Welcome to the Madriella Program
Madriella is a short adult continuing education course and mutual support network designed to teach women how to provide comfort and support measures to other women during pregnancy and childbirth.

Why we are different
Unlike other Doula certification programs Madriella has never been about making money in a birth industry career – it’s about helping other women through the most challenging and rewarding time in their lives.

We are trying to foster a paradigm shift in our culture, to make Doula training as common as CPR/First Aid courses are. While this might earn some enmity from organizations that are making a lot of money offering very expensive Doula certifications we believe it is the right thing to do.

While our graduates can and often do charge money for their Doula services we encourage them to earn money by teaching the Doula arts to other women (in our approved workshops) and by helping us spread the word about our program as website affiliates. These additional revenue opportunities make it easier for them to volunteer their services to women that need a Doula but would not be able to pay $400 or more for one.

The Madriella Mission Statement
We believe that birth is a sacred event, and that motherhood is an anointed institution.

We believe that all women need and deserve the support of other women during pregnancy and birth.

We believe that the knowledge of labor support is the heritage of all women and should be shared.

We believe that financial blessings are a result of the sharing of knowledge and that our members deserve to benefit from it.

The History of Madriella
The Madriella program began in 2006 as a continuing education class for massage therapists at Golden State Massage School (GSMS) in Turlock, California.

In 2008 GSMS was absorbed by the Somatic Arts and Sciences Institute, the nation’s largest provider of continuing education for massage therapists online. Madriella is now owned by the Somatic Arts and Sciences Institute.

Madriella offers an entirely online doula certification and “hands on” workshops across the country.

The Online Doula Certification Course
You may be wondering how we teach women to be birth assistants with an online course? The “hands on” part of being a Doula is actually very simple. It involves safe massage procedures and coaching in positioning. Our online program shows you how to do all of those things, and they are tried and true methods that are safe for the mother.

Nothing we teach you will ever endanger a mother or her baby, it is all very natural and easy to do. You will learn these simple hands-on techniques by watching short video clips of them being practiced.

The majority of the program deals with information-birth physiology, how to write a birth plan, how to present options, provide emotional support, plan for the birthing event and how to provide post partum care.

Doula Certification Workshops
“Hands-on” Live workshops are available in some locations. Contact us to find a workshop near you. Attendance at a workshop is not necessary for certification but it is offered for women that are more comfortable learning the physical skills with an instructor present.

Attendees at an Approved Workshop learn the hands-on techniques from experienced Madriella Doulas. The rest of the program is completed online.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where does the name Madriella come from?
The name Madriella is Latin, it means “Beautiful Mother”.

How long has Madriella been Certifying Doulas?
The program began in 2006 as a Doula Certification Continuing Education Class that was offered at Golden State Massage School, a school of Massage Therapy in Turlock, California. We have close to 1,000 Certified Doulas in the United States and a few in Europe.

It includes the continuing education course Massage for the Laboring Woman, offered by the Somatic Arts and Sciences Institute, which owns this program.

Is Madriella a Vocational School or Job training program?
No, Madriella is an avocational adult continuing education course and is hosted by the Somatic Arts and Sciences Institute.

How much does it cost to take this course?
The  Madriella Birth Doula and Postpartum Certification Program costs $150. This is the tuition price for the program. If you would like access to all of our other courses and if you want to be listed as a professional member in our database you must enroll as a Professional member, and that is $300.

Textbook requirement
Please note, all of our courses do require textbooks and they are not included in the tuition price. The list of required books is here. Please keep in mind, you DO NOT have to buy them from the links we provided, if you can find them cheaper on another site or in a store, by all means, do that! We provide the Amazon.com links for your convenience only. Many versions of the books are available as kindle/ebooks as well, which are much cheaper.

You also do not have to buy all the books at once, their use is spread out over the course, so just buy what you need as you go.

Workshop Fees
If you want to attend a “hands-on” workshop there is an additional fee which is paid to the host of the Workshop. Keep in mind that the workshop is optional, you do not have to attend it to become a Doula through Madriella. Individual workshop providers set their own prices.

Why is this program so much cheaper than other Doula programs?
Because we want as many women to take this course as possible. Other Doula programs charge a lot of money to train women to be “birth professionals.” Our goal is to teach all women how to help other women give birth, a significant philosophical difference. If we could, we would offer this course for free, it should be available to all women, not an exclusive domain of a few women that can afford to spend $500 or more on a 2 day workshop.

What if I am not a massage therapist? Can I still take this course?
Yes. One of the great things about Madriella is that many of the women that take the course are older women that just want to be there to help their daughters who are pregnant.

This is exactly what Madriella is about! Getting women to reclaim a traditional role that they once had in their daughter’s life, but have been edged out of by a medical model that views pregnancy merely as a condition to be treated.

We have have had Chiropractors and Nurses take the course as well. We cannot guarantee that their licensing agencies will award them continuing education credit however.

The NCBTMB recognizes the Massage for the Laboring Woman course as a 6-hour continuing education course for massage therapists. The massage for the laboring woman course is offered by the Somatic Arts and Sciences Institute, which hosts the Madriella program, which is why they give the Madriella students free access to the course.

I paid for the online course but am unable to complete it, can I get a refund?
The Madriella Doula program does not provide refunds.

Please make sure you have reliable access to the internet before enrolling in the course.

Is my Certification good everywhere?
Yes, the Madriella Certification is good in all fifty states. Remember that Doulas are not medical professionals, they are non-medical in nature and therefore are not regulated by any licensing boards. ANY WOMAN can be a doula.

How long does it take to get my Certification?
This is a difficult question to answer since much of the program is self-paced.

All course units must be completed before the certification can be awarded. At the end of each module is an online test.

We have had students finish the entire program in two weeks, others take months. There is no time limit, once you are enrolled you can take as long as you want to finish the program.

Does my Certification expire?
No, your Certification does not expire, but your listing as a professional doula can if you allow your Professional membership to expire.

How much can do Doulas earn?
That is a tough question, many do not charge at all for the service. The Doulas that do charge for their services charge on average about $300-$400 per birth. As most of the Doulas we certify are Massage Therapists many of them just charge their regular rates.

How do Doulas get paid?
Most Doulas are self-employed and are paid by the mother or the mothers family.

Some are employed by Hospitals and Birthing Centers, and they are paid as any other employee would be.

Do I have to have given birth myself to be a Doula?
No. The Somatic Arts and Sciences Institute does no discriminate against women that have not or cannot have children. In fact, we do not discriminate against men either, but none has ever wanted to take the course.

Madriella does not require all applicants to be mothers themselves, but traditionally Doulas that have given birth themselves carry more credibility and are able to better encourage women that are going through birth. But if you have never given birth and you desire to be a part of this magical experience there is no reason why you can not.

Where can I get a job as a Doula?
Honestly professional Doulas are rare, the vast majority of Doulas are employed as massage therapists, nurses, midwives or other professionals and they perform the doula services on the side. There are some self-employed doulas that have made it a business and there are a few progressive hospitals and birthing centers around the country employ Doulas in their labor and delivery rooms, but these are still rare. That is why this is an avocational course.

Many Alternative Medicine Clinics are offering Doula services now, as well as Massage Clinics and Wellness Centers.

What happens when I pay for the Course?
When you register with the website you can start the Birth Doula Certification course. This is the foundational course and is a prerequisite for all the other courses. Even if you have taken our Birth Doula Certification course in the past, it has been updated with a lot of new material and we want our past graduates to take advantage of the new material.

What if I fail a test?
If you fail a test you will receive a failure notice, and you may take that test again. You are allowed to retake a test up to three times.

I’m already a doula certified through another organization, but I would like to be approved to host a workshop. How do I do this?
We approve Experienced Doulas to teach our curriculum, and in order to teach our curriculum you would have to go through the Madriella program. Of course, we would still count the births you attended prior to becoming a Madriella doula as meeting the experiential requirement to be an Authorized Workshop Provider.