The Doula Experience scholarship on that website. Applications must be received no later than six weeks in advance of a scheduled workshop.
Cancellations must be received at least two (2) weeks in advance of a scheduled workshop to receive a refund minus a $100 processing fee. No refunds will be issued after that time. A registration may be transferred to a future workshop within one (1) calendar year for a $100 processing fee. If The Doula Experience must cancel a workshop, you will receive a full refund.
Preparing to Attend
Prior to attendance, it is your responsibility to
Read “The Birth Partner: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Partners, Doulas, and Other Labor Companions,” 5th edition by Penny Simkin
Read one of the following books from Group 1 of the DONA International Required Reading List
“The Doula Book: How a Trained Labor Companion Can Help You Have a Shorter, Easier and Healthier Birth,” 3rd edition by Marshall and Phyllis Klaus
"Birth Ambassadors: Doulas and the Re-Emergence of Woman-Supported Birth in America" by Christine H. Morton with Elaine G. Clift
Come to the birth doula workshop with a basic understanding of late pregnancy issues, typical medical interventions, the labor and birth process, the immediate postpartum period, initiation of breastfeeding and common postpartum circumstances. These topics are addressed in your required reading and are covered in the optional prerequisite courses.
Day one — Introduction to Childbirth for Doulas — 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Day one — Breastfeeding Course for Doulas — 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Day two — Birth Doula Workshop — 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Day three — Birth Doula Workshop (continued) 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Cleveland, Ohio area workshops are held at Southwest General Health Center Main Campus in Middleburg Heights.
This workshop is available for scheduling at other locations. Inquire about availability.
Breastfeeding infants-in-arms up to four (4) months of age who are non-mobile and easily soothed are welcome to attend with their mothers. As an alternative, caregivers may bring a nursing baby to her/his mother periodically. Mothers with babies are expected to be considerate of the learning experience of other participants.
Snacks and cold beverages are provided each day. Lunch and dinner are on your own.
Attendance at the intensive two-day birth doula workshop and either or both of the optional prerequisite courses you choose to attend constitutes one step in the process of DONA birth doula certification.
As a participant in The Doula Experience birth doula training workshop, you will receive ongoing support and mentoring from Sunday Tortelli as you begin your new career and work toward DONA International certification. You will be invited to join a closed Facebook group to engage with others from your workshop and those in recent past workshops, and to learn of potential client opportunities. DONA International offers DONA Connect, a communication forum exclusively for DONA members. Sunday is always available through The Doula Experience closed Facebook page, by email or by phone and looks forward to answering your questions, encouraging you and helping you process your doula experiences.
DONA-Approved Birth Doula Workshop
This two-day workshop is for anyone interested in assisting birthing families to have satisfying experiences. It utilizes texts and supplementary literature, videos, slides, small group activities, hands-on practice and role play to develop theoretical knowledge and practical skills as a birth doula. Attendance constitutes one step in the process to become a DONA certified birth doula.
Investment: $475 regular registration -or- discounted to $375 when registering more than one month in advance
Introduction to Childbirth for Doulas Course
The optional one-day course is offered the day prior to the DONA-Approved Birth Doula Workshop to satisfy the childbirth class observation certification requirement for those who are not childbirth educators, nurses with labor and delivery experience, midwives or midwifery students.
Breastfeeding for Doulas Course
This optional three-hour course is offered the evening prior to the DONA-Approved Birth Doula Workshop to satisfy the breastfeeding class attendance certification requirement for those who are not lactation counselors, lactation educators, lactation consultants, breastfeeding peer counselors or La Leche League leaders.