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Doulas can now be licensed by Arizona's health department

Doulas support families during and after childbirth. They are nonmedical professionals, but now, for the first time, they can have their training and experience vetted by the state of Arizona. The Arizona Department of Health Services this month  launched a new doula licensing program.

“If you are already a practicing doula in the state of Arizona, you are not required to have this license to practice," Arizona Department of Health Services bureau chief of special licensing Megan McMinn told KJZZ News. "It’s a voluntary license for those that would like to pursue that.”

The state Legislature  voted in 2021 to create the licensing program. There are multiple pathways to qualifying for the three-year licenses, but applicants need to show at least a high school diploma or equivalent, proof of doula training, and documentation of specific professional experience.

Clients seeking a doula will also now be able to search a state database for background information about practitioners through the site  AZCareCheck.com

"This is a new program, so there's not much listed at this time, but I'd be able to see how long this person has been licensed for, and if there's any enforcements they may have had in relation to that license," McMinn said. 

Katherine Davis-Young is a senior field correspondent. She has produced work for NPR, New England Public Radio, Southern California Public Radio, PRI's The World, Washington Post, Reuters and more.She has a master’s degree in radio journalism from the USC Annenberg School of Journalism.She lives in central Phoenix with her husband, two daughters, and ill-behaved cat and dog. Her side-passions include photography, crosswords and hot sauce.