Doula Studies
Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is a birth doula?
  2. Is there instructor support available?
  3. Are there required texts for the program?
  4. Are there any exams issued?
  5. Is attendance required or is this doula program strictly online?
  6. Do I have to access the program at certain times of the day?
  7. How much time do I need to commit to this program?
  8. What is a Continuing Education Certificate?  What does non-accredited mean?
  9. What is the difference between a birth doula and a postpartum doula?
  10. What is the difference between a doula and a midwife?
  11. Is this program recognized by other doula certifying bodies?
  12. Could I start my own business after taking this program?
  13. What if my computer breaks down and I can’t complete the doula course?

What is a birth doula?
A birth doula is a non-clinical care provider that provides information and physical, emotional, and often spiritual support to a pregnant woman. She generally provides two prenatal visits, attends the birth of her client, and is there for support and information in the early postpartum.

Is there instructor support available?
There is an instructor available for online questions and support and she should be able to respond to most email enquiries within 24-48 hours during the week. In addition, there may also be up to two scheduled office hours each week for phoning or emailing the instructor directly (to be determined by the instructor).

Are there required texts for the program?
There is required reading and report writing in this program.   A list of recommended books is provided to registrants of the program.  Most books can be borrowed through your local library.

Are there any exams issued?
Students’ overall success will be measured through online assignments, participation in the discussion forums, and quizzes.

Is attendance required or is this doula program strictly online?
Most of this program is online. The physical aspects of this program involve securing volunteer experience as well as attending two births.

Do I have to access the program at certain times of the day?
The work can be done any time you have time, which could mean evenings or weekends.  You are not required to be online at any particular time of the day.  Online access is available almost 24 hours / 7 days per week

How much time do I need to commit to this program?
You can expect to spend a minimum of 5 hours per week of reading, assignments, discussions etc.  Keep in mind that these hours are only a guideline as everyone learns at a different pace – you may end up spending more than 5 hours a week.   Additional time over and above the minimum 5 hours a week is required as follows:  1) a minimum of 20 hours of volunteer experience; 2) read and report on 2 books; 3) attend and report on 2 births (a minimum of 4 hours spent at each birth). The instructor advises you of the timelines that assignments are due. 

What is a Continuing Education Certificate?  What does non-accredited mean?
It’s a certificate issued by College of the Rockies that shows that you’ve met a certain standard of training in a program that is more than 60 hours.  In part, non-accredited means that there is no articulation agreement with other institutions to transfer credit toward other programs of higher learning.  Participants who successfully complete the full Birth Doula Studies program will be awarded a Continuing Education Certificate recognizing 108 hours of study in this field.

What is the difference between a birth doula and a postpartum doula?
Birth doulas end their professional relationship with their client in the early postpartum after introductory breastfeeding is complete. Postpartum doulas are involved in the care of their clients during the first 3-6 months after birth. Their scope includes more comprehensive breastfeeding support, newborn care, emotional care of the mother, light housekeeping, and meal preparation.

What is the difference between a doula and a midwife?
As a birth doula, you are there to provide support and education to an expectant mother. A birth doula is not licensed or responsible for clinical care. A midwife is a registered clinical care provider who takes the role as the healthcare professional in your client’s pregnancy and birth.

Is this program recognized by other doula certifying bodies?
As with any doula program, you are not guaranteed certification with another certifying organization or body. However, having your College of the Rockies Continuing Education Doula Certificate may give you more credibility amongst health professionals, organizations or in furthering your education.

Could I start my own business after taking this program?
This program is designed to help you learn more about the fundamentals of being a doula. Most doulas are self employed. This program includes basic information on starting a successful doula business. Depending on how you choose to run your business, you may wish to pursue further education in developing a small business.

What if my computer breaks down and I can’t complete the doula course?
It is your responsibility to ensure that you have access to the appropriate technology to complete the course.  If your computer breaks down due to a virus or you have internet problems, you need to find another source to access your course.  Internet cafes, libraries and some Colleges usually provide public access to computers/internet at minimal cost.  Once the course is in progress, there are no refunds.  Please refer to the Refund Policy.