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Home Hospice Association

Infant & Pregnancy Loss Doula Certificate Program

Program Overview

Our Certificate Program is designed to combine maximum flexibility with support from a peer learning network.

Program Description & Benefits

Home Hospice Association’s Infant & Pregnancy Loss Doula (IPLD) Certificate Program was created in 2015 in response to our clients' and community members' expressed need for compassion, education, care and support with their experiences of infant and pregnancy loss.


The first program of its kind in Canada, our IPLD Certificate Program will equip you with the necessary skills, insights, and perspectives to draw the circle of compassionate care wider, while providing you with a peer-support network as well as guidance from highly qualified and experienced professionals.​

By equipping communities all over Canada with trained professionals able to assist people during one of the most painful times of their lives, this program plays a vital role in filling the massive gap in Pre and Perinatal loss and grief support services. 

By becoming an Infant & Pregnancy Loss Doula through HHA, you will receive:

  • A certificate of completion to recognize your acquired skills and knowledge to support and encourage grieving individuals and their families


  • Personalized support from your Candidate Advisor


  • Access to HHA resources and programs for continued learning


  • Free admission to Death Doula community networking and support groups

If you're not yet sure what a Death Doula does or if it's the right fit for you, learn more about the importance of Death Doulas in end-of-life care on our HHA Death Doulas page.

Program Dates

This program is designed for you to learn at your own pace. Except for the 2.5-day in-class (online) component, you can complete the rest of the learning at your own speed and on your own time.

When you register, you will choose a learning cohort, which will meet online for the weekend training session. All other Certificate Program requirements can be completed at your own pace.

Registration is open for the following cohorts:

Fall 2023

Weekend Training Session:  November 17-19

Spring 2024

Weekend Training Session: May 31-June 2


As soon as you register and pay your registration fee (even if you have registered for a cohort that is several months away), you will get immediate access to the first online learning components of the program. You will also receive invitations to all HHA's doula candidate learning nights and other educational and social events.

Infant & Pregnancy Loss Doula
Certificate Program

Program Structure

HHA's IPLD Certificate Program includes four learning components:

1. Compassionate Caregiving

(Online in Google Classroom)

  7 modules, including topics such as:

Spiritual Care at End-of-Life
     Ethics in Hospice Palliative Care
     The Role of a Caregiver

3. In-class Sessions

(Virtual in Google Meet)

2.5 days, including topics such as:


Stages of Gestation

Maternal Wellness & Comfort Measures

Grief & Bereavement

Rituals & Memorialization

Funeral Services

*Ongoing training in specialized topics is provided through optional monthly learning nights

2. Independent Studies

(Online in Google Classroom)

4 mandatory modules with some optional modules, including topics such as:

Community Resources

4. Death Doula Projects & Assignments (Online in Google Classroom)

Final projects & assignments, including topics such as:

Case Studies
     Book Reviews

Practical Experience
     Community Engagement


Certificate Program Fee



Paid by e-transfer to

Payment in full is required to begin the Certificate Program.

As soon as we receive your registration fee, you'll get access to learning materials and events, including role play nights, guest speakers, and other invitation-only networking and educational sessions.

Please Note: Registration fees are non-refundable. However, if you are unable to attend your cohort's weekend training session, you are able to join another cohort with a minimum of 30 days notice.

Included with Fee
  • Online independent learning modules in Google Classrooms - learn at your own pace!


  • 2.5 days of in-class sessions, delivered virtually via Google Meet (see dates below)

  • Online independent projects and assignments in Google Classrooms


  • ​Ongoing Professional Development Training Through Monthly Virtual Learning Nights

Cohort Learning Training Sessions
(online via Google Meet)

November 17-19, 2023

May 21-June 2, 2024

To complete the Certificate Program, your attendance is mandatory during one online weekend classroom session. 

Class times for all sessions:

Friday: 6pm-9pm (EST)

Saturday: 9am-5pm (EST)

Sunday: 9am-5pm (EST)

All other Certificate Program requirements can be completed asynchronously.

Meet the Facilitators

Who should take this program?

  • Anyone who provides emotional support, advice or comfort to an individual and their loved ones experiencing perinatal loss and grief, including social workers and counsellors


  • Caregivers or individuals wanting to learn how to better support grieving loved ones

  • Birth workers (professionals or students) working within primary care and/or birth environments, including birth doulas and neonatal medical practitioners

  • Primary care practitioners looking to develop their skills in compassionate care

  • Persons in community supportive roles who serve bereaved families

  • Professionals who provide one-to-one bereavement support to families before, during and after death, including bereavement specialists and funeral professionals

  • Professionals who work in emergency or trauma environments that may witness infant death

  • Individuals who have experienced this type of loss and want to support and empower others

Infant & Pregnancy Loss Doula
Certificate Program

Why choose Home Hospice Association?

The ILPD certificate program is Canada’s first training in Pre and Perinatal Hospice Services. It was created - and is continuously being developed - by a team of experts who share a common passion for educating and bringing comprehensive knowledge and practical perspectives to end-of-life care. Our educators come from diverse backgrounds and bring experiences in birthing, end-of-life, and bereavement care. 


Our program provides extensive opportunities for engagement between students, facilitators, and special guest speakers. Over the course of the program, you will acquire valuable skills and will get the chance to apply your learnings and nurture your professional networks in order to further expand your knowledge.

To date, we have trained hundreds of Death Doulas who provide services across Canada


“This is an amazing team with a wide variety of skills and experience! I am more than pleased to have access to all of your knowledge and feel that it was presented quite well.” 


Learning Outcomes
  • Explore your role as an Infant & Pregnancy Loss Doula assisting clients (and their loved ones) before, during, and after the death


  • Experience what active dying looks like in order to educate your client’s family on what to expect


  • Gain practical knowledge of the four domains of care an IPLD (planning, active support, legacy, and grief)


  • Build compassionate strategies to help prepare clients & families for their grief journey, beginning with self-compassion


  • Achieve awareness about how your own death experiences may influence your work in order to manage your reactions and possible fears

Topics Covered
  • Stages of gestation and how to support a loss at each stage


  • Miscarriage at any stage


  • Medical and elective termination


  • Prematurity, stillbirth, and neonatal death


  • Compassionate and empathetic communication


  • Grief & bereavement, including the complexity of grief and how to respond effectively to expressions of grief


  • Comfort measures before, during and after delivery


  • Support of family members 


  • Honouring a life - rituals, traditions and cultural awareness


  • Memorialization and memory-making at the time of birth

  • Consultation practice for delivery plan

  • Legalities of funeral practices in Ontario

  • Selfcare, triggers and debriefing

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