Health Occupations Program
Frequently Asked Questions Concerning the Doula Registry
- Q: What is a doula?
A: A doula is a trained and/or experienced individual who provides emotional and physical support during pregnancy, labor, birth, and postpartum.
- Q: What is the Doula Registry and what does it do?
A: The Minnesota legislature enacted a law effective July 1, 2007, creating the Doula Registry within the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). The department verifies that an applicant is certified by one of seven private certifying organizations listed in statute and identifies whether the doula has a criminal history as shown on the web site of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
- Q: What are the names of the private certifying organizations?
A. The private certifying organizations are:
- International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA)
- Doulas of North America (DONA)
- Association of Labor Assistants and Childbirth Educators (ALACE)
- Birthworks International
- Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association (CAPPA)
- Childbirth International
- International Center for Traditional Childbearing
Use the links provided on this web site to find out how to contact the certifying organizations.
- Q: Does the Minnesota Department of Health endorse the training offered by the certifying organizations in order to become a certified doula?
- Q: If a doula is not listed on the registry, does that mean that they are less qualified to perform doula services?
- Q: Is a doula practicing in Minnesota required to be listed on the registry?
- Q: Can a doula who is not listed on the registry continue to use the title "doula".
- Q: Does the department have a list of standards or competencies that a doula should meet in order to be listed on the registry?
- Q: If I have a complaint about a doula will the department investigate the complaint?
- Q: Once I've sent in my application and registry fees, will I be notified when my name is listed on the Doula Registry?
- Q: How long will my name be listed on the Doula Registry?
- Q: Will I be notified prior to the three-year expiration date?
- Q: What will happen if I don't maintain my doula certification with an approved certifying organization?
- Q: If I have been listed on the registry and stop providing services, will I be entitled to receive a portion of my registry fees back?
- Q: Whom do I contact with other questions about the Doula Registry?
A: No. MDH does not evaluate the training. The Doula Registry is an informational resource and its purpose is to help Minnesotans find doula services.
A: Maybe. Being listed on the registry means the doula has at least met the minimum qualifications of training and experience of one of the private certifying organizations.
A: No. The law does not require that a doula be listed on the registry in order to provide services in Minnesota. Listing on the registry is voluntary.
A: Yes. The law does not limit the use of the title "doula" to individuals listed on the registry.
A: No. You must contact the certifying organization to determine what standards or competencies a doula certified by that organization must possess.
A: No. The department has no statutory authority to investigate complaints. MDH will refer complainants to the appropriate doula certifying organization and any other appropriate authority.
A: Yes. MDH will send you a letter notifying you that your name has been added to the Doula Registry.
A: You will be listed on the Registry for three years from the date your name was first added to the registry if you maintain your doula certification with an approved certifying organization.
A: Yes. You will receive an application approximately 60 days prior to your expiration.
A: The expiration date of your doula certification will be on the Doula Registry web page. About 60 days prior to your certification expiration, you will receive a Doula Verification of Credential form. You fill in part of the form and send it to your certifying organization. The certifying organization will confirm your continued certification with the organization.
A: No. All fees are nonrefundable.