I would love to become a childbirth educator. I have been passionate about this field for a while now (since my first pregnancy four years ago). I read about pregnancy and childbirth a lot even though I am not pregnant...and I will talk about it to anyone who will listen. I think more specifically I am passionate about equipping women for natural childbirth/breastfeeding/etc. Actually recently, a friend asked me to be her labor support person because I was so informed about natural childbirth (and have had two natural birthing experiences), and she wanted to have a natural experience. (She gave birth early this morning- that was an awesome experience btw!)
I don't know where to begin. I've been looking into the different organizations (for certification purposes), and one friend who is involved in the pregnancy/childbirth community (a chiropractor), recommended Bradley. I have never had an actual Bradley birth, but I did read Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way, which I felt was very informative and empowering. Personally, I have the feeling that going through Bradley for certification would be kind of restrictive (if I were even allowed to do so), as they have a lot of guidelines for their potential instructors. I don't think that I really want to be associated with or work for any particular "method" of childbirth, but rather just be affiliated with and/or certified through one that encourages natural birthing and informed choices, etc.
Also, finances are a concern as my husband is not receiving regular income right now (and I am a stay at home mom). I did notice that ICEA has a scholarship program, so I thought of applying for that. I know some will do payment plans, etc.
Can anybody provide info about their personal experience with different organizations? What you like about it, what you would have done differently, or if you have become a childbirth educator without certification, I'd be interested in hearing about that too!
Thanks in advance for any wisdom/advice you can offer! :)