ACED Certification Requirements

The best childbirth preparation and a loving continuous presence at birth – those are the two ways to best support new mothers as they move into parenting a newborn. With BirthWorks ACED Certification, you can offer both! Learn BirthWorks Experience – evidence-based best practices with a human-values approach that integrates mind-body-spirit in birth. Join high-quality, comprehensive training with personal Mentoring!

Path to become a CBE and Doula

Register

Workshop

Work at Home

Births + Teach

Be Certified!

Accelerated Dual-Certification:

Childbirth Educator CCE(BWI) and Birth Doula CBD(BWI)

  1. Register and receive your:
    • ACED Certification Packet describing all steps
    • BirthWorks Childbirth Educator Program Book
    • BirthWorks Childbirth Educator Manual of over 550 pages — one of the most highly-acclaimed comprehensive manuals available today
    • Access to BirthWorks Childbirth Preparation Curriculum – to teach your classes
    • Access to a BirthWorks Childbirth Preparation Workbook – given to parents when you teach
    • BirthWorks Doula Journal Workbook
    • Doulas of Love: A Guidebook for Doulas and Birthing Parents
  2. Connect with your Personal Mentor for support and start interactive training online – to enhance growth on key topics and receive feedback on your work via our learning platform
  3. Take the BirthWorks ACED Workshop at any time!
  4. Complete Childbirth Educator requirements from home – essays, book reports, breastfeeding preparation, hospital/birth center visits, medical study critiques, topic paper and an exam – details
  5. Complete Birth Doula requirements from home – reading and written exercises in BirthWorks Doula Journal workbook, attend two births (and get evaluations from mom and a birth team professional) – details
  6. Become dual-Certified as a BirthWorks Childbirth Educator & BirthWorks Birth Doula!

BirthWorks Is Different

Truth

Right Action

Peace

Love

Nonviolence

Frequently Asked Questions

Our blended-learning combines both online education including regular interactions, support and feedback from your Mentor, with face-to-face classroom experiences in the workshop, as well as you actually offering childbirth preparation classes. Our professional programs include transformational self-development work and training that is evidence-based and holistic — after this you will be confident and highly-trained to become a fabulous, successful childbirth educator.
  • Certification cost is $1100 (including Mentoring during your 30-month training period)
  • Your workshop, one of the certification requirements costs $600-700
  • You can do the Workshop first OR you can start your Certification work first – that is up to you!
  • FREE BirthWorks Membership during your 30-month training period!  ~ $175 Value
  • Your BirthWorks ACED Certification Packet with all detailed requirements
  • Your comprehensive BirthWorks Childbirth Educator Training Book
  • Our highly-acclaimed BirthWorks Childbirth Educator Manual of over 550 pages — one of the most comprehensive, well-researched manuals available today, periodically reviewed and updated, and filled with evidenced-based current information.
  • Access to the BirthWorks Childbirth Preparation Curriculum and permission to purchase BirthWorks Childbirth Preparation Workbook given to parents when you teach your classe
  • Your BirthWorks Doula Journal Workbook for inspiration, personal reflection and deep learning
  • Your Doulas of Love: A Guidebook for Doulas and Birthing Parents useful during the workshop
  • Access to BirthWorks online learning platform to work toward certification from home any time you want. There you will access online resources, upload assignments, see your progress, and stay in communication with your Mentor. 
  • Your personal BirthWorks Mentor offers any guidance and support needed (throughout your 30-month training period) and also reviews and comments on your work (as you upload assignments) through our online learning system. You can reach out to your Mentor any time!
  • International recognition as a dual-Certified BirthWorks Childbirth Educator & Birth Doula from a highly-respected organization
  • Professional listing in BirthWorks online directory for referrals
  • Ability to set up your own small business, determine your own fees and keep all revenues
  • Opportunity to become a BirthWorks Mentor and a BirthWorks Ambassador to promote BirthWorks in your area and earn extra money!
  • Be part of an inspiring, passionate global network and community of birthworkers who are working together for a great cause!

BirthWorks Childbirth Educator certification is set up to take 30 months – but it is flexible! You can choose to complete all requirements more quickly. If you need more time, just purchase an annual extension. Then, when all your work is complete, pay a mentoring fee for your final review and certification.

*Ideally, all written assignments and attendance at the Childbirth Educator Workshop should be completed within 18-24 months, so you have 6 months to study the manual, take your exam, and teach your practicum BirthWorks classes.

You chose what is best for you! Start with the workshop – some people take it first then do the other requirements. You can also being with your reading and written requirements, then do the workshop later. (The workshop is good for three years toward your Certification if you want to spread out costs.)

*Ideally, you attend the ACED Workshop early in your training, so you have time to study the Childbirth Educator manual, take your exam, and teach your practicum BirthWorks classes.

  • Complete all steps and questions
  • Write up your Autobiography including Birth Experiences and Birth-related Events (750 words)
  • Write your essay (500 words) on the purpose and value of a birth doula
  • Read 15 books from our reading list and do book reports for each (500 words)
  • Tour maternity floors in two local hospitals and complete a Survey of Maternity Services for each. Interview a homebirth midwife then write a summary of both (500-750 words)
  • Complete your Doula Journal Workbook
  • Read Doulas of Love, ideally before taking the workshop
  • Attend all hours of the BirthWorks ACED Workshop and receive your Certificate of Attendance and BirthWorks-Inspired status
  • Attend two births and provide relevant documentation – client confidentiality forms, birth record forms and evaluations (from the mother and a professional member of the birth team). Also write 1-2 page Birth Essays with a description of each birth, mothers’ emotional response, the support you provided and what you learned. (Births count toward certification after you attend the workshop.)
  • Fulfill the requirement for breastfeeding preparation – attend a program such as a LLL meeting, lactation consultant or other breastfeeding class, watch the Breast is Best film, review the Primal Health article, and report on what you learned (1250 words)
  • Critique two Medical Studies on VBAC 
  • Write three topic papers on physiological effects of safety, impact of nutrition in the primal period, and one of your choice
  • Take the open-book Comprehensive Essay Exam based on the BirthWorks Childbirth Educator Manual 
  • Teach your Childbirth Education Practicum Classes for at least two birthing couples, ask evaluations from participants and record one hour of your teaching.

Yes! It is important you learn to condense information into the most significant points – for that iw what you need to do when teaching class to avoid “information overload”.

If you can not find one, your Mentor can give prior approval to substitute a different book on the same topic.

Yes – it is an open-book Comprehensive Essay Exam based on the BirthWorks Childbirth Educator Manual. You work on it at home, on your own timeline. The process will give you so much knowledge and understanding of all key topics you can cover in your classes.

You receive this status after all of the following:

  • Full participation in all hours of the BirthWorks ACED Workshop – afterward you are sent a Certificate of Attendance and you are granted BirthWorks-Inspired status for both programs
  • Successful completion of all BirthWorks Childbirth Educator Certification requirements, including the Exam, except for your Practicum (and related documentation)
  • Successful completion of all BirthWorks Birth Doula Certification requirements, except for the birth experiences (and related documentation)
  • Ongoing good standing with BirthWorks, with all certification (and if needed extension) fees paid in full

Provisional Certification brings you credibility to teach childbirth classes and offer birth doula services — because you can show support from an internationally-respected certifying organization. BirthWorks can provide a professional letter saying you may begin offering childbirth preparation as well as birth doula services and are almost completed with final certification. Provisional status may give you access to teach in or attend more client births in venues where pandemic-related policies are limiting access.

After you are certified, you can Mentor others. Also you can become an Ambassador helping host local events or market workshops and earn a percent of the income. Some of our birth professionals join our Board of Directors and others become BirthWorks Trainers! Be Involved

You Practicum is your first opportunity to teach!  as one of your last requirements for full certification. A minimum of two couples is required so you have a group experience. The class must meet the full sixteen-hour class series to qualify towards your certification. Provide evaluations from the parents and a one-hour recording of you teaching. You must have permission from the parents and the recording must be easy to understand to be accepted.

Your Practicum may begin after successful completion of all other requirements (including the workshop), except the exam. At that point, you will be able to apply the BirthWorks Philosophy, approach and experience in a deeper way – which assures you are more prepared and confident and that parents have the best experience possible with you as their childbirth educator. (It is up to you if you charge for the classes or not.)

After certification, you choose! Some options are six-week (12 hour), eight-week (16 hour), ten-week (20 hour) classes or offer private sessions that include all required core topics. You can teach in-person (ideal if possible) or virtually.

The parent classes are broken into eight main topics, but once you are certified you have some flexibility on how you teach them. The general topics are as follows:

  1. Feelings, Philosophies
  2. Healthy Pregnancy, Optimal Birth, Energy Work
  3. Forces Driving Technology in Birth and What You Can Do
  4. Birth Physiology and Working with Labor Contractions through optimal pelvic positioning
  5. Your Amazing Body and Beliefs About Birth
  6. Stages of Grieving, Healing Birth-related Losses
  7. Labor and Birth, Mothers and Daughters
  8. After the baby comes, primal health, breastfeeding, mother/baby skin-to-skin contact

With over 550 pages — it’s one of the most comprehensive, well-researched manuals available today, periodically reviewed and updated, and filled with evidenced-based current information. It is an invaluable resource that covers topics taught in classes such as:

  • Belief systems and attitudes about birth
  • Choosing a birth place & birth team
  • Nutrition and exercise
  • Pelvic bodywork
  • Informed consent
  • Variations and complications
  • Medical training of doctors
  • Grieving and healing
  • Physiology of birth and Primal Health
  • Optimal pelvic and fetal positioning
  • The concept of Educare – developing self-confidence through the practice of human values
  • Multisensory visualization and relaxation exercises
  • Value of a doula or birth companion
  • Medical procedures: risks and benefits
  • Anesthesia and analgesics – effects on labor
  • Communication skills and group dynamics
  • Postpartum
  • Breastfeeding and skin-to-skin mother/baby contact
  • Strategies for effective facilitating
  • Financial planning, publicity and marketing

You receive this status after all of the following:

  • Full participation in all hours of the BirthWorks ACED Workshop – afterward you are sent a Certificate of Attendance and you are granted BirthWorks-Inspired status for both programs
  • Successful completion of all BirthWorks Birth Doula Certification requirements, except for the birth experiences (and related documentation)
  • Ongoing good standing with BirthWorks, with all certification (and if needed extension) fees paid in full

Provisional Certification brings you credibility to teach childbirth classes and offer birth doula services — because you can show support from an internationally-respected certifying organization. BirthWorks can provide a professional letter saying you may begin offering childbirth preparation as well as birth doula services and are almost completed with final certification. Provisional status may give you access to teach in or attend more client births in venues where pandemic-related policies are limiting access.

For the births to count toward your certification requirements, they must be attended after you do the workshop. At that point, you will be able to apply the BirthWorks Philosophy, approach and experience in a deeper way – which assures you are more prepared and confident and that your clients have the best experience possible with you as their doula. Both births require continuous labor support through the immediate postpartum period, and neither can be a planned cesarean (although one can be unplanned).

We’re proud of the quality of our childbirth educators and deeply care about the character of those we train! Birthing parents come to childbirth classes at an exceptionally emotional, exciting, and changing time in their lives. They are influenced by their educator’s beliefs, attitudes, lifestyle, and if relevant how she gave birth. BirthWorks Childbirth Educators exemplify the importance of respecting one’s body, and taking care of self, family and home. This encompasses a lifestyle that strongly discourages smoking and recreational drug use. A BirthWorks Childbirth Educator:

  • Strives to be an excellent listener who is non-judgmental and open-minded
  • Believes in the instinctual knowledge born within women during birth and parenting
  • Seeks personal growth through life experiences
  • Supports safety of VBAC over scheduled repeat cesarean section in most cases
  • Promotes the nutritional and emotional benefits of breastfeeding as the healthiest way to feed
  • Understands the deep significance of the mother-baby-dyad and skin-to-skin contact for essential neurodevelopment of the baby
  • Honors all cultural traditions and perspectives
  • Keeps personal attire and language professional so her clients feel safe and welcome

Keeps her class environment clean and inviting so class participants feel safe and welcome

We’re proud of the quality of our doulas and deeply care about the character of those we train! Birth is an emotional, exciting, and changing time in parents’ lives. They are influenced by their doula’s beliefs, attitudes, lifestyle, and if relevant how she gave birth. BirthWorks Doulas exemplify the importance of respecting one’s body, and taking care of self, family and home. This encompasses a lifestyle that strongly discourages smoking and recreational drug use. A BirthWorks Birth Doula:

  • Strives to be an excellent listener who is non-judgmental and open-minded
  • Believes in the instinctual knowledge born within women during birth and parenting
  • Seeks personal growth through life experiences
  • Supports safety of VBAC over scheduled repeat cesarean section in most cases
  • Promotes the nutritional and emotional benefits of breastfeeding as the healthiest way to feed
  • Understand the deep significance of the mother-baby-dyad and skin-to-skin contact for essential neurodevelopment of the baby
  • Honors all cultural traditions and perspectives
  • Keeps personal attire and language professional so her clients feel safe and welcome

You communicate with your BirthWorks Mentor through a transparent online learning system, where you can track your progress to completion of certification. You can reach out directly to your Mentor as well, and email info@birthworks.org or call with any questions.

Birth of the dual - Accelerated Childbirth Educator & Birth Doula (ACED) program!

Birth of the dual - Accelerated Childbirth Educator & Birth Doula (ACED) program!

In the 1980s, despite women being told to do repeat cesarean, Cathy Daub followed the research and her deep belief that women should birth in the least risky way, so developed childbirth education classes to help them have faith that knowledge of how to birth is already within them. The program was piloted in 1982, as part of International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN), BirthWorks became a pilot program, then a Childbirth Educator Training Workshops and a Certification Program. Our Birth Doula program was a natural extension of this! Upon request from many of our Childbirth Educators, in 2000 Cathy was joined by Liz O’Shea to co-create the program. After reaching so many parents, then training varied people as educators and doulas, and knowing in both training programs included so much BirthWorks Philosophy, it was clear an accelerated training program could allow aspiring professionals an efficient and more affordable way to become dual-certified! Since then we keep certifying people throughout the US and internationally – and in 2020 we started to officer ACED training virtually, too!

Your certification organization matters!

Join a community that supports, mentors and cares for you… during and after your training!
Reach us with questions anytime info@birthworks.org or +1-609-953-9380.