Childbirth Educators in very rural areas...
I hope you can find the right path for you. Where in KY are you? Im about 5min form the TN/KY boarder. PM me if you want more info on the course.
There is a yoga studio that has just opened and they charge $10 a class and are doing pretty good. There is also a chiropractor that adjusts pregnant ladies. Many of the women who want a natural birth travel about an hour away to a midwifery school for their care. There is a tiny natural health store close by. I'm hoping that the fact that these things exist and have existed for some time will be good for me too. There isn't many options for women in our area and I'm so sad about it. I was one of those women who was seeking a natural birth and couldn't find it until it was already too late. I didn't know enough. I want to bring change in my region. Can I do that when we don't have money to spare? I don't know. I just want to have hope. Eventually I'd like to be a doula as well.
I'm on the Kentucky/Virginia border in southeastern Kentucky.
I am the only independent educator in my area (again, like a 60 mile radius). There are "free" birth classes at the hospital in my main town and also in a town about 30 miles away.
My website link is in my profile and you can read about the kinds of classes I do there, if you'd like.
I don't want to offend anyone, so I will just say as briefly as possible that my original certification is with ALACE (perfect for rural mamas who can't travel to a workshop) and I would NOT recommend training with them at this time. Despite my heart connection to their mission and vision, the organization is a tremendous state of flux, is undescribably disorganized and non-reponsive and at this point I think you would be very lucky to even get a response to your money/enrollment at this time. I would not trust that you would hear anything back from you if you enrolled. I keep my mouth shut as much as possible about them, but I cannot ethically stand by and "let" someone sign up with them "blind" at this point. I also trained with ALACE for doula training. Trained with DONA for pp doula training (not thrilled with them either, but for much different reasons than my disillusionment with ALACE).
In March, I took the ICEA exam and am now certified with them. I am also enrolled in the dual certification option with CAPPA at this point. A handy benefit of being certified with ALACE (with no workshop required) is that it has now been super simple to get certified with other organizations too--just take their exam, basically, rather than do all the original cert. requirements. If I was starting over, I can't say that I'd make different choices, because I've been happy with where my original choices have taken me. However, if the slate was really wiped clean and I was starting fresh, I'd probably go with Childbirth International or Birth Arts if I could only do distance (both have distance CBE options) or I'd go with Lamaze if travel was an option. Birthing from Within training was my original dream and I haven't yet manifested that one!
Best wishes with your path. It is a beautiful one.
(I also hope to get back to your blog, because I have a lot of thoughts/comments about what you'd posted there.)
I have a website/blog and that is my very best tool for finding clients. Almost all of them come from my website or from word-of-mouth referrals (most from site though). If you search for "birth classes" and [my town] mine is the first site to pop up in google. I recommend this approach!
I would still chose a program that was slow and that shared my view on birth rather than one that doesnt. Thats just me. There are lots of organizations out there, I hope you find the one that fits you.
I am a match with the philosophies of my other certifying orgs as well, just not in that "connected" way I felt with ALACE in the beginning.
One of the reasons I have thought about ALACE is that they are willing to cater some of the assignments to me as it is likely I will not be able to attend any births before certification and there are no childbirth classes in the area at all to attend/observe. So far they are the only ones willing to work with me.
The closest town to us has about 6,000 people. The hospital closest to us has one OB his assistant and a CNM who delivers babies. Yearly, the OB delivers about 300, the assistant 100, and the CNM 70. The CNM answers to the OB, and he is not very natural friendly. He likes intervention, and I have found that they are really overworked. The next closest town might have 10,000 people. The county seat of our town might have 3,000. I would probably work a 3 county area.
We are very rural - very rural. The economy is also in a downturn as is the rest of the US, but it is tremendous here. Right now our economy is very dependent on coal, which is sad. At most, I'd probably only be able to charge $100 for my course to get anyone to sign on. I'm still going for it. Eventually, I'll make my $803 back. Also, I don't have a lot of money. We live very very modestly and $803 is much more affordable for me than most of the others.
I agree with Molly about the problems with IBWP/ALACE. I have completed my training with them but I don't foresee being certified for quite some time due to slow and no response. I began the process in July 2009. I knew about the problems ahead of time so it has not been a source of stress to me. For me, being "certified" doesn't matter that much right now. Being well educated and capable of teaching is what matters to me. If you want to know more about my experience with IBWP, PM me.
You could consider training yourself, based on the training of the orgs you like. Or simply obtaining an ALACE manual and not getting certified but doing the work. I might have done that in retrospect. I do love the ALACE training.
I am planning to take the ICEA exam if at any time I want or need to be officially certified. But that can only happen if IBWP gets back to me and eventually certifies me. I do not think that cert from IBWP means much at this time, nor do I think they are actively training anyone. You get the training materials but very little feedback.
Jamie, no they are not. The ALACE curriculum is great, but the organization is gone. I'm planning on getting certified through Lamaze - the Passion for Birth workshop - because I can get it paid for through a military spouse program. I'm teaching now with my ALACE training, but that only works for me because I'm teaching privately, not for a hospital/birth center. I doubt anyone would hire me with my ALACE training since I can't prove anything and they are no longer a respected organization.
I'm a rural CBE. My town is less than 1,000 and the "city" for my county is only 10,000. There is a hospital there and they do offer a 6 week course for free but only to women who are giving birth there. We actually have a good number of homebirthing women here and I get clients from the state below me (I'm on the border) and some women come from an hour away. It took about 6 months to get my first client, and I only had a few for awhile. But after awhile things picked up. I'm on break now until the fall of 2011 because I have a nursing infant and don't have back up for my older son until then.