Health Care & Insurance  January 9, 2024

Aims to begin certified doula course

GREELEY – The continuing-education division of Aims Community College and Westminster-based Allo Doula Academy will offer a certified professional doula program with spring classes beginning Jan. 31 on Aims’ Fort Lupton Campus and online.

Starting this fall, the in-person session will be on Aims’ Greeley campus in addition to another online cohort.

A doula is a trained professional who gives help and advice to a person having a baby before and after birth. They provide emotional support and evidence-based educational resources and help the care team when appropriate. Even though they’re not doctors or nurses, they are knowledgeable about birth and babies and help parents speak for themselves to get the care that’s right for them. Doulas are also trained to help people through other life transitions, such as death and bereavement care.

The Certified Professional Doula course is the first of its kind in the United States, offering full-spectrum training that includes clinical experience and skills-based training. It is accredited by the American National Standards Institute. This 200+ hour, 15-week program includes techniques to aid with changes and emotions during pregnancy, labor and birth. The course also teaches about the baby’s growth, eating habits and sleep. Students will understand medical procedures and handling difficult situations. The training also offers skills to run a doula business, among other topics. Learners also receive hands-on experience in addition to continued support and mentorship.

The need for professionally trained doulas is growing regionally and nationwide. The state of Colorado is working with the federal government to seek authorization for Medicaid providers to provide doula services for pregnant and postpartum people, thus expanding access to these services. The medical profession is beginning to embrace the role that doulas play, and hospitals are starting to hire in-house doulas and health insurance companies are steadily increasing coverage.

According to a study from Future Market Insights, the market for doulas and birth-coaching services is expected to grow from $14.3 million in 2023 to $25.7 million in 2033.

The cost for the complete CPD program is $5,500. The tuition and fees are not eligible for traditional financial aid, although it qualifies for local workforce development funds. Applicants can sign up for funding at connectingcolorado.com and contact their county’s workforce center for eligibility requirements. Grants, scholarships and loans are also available.

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