Birth Doula Certification

Birth Doula Competencies, Scope of Work, and Service Provision for NCB Certified Doulas

A minimum of:

  • One prenatal visit
  • Attendance at the birth
  • One postpartum visit within the first two weeks of life

Doula services improve outcomes for birthing parents and infants. Doulas offer support, guidance, evidence-based education, practical support during childbirth, and linkages to community-based resources. Doula services include personal, non-medical support to birthing families throughout an individual’s pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum experience. This includes emotional and physical support, provided during pregnancy, labor, birth and the postpartum period. A doula’s scope of practice includes the following:

  1. Provides prenatal counseling and assists the birthing individual in preparing for and carrying out their plans for birth;
  2. Provides evidence-based information on general health practices pertaining to pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum, newborn health, and family dynamics;
  3. Has a general understanding of complications that can arise during pregnancy, labor, and delivery;
  4. Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures, and helps the birthing individual get the information they need to make informed decisions pertaining to childbirth and postpartum;
  5. Provides support for the whole birth team including the birthing individual’s partner and family members and hospital staff;
  6. Provides non-medical labor support and immediate postpartum support;
  7. Provides evidence-based information on infant feeding;
  8. Provides general breastfeeding guidance and resources;
  9. Provides infant soothing and coping skills for the new parents;
  10. Honors cultural and family traditions;
  11. Facilitates and assures access to resources that can improve birth-related outcomes including transportation, housing, Alcohol, Tobacco and Drug cessation, WIC, SNAP, and intimate partner violence resources.

Adapted from Oregon, New Jersey, and Virginia Medicaid documents