In-Person Doula Training

Train as a SMC Full Circle Doula Birth Companion in-person. You will acquire full circle doula knowledge to improve infant and maternal health and gain the foundation and skills needed to be a confident, effective and professional doula.

About the Training

This is a 4-day (32 hours) in-person doula training to earn your dual certification as a labor and postpartum doula.  This training is the first requirement to become certified as an SMC Full Circle Doula Companion. 

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 people worldwide. Moreover, nearly 90% of trainees identify as African American/Black women and men, and persons of color.

What You Will Learn

The 4-Day training is packed full of learning, sharing, receiving, and creating friendships. Using the legacy of the African American midwife we demonstrated how pregnancy support reduces premature births and how postpartum care prevents maternal exhaustion in the postpartum experience, by using resources, hands-on and culturally competent care.

Unique Topics include and extend beyond

Practice from Cultural Knowledge

Having a dual certification as a labor and postpartum doula is crucial to provide comprehensive care to help a pregnant person throughout the reproductive cycle. And learning labor and postpartum skills simultaneously makes it applicable to real-life experiences when working as a provisional doula.

Evidenced 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. 

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.

Training Schedule

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

DAY 2 – Friday, 9 AM – 6:30 PM: Prenatal Care, Nutrition, Herbs, Infant Mortality Prevention. 

DAY 3 – Saturday, 9 AM – 6:30 PM: Labor and Delivery, Comfort Measures

DAY 4 – Sunday, 9 AM – 6:30 PM: Postpartum and Infant Care, Breastfeeding, Creating a  Doula Business.


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

These materials are available on Amazon or possibly through your local library.

All the above books and materials should be read before the first day of class. 

For 2023, we have in-person trainings scheduled in the following cities:

June 15-18, 2023 – Richmond, VA (Glen Allen)

December 7-10, 2023 – Gresham, OR

The all-inclusive cost of our in-person training is $ 1,623 which includes both labor and postpartum doula training as well as our training manual

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

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.

Register. Train. Certify