DONA BIRTH DOULA TRAINING Learn how to support families in birth!

birth doula training
birth doula skills workshop
birth doula training

Few events in life match the birth of a baby in anticipation and effect. We stand in awe and celebrate our children’s births while simultaneously witnessing that, for too many women today, birth is traumatizing. Nearly one-third of American women undergo major abdominal surgery as their entry into motherhood. Others are struggling emotionally through the early weeks and months of their babies’ lives. And a disproportionate number of African American women and their infants are dying. It doesn’t have to be this way. Invest in DONA Birth Doula Training and ...


CURIOUS? Join our monthly live webinar:
"Top 5 Questions about Becoming a Doula"

Our interactive FREE webinar provides an overview of the role of birth and postpartum doulas, the DONA certification process, your income potential as a doula, how to get started on your path, and more. This session offers an opportunity to spend an hour together and get your questions answered before making an investment.

Empowered mothers
Healthy babies
Strong families

When you become a birth doula, you help parents experience:

  • Reduced anxiety
  • Lower rate of medical interventions used in labor, including cesareans
  • Shorter length of labor
  • Improved breastfeeding success
  • Improved mother-baby bonding and attachment
  • Greater satisfaction with the birth experience
become a birth doula
birth doula training
birth doula training
physiologic positioning for childbirth

Your hands-on, skills-oriented birth doula training will include:

  • Movement and positioning to support physiologic birth
  • Troubleshooting common challenges
  • Facilitating informed decision-making
  • Communication and self-advocacy skills
  • Comfort measures and natural approaches to pain management
  • Centering techniques, acupressure, massage and use of the rebozo
  • Proactive trauma prevention strategies
  • The birth doula's role during prenatal and postpartum visits
  • And more!


COVID-19 Registration Updates

All trainings offered through August 2020 will be VIRTUAL LIVE trainings.

The Fall 2020 schedule is currently set to be in-person trainings (though we will adapt as circumstances dictate).

The early bird deadline for our June Birth Doula Virtual Training has been waived.


  • a reliable internet connection
  • a computer or laptop; you will not be able to fully participate on a phone
  • a private quiet space, free of interruptions
  • ability to attend all portions of the training
  • attend an in-person half-day skills class to practice labor support scenarios and comfort measures; it may be possible to get this training from a certified childbirth educator local to your area

You will receive a provisional certificate of completion after the virtual training and another one after you are able to complete the hands-on component.

If you would like to attend one of our virtual Birth Doula Workshops and cannot travel to Michigan for the hands-on session, you have other options. Learn more here.

end of life doula training online

Welcome! If you have been following this page for training updates, you may have seen an earlier version where I stated I did not intend to offer virtual trainings. I decided to get outside my comfort zone (something we doulas are good at) and discovered that it could be a very positive experience. I had the pleasure recently of working with a large group on Zoom over four days and it was surprisingly delightful. The participants really connected with each other and we had a great training. Give it a try and join us!     —Patty

DONA Birth Doula Training Workshop

This option includes the pre-requisite Introduction to Childbirth for Doulas class and the DONA Birth Doula Workshop. It fulfills two DONA International certification requirements for birth doulas.


June 26–28 (Virtual)

August 7-9 (Virtual)

October 9–11

December 4–6

Virtual trainings meet Friday-Sunday, 8:30am-5pm

In-person trainings meet Friday & Saturday, 8:30am-6pm and Sunday 8:30am-5pm


$550 Full Price or

$500 Early Bird (expires 30 days prior; exception--no expiration for June training) or

Deposit $295 + 3 monthly payments of $85

How Payment Plans Work

Complete Your Virtual Workshop Training (included in fee for June & August Birth Doula Workshop)

Choose a Session

September 13 or December 13, Sunday 12:30-5pm

Traveling to get here? You may be interested in our Doula Business Development Workshop offered on Saturday 9/13 or 12/13

Breastfeeding Basics for Doulas Class

This class (described below) fulfills a DONA certification requirement for birth and postpartum doulas. It can be taken before or after your birth doula workshop as a stand-alone class. If you plan to take our Postpartum Doula Workshop, do not register separately for this class because it is included in the Postpartum Workshop.


July 16, 2020 (Virtual)

October 8, 2020

December 3, 2020

Class meets Thursday 6-9:15pm


This Special Package Saves Money.
Register for Both Classes
and Save $20!

This option includes the pre-requisite Introduction to Childbirth for Doulas class, the DONA Birth Doula Workshop and the Breastfeeding Basics for Doulas class. It fulfills three DONA International certification requirements for birth doulas.

Register for your choice of dates for the Birth Doula Workshop and Breastfeeding class. Save $20 when you add the coupon code save20 to the Shopping Cart.


Full Fee $615

Early Bird $565 (expires 30 days prior) or

Deposit $360 + 3 monthly payments of $85

How Payment Plans Work


Do you want to become both a birth and postpartum doula?

Invest in our Doula Business Builder Deluxe Training Package and save!

This comprehensive training package is substantially discounted and includes DONA International Birth and Postpartum Doula Workshops, all pre-requisite classes, and training in how to put it all together into a life-changing, successful doula business.
Your choice of 2020 training dates. Payment plans available.

“I didn’t get a chance to tell you in our short encounter on the Dexter boardwalk how much I appreciate the birth doula training I took with you. I used so much of what I learned in the birth and breastfeeding of my daughter. I felt much more prepared for labor and more empowered to make the choices I did. Your training has also helped me to be even more loving and supportive of the women I get to care for as a chiropractor. I still use resources and skills that I gathered from your class on a regular basis. The work you do is very important and it has changed me for the better!”  - Sarah Prater-Manor

“I absolutely loved this experience. Worth my money and time investment. I am so thankful I undertook this venture. I feel inspired and filled with recognition of my soul’s purpose. Thank you for being here and running such an amazing workshop.” - Jess Juntunen, Hancock, MI

“Thank you so much–I can’t get enough! I only wish I could take this workshop and the postpartum one over again for the first time. What an education and experience! Best $$ I ever spent.” - Kat Oshman, Ann Arbor, MI

 “I took your birth doula class to help my daughter through labor…. She did fantastic, remained in full control, trying a lot of different positions and various techniques…. We tried and did many things I learned in class and I appreciated everything you taught and suggested.” - Dana Borenitsch

 “Patty was such an inspiring woman to learn from as I begin this new part of my life! Her energy, enthusiasm, and passion for serving mothers and their babies (and partners!) will stay with me forever.” - Kate Louik, Ann Arbor, MI

“As a young woman who has never experienced pregnancy or birth, the subject was a bit overwhelming at times. But your teaching style made the material so approachable, understandable and fun.” - Mary Colleen Casey, Ypsilanti, MI

“Unfortunately, I received my [initial] doula training from another trainer … thank goodness Patty has renewed my faith in DONA and the holistic model that it originally represented. It was well worth the extra miles to get here!” - Kristin Kelly, Traverse City, MI

“Great learning environment. Best class I have ever attended.” - Michaela Anderson, Adrian, MI

Let an expert be your guide:

Patty Brennan has been immersed in all things birth related for 37 years. She has prepared well over 1,000 couples for birth as a childbirth educator and is an experienced birth doula and retired midwife. Since 1998, she has trained more than 2,000 doulas, encouraging each new doula to use her own unique strengths and gifts to make a positive difference for new families. As you begin your doula journey, Patty and her carefully selected team of instructors are honored to be your guides.


With Barbara Robertson, MA, IBCLC

Join us for a professional workshop taught by lactation educator extraordinaire Barbara Robertson. Learn the very latest in evidence-based breastfeeding support. This class will enhance the doula’s ability to assist breastfeeding mothers immediately post-birth and in the early days postpartum. Barbara’s enthusiasm for all things breastfeeding is contagious!

This class fulfills a DONA certification requirement for birth doulas and is offered, as an option, in conjunction with our Birth Doula Workshop on Thursday night from 6-9:15pm. It can also be taken as a stand-alone class, either before or after completing your Birth Doula Workshop. 

Learn how to provide skilled breastfeeding support:

  • A new look at breast anatomy and physiology
  • Importance of skin-to-skin contact
  • Newborn self-attachment at the breast
  • A new view of positions and latch-on
  • How to know baby is getting enough/not getting enough breastmilk
  • Troubleshooting common challenges
  • When to make a referral
breastfeeding basics class

“I had the privilege of attending Barbara Robertson’s course and wow, did I enjoy it! Living two-and-a-half hours away, some might think it would make more sense to complete the breastfeeding requirement locally or online, but after attending your DONA Birth Doula Workshop, I knew I wanted to take the class at the Center. I really appreciated the outstanding quality of the workshops.” - Allison Hatcher, South Haven, MI

“It was fabulous. Inspiring, informative, engaging.” - Kat Kieffer, McClure, OH

“So positive and reassuring. Practical and empowering of mothers and doulas. Wonderful!” - Ann Smith, Berkley, MI

“Thank you for your enlightened approach to educating doulas on breastfeeding. Your humor and energy made the subject even more interesting.” - Valerie Mangual, Ann Arbor, MI