Frequently Asked Questions

Photo by Angie Buchanan

Photo by Angie Buchanan


FAQ’s - Because you asked...

Q: Why do you use Death Midwife instead of Death Doula? Is there a difference?

A: There is no difference in the function of the two. The word 'doula' is Greek. It originally referred to a slave or a servant that attended to the personal needs of the Lady of the House. Doulos is the male version of that. It has recently been softened to simply mean 'a woman who serves another woman' and in 1969 Marshall Klaus and John Kennell, who conducted clinical trials on the medical outcomes of doula-attended births, adopted the term to refer to a person providing labor support.(1) While the term ‘doula’ may apply to the birth context of a doula, being, 'the one who assists the midwife, or the birthing mother,' we do not believe the term accurately reflects what we do.


Q: What is the difference between a Death Midwife and a Hospice Worker? 

A: Hospice is medically sourced. It is doctor prescribed through Medicare. The Death Midwife is not medically trained. We fill the gap between the medical profession, and the funeral industry. 


Q: How old do you have to be to be a Death Midwife?

A: Anyone can hold compassionate space for the dying however, you must be at least 21 years of age to take this class.


Q: Are all death midwives female?

A: No. Just as there are male birth midwives, we have many men who have taken this class and who elect to use the title Death Midwife. 


Q: How long is the class?

A: The class is 30 hours long and takes place over a 3-day weekend. You must be present for the full 30 hours in order to receive the certificate.

Q: Do you offer online training?

A: We do not. It is our belief that in order for the training to truly be effective there needs to be personal, face to face interaction between the students; with and among themselves, and between the students and the instructor. We want students to be able to experience the shifts in energy in the classroom environment, and within themselves as they and their colleagues process information, react to different scenarios, and offer their unique perspectives to topics being discussed. We do offer online support to students and other practitioners.


Q: Who would benefit from taking this class?

A: We have had a variety of people from many walks of life who have discovered this training to be beneficial.

  • Patients facing a terminal illness

  • Friends and family caring for someone who is dying

  • Those who want to accompany a loved one through this process

  • Professionals working in hospice, hospitals or nursing homes who are seeking to expand their skills and effectiveness in assisting with death and dying care

  • Healers and therapists who want to learn more

  • Ministers, Clergy

  • Celebrants, Chaplains and Community Activists or Educators

  • Hospice volunteers or those wishing to become volunteers

  • Anyone who wishes to learn more about cultivating presence and personal awareness in death, dying and living well

  • Those who want to prepare gracefully for their own journey through dying into death

  • Those wanting to embrace the mystery of death and educate others as well as participate in what can be the most sacred and and deeply moving experience of their life.