About the Summit

There’s something special about a DONA International in-person meeting!  Doulas and birth professionals come together from across the globe to learn and grow as we work to innovate the role of the doula in the modern healthcare system.

This year, DONA International invites you to our in-person meeting, The Leadership Summit, where we will seek to level up by enhancing our ability to serve the growing and evolving doula profession and global families.

Learning Tracks

The Leadership Summit will focus on key areas for professional growth with individualized learning tracks.  Click below to see information about each track.

The Doulas as Leaders Track is designed to help doulas and our members identify personal leadership skills, improve doula practices with your leadership strengths in mind and discover innovative ways to influence your community. How well are you leading yourself, your local community and your doula organization? This track will offer sessions to help you answer that question with confidence.


Concurrent Sessions Include:

Peanut Balls During Labor New Techniques with Cheri Grant

Group Practice: Is it right for you? with Dr. Teri Nava-Anderson

Body Mechanics and Strength for Doulas with Colleen Flaherty

Sensitively and Sensibly Supporting the Induced Labor Right from the Start with Kim James

Doulas Take the Lead in Healing Breastfeeding Disparities Amongst Black Women with Gerria Coffee

Can we get along with Obstetricians? with Dr. Ebere Azumah





The DONA Leaders Track is designed to increase confidence in current leadership roles and within the doula profession.  The sessions will offer opportunities to develop skills to enhance the work within our organization as well as the local doula communities. Learning to maximize your influence while contributing to improving the organization is critical to everyone’s success. We invite DONA International Regional Directors, Ambassadors, Committee Chairs, and Committee Members to this track of learning. Join us let’s level up together.


Concurrent Sessions Include:

Birthing A Community Organization in 12 Steps with Valarie Welsh

Building Cycles of Revenue and Clients: The Key to a Successful Doula Practice with Emily Wannenburg

Taking a Deep Dive Into Unpacking Implicit Bias to Successfully Influence Doulas and the Birth and Postpartum Team with Ngozi Tibbs

Developing Your Leadership Skills: Build Your Team and Thrive with DONA International Leadership

Purposeful Hustle-Diving a Little Deeper with Deanna Singh

Can we get along with Obstetricians? with Dr. Ebere Azumah


The Trainers Track has been developed specifically for the DONA International Approved doula trainer. The included sessions offer cutting-edge educational training to enhance teaching skills with the goal of maximizing the skills of our DONA International trainer pool. Trainers can expect sessions that will lead to personal growth as well as tangible teaching techniques to add to their curriculum and training experiences. With a new education team coming soon, a new structure and new connections, the Trainers Track is not to be missed!

Concurrent Sessions Include:

Equity in Childbirth: Looking in the Mirror and What do you see? with Natalie S. Burke (2 part session)

Get in the game: How doula trainers can lead the way to advance the professionalization of the doula with Dr. Ginger Breedlove

My Favorite Things- Doula Trainer Style! with DONA International Doula Trainers

Trainer Learning Session with Kim James (more details coming soon)

Trainer Meeting 

About Our Speakers

The DONA International Speaker Selection Committee is hard at work cultivating an excellent speaker line-up.  The committee will be incorporating excellent keynote addresses alongside working sessions in which doulas can develop leadership skills with tangible take homes that can be incorporated at the local, national, or international level.

We’ll be pursuing topics relevant to birth and postpartum doula work with an emphasis on personal and field related growth.  You can expect sessions to enhance your doula skills, as well as practical business sessions.

To submit a proposal for consideration, please visit our Become a Speaker page for details.

2018 DONA Summit Highlights

Continuing Education Credits

The DONA International Leadership Summit is one way we continue to provide the highest standard of evidence-based training and education to our members. The core conference qualifies as formal continuing education for doula recertification and trainer reapproval with DONA International as well as most other childbirth certification organizations.

It is the registrant’s responsibility to ascertain whether this offering meets the requirements of other certifying organizations.

About DONA International

DONA International is the largest, longest-standing and most respected doula organization in the world. DONA’s inception formally established the doula profession, and we continue to set the global standard for doula education. DONA International’s certification is a widely respected measure of quality and professionalism and we continue to lead doulas into the future with a strong focus on advocacy, and current maternity trends. We are an international, not for profit organization of doulas striving to provide excellent educational offerings to equipt doulas to provide the highest quality of service and standards for support to birthing and postpartum families.