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Advanced Prison Doula Training and Certification to be offered for the first time in Montgomery, AL, in Fall 2022



As part of our harm reduction approach to ending prison birth, Ostara Initiative is offering, to current doulas with existing pathways to or already working within the carceral setting, an experiential Advanced Prison Doula Training and Certification from November 4-6, 2022,  in Montgomery, Alabama. With integrated learning at the Equal Justice Initiative and the Mothers of Gynecology Memorial, we will trace pathways of slavery and gender oppression to modern day pregnancy and parenting inside US prisons.

This training will give you the tools you need to successfully care for, support, and empower pregnant and parenting people who are involved in the criminal justice system. Our trainers have decades of experience combined, both as doulas and as former birthing clients, and we take our aim to center the voices and experiences of directly-impacted parents seriously.

Core learning will include:

  • Creating culturally congruent teams  

  • Centering lived experience in your work

  • A prison doula's "Scope of Practice "

  • Understanding the prison landscape

  • Pathways to incarceration 

  • Tracing the history of systemic oppression 

  • Trauma, addiction, and mental health

  • Nutrition within carceral settings 

  • Boundaries, safety, and self care for the doula

  • How children are impacted by incarceration 

  • Reunification and resources

  • Supporting birth as a prison doula

  • Supporting separation as a prison doula

  • Supporting postpartum as a prison doula

  • Program evaluation 

  • Advocacy and access

  • Lactation within carceral settings

  • Prenatal education within carceral settings

​Acceptance to this Advanced Training and Certification Workshop will also include 12 months of mentorship as a prison doula and a certification exam. Upon passing the exam, Ostara Initiative will grant a lifetime Advanced Prison Doula Certification to the doula and maintain a registry of certified prison doulas nationally to share with carceral facilities looking to provide doula care to those who are incarcerated and pregnant or postpartum.

Who Should Apply


Ostara Initiative is seeking to teach, mentor, and certify trained and experienced birthworkers who are already working with justice-impacted and marginalized populations and those who have a direct pathway to working within carceral settings, including juvenile detention, immigrant detention, community corrections, jails, and prisons. To ensure we are able to properly mentor each doula who completes the training workshop, we are only able to offer a limited number of spaces at this time. We will be saving every applicant's contact information and reaching out about future training opportunities, so if you are not selected to attend at this time, there may still be an opportunity to come.

Application & Cost

This training and certification opportunity will be by invitation following an open application process and will cost $720, not including travel or lodging costs. There will be opportunities for full and partial scholarships, as well as the option to pay slightly more on a sliding scale to support low-income birth workers hoping to attend this training and receive certification. We will be accepting applications until July 15, 2022, and you will be notified by July 31, 2022, if you are selected to attend. If you wish to apply for a scholarship, please fill out both the general application and the scholarship application linked above.

Need-Based & Inclusion Scholarships

Equity and inclusion are foundational elements of Ostara’s community. To make the Advanced Prison Doula Training and Certification more accessible, we are providing 5 full and 10 partial scholarships. One of the major funders making these scholarships possible is the WK Kellogg Foundation, and due to that organization's priorities in the American South, scholarship prioritization will be given to residents of Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. It is important to us that we create a deep sense of belonging at this training and in the birth work community. Ostara Initiative values vast dimensions of diversity and strives to uplift all interested birth workers, especially those belonging to BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, disabled, and justice-impacted communities. We encourage everyone to apply.


Please reach out to with any questions about this application or the training and certification itself.

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