Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)


General Questions

Our training draws on the centuries-old traditions of African and African American midwives and healers, that kept us connected to physiological birth and the joys of service to birthing women and their families. The training is based on the legacy of the 20th century African American midwife, public health information, and research-based practices.

The training incorporates lectures, instructional materials, learner interactions, and hands-on learning opportunities to provide a truly holistic training experience. 

Instructors are SMC Certified Trainers who are veteran doulas and midwives. You can learn more here.

Unique Topics Covered Include:

  • African American birth traditions and postpartum rituals
  • Public health in maternal and infant health
  • Improving birth outcomes
  • Reducing maternal morbidity
  • Learning the causes of maternal mortality
  • Honoring the legacy of the 20th century African American midwife
  • Supporting fatherhood/partners and family
  • Belly binding
  • Postpartum baths
  • Herbs and nutrition
  • Medical terminology
  • SMC Doula Scope of Care
  • Advocacy and empowerment
  • Systemic Racism in Birth
  • Professionalism and leadership
  • Midwifery model of Care
  1. Full Circle Doula Philosophy, an abstract by Shafia M. Monroe. You will receive upon registration.

  2. The Doula Guide to Birth by Ananda Lowe and Rachel Zimmerman. You can order that here or potentially find it in your local library. 

  3. Listen to Me Good, Life Story of an Alabama Midwife, by Margaret Charles Smith and Linda Janet Holmes. You can order that here or potentially find in your local library. 

In-Person Training

This is a 4 day, 32-hour in-person provisional doula training for labor and postpartum doulas. The training is the first requirement to be certified as an SMC Full Circle Doula Companion. This is a culturally competent training that honors the legacy of the 20th Century African American midwife to improve birth outcomes, increase breastfeeding, and build leadership. 

 

DAY 1 – Thursday, 10 AM – 6:30 PM: Orientation, Introduction,  SMC Full Circle Doula Philosophy, African American Midwives, Documentary Viewing, Birth Plan, and U.S. Doula History.

DAY 2 – Friday, 9 AM – 6:30 PM:  Prenatal Care, Signs of Pregnancy, Pathways to Prenatal Care, Nutrition, Herbs, Infant Mortality Prevention. 

DAY 3 – Saturday, 9 AM – 6:30 PM: Labor and Delivery, Signs of Labor, Comfort Measures, Cesarean Section Prevention & Support, and VBACK. 

DAY 4 – Sunday, 9 AM – 6:30 PM: Postpartum and Infant Care, Breastfeeding, Creating a Doula Business, Certification Requirements, Next Steps, and Final Quiz. 

On Day 1, there is a 30 minute break for lunch and two (2) 10-minute breaks. On Days 2-4, there is a one-hour lunch break and three (3) 10-minute breaks.

You will receive your manual on your first day of training.

We recommend dressing comfortably for floor exercises and walking. We suggest layered clothes as some training sites can be cool indoors.

Bring your water bottle and an exercise mat or large towel to lay on. You can also bring a pillow for comfort and a blanket. 

You are responsible for your meals so we encourage you to bring snacks, lunch, and eat a hearty breakfast. 

Online Training

For our online instruction, each course is 32 hours and takes place over four (4) weeks. 

Week 1: Orientation, History of Doulas, Midwives and You, Documentary.
Week 2: Pregnancy, Nutrition, Herbs, and Birth Visions
Week 3: Labor, Comfort, and Black Birth Traditions
Week 4: Postpartum Care, Newborns & Business Development

Each Wednesday during the course, there will be live Zoom instruction that takes place between 11AM and 2:30PM PT. If you are unable to attend a live session, they will be recorded.   Students will have the opportunity to interact and engage with instructors during the live session.  The course does need to be completed within the four (4) week course session.

Yes, the training is fully online. It has two components. The first are the lessons assignments, and assignment due dates that you will work on independently each week. The second component are the live lessons  that take place each Wednesday during the duration of the course. The live lessons are between 11AM and 2:30PM PT. If you are unable to attend a live session, they will be recorded. 

The live sessions are an important component as they provide students with the opportunity to interact with each other and engage with instructors.

Please note that while you will work independently, assignments will be due each week of the training. The training must be fully completed by the last day of the training. 

Yes! Every Wednesday during the course, there will be live Zoom instruction that takes place between 11AM and 2:30PM PT. If you are unable to attend a live session, they will be recorded.  Students will have the opportunity to interact and engage with instructors during the live session.

  • Your instructors
  • Student Services available seven (7) days a week.

You can reach our Student Services Help Desk here.

The training must be completed within the four (4) week training timeline. If you have extenuating circumstances and need an extension, you can request an additional ten (10) days to complete the training – based on our Extension Request Policy

Your manual will be mailed to the address you used when you registered for the course. You should expect the manual to arrive approximately ten (10) days from when you register to the course. An online version of the manual is also available to you to access during the course.

You will be able to access the course and training materials approximately at 12:01 am on the day that your training begins.

Any desktop, laptop, or tablet device with reliable Internet access should suffice. While you are participating in live sessions, it is important to do so from a private, quiet space with minimal distractions or background noise. 

You can also access the training from your mobile device but we strongly recommend also having access to a desktop, laptop, or large tablet with a standard keyboard.

Training Tuition

The fee for SMC’s Full Circle Doula Companion online training course is currently $1,468. Our in-person training is $1,623.

The following is included with your online course:

  • Four Week Labor & Postpartum Doula Training course access including weekly live Zoom sessions (online training) where you can interact with instructors and other learners.
  • Exclusive SMC Doula Training Manual
  • Resource List
  • Certification Packet
  • Membership in the SMC Full Circle Doula Birth Companions Private Facebook Group – for ongoing support towards certification and networking.

The following is included with your in-person course:

  • Four Day Labor & Postpartum Doula Training 
  • Exclusive SMC Doula Training Manual
  • Resource List
  • Certification Packet
  • Membership in the SMC Full Circle Doula Birth Companions Private Facebook Group – for ongoing support towards certification and networking.

We currently do not offer financial aid or scholarships, however, for our online training, we do offer payment plans that can help you spread out the course fees over 2, 3, or 4 weeks.

Online Training:

  1. Single Payment of $1468
  2. Two Weekly Installments of $734 per week
  3. Three Weekly Installments of $489.33 per week
  4. Four Weekly Installments of $367 per week

In-Person Training:

Payment plans are available but all registration fees must be paid at least 30 days of advance of the first day of training. 

A refund request must be made in writing within 24 hours of your payment ONLY. For refunds requested within that 24 hour period, full refunds will be issued less an administrative fee of $100.00.

Your request MUST include your full legal name and email address. Your request MUST be emailed to support@smcdoulas.com.

Before a refund is issued, unopened/unused materials, and SMC Full Circle Doula Birth Companion Training manual MUST be returned at your own expense. Mail to SMC 3519 NE 15th Avenue, Suite 193, Portland, OR 97212.

Certification

SMC Full Circle Doula Birth Companion Training LLC. is the certifying agency.

For information on certification and recertification, click here.

1. Successful completion of the SMC Full Circle Doula Companion Training within the prior two (2) years.

2. Attend three (3) births.

3. Attend three (3) postpartum visits.

4. Audit two (2) hours of a breastfeeding workshop

5. Audit four (4) hours of childbirth education series.

6. Receive an Infant and Adult CPR Card.

7. Earn a Food Handlers Card

8. Complete five (5) book reports from the SMC Full Circle Doula Birth Companion Book List

9. Create a list of 25 perinatal resources – 15 from your local area/state and 10 nationwide.

10. Payment of $100.00 along with a completed Certification Form.

Please note all attending and auditing requirements noted above (Items # 1-4) must be completed after you complete your SMC training.  See also Certification Requirements.