Labor & Birth Doula Training

Train with an organization that is committed to birth justice and advocacy. You're not just a Doula. You are a leader and a change agent.

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1 noun : a person who actively works to end intolerance, educate others, and support social equity for a marginalized group. 2 verb : to actively support or plea in favor of a particular cause, the action of working to end intolerance or educate others.

Thank you so much for checking out our Online Doula Training program!

Please take a moment to hear about what we have to offer.


You are needed now more than ever.

You are an advocate. You are a change agent. You are a part of a movement to reclaim human rights starting at the beginning: birth.

Birthwork is social justice work. Birthwork is environmental justice work. Birthwork is racial justice work.

Birthwork is political.

OUR MISSION is to organize and activate a radically inclusive community of doulas and birthkeepers to provide full spectrum C.A.R.E. to all. Cornerstone doulas and birthkeepers champion equitable access to safe, supported and dignified care for all communities throughout the reproductive lifespan. Our collective C.A.R.E. is focused on closing gaps in disparate maternal and infant health outcomes, increasing reproductive health equity and creating positive change in all reproductive health outcomes — and as a result, our society at large.

Cornerstone Doulas & Birthkeepers C.A.R.E.

C: Care. Connection. Community.

A: Authenticity. Access. Advocacy.

R: Relevant. Reliable. Reputable.

E: Excellence. Expertise. Equity

Benefits of taking our training online:

  • Go at your own pace.
  • Take your time to process and digest the information and tools.
  • Bi-weekly live Q&A sessions with your course trainers
  • Support and community built into the program
  • Comprehensive and inclusive curriculum rooted in birth, social and reproductive justice frameworks and advocacy
  • You'll also receive our exclusive Rights Informed Birth Advocate Certification when you complete this training.

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Are Doulas needed during Covid? Aren't hospitals restricting visitors during birth?

Though most hospitals are imposing restrictions on visitors during this pandemic, Doulas are needed now, more than ever. Great innovation is being used at this time to deliver the support and advocacy birthers need, including virtual Doula support, extensive prenatal education, and planning and pivots, such as transferring to homebirth.

You are needed.

"I couldn't be more grateful to have found the incredible training and community that is Cornerstone. As a Doula in training I feel confident in my ability to support birthing people through labor, birth, postpartum and beyond because of this organization.

Nickie, Juli, and Jazz have been an absolute dream to learn from. Their knowledge is deep, their dedication to informed choice, inclusion and access are the foundation of everything they do, create and teach. I am proud to be a Cornerstone Doula and proud to be a part of the community they have and continue to build."

- Stella C., Stella Rose Birth & Health

In this course, you will gain the knowledge, support, confidence and skills to begin your Labor & Birth Doula practice. To be successful and sustainable as a Doula, you must start with a solid foundation to hold your practice as it grows and expands. Throughout this fifteen module course with over 23 hours of video lecture, we will first help build this foundation for you, then we will delve deep into incredibly important issues such as birth justice, equity, trauma informed care, boundaries, self care and the emotional, psychosocial, intersectional and practical aspects of doula work. You will learn through many different activities: Video lecture modules, online research, short writing assignments, supplemental videos and handouts, and quizzes. Plus, you'll have access to weekly drop-in Q&A sessions with your trainers, where you can have all your questions answered and connect with other students who are going through online Doula Training.

This intensive Labor and Birth Doula Training Workshop gives you, the aspiring birth worker everything you'll need to build a sustainable, equitable, ethical and effective birth practice. We don't stop there: you have direct access to your trainers for mentoring and support post-training. We build community and we are here for YOU. There are no certification fees, no hidden fees and your certification (if you choose to be certified) is for life.

Cornerstone Labor & Birth Doulas are internationally recognized as leaders in birth justice and advocacy.

Cornerstone Doulas provide continuous unbiased, client-centered support throughout the reproductive lifespan. This support focuses on the whole person, family and community and encompasses emotional, physical, psychosocial, and educational support techniques. Cornerstone doulas employ individualized supportive communication, culturally responsive care, hands-on therapeutic techniques and an equitable approach with all clients.

Course Curriculum

  Course Introduction
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  Start Here.
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  The Basics of Our Profession
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  Birth and Reproductive Justice
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  Structuring Your Business
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  Outside of the Birth Room
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  All About Birthing Bodies
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  New Landscapes
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  Hands-On Skills
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  Positioning & Movement
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  The Trauma Informed Care Framework for Doulas
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  Caring For Yourself
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Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
How is online Doula training different than in-person training?
Though you won't be in the classroom with other aspiring Doulas, you'll be getting the exact same education - plus added modules - as our in-person trainings. You'll be engaging with the course content through all learning modes and styles: visual, audio, and hands-on AND you'll be able to meet live (virtually) with other students who are taking these courses, as well as your trainers for weekly drop-in Q&A sessions. The only real difference is that you're taking the course from whatever location you choose and go at whatever pace you need.
When are the live Q&A sessions, and what can I expect from them?
Our live drop-in zoom sessions are scheduled as follows: Saturdays from 10am-12pm PST, every other week starting on April 11, 2020 Tuesdays from 5-7pm PST, every other week starting on April 14, 2020. We will have a calendar posted on this webpage to keep everyone up to date on the meeting times. These live sessions are "drop-in", which means you can join for all of the meeting or any part of it. You're not required to join, but are encouraged to. Connecting with your trainers and other students is an invaluable way to get support and create community through this process, and beyond. You can ask us any questions that you have about the course content, as well as other topics that may be coming up for you. You'll be able to find Doula partners, backups, friends and colleagues through this process, as well.
What happens when I complete my online training?
Immediately after you complete a course, you will receive a certificate of completion and can begin your Doula practice immediately. If you plan to become a certified Doula, you'll download the certification packet in our store, complete the requirements and then receive your certification. We are here for you through the process, and can help answer any and all questions that come up while you're completing the requirements. During social distancing times, we will be waiving any certification requirements that cannot be completed online or remotely. Ex: the hospital tour.
Is online training just as good as in-person?
Believe me, we had our reservations about online doula training, as well. Through the development of these courses, we were surprised to learn that the online format is just as good, if not better than in-person trainings. When we host our in-person trainings, the classes are intensive 8 hour days. And through taking these courses in smaller modules at your own pace, there is so much more opportunity to digest the information on your own terms. We build community into the courses, so that you will have the opportunity to connect with others who are going through the trainings, as well as live meetings with your trainers. Further, we were able to add even more content to the online trainings than we have in our in-person courses. You are getting an incredibly comprehensive and inclusive education that leaves nothing out.
How can I get extra learning support if I need it?
Your trainers are here for you. You'll have weekly drop-in hours for live zoom group meetings with your trainers, and we can also make one on one zoom appointments with you if you're need more guidance. We also offer one on one mentoring packages for those who want to engage with the leadership of Cornerstone on a deeper level.
How long will it take me to get through the course?
This really depends on you. This course allows you to learn at your own pace. In each learning module, you will have a video lecture to watch and these range anywhere from 20 minutes to 5 hours. You can start and stop the videos, take breaks and re-watch as many times as you need to. After you complete the video lecture, you'll have other learning activities to complete, which will include handouts to read, online research to complete, extra short supplemental videos, short writing exercises and quizzes. You can expect to take as much time as an in-person course to complete the online trainings, but you can also go at your own pace, so you can take much longer if you need to. There is great benefit in taking these courses at your own pace. Since there is so much information, you can take your time digesting each module, and start the next when you feel ready.
What is your refund policy?
Because your purchase opens access to the entire course, we cannot offer refunds. All payments made to Cornerstone via this platform are non-refundable and non-transferable.
What are your certification requirements?
Our statement on certification: All aspiring doulas and birthkeeprs should know that at this time, it is not legally required to be certified to practice in the US. Cornerstone Doula Trainings recognizes that certification is not for everyone and can, in fact create barriers to practice. Further, Cornerstone Doula Trainings also recognizes the historical context of settler colonialism and white supremacy in certification, licensure, professionalism and legitimization of birthworkers - including midwives, doulas and birthkeepers. We do not require our doulas and birthkeepers to certify, but do offer certification for those who desire to have it. Because there is no accreditation for doula trainings in the US, all certifying bodies carry the same merit. If you do choose to be certified, in order to decide who to certify and train with, we recommend asking yourself a few questions. Do I need certification? Do you plan to be employed by an institution such as a hospital, clinic or jail? Find out if they require certification - most do. Do you work in a state that requires certification for Medi-caid reimbursement? Certification is also required for Medi-caid reimbursement. ​Is certification important to me professionally? This is a question that only you can answer. We believe that in order to be an excellent and impactful doula or birthkeeper, you don't need to be certified. Contextually, we do also believe that the requirements we have set forth for certification are the essential components all birth workers need to be successful and supported. We support your decision to certify and not to certify. You can also complete all required steps for certification with us and choose not to have a certificate at the end of your journey. You are autonomous, and we support you in building out your business however you desire. ​What benefit will I gain from certification? Not all doula and birthkeeper certifications are alike. Ask yourself if the certification is developed for your benefit or for the certifying organization's benefit. Are there hidden fees? Major hoops to jump through? Are there barriers to certification that you feel are unfair or biased? Will you receive post-certification support from the organization? What business tools will you gain from becoming certified? What community support does your certifying organization offer? ​Cornerstone has no hidden fees, hoops to jump through or barriers. You have direct access to your trainers for post-training support, and are required to take a solid business course for birthworkers to be certified. We also engage in continuous community building post-training, through our Community Commitment Model. You will become a part of a huge network of birthworkers and community members through Cornerstone. We are here for you. Labor & Birth Doula Certification requirements: Download our certification packet here: Complete Labor & Birth Doula Training Complete Postpartum Doula Training Submit completed certification packet via email within two years of completing your first course with us.

"Thank you so very much Cornerstone Doula! I highly recommend the training courses this professional, informed, and socially progressive company offers. I AM A BLACK WOMAN AND MY DIFFERENCE WAS VALUED ALONG WITH MY SIMILARITIES APPRECIATED; as an African American woman in this training I was very thankful that the real disparities directly related to race with birthing people was not brushed under the rug! THANK YOU!!!!!! I know that I have a team of skilled mentors behind me and I feel so empowered with knowledge due to this team of women, doula-midwife collective. Juli and Nickie are a fluid mother daughter team that are proof in and of itself of the gift of birth work. Juli's energy was one that made me want to be wrapped in her touch and Nickie's breakdown of the scientific aspects laced me with this net of safety, I feel so secure and prepared to hold space and advocate for the privilege journey of working with birthing people. I cannot say enough about this very qualified team. The much needed business course that has lit the fire, heating up the Value of birthwork was enlightening thank you so much Jazz-Ylaine Baptiste your gift of teaching how to value and acknowledge my gifts was so refreshing and I am grateful for your presence with this wonderful training course. Cornerstone doula training is by far more than I expected. I want more! Jazz I'm coming for that self care course. Forever a student to these professional sharers and guides. Thank you !....Go get trained by Cornerstone!" - Glynnyale, S., Cornerstone Doula

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Your Instructor

Labor & Birth Doula Training
Labor & Birth Doula Training

Nickie Tilsner, QMHP-R, RN:

She/her. Nickie Tilsner is a Registered Nurse, Qualified Mental Health Professional, Doula, Childbirth Educator, Harm Reduction Practitioner and Crisis Intervention Counselor with over 18 years experience in birth work. As the Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of Cornerstone Doula Trainings, Nickie has trained thousands of birth workers in the San Francisco Bay Area, CA since 2006. Nickie has a strong commitment to social, birth & reproductive justice and focuses her trainings, as well as her own education and daily learning on social justice frameworks through an intersectional lens. She is so very honored to be sharing all of this absolutely essential information, support and skill to new birth workers, and views birth work as a revolutionary world changing action. Nickie brings to her trainings a broad spectrum of knowledge and a deep devotion to helping pregnant people, their partners, babies and communities have the most dignified, respected and joyful beginnings in their new lives together.

Juli Tilsner, LM, CPM:

She/her. Juli Tilsner is a California licensed Midwife, Certified Professional Midwife and the Co-Founder & Co-Executive Director of Cornerstone Doula Trainings. Juli is also the Co-author of RE:BIRTH Your Birth Informed. Respected. Empowered and the Co-founder of RE:BIRTH Childbirth Education.

Juli’s passion, path and practice in the birth world has shown itself to be a continually evolving process of personal, professional and political growth. Coming from challenging beginnings, Juli considers those challenges to be the gifts that have made her the teacher and mentor she is and continues to be for so many. Juli has a passion for birth justice, trauma prevention and resolution and she continues her own work of healing intergenerational trauma for herself and her family in her daily life. Juli is proud to bring this passion and vision into her work as an activist, healer, educator, leader and mentor.

Jazz-Ylaine Baptiste:


Director of Organizational Development

Executive Director, Cornerstone Birthkeeper Trainings

Jazz-Ylaine Baptiste, a.k.a. Queen Jazz-Ylaine, is a: mother, teacher, healer, dancer, birthkeeper, trainer, mentor, childbirth educator, business coach, natural fertility specialist, and womb healing practitioner. Her journey as a birthworker began at the age of 10 years old when she had the honor of being the junior birth coach for her Mom, then pregnant with her sister. This experience was the beginning of a life purpose to serve people and their babies along their birth and reproductive journeys.

In 2018, while pregnant with her daughter, Queen Jazz-Ylaine created Dance Baby Down™, a movement method of birth preparation integrating: meditation, gentle movement, upbeat dancing through labor positions, affirmations and community building. She has trained a handful of Dance Baby Down™ Instructors and looks forward to training many more in the upcoming years.

After three years as the Program Director for the Cornerstone Culturally Diverse Birthkeepers Training Program, Queen Jazz-Ylaine founded Cornerstone Birthkeeper Trainings and serves as the Executive Director. She is also the CEO of The Business of Birthwork, an online business training school for Birthworkers around the world, home of the highly praised signature course Business Essentials for Birthworkers.

Queen Jazz-Ylaine holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Management with minors in finance and international business from Georgia Institute of Technology. She has been an entrepreneur since 2004, and owner of several businesses over the years. Queen Jazz-Ylaine is multilingual, speaking: Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese and French, with life and work experiences in Spain, China, Mexico and Brazil.

She believes that birth is sacred, and an incredible rite of passage. Queen Jazz-Ylaine is dedicated to honoring this sacred rite of passage through: direct support, community education and outreach, and the professional training of doulas, birthkeepers and Dance Baby Down™ instructors.

Queen Jazz-Ylaine is a trainer for the following courses: Comprehensive Birthkeepers Training, Mills College Public Health & Health Equity Full Spectrum Doula Training, Business Essentials for Birthworkers.

Gingi Allen, LM

Owner of The Art of Mothering, Birth Doula & Postpartum Healing Specialist, Certified Professional Midwife, Licensed Midwife.

My love for midwifery care began about 16 years ago after I took my first childbirth education course. As a fresh undergraduate in Environmental Planning, Sociology & History, I was able to connect my knowledge of healthy environmental practices with the impact that birth health has on the whole of society. It was after the birth of my first child in 2002 that I saw everything birth and was called to support the mama-baby unit and healing of empowering women & families.

Soon I became an educator, supporting hundreds of families in their choices around a healthy pregnancy, empowered birth, and nourished postpartum, as well as womb wellness. Along the way, I studied many holistic healing and midwifery techniques and now have integrated them well into my doula & midwifery practice. During my midwifery schooling and training, I chose to extend my program to get the fullest out of my training (at home birth and birth centers), while raising my two sons as a single mother. My road in birth work and midwifery was raw, challenging, and beautiful much like the work of being a mother. It is an honor to support new life into this world and I look forward to developing intimacy, trust, and a deep understanding with the families I support.