Online Course & Online Test

Course by mail with online test.
The online test for this course contains  80  multiple choice questions.

Massage Therapy CEs | Prenatal/Doula/Infant Courses

Certified Massage Doula

This special certification package contains three courses,

  1. Prenatal Massage Fundamentals (Step One)
  2. Prenatal Massage Techniques (Step Two)
  3. Massage Doula Support (Step Three)

Please click on each individual course for a complete description of each one.

Package Special Prices: This package qualifies you for our Create Your Own Customized Discount Package. In our customized packages, you can receive a discount of 8%-15% (depending on tuition value) when you enroll in any three or more of our courses at the same time. This complete package counts as three courses, since it includes Prenatal Massage Fundamentals (Step One), Prenatal Massage Techniques (Step Two) and Massage Doula Support (Step Three).

Please note that our package specials are non-changeable/non-refundable. You have one year from enrollment to complete the courses.

Certification: For your CEs, simply print the online certificate associated with the online test. No further homework or fees are required to earn your CEs. However, if you also wish to earn the OPTIONAL title of Certified Massage Doula, you must return the homework documentation pages along with a certification fee of $35.00. This process is done online for no additional processing fee, or by mail for a manual processing fee. Refer to the course certification chapter instructions for details when you are ready to apply for certification. Neither the NCBTMB nor any state massage therapy boards make a determination on the awarding of the title of Certified  Massage Doula.

Recertification: You will need to recertify every three years by attending three births and documenting 12 points on a renewal point system. Points can be earned for activities such as making presentations about doula services to doctors or nurses, writing articles about doula services, attending LaLeche meetings, reading books, etc.        

Becoming Certified: To earn the title of "Certified Massage Doula" (CMD), you must complete all three courses in the package first. You must also read The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin (you must provide your own copy of the book), and attend three births as a doula intern. Your clients must be willing to sign an evaluation and release allowing you to provide their birth record, along with their name, address, and phone or email address so that we can verify the internship sessions.

Renewing Certification: Your certificaiton is valid for three years. You will need to recertify every three years at a cost of $35. To recertify, you need to attend three births during the renewal period, as well as accumulate points on a renewal point system. We have many ways that you can earn points towards maintaining your Massage Doula certification. Some of the many ways to earn points include:  1) Attending a workshop relevant to doula practice, such as rebozo or Hypnobirthing, or earning related certifications such as childbirth educator, lactation consultant, etc. 2) Have an article published in a local or national publication. 3) Make a presentation to the doctoral or nursing staff at a local hospital or birthing center. 4) Make a presentation to a parenting group, La Leche League meeting, or childbirth education class about the value of doula services. 5) Attend La Leche League meetings. 6) Read books related to pregnancy, childbirth, or postpartum issues.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs):

I am currently in massage school. Can I start taking your pregnancy massage and doula courses now so when I become licensed I’ll be ready to work on pregnant women? Yes. Many massage therapy students begin taking continuing education courses as they near the end of their schooling. You can do this not only with our pregnancy massage course, but with any of our other specialized courses as well. Just be aware that you cannot legally practice until you have any massage license that your jurisdiction may require.

Do I have to be a licensed massage therapist or massage therapy student to take your courses? While our courses are designed as continuing education for licensed and/or certified massage therapists or athletic trainers, a non-licensed person may take them for their personal use. Of course, they may not legally practice without an underlying license if their jurisdiction requires one, as most jurisdictions do. Exceptions to this are courses such as the pregnancy massage and infant massage training. In most jurisdictions, doulas or other prenatal healthcare providers can use the techniques within the scope of their training and authority, such as a doula using some of the prenatal massage techniques during labor and delivery. You cannot, however, hold yourself out to be a certified prenatal massage therapist without having a massage therapy certification or license.

Where can I find the certification homework documentation paperwork? It is located in the course materials, in the PDF file. Just log into your account, click “access course” to the far right of the course title, and then access the course materials. From there, look to the right at the PDF file section.

I've already attended several births. Can these be counted? No. While we recognize that the births gave you valuable experience, the entire purpose of the internship births is for you to practice the techniques that we teach in the course. If you have not yet studied those techniques, it is not reasonable to assume that you practiced them in the births.

How long do I have to complete the course once I enroll? You have one year from the date of enrollment to complete the course. If for some reason you have extenuating circumstances that don't allow you to complete your internship births in that time frame, please contact us. You may also have your courses reinstated for a second full year for a $35 reinstatement fee.

Do you offer installment payments or financing? We accept credit cards, so you can make payments to your credit card company as it fits your budget. We do not offer private financing.

What type of documentation do you require for the births? We provide the paperwork. There will be forms that you complete (a birth record and birth essay), and an evaluation form that your client completes. We do not require that you get evaluations from attending nurses and physicians. Not only are they already overwhelmed with their own paperwork, but often they are not present during most of the labor, so they are not really in a position to provide thorough and complete feedback of your role.

Do I need a separate license to work as a doula? We are not currently aware of any states that offer doula licensure, nor are we aware of any states that exempt doula labor support from their massage therapy scope of practice, so your massage license should be all you need. State laws are always subject to change, and your state massage board holds you responsible for knowing the laws that apply to you. If you live in a jurisdiction that decides to exempt labor support from massage therapy scope of practice, you would need to separate and differentiate your licensed massage practice from your labor support practice.

Will my certification be acknowledged by DONA? No. We are not affiliated with DONA, or any of the other doula certifying agencies, such as ICEA, CAPPA, ALACE, etc. Those agencies are not specifically designed for massage therapists. With our three-part series, you will be trained to provide prenatal massage, massage and doula support through childbirth, and postpartum massage. We also offer training in infant massage. DONA or other similar agencies only teach you to provide doula support through childbirth, but do not teach prenatal massage. Their courses also do not give you massage therapy continuing education credits.

If you are interested in this massage therapy CEU course, other courses that might be of interest to you are:  Infant Massage, and Fertility Massage.

To contact the Institute of Somatic Therapy about this or any other massage therapy CEU course, please go to the "contact" link above. Thank you.