Home Hospice Association
Infant & Pregnancy Loss Doula Certificate Program
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.
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:
Weekend Training Session: November 17-19
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.
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
*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:
4. Death Doula Projects & Assignments (Online in Google Classroom)
Final projects & assignments, including topics such as:
Certificate Program Fee
Paid by e-transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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.”
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
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