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Doula Trainings 
















DONA-Approved Birth Doula Training:

Birth Doula Training- meets DONA's certification requirements for attending an "Approved Birth Doula Workshop" as well as the "Introduction to Childbirth for Doulas"

Breastfeeding Support Training- meets DONA's certification requirement for a "Basics of Breastfeeding" class

Together, these meet all classroom education requirements for certification with DONA International.

The Perinatal Health Advocate Training is required for doulas providing services to BirthWell clients, and recommended for anyone interested in supporting under-resourced and/or marginalized families to address inequities in health outcomes. This class is not required for DONA certification.

Hands-On Experience that Matters

Work-Study- a number of Work-Study positions are available each year for those who live in our service area and meet financial need criteria. Recipients receive free training in exchange for providing doula services for up to 3 BirthWell clients

Volunteer Opportunities- newly trained doulas looking to gain experience and/or doulas wishing to serve their community are welcome to apply. Prospective volunteers must attend our Breastfeeding Support Training, Perinatal Health Advocate Training and attend an Orientation.

Interested in hosting a workshop for your organization or group? Contact us at 205-614-3297.

Birth Doula Training




Birth Doula training

This >25 hour, intensive workshop is designed to help participants become expert labor support providers. The course utilizes texts and supplementary literature, video, and practical skills. Activities and discussion are designed to prepare you to attend births with confidence! Attendance constitutes one step in the process or becoming a DONA International-Certified Doula (CD)DONA.

Participants will learn how to:

  • Identify the significance of birth to a family

  • Define the role of the doula and their scope of practice

  • List the benefits of doula support on obstetrical outcomes from current research

  • Describe emotional and physical needs of laboring people and their partners

  • Demonstrate helpful labor positions

  • Recognize onset of labor and identify progress during labor

  • Demonstrate non-pharmacological pain reduction methods

  • Recognize special needs associated with Cesarean and VBAC birth

  • Describe the doula's role in the prenatal period

  • Describe the doula's role in the postpartum period

  • Discuss DONA International certification and membership

Who should take this course?

  • Anyone seeking to become a birth doula

  • Birth doulas who need continuing education for recertification

  • Labor and postpartum nurses

  • WIC providers 

  • Childbirth educators

  • Social workers who work with families during their childbearing years

  • Early Head Start staff

  • Healthy Start staff

  • Anyone interested in assisting pregnant people and families to have a satisfying birth experience.

Training During COVID-19: We will be meeting in an outdoor space; a covered patio, or well ventilated indoor space.  We will all wear masks at all times and stay physically distant except for when we practice hands-on techniques. Hand washing will be frequent. Participants will be responsible NOT to attend if they have any (even very mild) symptoms or have been recently exposed to someone with Covid-19!

Do you want to be a Birth Doula?

This training meets 2 of the education requirements for DONA Birth Doula Certification: a DONA-Approved Birth Doula Workshop and Introduction to Childbirth for Doulas

Birth Doula Trainings are held multiple times a year in Birmingham.

Cost: $600


Breastfeeding support training

Breastfeeding support Training 

"Encouraging and Supporting Breastfeeding in a First Food Desert."

This training presents the Trans-Theoretical Model of Behavior Change as a framework for addressing barriers to breastfeeding, maximizing influence to promote breastfeeding and for supporting continued breastfeeding success.

This 4-hour training meets DONA's breastfeeding class requirement and will count as 3 points towards the 15 hours of continuing education needed for recertification with DONA. (If you need L-CERPS, please let us know so we can apply for them.)

Participants will learn how to:

  • Encourage individuals to shift their decisional balance toward breastfeeding

  • Teach skills to get breastfeeding off to a good start

  • Identify support for initiation and for continued success

  • Identify an effective latch and feeding pattern

  • Provide anticipatory guidance and support

  • Provide information about breastfeeding using effective language

Who should take this course?

  • Birth doulas/birth doulas in training

  • Postpartum doulas/postpartum doulas in training

  • Labor and postpartum nurses

  • Pediatricians and pediatric nurses

  • WIC providers and peer counselors

  • Childbirth educators

  • Lactation specialists

  • Lactation support group facilitators

  • Social workers who work with families during their childbearing years

  • Early Head Start staff

  • Healthy Start staff

  • ICAN leaders

  • Anyone who works to support new families

Do you want to support breastfeeding success?

BirthWell Partners Doulas must attend our Breastfeeding Support Training.

Breastfeeding Support Trainings are held 2-3 times a year in conjunction with our regular Birth Doula Trainings.

Cost: $50

Breastfeeding Training





Perinatal Health Advocate Training

A Perinatal Health Advocate, or Community Health Worker Doula, focuses on connecting families with resources and support for pregnancy, birth and for parenting. Their focus is on the parent's global needs during pregnancy, birth and the early postpartum. 

A Perinatal Health Advocate understands the social determinants of health and how the environment in which a parent lives affects their pregnancy and birth. 

A Perinatal Health Advocate is aware of the unacceptable inequities and health disparities affecting families in our communities. 

A Perinatal Health Advocate helps connect families to the resources they need to lead healthy lives and to complete healthy pregnancies. 

Who should take this course?

  • Doulas and doulas in training

  • Social workers who work with families during their childbearing years

  • Early Head Start staff

  • Healthy Start staff

  • Lactation consultants

  • Labor and postpartum nurses

  • OB's working with parents whose pregnancy is covered by Medicaid

  • WIC providers and peer counselors

  • Public Health students and professionals

  • Anyone who wants to work to address health disparities related to families, birth and babies in our community

  • Everyone who is concerned, or wants to learn more about health inequity 

Do you want to be a Perinatal Health Advocate? 

Perinatal Health Advocate Trainings are held 2-3 times a year in conjunction with our regular Birth Doula Trainings.

BirthWell Partners Doulas must attend a Perinatal Health Advocate Training.

Cost: $40

Perinatal Health Advocate

About the trainer:


Executive Director of Program Operations

Dalia Abrams, M.A., M.P.H. 


Dalia is the co-founder of BirthWell Partners. She is a DONA International approved Birth Doula Trainer, a DONA certified Birth Doula, a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, and a Certified Lactation Counselor. She has been engaged in birth work, supporting growing families since 1996.




Work study opportunity

BirthWell's Work-Study program is an option for prospective doulas who have the passion, but not the financial means, to attend a training. We provide a comprehensive training that includes all the classroom requirements for completing DONA birth doula certification = STUDY.  The recipients provide birth doula support after their training to 2-3 BirthWell Partners clients = WORK. It's a win-win: Doulas get classroom training AND get hands-on experience with their first clients. Under-resourced clients get the support of a trained and compassionate doula.  

  • We Look at a Range of Applicants:  We welcome applicants who plan to use doula training as a stepping stone to midwifery training, who are public health professionals using this experience to enhance their careers and create better policies for maternal and child health, who plan to become professional doulas in affluent communities, and/or serve families in low-recourse communities.

  • We Look at a Range of Financial Need:  We have full and partial work-study options. Some applicants will have the full cost of training covered, and others will pay $200 toward the cost of training. This approach allows us to spread our limited resources to more applicants.  

  • All Work-Study Program Participants Agree to Attend Births for BirthWell Partners: After training and orientation, we require attendance at 3 births (full work-study) or 2 births (partial work-study), and completion of client data-collection paperwork in a timely manner. 

  • Work-Study Participants Receive Mentoring: All participants can take advantage of mentoring from staff, who are experienced doulas. In addition, there are opportunities to meet and learn with other doulas in our community.

  • Work-Study Participants are not prohibited from taking private clients while fulfilling your work-study commitment: In fact, we encourage establishment of a private doula practice as soon as one feels ready.

Key information:

Applicants for Work-Study Must:

  • Be at least 21 years of age

  • Live in the Greater Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, or Anniston area

  • Have reliable transportation

  • Have a valid driver's license and automobile liability insurance

  • Have financial need

Note: Please read the first 3 pages of the application carefully. These pages contain important information about the application process, commitment required, and training schedule. 

Work Study Application Process

1. Complete a Written Application

2. Participate in a video/phone interview


BirthWell Partners Agrees to Provide:

  • A comprehensive Birth Doula Workshop that fulfills all of the classroom education requirements for doula certification through DONA International, i.e. Introduction to Childbirth + Birth Doula Training Workshop + Breastfeeding Class for Doulas ($650 value)

  • Perinatal Health Advocate Training ($40 value) & ACTT Workshop

  • BirthWell Doula Orientation

  • Reimbursement for Birth Doula Certification Packet from DONA International ($50 value)

  • Monthly meetings to assist with meeting certification requirements through DONA International

  • Mentoring and support from experienced doulas

  • Reimbursement for a one-year DONA membership and certification application fee ($210 value) when full work-study recipient has attended 3 client births and submitted all required paperwork in a timely manner (A partial work-study recipient is not committed to attending 3 births but may elect to attend 1 additional birth to receive this reimbursement.)

Work-Study Details:

Work Study Participant Agrees to:

  • Attend the Introduction to Childbirth Education for Doulas course

  • Attend the Doula Training Workshop

  • Attend the Breastfeeding Class

  • Attend the Perinatal Health Advocate Training & ACTT Workshop

  • Attend the BirthWell Partners' Doula Orientation

  • Attend at least half of the monthly doula meetings (2023 meetings will be held the 1st Wednesday of each month from 5:30 to 8 pm)

  • Follow the DONA Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice for Birth Doulas

  • Check and respond to messages (email, phone, or text) within a 24-hour period of time, and stay in regular communication with program staff.

  • Update staff regarding contact with doula clients and promptly notify staff if a situation arises where they are unable to fulfill their commitment to a client.

  • Provide birth doula services to the required number of BirthWell Partners’ clients (3 for full work-study/2 for partial work-study) within 12 months of attending the classroom training. Services include 2 prenatal visits, birth support, and 2 postpartum visits.

  • Arrange backup with another volunteer in the program for each client assigned

  • Provide backup to other BirthWell Partners doulas (Note: if you attend a birth as a back-up, it counts toward required births)

  • Complete and submit documentation for each client in a timely manner as outlined in BirthWell doula procedures

  • Represent BirthWell Partners in a professional manner at all times

The value of this work-study program, which covers the costs of training, certification, client assignment and mentoring support is over $1200.



with Us

Volunteers Agree to:

• Follow the DONA Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice for Birth Doulas
• Check and respond to messages (email, phone, or text) within a 24-hour period of time,
and stay in communication with program staff.
• Contact assigned clients within 48 hours of assignment (and let staff know if you are
unable to establish contact)
• Promptly notify staff if a situation arises in which the volunteer is unable to fulfill a
commitment to a client
• Provide birth doula services to BirthWell Partners’ clients (services include 2 prenatal visits, birth support,and 2 postpartum visits)
• Arrange backup with another BirthWell Partners Doula for each client, and provide
backup to other BirthWell Doulas
• Complete and submit documentation for each client in a timely manner as outlined in
volunteer procedures
• Represent BirthWell Partners in a professional manner at all times

Steps for Volunteering:

Volunteer with Us!

Volunteering with BirthWell Partners gives doulas an opportunity to gain valuable hands-on experience providing direct client services, while receiving mentoring and support from Birthwell Partners staff and other community doulas. Thanks to the hearts and hands of volunteers, we are able to provide birth doula services to many families in Central Alabama who would not otherwise have this support.

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