Postpartum Doula Training & Certification Program

Heart and Hands Postpartum Doula Training & Certification Program

Invest in learning to support new mothers and care for newborns. Help prevent mortality rates and ensure every family receives needed care.

This course has no affiliation with Elizabeth Davis, LM, CPM, or Heart and Hands Midwifery Workshops.

Dates of Next Course:

MONDAY-THURSDAY, APRIL 1, 2, 3, 4, 2024 – 8:30 AM TO 2:30 PM




For more information, call (626) 388-2191 (ext. 3) or email: Carla Michael, Community and Professional Education Coordinator



Participants in this class will learn essential skills to provide support to new mothers and care for newborns during the first few months after birth. Postpartum Doulas offer a range of services, including emotional support, physical care, health information, and comfort for new mothers. They also provide guidance on baby care and self-care, and help new mothers gain confidence in their maternal abilities. In addition, Postpartum Doulas may offer breastfeeding support, newborn care instruction, and meal preparation. They also connect families with supportive services in the community.

It’s important to note that African-American, Native-American, and Latina mothers and babies have the highest rates of infant and maternal mortality in the USA, California, and Los Angeles County. Therefore, the role of Postpartum Doulas in saving lives cannot be overstated!


The course is structured around The Biopsychosocial Framework which takes into account biological, psychological, and social factors, and their intricate interplay in comprehending health, illness, and healthcare delivery. This comprehensive approach is endorsed in this course.


Instructional methods include online/web lectures, demonstrations, discussions, experiential processes, role-play exercises, and videos and exercises.

Session 1: Monday, April 1st

Session 2: Tuesday, April 2nd

Session 3: Wednesday, April 3rd

Session 4: Thursday, April 4th

Classes meet for four sessions from 8:30 am to 2:30 pm PST. The training will be held live on Zoom. There will be a 30-minute break each day in the morning.

This can also be offered as an in-service for agency staff  or for community groups. Please feel free to 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 (a 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
  • Community Health Promoters
  • Parent Coaches
  • Family Health Advocates (FHAs)
  • Early Childhood Intervention Specialists
  • Infant Mental Health Specialists
  • Promatoras de Salud/Community Health Workers
  • Medical Assistants (MAs)
  • 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 or Associates  working with pregnant  women and new mothers
  • Health Educators
  • Childbirth Doulas
  • Midwife Assistants or Midwifery Students
  • Nursing Students
  • Pre-med and medical students who want to practice Pediatrics or Neonatology



Regular Tuition: $750.00 Materials are included in the course, with an option for paper materials at an extra fee. PDF versions are available at no cost. Certification will be provided upon completion of requirements, and payment is due one week before the course start date..

Deposit for Payment Plan:  We offer payment plans for your convenience. When registering, a $100.00 deposit is required to secure your spot. Contact Carla.Michael@motherbabysupport to make payment agreement. Payments must be paid in full by March 29, 2024.

Early Bird Special: $625.00. Registration  opens on January 6, 2024,  ends February 4, 2024.

Group Discounts: $550.00 per person for 4-10 people registering together from one agency (or four friends registering together). Invoicing is available for companies. Please contact us to request invoice.

Scholarships: We are offering two half-scholarships ($325.00 each) for our training program to low-income BIPOC individuals. If you are interested in applying, please contact  to request an application and schedule an interview. The selection of candidates will be based on financial need, commitment to the profession, and willingness to volunteer with HMHBA after completing the training.

Discounts for Graduates of Birth Doula Training: For graduates of our Community Birth Doula Training, a discount is offered of $625.00 per person.


Participants are required to attend and participate fully in all sessions, including class discussions, skill demonstrations, role-play exercises, and experiential exercises, and complete the certification requirements listed below: 

Within one WEEK, participants will:

  • Complete take-home, open-book written exam. You must score 80% to pass. May retake the exam once if the score is lower than 80%.

Within one YEAR, participants will:

  • Complete an Infant/adult/child CPR course and submit proof of certification.
  • Compile a Community Resource List for families.
  • Write as 1-2 page essay on the Postpartum Doula’s role on the maternity care team and your ambitions and plans in the profession.
  • Assist three families in the postpartum period and submit three parent evaluations and three self-reports. Reporting forms will be provided.

Annually, you must submit a $50 re-certification fee along with proof of attendance at a continuing education seminar on any topic covered in this course, or by reading a scientific, peer-reviewed journal article on any topic covered in this course,  and writing a summary of the article and submitting it. Failure to meet requirements within 12 months will result in a $100 administrative charge.


  • The Integral Role of Postpartum Doulas in Maternity Care Teams
  • Overcoming Breastfeeding Barriers: Unraveling Historical, Social, Political, and Personal Obstacles
  • Elevating Breastfeeding: Positive Impacts on Mothers, Infants, Fathers, and Societal Well-being
  • Guidelines and Innovations in Breastfeeding Support
  • Practicum on Effective Communication: The Three Step Strategy
  • Mastering Lactation Fundamentals: Understanding the Anatomy and Physiology of Breastfeeding
  • The Nutritional Wonders of Breastmilk: A Basic Exploration of Nutritional Benefits
  • Promoting Exclusive Breastfeeding: Maximizing Benefits for Both Mother and Child
  • Empowering Mothers to Initiate and Navigate the Breastfeeding Journey Through the First Year and Beyond
  • Addressing Common Breastfeeding Challenges and Nurturing Growing Infants
  • Advocating for Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) for Optimal Newborn Well-being
  • Preventing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and Promoting Safe Co-Sleeping Practices While  Respecting Cultural Norms
  • Analyzing the Impact of Childbirth Interventions on Breastfeeding Challenges
  • Navigating the Spectrum of Postpartum Adjustments: From Normalcy to Challenges
  • Identifying and Addressing Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs)
  • Fostering Informed Decision-Making in Postpartum and Newborn Care
  • Decoding Newborn Behavior States: A Guide for Parents
  • Deciphering Newborn Appearance: Insights for New Parents
  • Deconstructing Newborn Medical Procedures: Empowering Parents with Knowledge
  • Holistic Support for Postpartum Women: Balancing Physical Care and Emotional Well-being
  • Guiding Clients through Perinatal Loss and Birth Trauma: A Compassionate Approach
  • Mastery of Newborn Care Techniques and Soothing Practices
  • Essentials of Diapering, Swaddling, and Bathing Newborns: A Practical Guide
  • Child Development Milestones: Nurturing Growth Through the First Year
  • Attachment Theory Basics: Cultivating Strong Parent-Infant Bonds
  • Embracing a Trauma-Informed Approach to Maternal and Infant Mental Health
  • The Pivotal Role of Postpartum Doulas in Family Transition: Nurturing Bonds
  • Advocating for Perinatal Health Justice: Ensuring Equitable Maternal and Infant Well-being


Cordelia Hanna, MPH, CHES, ICCE, CLE, CBA- Principal Course Leader (English Course), Curriculum Developer
Email:   (626) 388-2191 ext. 1

CordeliaCordelia Hanna is a highly experienced professional in the field of maternity care, with over 34 years of expertise. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Theatre and Dance from Indiana University, Bloomington, in 1986, and later obtained her Master’s degree in Public Health (MPH) in Health Education and Promotion/Maternal Child Health from Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, California, in 2008. Currently, she is pursuing her doctorate in Health Psychology at Walden University. Cordelia is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES), which is considered the gold standard for professional health educators accredited by the National Commission on Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC). Additionally, she is an ICEA-Certified Childbirth Educator, CAPPA-Certified Lactation Educator, and ALACE-Certified Birth Assistant. She has been teaching Childbirth Preparation Classes and Breastfeeding Education to hundreds of couples of all ethnic backgrounds and socioeconomic status since 1991 in various settings, including private practice, clinics, public health, hospitals, and communities.

Cordelia is a midwife who received training through apprenticeship. She has worked as an Assistant Midwife and Labor Companion/Monitrice in various settings, including homes, birth centers, and hospitals throughout Los Angeles County and Oregon since 1991. Cordelia is passionate about promoting grass-roots health promoters such as breastfeeding peer counselors, doulas, and community midwives to address ethnic health disparities occurring in their communities. These disparities include low rates of breastfeeding, high rates of prematurity cesarean section, and maternal and infant mortality that occur in communities of color. Cordelia has a global perspective on maternal-child health but focuses on taking local action.

Cordelia worked as a Perinatal Health Educator and Promoter for The Pasadena Public Health Department’s Black Infant Health Program from 2002 to 2012. The program was funded by the California Department of Health to reduce African-American/Black perinatal health disparities. Here, she collaborated with her mentor the late Ms. Geraldine Perry-Williams, PHN, MSN, CD, CLE, LCCE, to launch and manage a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program. They also established the first-ever Community-Based Doula Program for African-American/Black families in Los Angeles County. This program was successful in reducing the high rates of infant mortality and cesarean section among Pasadena’s African-American population.

Between 2014 and 2019, Cordelia collaborated with Esperanza Community Housing Corporation’s Promatora de Salud/Community Health Worker Program in South Los Angeles and the Harbor Corridor. Her role involved providing training on perinatal health and Doula support to Community Health Promoters/Promotores de Salud working in South Los Angeles. This region is known for having some of the highest rates of maternal and infant mortality, which can be attributed to negative social determinants of health.

Cordelia is a mother of two children who were born at home, breastfed, and slept in the family bed. They have now grown up to become bright and capable young adults. Cordelia is also a grandmother of two granddaughters and a grandson. Her life partner is from Ghana, West Africa, and together they enjoy an international lifestyle that spans two continents.


We can provide Spanish-speaking instructor when requested.


Contact: Carla Michael, MSW, Community and Professional Education Coordinator

Telephone: (626) 388-2191 ext. 3 or Email:


Cancellation must be made in writing by the deadline (30 days before the course). Tuition will be reimbursed less the $50.00 administrative fee if notification is 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. The additional balance will be required if the course is registered at a higher price. If it is a lower price, the balance will not be refunded. Credit will be honored for one year from the training. If used by that time, the credit will stay active.

Particular Cancellation Policy for Doulas: If you are “on call” and have a birth during the training, please notify the instructor as soon as possible that you will not attend. The total 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. The additional balance will be required if the course is registered at a higher price. If it is a lower price, the balance will not be refunded.