Why Train with Doula Ireland?

As the Founder of Doula Ireland, I been providing internationally accredited doula training in Ireland since 2007. Undertaking Doula training is a financial, emotional and time commitment so I encourage all prospective doulas to explore the various available training options to find one that aligns with your personal goals and ethics.  Take the time to find a training that resonates with your philosophy on birth support, business practices and continued education.  Training with Doula Ireland and DONA International affords doulas the opportunity of taking additional discounted training to become a GentleBirth Instructor and DONA trained doulas access the largest online community of expectant parents in Ireland through the GentleBirth Mums group.  Your training also includes a 6 week online training in Mindfulness for Birth professionals at no additional charge.  Birth doula work can be emotionally challenging, building emotional resilience through this unique training supports your journey to providing effective, comprehensive care to your clients while reducing the risk of burnout. 

Following are some questions to consider when choosing a doula training organisation in Ireland.

  • How experienced is your trainer as a birth doula and trainer?
  • How many doulas has the organisation trained in Ireland?  
  • Are you obliged to join an agency on completion of your training?
  • What are the credentials of the doula trainer? How long have they worked as a doula in Ireland?
  • How in-depth is the certification process?
  • Is the training recognised by the Doula Association of Ireland? If not what additional training will you need to undertake to become a member?

DONA International Birth Doula Certification Workshops for 2018

Workshop fees: €400 euro  
Deposits can be sent via PayPal to pdonegan@gentlebirth.com
March 24 & 25 2018
Pillo Hotel Ashbourne
North County Dublin
Our virtual classroom Facebook group for your class opens 6 months before your hands on training.  This gives doulas an opportunity to connect with peers and begin exploring this wonderful work.   Your training is not just one weekend.  We'll explore the role of the doula, answer your questions, get started with your reading list and complete your 6 week Mindfulness For Birth Professionals training through our online learning platform Litmos. After the hands on training our classroom and monthly calls will remain a source of support and information as you find your feet in the doula world with your colleagues.

Training with Doula Ireland

Over the years I have continued my education and trained with several organisations.  Each Doula training I've experienced offers something different but I've found DONA International embraces the essence of what a Doula is and the doula 'spirit' of unconditional, compassionate support and ethical business practices.  It was for this reason that I chose DONA to certify and recertify as a trainer. DONA International sets the bar high for trainers with an in-depth application and selection process to become an approved doula trainer.

With over 12,000 members worldwide I'm proud to have an opportunity to teach the gold standard of Doula training representing DONA International in Ireland. Naturally the focus of the training is on working as a doula within Irish maternity services, I believe it's important that the Doula has a clear understanding and experience of the unique maternity care offerings that their clients will be faced with here in Ireland as well as the opportunities to develop as a birth professional with a thorough understanding of the 'business' of being a doula.  

The DONA philosophy is simple but profound – “how will she remember this”? If all you do as a Doula is keep this at the forefront of your own mind and 'Doula' from the heart instead of the head then you can’t go wrong.

What do I mean when I talk about ‘Doulaing from the heart’? It means meeting the mother where she is, accepting that her birth preferences may not be the same as yours and supporting this woman – eye to eye, breath to breath and heart to heart. When you Doula from the heart you don’t speak for the mother but you help her find her voice. Being a DONA trained Doula is about serving and supporting the mother in this magical time. When you serve a woman in labour you take on her values as your own. Even as an experienced Doula I found the DONA training inspirational. It brings us back to the core of ‘doulaing’ – supporting and serving the mother in a home or hospital environment.

During the workshop we explore the following
Emotional Support
Encouragement, reassurance, continuous physical presence - what doulas do best!
Informational Support
Assistance to families in gathering information about the course of their labour and their options, explanations, non-medical advice. Where to find evidence based information.
Physical Support
Comfort measures, positioning, massage, breathing, relaxation and other non-pharmacological pain relief options including an introduction to rebozo. Supporting a mother with an epidural - ways to reduce side effects and promote normality when possible.
Helping the mother find her voice and help her feel heard
Partner Support
Role modeling, encouragement and reassurance
Building positive and lasting relationships with midwives and other hospital staff.
Getting Started as a Professional Doula - business basics

After the training you will come away with the confidence to support a mother in a hospital or home birth, be able to support a mother physically and emotionally with an epidural, and determine which comfort measures work best for different kinds of labours... and much much more.   

Our doula training workshops are co-taught with the wonderful Mary Tighe from DoulaCare Ireland one of Ireland's most experienced birth doulas so attendees enjoy the combined experience of almost 20 years of experience. 

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you’d like to talk more about the upcoming training. 


Doula Ireland offers Birth Doula training, based on the DONA International curriculum and ethics. DONA sets the bar for doula education and professional development. It indicates to families that a doula has achieved a high level of training and professionalism.

DONA International has the highest certification standards for doulas worldwide.

Achieving certification is a process that requires a commitment. Before beginning the certification process, we recommend that you learn about what it means to be a Doula Ireland doula by browsing the website, reading the position papers, Standards of Practice, Code of Ethics, and other DONA International literature you will find on the DONA website. Find Doula Ireland certified doulas in your area and talk with them about their experiences as a doula or join in a discussion on our Irish Doula discussion list to understand what being a certified doula is really like.

When you become a certified birth doula with Doula Ireland, you gain a respected credential. DONA certification means that you have met a high international standard, ensuring expectant parents and their medical team that you will adhere to the highest standards of conduct and ethics. It means you are trained to support a woman emotionally, as well as to help the mother determine the services and information that she needs during labour and childbirth.

Students who successfully complete all requirements will be certified with DONA International.

****Important *****

A note about medical training and the role of the Doula.

I'm often asked how it is possible for a Doula to support a Mother through labour and birth having only attended one weekend workshop and not having a medical background.
The weekend workshop provides Doulas with hands on experience in supporting a couple through childbirth and focuses on the importance of the Mother's emotional mindset during labour. This is only one step in the certification process which usually takes about a year to complete.

As we offer no medical advice only emotional, physical and informational support our role is complimentary to the care a couple is receiving from their chosen caregiver. Throughout history and still today in other cultures women with childbearing experience offer that critical emotional support to the birthing woman. Our scope of practice is very specific and we find that Doulas who have medical training sometimes find it more difficult to stay within the guidelines of not providing medical advice - even when trained to do so. We find that once the Doula focuses on providing emotional support that her role remains focused rather than diluted.

Please don't hesitate to contact me anytime to discuss your needs as a doula via email - tdonegan@gentlebirth.com  or via Facebook or Skype.

I look forward to welcoming you to next workshop!