BiA Doula Training

This post is also available in: Dutch

BiA Doula Training is a comprehensive training to become a professional birth doula: a support for the pregnant mother (and partner) during pregnancy, birth and immediate postpartum.

The training is composed of different elements: in-person training, self-study, internships, mentoring, all of which build on each other. It is designed in such a way that you can choose according to your personal circumstances when to do which component of the training. We have students who fulfil all the certification requirements within 3-6 months, and others may take 1,5-2 years.

Usually you’d start with reading the books from the required reading list and other materials that we will send you when you subscribe for the training. This is followed by the in-person 4-day intensive Foundation Training which will give you the essentials to immediately begin your observational internships (in hospital and with midwifery practice) and your first doula client(s). Taking the 3-day Advanced Training can then follow after 3 or 6 months. If you have prior education / extensive knowledge of pregnancy and birth you can choose to do the Foundation and Advanced Trainings consecutively. After the Advanced Training you will fulfil the remaining certification requirements, after which you complete your portfolio and certification. By becoming a certified BiA Doula, you can apply for full membership of the Dutch national professional association, the NBvD

Dutch and International

We welcome students from all over the Netherlands (Dutch and international), as well as from abroad. As the in-person Foundation and Advanced trainings are blocks of 4 en 3 days, you only have to come twice to Amsterdam and the other components of the training you complete in your own region / country.


We know how important it is to be part of a community, where you can learn from your peers and give each other support. We have an active online student and graduate group and also organise regular online as well as 6-weekly in-person Support & Development meetings. Further more, we have bi-annual social get-togethers in the winter and summer.


The mentoring consists of the previously mentioned Support & Development meetings, where you learn from each other in a group setting with your trainers present, and where you can reflect on issues you encounter in your doula journey. You can reach our administrative assistant for any practical matters regarding. The course fee includes two hours of one to one mentoring with your assigned mentor.

Continuing Education

We can always deepen our knowledge, and therefore we regularly organise or host different workshops and trainings. Sometimes exclusively for BiA Students and Graduates and very often for the larger community, bringing together doulas, midwives, childbirth educators, maternity nurses and bodyworkers.

For continuing education trainings organised by BiA Doula / BiA Doula Trainers, you receive a special discount as a BiA Doula student or graduate.

Advantages of training with BiA Doula

  • Free Listing on our BiA Doula Training website (see Find A Doula)
  • Student portal on the website with access to all the documents that you need
  • Access to potential clients: we often get requests from midwifery practices for (student)-doula support, and we announce those in our online community (facebook).
  • Visibility / exposure via our BiA Doula Training facebook page
  • Community of students & graduates for exchange, support and learning
  • Mentoring, both one-on-one and group mentoring

  • Certification recognised by national professional association NBvD
  • No re-certification process
  • Continuing education (with special discount)
  • Renowned trainers and mentors with extensive experience
  • Adult learning: building on self study, the in-person trainings are interactive, hands on, fun
  • Design your own study pace and plan

Foundation BiA Doula Training at a glance


Physiology of pregnancy; How the maternity care system is organised in the Netherlands / protocols and guidelines;

Required reading list:

  • The Doula Book by Klaus, Kennel, Klaus and/or Dutch book: De Doula by Saskia Bruyn and Thea van Tuyl
  • Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin (also available as audio book)
  • The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin 5th edition
  • Heart and Hands by Elizabeth Davis
  • The Labor Progress Handbook By Penny Simkin and Ruth Ancheta – 4th edition / to read before the Advanced Training
  • Heart of the Doula by Amy Gilliland / to read before the Advanced Training

Recommended reading list:

  • A-Z For a Healthy Pregnancy and Natural Childbirth by Jacky Bloemraad-De Boer
  • Birthing From Within OR Ancient Map for Modern Birth By Pam England
  • Doulas and Intimate Labour / Boundaries, Bodies and Birth by Angela Castañeda
  • Give Birth like a Feminist by Milli Hill (available in Dutch from fall 2021 onwards)
  • Praktische Verloskunde by Marianne Prins, Jos van Roosmalen
  • Pregnancy, childbirth and the newborn, the Complete Guide, 5th edition, by Penny Simkin et al

All (or most) books can be ordered via Often books are a bit cheaper here, it’s not one of the big companies like Amazon or Bol, there are no postal charges. It can take up to 10 days though, for the book(s) to arrive. Another alternative is to order the book(s) through your local bookshop, as ways of supporting small businesses.

De Nederlandse vertaling van The Doula Book is verkrijgbaar bij Stichting Lichaamstaal: (niet verkrijgbaar bij

Topics covered in the BiA Doula Foundation Training include:

  • Role of the doula
  • Communication
  • Physiology of childbirth
  • Hormones of Birth
  • Mechanics of birth
  • Phases of birth & how to support as a doula

  • Role of the doula with partners, family members, children
  • Communication with care providers
  • Immediate postpartum
  • Informed consent/informed choice
  • Self Care (for birth workers)
  • Internship and Certification process
  • Steps for starting your doula business

Hands on techniques include:

  • Intention/Touch
  • Counter pressure, stroking
  • Acupressure
  • Positions for labour and birth

  • Role play
  • Active listening
  • Reflection / interaction

Advanced BiA Doula Training at a glance

Required reading list:

Topics covered in the BiA Doula Advanced Training:

  • Prenatal appointments
  • Released waters and no contractions / going past 42 weeks
  • Induction / augmentation of labour
  • Anatomy / mechanics of childbirth review
  • When birth is taking twists and turns: not-engaged baby, asyncliticism, posterior baby, stalled labour, issues during pushing
  • Unexpected outcomes, stillbirth, loss and your role as a doula
  • Postpartum appointments – recognising problems, how to close after a birth with unexpected outcome

Hands on / interactive techniques include:

  • Bum jiggling
  • Foot massage
  • Lower back massage
  • Acupressure
  • Polarity
  • Pelvic tilt
  • Positions for labour and birth
  • Peanut ball
  • Case study
  • Roleplay
  • Active Listening
  • Reflection / interaction

Certification Requirements

In order to certify with BiA Doula Training, you will need to:

  • follow both the Foundation and Advanced Training
  • do 2 observational internships in a hospital and 1 observational internship with a midwifery practice + receive the respective evaluation forms
  • attend 1 homebirth (with your doula client or in an internship setting), or give 8 hours of doula support at home
  • support 3 student clients (including pre- and postnatal sessions) + receive their evaluations + write a concise report + reflective practice

  • read all the books from the required reading list for both Foundation and Advanced Training + write 1 review about one of those books
  • read your training manuals + other training materials that will be sent to you
  • follow a child birth education class + write a short report
  • write your final reflective practice
  • read and agree to the BiA Doula Scope of Practice and Code of Conduct
  • complete your portfolio

Course Fees and dates

The course fees cover the following: the Foundation Training, 30 contact hours and the Advanced Training, 22,5 contact hours, coffee, tea, water, fruit, snacks (not lunch), printed binder and personalised badge. Further more, online and offline mentoring (including 2 hours of one-to-one mentoring with your assigned mentor), as well as the certification meeting are included in the course fees. AND you get a free listing on the website! (both for students and graduates). You do not need to do any recertification to stay certified. The approximate cost of the required reading list for the Foundation Training is €80,- for the Advanced Training €60,- and that of the recommended list is an additional €75,-.

It is possible to pay in two tiers for either training, with an admin fee of €25,- for either training. We also offer the possibility to book and pay both trainings at the same time, with a considerable discount (and also with the possibility to pay in two tiers).

The in-person trainings are offered 3 times a year: the Foundation Training in September/October and January (both in English) and in May/June (in Dutch); the Advanced Training in September/October (in Dutch), and in January and May/June (in English).

From 2022 onwards: book your full training and pay €1595,- instead of €1675,-!


Foundation Training 4 days – €950,- 

In English 27-30 January 2022  Book Now

In Dutch 9-12 June 2022  Book Now
*training in Dutch, materials in English


Advanced Training 3 days – €725,- 

In English 10-12 February 2022 Book Now

In English 23-25 June 2022 Book Now

In Dutch September/October 2022  Book Now
*training in Dutch, materials in English


Open Days BiA Doula Training

Are you interested in learning more about our training? You’re very welcome to speak with the trainers on one of our Open Days. Upcoming dates:


28 October 2021, 15.30 – 17.30 hrs, In person Amsterdam Register

7 December 2021, 20.00 – 21.00 hrs, ONLINE Register