Postpartum Doula Training & Certification Program

Heart and Hands Postpartum Doula Training & Certification Program

Learn skills to support new mothers and care for newborn babies. Help prevent maternal mortality and infant mortality.

Due to Covid-19, this training will be offered live on  Zoom until further notice.

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Dates of Next Course:

May, 2023

9:00 am to 2:30 pm (PST)

Offered on the Zoom platform

For more information, contact Carla Michael, Community and Professional Education Coordinator



In this class, participants will learn skills to support new mothers and care for newborns immediately following birth and the first months. More than a baby nurse, a Postpartum Doula provides emotional support, physical care, and comfort to the new mother, instruction on self-care and baby care, and instills confidence in her clients for motherhood. Services also may include breastfeeding support, meal preparation, care of siblings, and linking families to supportive services in the community. Infant and maternal mortality are the highest for African-American, Native-American and Latinx mothers and babies, so Postpartum Doulas can save lives!

This course is based on a biopsychosocial framework. The biopsychosocial approach “systematically considers biological,psychological and social factors and their complex interactions in understanding health, illness, and health care delivery”. (Engel, 1977).


Instructional methods include on-line/web format lecture, demonstration, discussion, experiential processes, role-play exercises, including videos and exercises.

Classes meet for 4 sessions from 9:00 am to 2:30 pm PST on Thursday and Friday for two consecutive weeks.  The training will be held live on Zoom. There will be a 15-minute break each day in the morning.


The next training will be offered:

May, 2023

This can also be offered as an in-service for agency staff. Contact us for more information and to schedule.


No prior experience, education or training is required. Instruction is conducted in English with some Spanish materials (Spanish instructor and course manual can be provided if requested). Professions who will benefit from this training are:

  • Home visitors working with mothers and infants
  • OB/GYN or Pediatric Medical Assistants
  • WIC Nutrition Workers
  • Perinatal Case Managers & Coordinators
  • Parent Coaches
  • Family Health Advocates (FHAs)
  • Early Childhood Intervention Specialists
  • Infant Mental Health Specialists
  • Promatoras de Salud/Community Health Workers
  • Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs)
  • Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs)
  • Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs)
  • Home Health Aides (HHAs)
  • Students of maternal-newborn nursing, midwifery, public health, medicine, psychology
  • Pre-School Teachers, Nannies & Babysitters
  • LCSWs/MFTs or Interns working with pregnant and new mothers
  • Health Educators
  • Childbirth Doulas
  • Midwife Assistants or Midwifery Students



Regular Tuition: $725.00.00 includes materials (extra fee for paper materials; PDF-version materials offered at no charge) and certification upon completion of requirements. Due one week prior to the course.

Deposit for Payment Plan: $100.00 deposit to register. Contact Carla.Michael@motherbabysupport to make payment arrangements. 

Early Bird Special: $625.00 Register 4 weeks prior to course.

Group Discounts: $550.00 per person for 4-10 persons registering together as a group from one agency (or 4 friends registering together).

Scholarships: We offer two half-scholarships ($325.00) each training for low-income BIPOC persons. Please contact Carla.Micheal@motherbabysupport for application and interview.


Participants must attend all sessions for the entire time, participate in class discussions, skill demonstrations, role-play exercises, and experiential exercises.

Within one WEEK, participants will:

  • Complete take-home, open-book written exam. Must score 80% to pass. May retake the exam one time if the score is lower than 80%.

Within one YEAR, participants will:

  • Complete and Infant CPR course and submit proof of certification.
  • Compile a Community Resource List for Families.
  • Assist 3 families in the postpartum period and submit 3 parent evaluations and 3 self-reports.

Re-certification is annual. $50 re-certification fee plus proof of attendance at a continuing education course must be submitted. If requirements are not met within 12 months of course, there will be an administrative charge of $100.00.


  1.    The Postpartum Doula as Member of the Maternity Care Team
  2.     Addressing Barriers to Breastfeeding:  Historical, social, political and personal reasons why women don’t breastfeed
  3.     Benefits of Breastfeeding: Mothers, Infants, Fathers & Society
  4.     Recommendations & Initiatives
  5.     Communication skills: The Three Step Strategy
  6.     Basics Anatomy and Physiology of Lactation
  7.     Nutritional Components of Breastmilk
  8.     Benefits of Exclusive Breastfeeding  
  9.     Getting Moms Started Breastfeeding
  10.     Common problems of breastfeeding and parenting the growing baby
  11.     Promoting Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) 
  12.     SIDS Prevention & Safe Co-Sleeping Guidelines
  13.    The Impact of Childbirth Interventions on Breastfeeding
  14.     Normal and abnormal adjustments to motherhood in the postpartum woman
  15.     Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders: Identification & Referral
  16.     Promoting Informed Consent & Refusal in Postpartum & Newborn Care
  17.     The newborn Behavior States
  18.     Newborn Appearance
  19.     Newborn Medical Procedures
  20.     Physical care and emotional support of postpartum women
  21.     Helping Clients Cope with Perinatal Loss and Birth Trauma
  22.     Newborn care and soothing methods
  23.     Diapering, Swaddling, Bathing the Newborn 
  24.     Child Development: The First Year
  25.     Attachment Theory Basics & Promoting Parent-Infant Attachment
  26.     Trauma-Informed Maternal & Infant Mental Health
  27.     The Postpartum Doula’s role in helping clients become a family.
  28.     Perinatal Health Justice 



Cordelia Hanna, MPH, CHES, ICCE, CLE, CBA

CordeliaCordelia Hanna obtained her Master’s in Public Health (MPH) in Health Education and Promotion/Maternal Child Health from Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, California in 2008 and her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Dance from Indiana University, Bloomington in 1986. Cordelia is pursuing a doctorate in Health Psychology at Walden University. She is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES), the gold standard for professional health educators, accredited by NCHEC. Cordelia is also an ICEA-Certified Childbirth Educator, CAPPA-Certified Lactation Educator, and ALACE-Certified Birth Assistant who since 1991 has taught Childbirth Preparation Classes and Breastfeeding Education to hundreds of couples in private practice, clinics, public health, hospital and community settings. Cordelia is an apprenticeship-trained midwife, who has worked as an Assistant Midwife and Labor Companion/Monitrice in homes, birth centers, and hospitals throughout Los Angeles County since 1991.

Cordelia is passionate about promoting midwives, doulas, community health promoters and breastfeeding peer counselors to address ethnic health disparities such as low rates of breastfeeding, high rates of prematurity and cesarean section, and to reduce maternal mortality globally. Cordelia worked for The Pasadena Public Health Department Black Infant Health Program from 2002-2012, a California Department of Health-funded program to reduce African-American/Black perinatal health disparities. Here, she initiated and managed a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program and established the very first Community-Based Doula Program for African-American/Black families in Los Angeles County and succeeded in lowering rates of prematurity and infant mortaility among Pasadna’s African-American population. 

From 2011 to 2019, Cordelia worked with Esperanza Community Housing Corporation’s Promatora de Salud/Community Health Worker Program, providing training in perinatal health and Doula support for Latinx and African-American/Black Community Health Promoters working in South Los Angeles, one of the neighborhoods in Los Angeles with the highest rates of maternal mortality and infant mortality. 

Cordelia is a mother of two home-born, breastfed, and family-bedded children who are now bright and capable young adults, and she is a proud grandmother of two granddaughters and one grandson.

Carla Michael, MSW, CD, CPD, CLE, Student Midwife – Co-Course Leader

Carla Michael was born Hollywood and raised in Pomona, CA. As a mother to three girls, Carla is well aware of the necessity of love and care during pregnancy, labor, and the postpartum period.

 Her passionate desire to work with children and families led her to a career as a social worker and to obtain a master’s in social work at California State University Los Angeles. Craving a more personable relationship with families while exploring “birthing and babies”, she decided to take a different route and become a full circle doula.
Carla obtained full circle doula training with Shafia Monroe Consulting’s Full Circle Doula Training® (an intensive 30-hour prenatal, labor and postpartum doula training course). This distinctive training is built on the legacy of the 20th century African American Midwife, who provided holistic perinatal services with birth and postpartum rituals and mothering skills building confidence and leadership abilities within families to improve birth outcomes and increase breastfeeding duration rates.
Carla models this model of care in her practice as a doula, which is improving birth outcomes by reducing prematurity, increasing breastfeeding rates and duration, reducing infant mortality and she has also completed an extensive 14-hour training regarding perinatal mental health and is well versed on the seldom-discussed mental health needs of mamas after birth.

With Carla’s first baby, she had no support with breastfeeding and always wanted to work for an organization such as La Leche League, not knowing that a career in breastfeeding was actually attainable. Therefore, in addition to her work as a doula, Carla received certified lactation education specialist training through Breastfeed LA’s 95-hour program and is now currently on the pathway to becoming an IBCLC (international board-certified lactation consultant). This is critical because there are no statistics on how many Black IBCLCs there are in the United States. Carla believes that increasing the amount of Black IBCLC support will increase the rates of Black women’s breastfeeding outcomes, which is so crucial to their bundle of joy’s overall health in life. She enjoys instructing breastfeeding classes to pregnant mamas to prepare them before even before their little babies enters the world, and currently teaches Happy Mama Healthy Baby’s breastfeeding education and childbirth education classes for clients, and co-leads our Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Training, Postpartum Doula Training, Perinatal Support Specialist Training and Birth Doula Training.
She is also currently a student midwife working in a birth center.  Carla believes in women-led births and that, with the proper support, education, and by listening to her intuition, a mama can have the birthing experience she’s always dreamed of. Carla is always honored to support a mama in this memorable, life-changing journey and looks forward to sharing her wisdom and experience with you in this training.

Spanish-speaking instructor can be provided upon request


Contact Carla Michael, MSW, Community and Professional Education Coordinator

Telephone: (626) 388-2191 ext. 1 or Email:


Cancellation must be made in writing by deadline (30 days prior to course). Tuition will be reimbursed less $50.00 administrative fee if notification received by this date. After this date, there will be no refunds. However in extenuating circumstances such as documented illness or emergency, the tuition is fully transferable to another person or training (this course or another topic); credit is good for the amount of training. If course registering into is higher price, the additional balance will be required. If it is a lesser price, there will not be any refund of balance. Credit will be honored for one year from the training. If not used by that time, the credit will expire.

Special Cancellation Policy for Doulas: If you are “on call” and have a birth during the training, please notify instructor as soon as possible that you will not be attending. The full tuition will be transferred to another person, or different training (this course or another topic) to be used within one year of the training date.If course registering into is higher price, the additional balance will be required. If it is a lesser price, there will not be any refund of balance.