Pathways To Birth Certification Program

We are committed to fostering and supporting a community of professional certified doulas that practices within a Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. We are locally as well as internationally recognized as a leading organization in the birth doula field. Certification is intended for doulas that value the process of peer evaluation, self-assessment, and local community. Certified and certifying PALS doulas are featured on our website, and are eligible to work as Open Arms Birth Doulas serving low-income families while earning a competitive wage. We hope you will join us as a PALS Certified Doula!

Pathways To Birth Certification requirements include:

  • Enrollment in either the Mentored Pathway, Apprenticeship Pathway or Experienced Pathway. Doulas already certified with other organizations may contact us directly about our Dual Certification Program
  • Membership in PALS.
  • Attendance at a PALS approved Birth Doula Training.
  • Attendance & documentation of three births as the primary doula; including self-reflection on each birth, evaluations from parents & birth professionals, skill review, & data collection.
  • Documentation of seven areas of Skills Enrichment.
  • Documentation of Continuing Education.
  • Program & Self-Evaluation.
  • Personal goals essay.
  • Peer/Professional recommendations.
  • Attendance at PALS meetings.
  • Adherence to the PALS Standards of Practice.
  • Completion & submission of the Certification Packet within two years of Packet issue date.
  • Payment of the $35 Packet Submission Fee

To begin your journey to becoming a PALS Certified Doula, purchase one of the Pathways below. Complete and mail in the Pathways to Birth Application to receive your full Certification Packet.

To review the Pathways to Birth Application before purchase, or pay via check, you may download it HERE


The Mentored Pathway is $95 and includes:

  • One year of PALS Doulas Membership
  • Certification Packet
  • A Mentor Doula for one certifying birth who provides face-to-face, phone, and/or email support before, during, and after the birth

The Apprenticeship Pathway is $230 and includes:

  • One year of PALS Doulas Membership
  • Certification Packet
  • A Certified, experienced doula Preceptor who you will partner with for one birth (including pre and post natal visits)

The Dual Certification Pathway is $95 and includes:

  • One year of PALS Doulas Membership
  • Certification packet with the following changes:
    • Welcome Interview conducted by a member of our Certification Committee
    • Documentation of current, active membership status with the current certifying organization (DONA only at this time).
    • Attendance & documentation of three births as the primary doula.
    • Documentation of two areas of Skills Enrichment.
    • Documentation of 15 hours of continuing education hours within the past three years.

The Experienced Pathway is $95 and includes:

  • One year of PALS Doulas Membership
  • Certification packet with the following changes:
    • Welcome Interview conducted by a member of our Certification Committee
    • Document attendance at fifty births within the last five years
    • Documentation of attendance at a PALS-approved Birth Doula Skills Workshop (no expiration date on workshop)
    • Documentation of 20 hours of continuing education hours within the past five years