Doula Training & Mentoring - with Warm Welcome Birth Services
Can I begin working as a doula after taking this workshop?
Yes! After completing the prerequisite reading, observing a series of childbirth education classes, and attending the four-day Doula Training Workshop, participants have the skills necessary to begin supporting women and families in birth. You'll then attend your first few births as a volunteer- this is a great way to build your confidence & put your new knowledge into action, while at the same time helping women and families who would not otherwise be able to benefit from the services of a doula. New doulas often find that the families they serve on a volunteer basis are glad to spread the word about how essential you were to their positive experience.

Graduates of this training have gone on to become active members of the Green River Doula Network, the Bay State and Franklin Volunteer Programs, and the San Francisco General Hospital Doula Program. Others have continued on to apprenticeship in midwifery, nurse-midwifery training, and/or to start their own independent practice as birth & postpartum doulas. Click on the links below to see some examples of what graduates of this course have gone on to do! If you're comparing this training to another, ask for a list of their graduates in your area- it can be valuable information.

Tara Dean- African Birth Collective, midwifery student
Kerry-Alisa Young (attended as refresher/enrichment)
Beth Fairservis- (attended as refresher/enrichment)
Allison Connor (attended as refresher/enrichment)

How much do doulas earn? 
In the Amherst/Northampton MA area, the typical range of fees for birth doula care (including prenatal and postpartum visits) is $700-$1000. This varies based on what geographic area the doula works in, her level of experience, whether she has any other relevant skills (such as being a yoga teacher, Licensed Massage Therapist,  Acupuncturist, etc), and what package of services the doula offers. The doula determines, for example, how many prenatal and postpartum appointments to have with clients, and at what point in their labor to will join them.  Many doulas in the Pioneer Valley area work on a sliding scale basis.

Fees in metropolitan areas often run in the range of $2000-$3000 per birth. Midwives who also work as doulas usually earn $1250- $2000+ in Western Mass. Postpartum doulas in the Amherst/Northampton area earn between $20-$35 an hour, with $25 an hour being typical.

Can I be a birth doula if I haven't given birth?
Some of the best doulas and midwives have not physically given birth themselves. What is required is a caring heart, alert mind, willing hands, and a profound instinct for authentic human connection. Age is not a limitation; women ages 16 to mid-sixties have successfully completed this workshop & gone on to attend births.

How can I integrate doula work and being on call with the rest of my life? As a self-employed, independent doula, you have control over how much work you decide to take on. Many doulas make a gradual transition into attending births, continuing to do other work or schooling in the meantime. If you have a family at home or other work that you intend to continue with, I recommend setting up a back-up arrangement with another doula. If you find that you work especially well with one other particular doula, you might eventually partner together. This allows you to have more control over your schedule, and to enjoy predictable off-call days.

What makes this training special?
(1) This Workshop is taught by a Certified Professional Midwife, who regularly works as a birth & postpartum doula. The curriculum is ideal for those considering eventual study of midwifery or obstetrics, or for those who are simply interested in gaining a thorough understanding of the anatomy and hormonal process of birth.

(2) This training is a full four days long, unlike many others which are three or even just two. Four days gives us the time to delve more deeply into the work, covering key topics not included in other workshops, and giving you more guided hands-on practice.

(3) EVERY new doula will participate meaningfully in explaining and/or demonstrating comfort measures to actual pregnant couples on the last day of training, in the Creative Movement for Birth class.

(4) Participants in the Workshop are eligible to receive individual mentoring at no additional charge, as a phone session with the midwife anytime in the year following the training. This experienced guidance can be very helpful as you begin your practice. Additional mentoring is available at an hourly rate.

What exactly does the training include and how much does it cost? The $550 tuition ($600 for 2018) for the Doula Training Workshop includes four full days of instruction by a Certified Professional Midwife, your Doula Notebook (a valuable collection of articles, methods, reference materials, and business paperwork to use as you launch your practice), and an invitation to participate in the private Yahoo group for all graduates of the course. You are also eligible to have an individual phone mentoring session with the midwife after the Workshop. There are no hidden costs, membership or certification fees, or additional materials fees.

Do I receive a certificate after completing the workshop?  To receive your certificate, you must (1) complete the prerequisite readings (2) attend the full four day training (3) observe a full series of childbirth ed classes, and (4) document post-workshop attendance as a doula at 3-4 births. Most volunteer programs will accept applicants who have not yet attended any births, but have completed the workshop and other prerequisites.

What is the fee for certification? I am an independent doula trainer, not affiliated with any other certifying organization. This means you are not charged any 'membership fee' or 'application fee'. Your tuition covers everything.

What is the purpose of the Warm Welcome Yahoo group? The group is a great way to stay in touch with the great women you met in the workshop, share births stories, tips, and questions, and make back-up arrangements.

Are there any discounts, payment plans, or workstudy available? Refer a friend and receive a $20 Amazon Gift Card (think birth books!). A bilingual discount of $50 is available for those who are functionally fluent in a language other than English, and plan to serve a disadvantaged population.

College students may be eligible for partial tuition assistance through their schools.  A workstudy position assisting the midwife during the workshop can reduce your tuition by $75. 

The Green River Doula Network (Western Mass) sometimes offers partial tuition assistance in exchange for doing some work for the Network. This is a great way to get involved in the local birth community. 

Affirmative Action- I personally subsidize $750 towards tuition assistance for people of color and caucasian latinx for each birth doula workshop. Curious why? Great! Read these four articles and I think you'll agree this is important. Healthier Pregnancies for Indigenous Women, Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, Current Relevance of Affirmative Action, and finally Reverse Racism Isn't a Thing.

Multiple discounts may apply. Flexible payment plans are available, and credit cards are accepted through PayPal. Please call (413) 858-5048, or email for details.

Click here to receive either of my free e-newsletters:Pregnancy & Parenting in the Valley: Beyond the Obvious, and Growing Yourself as a Doula.



Michelle L'Esperance, CPM   (413) 858-5048        Northampton MA