The Developing Doulas course

Online and In Person

The Developing Doulas Birth and Postnatal Doula Preparation course prepares you to work supporting birthing families in the UK. It is complemented by the follow on course ‘Doulavation’ that takes your learning wider and deeper and gives you a practical guide to setting up your business.

The course has been running since 2007 and is approved by Doula UK

The course can be taken online or in-person.

During the course we aim to…

  • Define the role of the doula
  • Explore your motivation for becoming a doula
  • Work through your own birthing experiences
  • Reflect on how to support women and birthing people through counselling and listening skills
  • Explore why unconditional, non-judgemental support is so important
  • Understand how breastfeeding works and how to support parents in their feeding choices
  • Talk about choice in childbirth and how to help clients make those choices truly informed
  • Talk about how to debrief after the birth – with clients and with each other
  • Understand the basic anatomy and physiology of birth
  • Explore how to help support the physiology of birth
  • Discuss labour positions and comfort measures
  • Become aware of our own strengths and weaknesses
  • Commit to on-going learning and self-development
  • Put ourselves in our local context – networking and know-how
  • Find out about the realities of working as a doula – setting up and running your business
  • Explore all the systems of support available to you after the courses finishes: Doula UK mentoring and DD Companionship
  • Work on building positive and respectful relationships with clients, fellow doulas and healthcare professionals
  • Complete your post-course project to extend your reflection and learning

And don’t forget lunch!

It’s not all work, work, work!

Each cohort has its own facebook group and sometimes a whatsapp group too so that friendships can be forged and information shared.

When we get together in the real world we are able to bring food to share for the gorgeous lunches we seem to have on the DD courses!

And of course there are the biscuits….

Photo of a sociable lunchtime for the doula trainees
Doula lunchtime

Doula course cost

The Developing Doulas course costs £795 (£755.25 if paid in one lump sum, which is a 5% discount) or £895 including access to the Doulavation course materials. This is a saving of £200 if you were to buy them separately.

We normally ask for a non-refundable £159 booking deposit, with the balance paid in 2 more chunks over 2 months. If, however, you need a more creative installment plan, please do get in touch – you won’t be the first!

If you are considering embarking on doula training and hypnobirthing teacher training simultaneously, The Wise Hippo and Developing Doulas are now offering a special training package for both trainings.

If you book The Wise Hippo teacher training and a Developing Doulas Training together your investment will be:

£1398 ( That’s a saving of 20%)

For more information please visit The Wise Hippo for training dates and availability.

If you’re already a WH teacher, you qualify for a 15% discount on the DD course. Just get in touch for details.

Assisted Places

In Financial Need?

If you are dreaming of becoming a doula but can not afford a place, talk to us. We are often able to help in creative ways.

We are particularly interested in supporting people from marginalised communities to become doulas.

We have one assisted place in each group. This is a 15% discount. This place is called the Pam Lacey Award and is in memory of a dear friend who was a doula and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and Chair of the Association of Breastfeeding Mothers. We invite applications from folk who are committed to working to protect, support and nurture breastfeeding/chestfeeding in their communities.

Partial and full scholarships are reserved for people who could not otherwise afford to attend a doula course and who plan to support birthing families in their own communities and are awarded at our discretion. We are also happy to negotiate payment plans to spread the cost. We are particularly keen to give these free, discounted or assisted places to people who belong to a marginalised or discriminated-against group. We operate on a system of mutual trust and respect when agreeing these arrangements.

We also invite applications from Student Midwives for a free place if they need some time to reflect, rest and be nurtured for a while! There is one free student midwife place in each cohort and is especially for students who are having a tough time. They may be considering dropping out, or feeling traumatised by the care they are witnessing.

Student midwives who are enjoying their course, feeling supported by their tutors and mentors and who intend to carry on with their studies will be asked to pay for the course as will those who have already decided to drop out of uni and taken the decision to set up a doula business.

Specialist course for people from the LGBTQIA community who wish to be doulas

Developing Doula Course Leader Aimee Hamblyn
Aimee – DD course leader

The course covers

  • Coming-out in your doula work – how you chose to own your story in a way that is right for you
  • Be part of a supportive community
  • Be part of creating narratives around birth and families beyond the heteronormative 
  • Connecting with the same-ness of birth experience while celebrating our differences
  • Connecting with our unique journey and personal why for birth work and supporting families

Are you an aspiring doula who identifies as part of the LGBTQI family?

We are offering a really exciting opportunity to train as a birth and postnatal doula in a circle of doula siblings in a LGBTQI space.  This is an online training and has the same syllabus as all the DD courses, with the same opportunity to reflect on your experience around birth; on the kind of doula you want to be and the families you want to support.  But with a difference; we will be in a space that is specifically for the community that you belong to, and safe to discuss issues that are important to you.

I came out to my mum when I was a teenager as bi-sexual and spent my most of my 20s and 30s in relationships with women.  I was lucky to get pregnant supported by my partner Gaby and we have an amazing daughter.  Although Gaby and I split as a couple we have a great friendship and co-parent Lulu as her two mamas. 

Get in touch to enquire about plans for our next cohort

Tell me more, pleeeeze

We are often asked to provide more information about the content of the course. This is difficult as we cover so much!  We aim to equip you with the knowledge and skills to begin your doula career – from supporting a woman or pregnant person in pregnancy, helping to plan their birth, supporting then through labour and birth and beyond into the first weeks with the baby.

We’ll give you information to help set up your doula business, find your first clients and continue supporting you once you have left us and gone out into the big, wide doula world! Doulavation goes deeper into the practicalities of setting up and getting going as a self employed practitioner and is the perfect next step as you begin to think about how to reach prospective clients.

Most people say they learn just as much about themselves as they do about doulaing on the course and we feel this is right. Only by knowing and loving ourselves can we hope to pass this on to our clients.

Mainly, it’s all in the name – Developing Doulas. We hope to help create doulas who understand that we never stop learning and developing, doulas who are humble in the face of their clients’ birthing and mothering power and who are passionate about empowering parents to have the very best births and early parenting experiences they can have.

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