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If you’ve been thinking about becoming a postpartum doula, you might have heard of DONA International. They have a large training and certification program designed to help people become certified postpartum doulas. The certification process through DONA is thorough. It includes a postpartum doula training, building a resource list, breastfeeding course, positive evaluations from families that you have served, and a reading list. (For more about DONA International’s postpartum doula certification, we’d encourage you to look at their infographic on postpartum doula certification and their handy guide.

Here we are going to focus on the reading list. While the reading list for certification as a postpartum doula may look overwhelming, I’d like you to remember that there are limits to the number of books in each category. You have eleven categories on this list and are required to read at least one book from each category.

If you have already read some of the books in that category, you may want to choose another book to expand your horizons. I like to think of these lists as a challenge. While I might not read every book on the list before I’m certified, there is a lot of information that might be helpful to me in my practice. Therefore, I’d like to read them, even after I am not required to do so.

If you find yourself gravitating towards a particular book category, go with it. Sometimes your heart and brain just know what you need. You are not required to start at group one and read to group 11. So feel free to skip around. Perhaps you’ve already got clients and those clients have special needs. Let’s say you have a client with twins, you might want to jump down and read something from the multiples section before moving forward with some business book.

How do you tackle a huge list? You might decide how many pages a book is and how long you want to take to read it and simply divide the number of pages by days available. Maybe you want a more laid back approach. If you are capable of reading more than one book at a time, you might have a couple of these piled up on your nightstand. Try to remember to always have a book with you for those stolen moments of nothing to do. Don’t pull out your phone (unless you’ve got the Kindle app) and play games, read! Before you know it, you’ll be done.

Below is DONA’s Postpartum Doula Reading list with affiliate links. You may also buy these books at your local bookstore, trade with other doulas and birth professionals, use your library, or find them at yard sales and second-hand stores.

Section 1: Becoming a Mother (choose 1) Section 2: The Newborn/Infant Care & Development (choose 1) Section 3: Breastfeeding (choose 1) Section 4: Family Building, Touch, & Attachment (choose 1) Section 5: Sleep (choose 1) Section 6: Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorders (choose 1) Section 7: Birth (choose 1) Section 8: Multiples (choose 1) Section 9: The Mother’s Changing Body (choose 1) Section 10: Postpartum Doula Work (choose 1) Section 11: Business (choose 1)
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