Effective 10/1/2020 there will only be two options:

1) Become a certifying doula

2) Support PALS as a supporting member

Going forward an annual membership is only available to doulas who are maintaining a current 3-year certification. Recertification will use the updated process for annual certification. 


PALS Online Library Database:
PALS maintains a lending library of print books and a growing Kindle/ebook library. To borrow a library, please email

If you are interested in donating a print book please contact us. If you wish to donate book directly to the Kindle elibrary (wish list here), you can send to

PALS Doulas is currently encouraging all doulas to replace in-person contact prior to and after birth with virtual visits (see PALS Doulas Practice Recommendation: COVID-19 here). Free resources include:



WhattsApp: (video available on mobile devices)

Simple Practice:

Spruce Health:



“The major role that the body’s natural oxytocin plays in birth encourages the idea that birth is an experience of love… Birth is a spiritual experience simply because it is largely an act of love on the part of the body physiology and the indwelling spirit.” – Cathy Daub

For continuing education purposes, select one from each area to complete and evaluate using the form from your re-certification packet. This list will be updated periodically to stay relevant and accessible. If you have suggestions for additions or subtractions, please contact
  • Read/Listen:
    • An Easier Childbirth by Gayle Peterson
    • A Silent Sorrow: Pregnancy Loss by Ingrid Kohn
    • Having Your Baby: For the Special Needs of Black Mothers by Hilda Hutcherson
    • Homebirth Cesarean by Courtney Kay Jarecki
    • Homebirth in the Hospital by Dr. Stacey Marie Kerr
    • Labor Progress Handbook by Penny Simkin
    • Mocha Manual to a Fabulous Pregnancy by Kimberly Seals-Allers
    • The Essential Homebirth Guide by Jane Drichta & Jodilyn Owen
    • Pregnancy, Childbirth, and The Newborn by Simkin, Whalley, Keppler, Durham, & Bolding
    • When Survivors Give Birth by Penny Simkin
  • Attend:
    • Birth Story Listening |
    • Advanced Doula Training | (Pre/Perinatal Massage, Rebozo, Acupressure, TENS, When Survivors Give Birth workshop, VBAC, Supporting Families in Grief, Spinning Babies, etc.)
    • Childbirth Education series (Birthing From Within, Lamaze, Hypnobirthing, etc.)
    • Karen Strange’s Neo-Natal Workshop |
  • Watch:
    • “Everyday Miracles” |
    • Penny Simkin’s Comfort Measures for Childbirth DVD | Available from
  • Read/Listen:
    • What’s Going on in There by Dr. Lise Eliot
    • The Better Way to Breastfeed by Robin Ellise
    • The Ultimate Breastfeeding Answers Book by Jack Newman M.D. & Teresa Pitman
    • Touchpoints by T. Berry Brazelton
    • After the Baby’s Birth by Robin Lim
    • Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers by Mohracher and Kendall-Tackett
    • Work. Pump. Repeat. The new mom’s survival guide to breastfeeding and going back to work by Jessica Shortall
  • Attend
    • Postpartum Doula Training
    • “Bringing Baby Home” workshop, offered at several local locations:
    • Workshop to increase breastfeeding or newborn knowledge: Various options available through Big Belly Services, Beyond Birth Seattle, Great Starts, BabySafe, and online.
  • Watch:
    • “Baby Baby Oh Baby” DVD
    • “Amazing Talents of the Newborn” DVD by Penny Simkin
    • Dr. Jack Newman’s breastfeeding-related videos
  • Read/Listen:
    • Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg
    • Inner Work by Robert Johnson
    • The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
    • Messages: The Communications Skills Book by Matthew McKay
    • The Lost Art of Listening by Michael P. Nichols
    • Gracious Space: A Practical Guide for Working Better Together by Patricia Hughes
  • Attend:
    • Nonviolent Communication workshop through Northwest Compass |
    • Advanced Doula Training, such as “Politics, Boundaries and Changes,” Sheri Deveney
  • Watch:
    •  “Nonviolent Communication” |
    • “Creating Gracious Space” |
  • Read/Listen:
    • Gender and Sexuality for Beginners by Jaimee Garbacik
    • Meet Polkadot by Talcott Broadhead
    • The New Essential Guide to Lesbian Conception, Pregnancy, and Birth by Stephanie Brill
    • The Queer Parent’s Primer: A Lesbian and Gay Family’s Guide to Navigating Through a Straight World by Stephanie Brill
    • The Lesbian Parenting Book: A Guide to Creating Families and Raising Children by D. Merilee Clunis and G. Dorsey Green
    • Misconceptions: Truth, Lies, and the Unexpected on the Journey to Motherhood by Naomi Wolf
    • The Sociology of Gender: An Introduction to Theory and Research by Amy S. Wharton
    • Traversing Gender: Understanding Transgender Realities by Lee Harrington
    • The Mother’s Guide to Sex: Enjoying Your Sexuality Through All Stages of Motherhood by Anne Semans
    • A Guide to Gender: The Social Justice Advocate’s Handbook by Sam Killermann
  • Attend:
    • Workshop on gender or sexuality studies, local options include:
    • LGBTQ Birth & Family Professionals workshops |
    • Dept. of Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies
    • Women of Wisdom workshops and conference
    • Providing Culturally Sensitive Care for LGBTQ Families |
    • Consent Academy
    • Gender Odyssey Professional Program |
  • Watch:
    • “Middle Sexes Redefining He and She” | Alternative link:
    • TED TALK: “Sam Killermann: Understanding the Complexities of Gender” |
    • Sex & Gender Identity: An Intro
    • The Gender Spectrum documentary
    • TED TALK: “Tiffany Kagure Mugo & Siphumeze Khundayi: How to have a healthier, positive relationship to sex”


  • Read/Listen:
    • Radical Doula Guide by Miriam Zoila Perez
    • Bearing Witness by Dr. Lisa Doran & Lisa Caron
    • Doula Business Guide by Patty Brennan
    • Trauma Stewardship by Lipsky & Burk
    • Keep the Fires Burning by Micky Jones
    • Birth Ambassadors by Christine Morton
  • Attend:
    • Open Arms Perinatal Services Orientation/Training
    • Big Belly Services Advanced Doula Training at Breitenbush
  • Watch:
  • Read/Listen:
    • Killing the Black Body by Dorothy Roberts
    • Microaggressions in Everyday Life: Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation by Derald Wing Sue
    • Women, Race, and Class by Angela Y. Davis
    • White Women, Race Matters: The Social Construction of Whiteness by Ruth Frankenberg
    • Racism: A Very Short Introduction by Ali Rattansi
    • Reproducing Race: An Ethnography of Pregnancy as a Site of Racialization by Khiara Bridges
    • Readings for Diversity and Social Justice by Adams, Blumenfeld, Castaneda, et al
    • Surviving in the Hour of Darkness: A Comprehensive Look at the Wellness of Black Women ed by G. Sophie Harding
    • “Unnatural Causes: When the Bough Breaks” PBS documentary clips and transcript available: |
  • Attend:
    • White Privilege Conference, annual event that rotates locations within the U.S.
    • CARW workshop |
    • Undoing Institutional Racism (UIR) workshop locally through |
    • PALS REC (Racial Equity Committee) ADTs/Continuing Education options
  • Watch:
    • “White Like Me” |
    • “A Gardner’s Tale” |
    • “Race: The Power of An Illusion,” PBS |
    • TED Talk: “Mellody Hobson: Color Blind, or Color Brave:” |
    • TED Talk: “Tiffany Jana: The Power of Privilege” |
    • TED Talk: “Miriam Zoila Perez: How racism harms pregnant women” |
  • Advanced Birth Skills
    • Ancient Map for Modern Birth by Pam England
    • My Plus Size Pregnancy Guide by Jen McLellan
    • This Isn’t What I Expected by Karen Kleiman
    • Nurturing New Families by Naomi Kemeny
    • “A Doula Story, on the Frontlines of Teen Pregnancy” | Available to rent from Amazon Prime:
    • Anything from “The Birth Talks” podcast
  • Newborn Care
    • A History of Infant Feeding
    • The Mask of Motherhood by Susan Maushart
    • The 100 Days of Darkness With A New Baby
  • Communication
    • On Dialogue by David Bohm
    • Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
    • I is an Other by James Geary
    • “The best way to help is often just to listen” | Studies
    • Birth as an American Rite of Passage by Robbie Davis-Floyd
    • A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America by Ronald Takaki
    • Pushed: The Painful Truth About Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care by Jennifer Block
    • Women’s Ways of Knowing by Belenky, Clinchy, Goldberger & Tarule
    • Radical Reproductive Justice by Ross, Roberts, Dertes, Peoples, Toure & Roberts
    • Vagina: A Cultural History by Naomi Wolf
    • “Downplaying Differences: Historic Accounts of African American Midwives and Contemporary Struggles for Midwifery”
  •  Gender/Sexuality
    • Gay Dads: A Celebration of Fatherhood by David Strah and Susanna Margolis
    • Queer Theory, Gender Theory by Riki Wilchins
    • Gender Born, Bender Made by Diane Ehrensaft
    • Journey to Same-Sex Parenthood by Eric Rosswood
    • He, She, They – Us by Jessica Soukup
  • Professional Development
    • Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
    • How the Body Knows Its Mind by Sian Beilock
    • You Do You by Sarah Knight
    • Twelve Months to Your Ideal Private Practice by Lynn Grodzki
  • Race/Power/Privilege
    • Deconstructing Privilege: Teaching and Learning as Allies in the Classroom by Kim Case
    • Race, Class, and Gender in the United States: An Integrated Study by Paula S Rothenberg
    • White Awareness: Handbook for Anti-Racism Training by Judith H. Katz
    • Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Racial Justice by Paul Kivel
    • Making and Unmaking of Whiteness by Birgit Brander Rasmussen, et al.
    • Promise and A Way of Life: White Anti-racist Activism by Becky Thompson
    • Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment by Patricia Collins
    • Racial Formation in the United States by Michael Omi and Howard Winant
    • Undoing Racism In Public Health |
    • “Adverse Birth Outcomes in African American Women: The Social Context of Persistent Reproductive Disadvantage” by Tyan Parker Dominguez |
    • “Straight White Male, the lowest difficulty setting” by John Scalzi |


Effective 10/15/2020 PALS will be moving to an annual re-certification model. Details to come.

Until then the previous re-certification process can be utilized for the period of one year. 

Requirements for Re-certification

  1. Download the free PALS Application for Re-certification.
  2. Membership must be continuous to maintain certification, if your membership has lapsed during your current certification, it has been invalidated. You will be required to pay any late fees to bring it current.
  3. Document attendance at three births in the three years prior to re-certification and complete a PALS Doulas Birth Verification Form for each birth.
  4. Obtain a minimum of 15 contact hours of Continuing Education in the Maternal-Child Health Field from the three years prior to re-certification and submit documentation.
  5. Submit your Personal Statement Essay outlining the following information:
    • Approximately how many births have you attended?
    • How active have you been as a doula in the last three years?
    • How do you uphold the PALS Doulas Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice in your work?
    • Have you attended PALS events in the last three years (e.g. Advanced Doula Training, Membership Meetings, or Annual Meetings/Conferences)?
  6. Submit a $35.00 Packet Processing fee to PALS along with your packet.

This packet can be mailed or scanned in order and submitted to