Become a Massage Doula
and learn a career you'll love!

If you want to become a Massage Doula, these are the facts you should know about the work, training, advertising your services, what to charge, and how to deal with a tragic situation in the delivery room.

Training to become a massage birthing assistant, or doula starts with a good Continuing Education class to learn how to best help the mother in the birthing process.

These are the most common Massage Doula certification programs:

1. DONA International provides education and networking to help you advance as a doula. Certification through DONA International provides your clients a distinction of professionalism.

2. B.A.B.Y. Inc The Birthing Assistant Certification program from B.A.B.Y. Inc., was the first doula certification in the Massage Industry.

3. Childbirth International You do not have to attend a workshop with Childbirth International. Complete all requirements and you are eligible to apply for certification.

The doula or Birth Assistant's main job is to empower the mother to understand she has the inner strength to give birth by providing her with emotional and physical support.

After completing the course, the therapist will possess all required skills to assist the mother in birthing. The therapist will be able to attend (with much confidence) births with physicians and staff in a hospital setting.

Therapists also will be trained to interact with Midwives in a home birth or Birthing Center setting.

A specialized training and certification program will provide comprehensive information such as:

  • Anatomy and physiology of the birthing process
  • Stages of labor with massage techniques for each stage
  • How to create a Birthing Plan for the delivery room
  • Comfort measures for a variety of situations
  • Skills and medical terminology to work with medical professionals
  • How to use words, thoughts and emotions that affect the mother's physiology and birth process
  • Information about what to do when something "out of the norm" happens and how to help the mother reduce anxiety and fear of what might or could happen.

By replacing "fear" thoughts with positive thoughts about the birth process being a natural occurrence that women and their families go through, the entire experience becomes much more positive.

Massage Doulas support women and their partners in the birth, allowing them to focus on becoming loving parents.

The therapist will learn:

  • Relaxation breathing techniques
  • Visualization skills to use during the birth
  • Massage, labor and birth positions

A Doula can help you by reducing the amount of time in active labor, reducing the need for epidurals, reducing the need for vacuum extraction, reducing c-section possibilities, greatly increasing your ability for a natural labor, and most importantly, support for a healthy baby.


Tuition for massage doula programs vary, however, most average $400-$600 total.


Doulas charge anywhere from $300 - $800, just depending on how many prenatal visits they provide, (usually 1-3), in addition to being there for the actual labor and delivery.

Benefits of Massage

Pregnancy Massage can provide a drug-free way to reduce aches & pains, edema or swelling, painful pressure on nerves and ligaments, relaxation and anxiety relief, muscle toning in preparation for delivery, increased blood circulation, and better sleep, just to name a few.

After birth, massage therapy helps to restore muscle tone to the abdomen and reduce muscle pain from posture changes, bigger breasts and strain from carrying a baby.

MotherTouch: Nurturing Touch for Birth DVD teaches about the techniques and benefits of becoming a birthing assistant, for those who are interested in the training or those who are interested in hiring a doula.

This is a video of some clips from that DVD:

Marketing services is often provided through the organization that provides certification, but also through physicians, midwives, hospitals, and online via a personal website.

For those who enjoy working with expectant or new mothers, one of the exciting paths that some massage therapist's choose is to become a massage doula.

Go back to Massage Education Guide Homepage 

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