Program delivery note

Program delivery note: Fanshawe will temporarily deliver this program as listed under "locations" to the right of your screen or in the "+ more details" menu on mobile.

Train to become a doula in our innovative certificate program - 2022/2023

If you have a passion for accompanying individuals and families through their reproductive journey, equipping and supporting them to access information and resources to make the best choices for their own care, a rewarding career as a doula may be the perfect fit for you.

Fanshawe's innovative certificate program is the first of its kind in Ontario. Using an evidence-informed and social justice approach, our doula training prepares students for a career providing families with information and support across their reproductive journey. Students will develop the specialized knowledge, skills and experience necessary for ethical, culturally safe, client-centred doula practice.

About our doula training program

As part of the program, students receive valuable hands-on experience through two practicum courses where they are introduced to the complex, multi-dimensional world of the health care system, all of which prepares them to run a business, including entrepreneurship, sales and marketing, and personal financial management. 

Doulas are unregulated health care professionals whose role involves advocacy, education, counselling, collaboration and negotiation to provide physical, emotional and informational support to individuals and families across the full spectrum of their reproductive choices.

For graduates interested in continuing their education in health care, Fanshawe's Doula Studies program provides students with the recommended year of post-secondary studies.

Virtual drop-in sessions

The Doula Studies program at Fanshawe College is hosting a series of FREE virtual community drop-in sessions for new and expectant parents. Our expert Doula faculty and students can provide assistance with childbirth education, feeding support, infant care questions and more!

When: Fridays at 4 p.m.

October 29

November 5, 12, 19, 26

December 3, 10, 17

Where: Click to join Zoom meeting. 
Meeting ID: 974 0244 9629
Passcode: 88511339



Admission Requirements - 2022/2023

Admission Requirements

OSSD with courses from the College (C), University (U),
University/College (M), or Open (O) stream
Academic and Career Entrance Certificate (ACE)
Ontario High School Equivalency Certificate (GED)
Mature applicant with appropriate preparation

English Language Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate proficiency in English by one of the following methods:

  • A Grade 12 College Stream or University Stream English credit from an Ontario Secondary School, or equivalent, depending on the program's Admission Requirements 
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) test with a minimum score of 79 for the Internet-based test (iBT), with test results within the last two years
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic test with an overall score of 6.0 with no score less than 5.5 in any of the four bands, with test results within the last two years. SDS Program Requirements. 
  • Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) test with an overall score of 60 with no score less than 50 in any of the four bands, with test results within the last two years 
  • Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE) with a minimum score of 53, with test results within the last two years
  • A Cambridge English Test (FCE/CAE/CPE) with an overall score on the Cambridge English Scale of 169 with no language skill less than 162, with test results within the last two years
  • An English Language Evaluation (ELE) at Fanshawe College with a minimum score of 70% in all sections of the test, with test results within the last two years
  • Fanshawe College ESL4/GAP5 students: Minimum grade of 80% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 8, 75% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 9, or 70% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 10

Recommended Academic Preparation

  • Any Grade 12 English (C), (U), or (O)
  • Grade 11 or Grade 12 Biology (C) or (U)
  • Grade 11 Health Care (C) OR Grade 12 Human Development Throughout the Lifespan (M)

Recommended Personal Preparation

  • Knowledge of and interest in working with pregnant people, women, children and families across the full spectrum of reproductive options.
  • Development of personal responsibility and emotional maturity by participating in social organizations interested in helping people using the principles of social justice and trauma informed care.
  • Willingness to collaborate with others in the delivery of family-centred maternity care in collaboration with members of the health care team
  • Show respect for the diverse opinions, values, belief systems, and contribution of others
  • Ability to effectively communicate in conversational English
  • Up to date immunizations and TB testing

Applicant Selection Criteria

Where the number of eligible applicants exceeds the available spaces in the program, the Applicant Selection Criteria will be:
  1. Preference for Permanent Residents of Ontario
  2. Receipt of Application by February 1st (After this date, Fanshawe College will consider applicants on a first-come, first-served basis until the program is full)
  3. Achievement in the Admission Requirements

Post-Admission Requirements

The following items are applicable to the program and are time sensitive. Please refer to for important information about preparing for placement by the due date.

  • Possession of a Standard First Aid course certificate (either St. John Ambulance or Canadian Red Cross or equivalent) 
  • Basic Rescuer course certificate - Basic Life Support (BLS) for Health Care Providers (HCP) in accordance with the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada Canadian Guidelines for CPR
  • Evidence of Good Health
  • Up to date immunizations are required
  • Police Record Check and Vulnerable Sector Screening, including a check of the Pardoned Sexual Offenders Database
  • Placement Agreement
  • Privacy and Confidentiality Agreement
  • Travel to practicum placements and site visits at the student's own expense will be required


Doula Studies-2022/2023

Level 1
Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:
HLTH-1230Historical Context-Reproductive Culture3
This course introduces students to the historical, cultural and situational factors influencing reproduction locally and around the world. Students will examine from multiple perspectives the influences and consequences of the medicalization of birth on maternal and newborn outcomes. Course content will also critically reflect on the emergence of the professional doula and the regulation of midwifery care within North America.
HLTH-1231Anatomy & Physiology of Reproduction3
This course introduces basic anatomical and physiological concepts related to reproduction. Topics will include embryology, anatomy, physiology, endocrinology, immunology and basic medical terminology.
HLTH-1232Preparing for Birth 13
This course examines pregnancy and the process of labour and birth for the labouring person, partner and doula. Students begin to learn how to accompany families throughout pregnancy, labour and birth.
HLTH-1233Postpartum 13
This course focuses on identifying the needs of new families as they transition into the postpartum period. Cultural context of newborn care and socio environmental space of the family are examined. Skills, strategies and resources to become responsive to the emerging needs of families in transition are developed.
HLTH-1234Self & Others3
This course focuses on understanding interpersonal relationships in order to effectively navigate the complex and multidimensional world of the health care system. Students critically explore their personal beliefs, values and assumptions, about themselves as part of a family, culture and different communities. This course enhances interpersonal communication as the learner becomes more self-reflective, learning to nurture supportive relationships while setting professional boundaries.
WRIT-1048Reason & Writing 1 for Health Sciences3
This course will introduce health sciences students to essential principles of reading, writing, and reasoning at the postsecondary level. Students will identify, summarize, analyze, and evaluate multiple short readings and write persuasive response essays to develop their vocabulary, comprehension, grammar, and critical thinking.
HLTH-1236Practicum 13
First term practicum enables students to develop an understanding of breadth and depth of the role of the doula. Throughout the course, students are assigned different observational and practical experiences. They have opportunities to attend community placements with a variety of practitioners who engage with families during the perinatal period. They begin to apply the concepts learned in the classroom to the practical environment. Placements are comprised of a combination of in home, institution, community, classroom and lab based experiences.

Level 2
Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:
HLTH-5026Birth Topics-Adv3
This course prepares student to identify, understand, analyze and discuss various medical and pharmaceutical interventions available during pregnancy, labour, and birth. The students will practice the skills required to synthesize and translate this knowledge to their clients.
HLTH-5021Postpartum Topics-Adv3
This course focuses on postpartum adjustment and the spectrum of postpartum outcomes. Students explore postpartum topics including infant feeding decisions, post-abortion support, loss and grief, mental wellness and nutrition. Students apply critical appraisal skills regarding information sourcing for client support and community referrals.
BUSI-1121Small Business Creation3
Students will gain the principal skills to successfully start and manage a small business. Students will also gain a basic understanding of the activities and demands associated with running a small business, such as market research, legal issues, managing risk, managing people, leadership, operations management and growing a small business. Students learn problem solving and decision-making skills related to a small business. The course culminates with the students creating and presenting their business plan.
HLTH-1240Supporting Transitions3
A doula's scope of practice within the context of supporting the transitions of people from conception through pregnancy to postpartum is explored in this course. Taking a closer look at the complexity of reproduction in contemporary society, students examine how conception changes family dynamics. The transition to the role of doula is undertaken and explored.
HLTH-1241Practicum 26.7
Second term practicum enables students to deepen their understanding of the breadth and depth of the doula's role. Students are assigned different observational and practical experiences. They have opportunities to attend community placements with a variety of practitioners who engage with families during the perinatal period. They continue to apply the concepts learned in the classroom to the practical environment. Placements are comprised of a combination of in home, institution, community, classroom and lab based experiences.
HLTH-1271Grief, Loss & Death3
Since doula work often involves supporting people through loss, this course prepares student to accompany individuals, families, and communities experiencing loss, and the grief these events bring about. Students will have opportunities to critically reflect on theories of death, grief, and loss across various cultural contexts, and apply their learning to the full-range of reproduction options and outcomes. Students learn to identify their role as part of a larger care team, working with family members' healthcare providers, and community organizations supporting end-of-life. In addition to topics such as stillbirth and miscarriage, this course engages with a full-range of loss topics, such as abortion, child apprehension, trauma and violence, maternal death, and loss/denial of community as a result of oppression and exclusion.
HLTH-1272Information & Evidence-Doula Practice3
This course prepares students to become critical consumers of information and research. Students learn how different ways of knowing support a doula's thoughts and actions within a doula's scope of practice. Point-of-care technologies such as diagnostic and screening tests from various fields (biomedical/nursing/midwifery) that inform the doula's knowledge and understanding are discussed. The influences of social media and other online information upon doula practice are explored. As well, students are introduced to basic forms of research so they understand research is an important part of their ongoing commitment to developing the doula profession's knowledge base.

Program Residency
Students Must Complete a Minimum of 12 credits in this
program at Fanshawe College to meet the Program Residency
requirement and graduate from this program

Careers - 2022/2023

Career Opportunities

Doulas are unregulated health care professionals who provide non-medical care and support to families across the reproductive cycle. Fanshawe's one-year innovative certificate program provides in-depth training to provide students with a strong foundation of evidence-informed knowledge, reproductive justice, practical skills, and valuable field placements to prepare them for a rewarding career helping families across the full spectrum of their reproductive journey. Most Doulas are self-employed, and graduates of this program will be prepared to develop and manage their own business. Given the comprehensive nature of the program, graduates will be able to work as a full-spectrum Doula, Birth Doula and a Postpartum Doula. Graduates will also be prepared to work in clinics, health units, social service and community centres providing childbirth education workshops, post-natal care workshops and breastfeeding clinics.

More Information - 2022/2023

A One-Year Ontario College Certificate Program
Program Code: DLA1
Campus Code: LC (LC - London)
September Admission
15 week terms
Academic Calendars available at


School of Nursing: 519-452-4220

Program Description

This program emphasizes the dynamic role of the Doula within communities to prepare graduates for a rewarding career collaborating with health care teams to honour and advocate for expectant families throughout the full spectrum of their reproductive journey. The curriculum captures the specialized evidence-informed knowledge, skills, and experience relating to anatomy, physiology, and the emotional, physical, and cultural aspects of pregnancy and birth required by Doulas to provide families with information and support during pregnancy, childbirth, newborn care, and including loss. In addition, students are introduced to business management/entrepreneurship concepts and strategies, including business ethics, contracts, marketing and sales techniques, and personal financial management.

Other Information

The Doula Studies program is delivered over two 15-week terms (Level 1 September through December and Level 2 January through April).

Student characteristics that enable the graduate to meet program goals include:

  • Immunizations and TB testing
  • An intimate, embodied, and relational way of caring and being to honour clients and families with physical and emotional presence.
  • A self-reflective, self-evaluative, responsible, and accountable approach to practice.
  • An ability to apply relevant knowledge, skills, and technology befitting a variety of practice settings.
  • An ability to apply intimate knowledge and skills, and discretionary judgment, leadership, and evolving intuitive and creative abilities personalized to each client and their family within one's own doula practice.
  • A commitment toward acting as an agent of change in areas related to securing access to reproductive options for individuals, families, and their communities.
  • An understanding of the Doula's evolving and shifting role with clients, families, and healthcare providers, respecting personal and professional boundaries.
  • A professional attitude toward working alongside other members of the reproductive health team, including other Doulas in one's community.
  • A self-directed, self-motivated, and lifelong learner who has a questioning mind and a spirit of inquiry and is able to respond positively to change.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Assist with the delivery of family-centred maternity care in collaboration with members of the health care team.
  2. Examine the historical, political, and cultural aspects of the provision of maternity care both locally and globally and identify how they shape the experiences of contemporary mothering to meet the needs of clients.
  3. Apply knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of a woman during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum to address the concerns and needs of clients.
  4.  Provide evidence-informed physical, emotional, physiological, and psychosexual support to enhance the comfort, health, and well-being of individuals and families as they negotiate the various transitions associated with pregnancy, birth, and postpartum.
  5. Provide families with community and online resources related to the childbearing years to empower clients to make evidence-informed choices regarding pregnancy and birth options and newborn care, including infant and newborn nutrition.
  6. Describe diagnostic testing procedures and medical interventions routinely used during pregnancy, labour, birth, and the postpartum period, and recognize the normal ranges and parameters for those test results.
  7. Identify early signs of maternal physical and mental health concerns, and refer clients to appropriate community resources in a timely manner.
  8. Foster professional relationships with clients, family members, caregivers, and other doulas.
  9. Establish and maintain a professional doula business in accordance with professional, legal, and ethical guidelines.
  10. Identify and support clients’ needs based on the theories of diverse social determinants of health, cultural humility, and intersectionality and the principle of harm reduction.

Program Pathways

  • Graduates of the Doula Studies program may be interested in a Midwifery Education Program (Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHSc) in Midwifery) and Nursing.
  • The Doula Studies Certificate program will provide students interested in pursuing a career in a health profession with the recommended year of post-secondary studies.
  • For information about Program Pathways visit

Program Details

More details

Canadian Students

Start Dates

Full Time Offerings

2022 September

International Students

Start Dates

Full Time Offerings

2022 September
Program Code
Academic School

Quality Assurance and Doula Studies Coordinator:

Mary Anne Krahn RN MScN EdD (c)

Day Time
Ontario College Certificate
30 weeks