CAPPA Certified Labor Doula

Get Certified as a Labor Doula

CAPPA offers the most professional and comprehensive trainings and certification available for doulas worldwide. CAPPA members receive unsurpassed education, support and networking opportunities. CAPPA has been training, certifying and supporting doulas for well over a decade and is recognized and respected worldwide.

CAPPA Academy and Certification

CAPPA is proud to offer our one of a kind, state of the art virtual classroom experience, CAPPA Academy. CAPPA Academy provides the opportunity for students to obtain the highest level of training and education of any perinatal certification organization. As leaders in the perinatal education field, we pride ourselves in offering our members the latest technology. By combining excellent, in-person, evidenced based, standardized trainings with the convenience of the virtual classroom setting, CAPPA now offers unparalleled education for perinatal professionals. As part of our mission to foster and encourage relevant information, support, and training, we are proud to offer CAPPA Academy, which further demonstrates our commitment to the highest possible standards for all CAPPA members.

In addition to your in-person training, CAPPA members will now be able to enjoy the convenience of a virtual classroom, with features such as:

  • Downloadable forms (please note that some forms will still need to be mailed to the CAPPA office)
  • Online exams, with immediate results on the multiple choice portion of the exam
  • Video instruction from the program directors
  • Step by step instructions on completing the course
  • Hot links to important online resources
  • CAPPA USA and CAPPA Canada members will enroll in CAPPA Academy to pursue certification. The current enrollment fee is $175.* Instructions for beginning the certification process in CAPPA Academy can be found at Please be advised that all sales are final and policies may be changed or adjusted during the course of your certification process. By enrolling in CAPPA Academy, you agree to abide by these changes and policies. For more information on CAPPA Academy, please visit this link.

    We are very excited to offer even more new and continuing education opportunities via the CAPPA Academy virtual classroom in the near future.


    In order for candidates to be eligible for CAPPA certification they must sign and agree to the following forms- Code of Conduct and Social Media Policy, Grievance Policy, Mission Statement, CAPPA Approach / Philosophy Statement, Vision Statement, and Scope of Practice. We reserve the right to withhold certification to those candidates that do not meet the requirements set forth. We also reserve the right to withhold certification based on all contact with candidates for certification, including, but not limited to phone calls, e-mails, and certification materials. An understanding of CAPPA standards of professionalism, our scope of practice, and code of conduct must be demonstrated by candidates at all times and in all communications. Failure to demonstrate an understanding of the aforementioned may result in CAPPA withholding certification. This is rare.

    While 92% of candidates do obtain certification, CAPPA cannot guarantee certification will be obtained by entering our program. In the event a candidate fails to pass certification requirements, the candidate will be contacted by the director of the program with further instructions. Please be advised that policies and prices may be changed or adjusted during the course of your certification process.

    Please allow approximately six weeks for CAPPA to process your certification materials* once we receive them. CAPPA receives a high volume of certification requests, and each certification request is given individual attention. Upon successful completion of any of the CAPPA certification programs, you will receive a CAPPA certificate. CAPPA certified labor doulas may use the letters "CLD" after their names.

    * You must be at least 18 years old to certify with CAPPA.

    * All fees listed are in USD.

    * When submitting your certification materials, please do not send originals. Please do not send your certification materials to CAPPA in a way that requires us to sign for them. CAPPA staff retrieves the CAPPA mail after Post Office hours. We cannot sign for mail!

    *Review each of the programs for becoming a CAPPA Certified Labor Doula carefully to be sure you are enrolling in the proper program. If you need to change programs after enrolling in CAPPA Academy, you may incur a Change Program Fee.

    While you should use the certification checklist provided in CAPPA Academy to ensure that you've completed all the steps, you are certainly welcome to request an updated checklist from your program director if you wish to complete the more up-to-date certification steps. Please remember that you have two years from your date of training (one year for the childbirth educator accelerated program) in which to certify, after which your training is expired. Your access to CAPPA Academy will coincide with your CAPPA training workshop date. Once CAPPA Academy is purchased, you will have access until your certification timeframe expires. If you need additional time after this expiration, CAPPA offers extensions which will apply to your certification and your access to CAPPA Academy. Please note that continuous CAPPA membership is required for access to CAPPA Academy. A lapse in your CAPPA membership will result in your Academy account being disabled and a re-enrollment fee will be applied. Please be advised that policies may be changed or adjusted during the course of your certification process. Please be advised that policies may be changed or adjusted during the course of your certification process.

    What is a Labor Doula?

    A doula is a person who attends the birthing family before, during, and just after the birth of the baby. The certified doula is trained to deliver emotional support from home to hospital, ease the transition into the hospital environment, and be there through changing hospital shifts and alternating provider schedules. The doula serves as a labor coach and information source to give the mother and her partner the added comfort of additional support throughout the entire labor. She encourages and promotes self-advocacy, informed choice, and excellent communication between the mother and care providers. There are a variety of titles used by women offering these kinds of services such as "birth assistant," "labor support specialist" and "doula".

    What Does a Doula Do?

    The following is a general description of what you might expect from a CAPPA certified labor doula. Typically, doulas meet with the parents in the second or third trimester of the pregnancy to get acquainted and to learn about prior birth experiences and the history of this pregnancy. She may help you develop a birth plan, teach relaxation, visualization, and breathing skills useful for labor. Most importantly, the doula will provide comfort, support, and information about birth options.

    A doula can help the woman to determine prelabor from true labor and early labor from active labor. At a point determined by the woman in labor, the doula will come to her and assist her by:

    A doula works cooperatively with the health care team. In the event of a complication, a doula can be a great help in understanding what is happening and what options the family may have. The doula may also help with the initial breastfeeding and in preserving the privacy of the new family during the first hour after birth.

    Traditional Certification

    Distance Certification

    This program was designed for the many women who are unable to attend a doula training. The program offers in-home training with the use of a professionally produced DVD series version of a CAPPA labor doula training workshop. The DVD series is approximately 9 hours in length. Each participant will also receive the labor doula training manual and the certification packet.

    10 CEUs are awarded upon completion of the distance program.

    Transfer/Dual Certification

    Track -1 Certified with an approved organization

    Track -2 Trained with an approved organization (not yet certified)

    Please be advised that policies may be changed or adjusted during the course of your certification process. By enrolling in CAPPA Academy, you agree to abide by these changes.

    The Executive Director for the Labor Doula Program is Ana Hill (