Doula Certification Training, Module 1, Lesson 1

Doula Certification Training

Module 1 (Pregnancy, Labor, and Birth)

Lesson 1: The importance of working from the stability of your personal daily practice and checking your personal baggage at the 'door'.


Congratulations for embarking on your journey as an

Original Instructions Postpartum Doula




We have designed our Doula certification training to be largely comprised of first-hand, in-person experiential learning for the majority of the training. With so many modern apparatus and methods of communication, it is ever more important that we learn and remember how to integrate teachings we receive from storytelling and our own personal empirical knowledge. Original Instructions Doulas must learn to use their hands, voices and inner eye as tools for their practices.

The long distance portion of your OIS Doula consists of printed text, images, videos, photos, relevant links and other multimedia learning materials included in one lesson per week for four consecutive weeks following your in-person Doula training immersion. Once you have satisfactorily completed all four long-distance lessons as well as our required reading list for Module 1 you will receive our Scope of Practice and Standards of Care Agreement to review and sign before being issued your Original Instructions Doula Certification.




Please read and answer the following questions in a google doc, pdf or handwritten format

   *You will need: A journal for personal use


As Original Instructions Doulas, we have learned that in order to cultivate a strong, authentic practice we must have a strongly rooted daily spiritual practice or ritual(s) which allow us to commune with what we feel is divine guidance before entering into sacred and intimate space with mothers and their families.

1.)  Do you currently have a spiritual practice or ritual through which you can effectively connect to divine guidance? If so, please describe. If not please create or learn one and then describe.






Homework: Take 2 minutes to perform your spiritual practice or ritual before cooking your meals this week. In a journal or in a separate Google doc record your observations regarding this practice each day in two sentences or less. 







As an Original Instructions Doula, you have explored the effects of unwanted and unnecessary power dynamics on birthing mothers and women's reproductive health. In order to ensure that you are not vulnerable to participating and contributing to these power dynamics, you have learned that you must work from a place of internal neutrality. 

2.) Do you currently have techniques that you use in your life to help you feel centered and powerful in your ability to choose your own internal state regardless of your outside environment? If so, please list at least four of these techniques. If not, please create at least four centering/grounding techniques for you to use with yourself before entering into Doula work with families. 

Homework: Practice each of these techniques at least one time a day for the next week, especially when you may be feeling stress, anxiety and other hard to shake emotions. Record your observations about the effect these practices have had on your ability to "check your baggage at the door" in a journal entry at the end of the week.


Key Points of an Effective Birth Plan in the US

  There are many benefits to facilitating the creation of a clear and well thought out birth "plan" with mothers and their families such as the exploration of options and the creation of ways to nurture to the mother's senses during labor.

  Among the benefits provided to a mother and her family through the development of a birth plan is that it gives the Doula (or other care provider) an avenue through which to provide information to the mother about common mainstream practices which she may not be aware of.

   Informing the mother and her family about common mainstream practices surrounding birth is extremely important as a Doula. Many times what is considered "common practice" by a main care provider may not be specifically discussed with their clients before hand. It's your job as the Doula to make sure mothers and families stay informed.

    Please review the short bullet point of the essential medical procedures which should be covered during the development of a birth plan for a birth which will occur in the United States. Afterwards, list a relevant and scientifically recognized  resource which contains information on the topics listed.


  -Tearing of the perinium and yoni during birth and episiotomies, prevention and occurrence
  - Pros and cons of Epidurals, 
  - Benefits of staying active during labor and the ability of fetal heart monitor belts and liquid IVs to hinder that possibility.
   - Benefits of various kinds of birthing positions  
   - Affects of lighting and warmth on a laboring mother and the common practice of where she plans to give birth in that regard.
    - Possibility of cervical dialation checks and a mothers right to refuse them, ask them to be reduced in number, and/or ask for only a specific care provider to conduct them 
     - Pros and cons of inducing labor
     - Purpose of using Pitocin in the setting of labor and delivery and the associated risks involved



Please complete all indicated questions and homework for the coming week. Upon completion, you may turn in your typed or written answers and journal entries in the form of google docs, pdf file, scanned attachment or clear photo to