BiA Doula Training

This post is also available in: Engels

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 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 3-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 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. Further more you can reach our administrative assistant for any practical matters and your mentor for (private) questions when needed. You can schedule one meeting in-person (or via video conferencing) with your mentor in the course of you certification process.

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 Saskia Bruyn and Thea van Tuyl
  • Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth By Ina May Gaskin
  • The Birth Partner By Penny Simkin
  • Heart and Hands by Elizabeth Davis

Recommended reading list:

  • A-Z For a Healthy Pregnancy and Natural Childbirth by Jacky Bloemraad-De Boer
  • The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer
  • Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering by Sarah J. Buckley
  • Birthing From Within OR Ancient Map for Modern Birth By Pam England

Topics covered in the BiA Doula Foundation Training – Level 1 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
  • 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
  • Rebozo

  • Role play
  • Active listening
  • Reflection / interaction


Advanced BiA Doula Training at a glance

Topics covered in the BiA Doula Advanced Training:

  • Prenatal appointments
  • Released waters and no contractions / going past 42 weeks / facing induction
  • 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
  • Rebozo techniques
  • Peanut ball
  • Case study
  • Roleplay
  • Active Listening
  • Reflection/interaction
  • Rebozo closing

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

Mentoring and certification is included in the course fees, as well as the listing on the website. Each training is 22,5 contact hours, coffee, tea, water snacks are included (not lunch). 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,-.

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).

Foundation Training – €675,-

In English September 12th, 13th, 14th 2019 Book Now

In Dutch June 4th, 5th, 6th 2019
*training in Dutch, materials in English Book Now

Advanced Training – €675,-

In English June 12th, 13th, 14th 2019 Book Now

In Dutch September 19th, 20th, 21st 2019
*training in Dutch, materials in English Book Now

Open Afternoon 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:

April 13th 2019, 14.00-16.00 hrs Find out more

June 22nd 2019, 14:00-16:00 hrs Find out more