SMC Online Doula Training


SMC Full Circle Doula Training program is the premier dual certification program for labor and postpartum doulas. In 2002, Shafia M. Monroe developed this program with the goal of increasing the number of positive birth outcomes within the Black community and communities of color. The initiative aims to pay tribute to the legacy of African American midwives from the 20th century, educate on birth culture, establish a supportive network, provide care for mothers, and assist families in celebrating the arrival of their new baby.

SMC continues to be the lead doula training program for improving Black infant and maternal outcomes in the US. Since 2002, SMC has trained over 2,600 persons worldwide. Moreover, nearly 90% of trainees identify as African American/Black women and men, and persons of color.

Hybrid Learning Experience

SMC’s Online Doula Training is a combination of synchronous and structured asynchronous learning.

Synchronous Structure

The synchronous Learning Component consists of a weekly live session where you will be able to interact with instructors and your peers. The weekly live online sessions require students and instructors to be online at the same time. All attendees must be online and connected to the internet during the live sessions.

Asynchronous Structure

You learn on your own schedule without any real time instructor, however, specific assignments are due each week of the course. Participants can can access course content accessed 24 hours a day from any digital device. This is the asynchronous learning component of the course.

Linear Modules

SMC training is linear, meaning you must complete the first week before you can proceed to the next week, and so on. You are required to log into your training four-times per week. There are assignment due dates of Wednesday and Friday of each week. Further, all coursework is expected to be completed by the end of the four week course.

Synchronous Learning Component

Live sessions take place every Wednesday from 11 am PT to 2:30 pm PT during the course. SMC Doula Trainees can help ensure a positive experience for all participants and maximize the virtual training environment by:

  • Attend all four live virtual sessions.
  • To keep their camera on during the live classes.
  • Not share their screen with non-members.
  • Mute background noise.
  • Have adequate lighting for sharing.
  • Use a microphone and headset if needed or bluetooth device.

Evidence-Based Curriculum 

The training manual is required to help you meet your certification and achieve the goals of the SMC Full Circle Doula Birth Companion training program. The manual is essential because it preserves the invaluable knowledge of the SMC Full Circle Doula Birth Companion philosophy.

A substantial portion of discussion topics, answers to the homework assignments, and to the final quiz are in the training manual. The training manual provides standard operating procedures for Full Circle Doula Care. It also serves as an ongoing resource after your training ends, saving you time from having to search for information. Utilizing the manual as an on-going resource can help build your expertise and business as an SMC Full Circle Doula Birth Companion.

Additional Training Information

Required Reading

The required reading materials form the foundation of this training. Please read all the materials and bring them with you to the training.

Required Reading List:

  1. SMC Full Circle Doula Philosophy, an abstract by Shafia M. Monroe Download PDF — 10-pages
  2. The Doula Guide to Birth, by Ananda Lowe and Rachel Zimmerman
  3. Listen to Me Good, Life Story of an Alabama Midwife, by Margaret Charles Smith and Linda Janet Holmes

Required reading materials may be available at your local  library and online at

Accessibility & Accommodations

SMC Online Doula Training strives for inclusivity by offering written content to accommodate hearing-impaired students. During live online sessions, closed captions are provided, and students are welcome to have interpreters present for both online and in-person training sessions.