Online Doula Training
You are a birth servant. Do good without show or fuss. If you must take the lead, lead so that the mother is helped, yet still free and in charge. When the baby is born, they will rightly say: ‘We did it ourselves!’ — TAO TE CHING
Mama Bamba doulas are taught to hold a strong, still, supportive space for their clients in labour. When both parents are free of fear, the mother naturally moves into an altered state of consciousness.
Babies born into this sacred birthing field remain connected to a high frequency of consciousness resonating with unconditional love and wisdom.
What is a Doula
A doula is the term given to a person attending to the continuous, emotional support of a woman in labour. Traditionally, women – especially first time mothers, would be assisted by other women when they were giving birth. The best birth attendants were comfortable and confident that they knew the way forward through the journey of labour and birth. Ideally, they were there to encourage, nurture, and support the birthing mother. They took care of her with kindly words, appreciation, guidance, massage and focused attention.
We provide wholehearted professional training to doulas, from all walks of life, to love and support birthing mothers.
A doula does not replace the birth partner; she acts in a supportive role to both parents, and her role is to encourage the birth partner to recognize how integral their involvement can be in creating a satisfying birth experience. Part of a doula’s role is to assist the partner to stay more involved during labour, rather than to pull away in times of stress. Because doulas are familiar with the process of birth, they can honestly reassure both parents about the normality of the experience during times when it might seem overly intense.
The power of birth generally has a long term impact on our emotional and spiritual well being. Whether it creates a positive or a negative impression depends on our circumstances, our level of trust and our ability to remain open to the experience.
About our Online Doula Training
Our online courses are incredibly special and dear to our hearts, we love connecting with woman all over the world and sharing the beauty of birth and the power of holding space for mothers and babies during this transformational time.
Each time we run one we are in awe of women’s capacity to build community as well as the pure magic that arises when women sit in circle together, even a virtual circle!
Our online course runs over 8 weeks. It includes weekly live sessions (approx 2.5hrs) as well as ongoing practical, experiential and written exercises to be completed each week.
Time: Wednesday evenings, 17h30 to 20h00
The course fee includes:
- Access to our comprehensive course content via our online learning platform
- 20hrs of live training plus additional video lectures
- Weekly practical, experiential and written exercises to complete
Mama Bamba highly recommends that you also invest in post course supervision, which you pay directly to the supervisors, who accompany you to births initially, and help you with onsite training, observations and guidance. Depending on how much time you contract to work together with them, this can range from between R500 – R2500. It is not a compulsory cost, but it is very helpful to new doulas to attend at least one birth with a supervisor.
Breast feeding courses range from R300 (online with minimal info) to between R650 – R1100 for a one or two day workshop with an IBCLC lactation consultant, which often includes experience in assisting new mothers to breast-feed. These courses are arranged by students directly with the course providers.
What is a doula?
Mama Bamba Ethics and Standards of Practice
Significance of birth & its long-term impact
Physiology of labour & hormones of labour
Doula’s role in the various stages of labour
Becoming calm and centered
Guiding your clients in releasing resistance
Techniques for emotional care
Hospitals and how to negotiate the space
The birth partner’s role
A doula’s role in difficult labours and informed decision making
C-section & VBAC
Sacred birth and the incoming soul
An introduction to breastfeeding
Death & grief
The business of being a doula
Prenatal care and birth plans
Looking after the doula
Post course support
Review, closing & feedback
- Attend the Mama Bamba training course.
- Previous experience and training is not a prerequisite for attending the course,
however a passionate interest in supporting positives births for all women is.
- Read The Mama Bamba Way: The power and pleasure of natural childbirth by
Robyn Sheldon prior to the course.
- Certification must be completed within three (3) years of attending the birth doula
- Provide doula service to a minimum of four clients.
- The births documented must meet the following criteria:
a) They occur after you attend day 4 (or completed Module 2) of the Mama
b) Labor support must begin before or at the onset of the active phase of labor.
For certification purposes, active labor will be considered 4 centimeters.
a) Only one of these four births may be a cesarean section.
c) A minimum of two certification births need to be with clients whom you have
formed a prenatal relationship with and supported from at least 36 weeks in
d) The births combined must have the doula present for a minimum of 24 hours
total (min 6hrs per birth)
e) Your presence as the birth doula must be continuous.
f) You must remain for the birth of the baby to provide immediate postpartum
support. When possible stay for 2hrs post partum.
- Document the four births for which you provide labor support with:
b) Mama Bamba Summary of Labor and Birth (pdf)
c) A 500-700 word account of each birth
d) Client Confidentiality Release Form (pdf)
e) Provide good Evaluations (pdf) of your doula services from the client and service provider.
Proof of completion of lactation consultant, breastfeeding peer counselor or community breastfeeding educator training done with an IBCLC trainer.
Proof of completion of an online study program. Lactation Education Resources offers a basic, “Complete Self-Learning Program” that is affordably priced.
An essay on the value and purpose of labor support (500-1000 words).
A complete resource list for clients. Add to the list on Dropbox with relevant practitioners or resources if in Cape town or Gauteng. If you live elsewhere ask for the raw list of categories and fill them in for your area. Only add people who you know to be amazing!
Complete the required reading.
Students training through our online course will need to complete the course checklist and submit all required course assignments.
Maintain your affiliation with Mama Bamba by paying your annual membership fees. Fees are due in March each year and will be invoiced pro-rata after completion of training days.
On submission of above-mentioned documents for certification a R750 certification fee will be payable.
Required reading list for Doula Certification
- Mama Bamba Doula Manuals
- The Mama Bamba Way. Robyn Sheldon
- The Doula Book: How a Trained Labor Companion Can Help you Have a Shorter, Easier and Healthier Birth by Marshall and Phyllis Klaus (2012, or later)
- The Basic Needs of a Woman in Labour. Ruth Ehrhardt
• Breastfeed Your Baby. Marie-Louise Steyn IBCLC. Metz Press
You need to read at least three (3) of the most recently published editions of the books below:
Pregnancy & birth preparation
- The New Pregnancy & Childbirth: Choices and Challenges by Sheila Kitzinger (2011, or later)
- Understanding the Critical Period Between Conception and the First Birthday. Odent, Michel, MD. Primal Health
- Birthing From Within. Pam England
- The Gentle Birth Method. Gowrie Metha
- The Fertility Handbook. James Schwartz
- The Secret Life of the Unborn Child. Verney, Thomas with John Kelly.
- Spiritual Midwifery. Ina May Gaskin
- The Birth Partner: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas and All Other Labor Companions by Penny Simkin (2013, or later)
- The Labour Progress Handbook. Simkin and Ancheta
- Optimal Care in Childbirth: the Case for a Physiologic Approach by Henci Goer and Amy Romano (2012, or later)
- An Easier Childbirth: a Mother’s Guide to Birthing Normally by Gayle Peterson (2008, or later)
- Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin (2008, or later)
- Heart and Hands. Elizabeth Davis. Celestial Arts
- Natural Hospital Birth: the Best of Both Worlds by Cynthia Gabriel (2011, or later)
- Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering. Buckley, Dr. Sarah J.
- The Silent Knife. Nancy Weiner Cohen
- Birth Without Violence. Frederick Leboyer
- Preparing for a Gentle Birth by Blandine Calais-Germain & Nura Vives Pares
The newborn, breastfeeding & parenting
- The Baby Book by William Sears
- Dr Jack Newman’s guide to Breastfeeding: The Canadian Expert Offers the most up to date advice on every aspect of Breastfeeding. Jack Newman & Teresa pitman (2015, or later)
- Raising a son. Don Elium
- Magical Beginnings, Enchanted Lives: A Holistic Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth. Chopra, Deepak.
- Parenting from the Inside Out. Daniel Siegel and Mary Hartzell
- Why Love Matters. How Affection shapes a Baby’s Brain. Sue Gerhardt
- Liberated Parents, Liberated Children. Mazlish and Faber
- The Continuum Concept. Jean Liedloff
- When Survivors Give Birth: Understanding and Healing the Effects of Early Sexual Abuse on Childbearing Women. Penny Simkin, Phyllis Klaus
- This Isn’t What I Expected: Overcoming Postpartum Depression by Karen Kleiman and Valerie Davis Raskin (2013, or later)
- The Hidden Feelings of Motherhood by Kathleen Kendall-Tackett (2005, or later)
- Transformed by Postpartum Depression: Women's Stories of Trauma and Growth by Walker Karraa (2014, or later)
- Postpartum Depression and Anxiety: A Self-Help Guide by Pacific Postpartum Support (2014, or later)
- Invisible Earthquake. Malika Ndlovu
- Waking the Tiger. Peter A Levine
- Necessary Losses. Judith Viorst
- The Light Inside the Dark. John Tarrant
- The Doula Business Guide: Creating a Successful MotherBaby Business by Patty Brennan (2014, or later)
- Doula Programs: How to Start and Run a Private or Hospital-Based Program with Success! by Paulina Perez with Deaun Thelen (2010, or later)
- Body of Work: Finding The Thread That Binds Your Story Together by Pamela Slim (2013, or later)
Developing the heart
- The Scientification of Love. Michel Odent
- The Wise Heart. Jack Kornfield.
- Everyday Blessings. Jon and Myla Kabat Zinn
- The Miracle of Mindfulness. Thich Nhat Hanh
- Wherever You Go, There You Are. Jon Kabat Zinn
- Time to Think. Nancy Kline
- Our Bodies, Ourselves for the New Century. The Boston Women’s Health Collective
- Goddess in Everywoman. Jean Shinada Bolen
- The Fourth Trimester: A Postpartum Guide to Healing Your Body, Balancing Your Emotions and Restoring your Vitality by Kimberly Ann Johnson
Hello, I’m Amy
My journey with Mama Bamba began 12+ years ago when I was preparing for the birth of my first son and my mother gifted me a copy of Robyn Sheldon’s book, The Mama Bamba Way - inner pathways back to the power and pleasure of birth. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined the incredible journey of growth, transformation and exploration that would follow.
My journey to the space of facilitator in training Mama Bamba doulas has been diverse and the winding road really interesting.
I came to my own Mama Bamba doula training with Robyn Sheldon as a SACAP certified Life Coach, Counsellor and certified Hypnotherapist. I knew that doula work was calling me to compliment what I was already practicing. Little did I realise that it would lead me to a newfound place of passion about birth and carry me into an undiscovered part of myself – the teacher.
I really enjoyed my role in the empowerment of parents in the birth place. What I didn’t realise was that there was so much pleasure in empowering other people so that they too could empower parents to have beautiful births!
I train and mentor students in Cape Town with Amy Mongie, and in Johannesburg with Tertia Alkema as well as being a part of the on line training. It is indeed a privilege to be part of our students’ growth, as the doula training is more than just about doula work – we discover who we are as doula’s not just how to be a doula.
I have 2 children in their 30’s and live in Cape Town with my life partner and 2 cats.