Illinois Medicaid-Certified Doula Program

About the Program

SIU’s Department of Family and Community Medicine and an Illinois Medicaid-Certification Doula program Advisory Board (comprised of physicians, doulas, midwives, and other professionals) provide the following services to the Illinois Medicaid-Certified Doula program:

  • Oversee, evaluate, recommendations for certification requirements
  • Maintain the Illinois Medicaid-Certified Doula Code of Ethical Conduct
  • Minimize and eliminate barriers for doulas seeking certification
  • Implementation of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion practices throughout the certification system
  • Collect data on certification efficacy and impact on birthing outcomes across all demographics
  • Implement quality assurance and action research for continual improvements in the user experience with the Illinois Medicaid-Certified Doula Program
  • Work with Illinois doula training agencies as their trainings integrate with certification requirements
  • Identify and develop continuing education opportunities to support doulas and to meet recertification requirements over the years

Doulas provide support for women during their pregnancies, at birth, and up to a year after the birth. Benefits of doula services include the following examples:

  • Clinical Outcomes: reduced likelihood of Cesarean Birth, fewer requests for pain medication, better APGAR scores for babies, and greater satisfaction with the overall birth experience.
  • Emotional Support: decreased anxiety, increased confidence, improved postpartum mental health.
  • Physical Support: lactation support, improved relaxation, increased movement.

Service to Clients

  • Doulas’ primary responsibility is their client’s wellbeing.
  • Doulas advocate for their clients’ best interests and wishes.
  • Doulas provide clients with competent support during their prenatal, labor and delivery, and postpartum experiences.
  • Doulas approach clients with compassion and respect and without judgment or bias.
  • Doulas provide their clients with the current and accurate information so they can make informed decisions regarding their pregnancies, labor and deliveries, and postpartum periods.
  • Doulas respect their clients’ rights to make their own decisions regarding personal and medical choices.


  • Doulas strive to remain proficient in the practice and functions of their profession through continuing education and learning opportunities.
  • Doulas rely on evidence-based resources as they support clients through the prenatal, labor and delivery, and postnatal periods.
  • Doulas rely on evidence-based resources as they support clients during the adjustment period of caring for themselves, their newborns, and their families.

Integrity and Professional Conduct

  • Doulas willfully adopt honest and ethical behavior.
  • Doulas remain current in best practices through affiliation with professional organizations and networking with other birth doulas.
  • Doulas uphold the highest standards of professional integrity for themselves and other doulas.
  • Doulas conduct themselves in a professional manner in their interactions with clients, colleagues, and healthcare providers and staff.
  • Doulas are punctual and dependable in regards to client appointments and commitments.
  • Doulas are obliged to provide their clients with reliable support and to uphold the service agreement.

Fair Dealing

  • Doulas clearly communicate and thoroughly describe their scope of practice to their clients and provide this information in writing.
  • Doulas clearly communicate and thoroughly describe service agreements to their clients. Both parties sign the service agreement to acknowledge their acceptance of the terms.
  • Doulas comply with health insurance and Medicaid standards.
  • Doulas provide their clients, Medicaid, and/or insurance providers with transparent and accurate billing.

Continuity of Care

  • Once a service agreement has been signed, a doula will provide the agreed upon support during the prenatal period, labor and delivery, and postpartum period.
  • Doulas provide continuous emotional and physical support during labor and delivery.
  • Doulas are transparent and forthright in providing clients with information regarding their planned absences so that clients may make informed decisions regarding their own care.
  • Doulas and clients identify potential back-up doulas to provide emotional and physical support during labor and delivery in the event an unforeseeable conflict or issue prevents the doula’s attendance at the birth.
  • Doulas will provide the assigned back-up birth doulas with their clients’ personal information, birth plans, and relevant history. Back-up doulas regard this information with the same respect for privacy as their own clients’ information.
  • Doulas will provide appropriate referrals and resources to clients who require services outside the birth doulas’ scope of practice. Doulas will encourage their clients to seek the assistance of their obstetrician or primary care physician, as appropriate.

Inclusivity and Accessibility

  • Clients come from different cultural, religious, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds, and doulas care for clients regardless of their race, gender identification, sexual orientation, economic status, and religious or political beliefs.
  • Doulas are committed to providing services that are accessible to all, including people from underserved communities and individuals who require accommodations.

Confidentiality and Privacy

  • Doulas respect the privacy of their clients and protect their health information and personal information, including personal identifying information, details regarding their labors and deliveries, and any intimate details regarding their personal lives.
  • Doulas are trained in and follow the requirements of the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) Privacy Rule.

Professional Relationships, Collaboration, and Advocacy

  • Doulas treat their colleagues with respect and professional courtesy.
  • Doulas resolve professional disagreements with their colleagues in a constructive manner.
  • Doulas recognize that their roles in their clients’ labor and deliveries in medical facilities mean they are guests of those facilities.
  • Doulas acknowledge they are not their clients’ primary care providers and will not interfere with the primary care providers’ care of their patients.
  • Doulas will make suggestions and respectfully ask questions based on the doula’s understanding of their clients’ preferences.
  • Doulas will advocate for their clients’ wishes to the medical staff.
  • Doulas will strive to collaborate respectfully and productively with the healthcare team/medical professionals while supporting best interests of their clients.

  • BA NAI Incorporated
  • Birth Arts International
  • Birthing Advocacy Doula Training (BADT)
  • Birthworks*
  • Charis Childbirth
  • Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association (CAPPA)
  • Childbirth International
  • Commonsense Childbirth Training Institute (CCI)
  • Cornerstone Birthwork Training
  • Doula Alliance
  • DoulaVersity
  • Doulas of North America (DONA)*
  • Doula Trainings International (DTI)
  • Gifted Hands International
  • International Childbirth Education
  • Association (ICEA)*
  • International Doula Institute*
  • Jamaa Birth Village
  • National Black Doula Association*
  • Sista Midwife Productions
  • SMC Full Circle Doula Training
  • Sokana Collective
  • Sumi's Touch
  • ToLabor (formerly ALACE)
  • Uzazi Village
  • Virtuously B'earthed
    *These training organizations divide prenatal/labor & delivery and postpartum into two separate training courses; applicants need to show verification of both trainings.

Doula services have historically emerged to improve positive birth outcomes, and offer more culturally sensitive support for women. For example:

In 2018, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported that Black women were about 6 times as likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause as white women. Of those, 72% of pregnancy-related deaths... were deemed preventable. Between 2016 and 2017, Black women had the highest rate of severe maternal morbidity with a rate of 101.5 per 10,000 deliveries, which is almost 3 times as high as the rate for white women. (Illinois Public Act 102-004, HB 0158)

In 2022, Illinois passed legislation to compensate doulas for services provided within the medical assistance program. Act 102-0004, Title IX. Maternal and Infant Mortality, Article 175, Section 5-18.5
• “Perinatal doula services…shall be covered under the medical assistance program…”
• “Perinatal doula services include regular visits beginning in the prenatal period and continuing into the postnatal period, inclusive of continuous support during labor and delivery, that support healthy pregnancies and positive birth outcomes.”
•“The Department of Healthcare and Family Services…shall consider the expertise and consult with doula program experts, doula training providers, practicing doulas, and home visiting experts, along with State agencies implementing perinatal doula services…”
• “This body of experts shall inform the Department on the credentials necessary for perinatal doula…to be eligible for Medicaid reimbursement…”

Have questions? Email

Pathways & Requirements

Pick either the Training Program Pathway or Legacy Pathway, and see requirements needed to apply.

How to Apply

See a list of required application items, download the handbook and find three different options for applying to the program.