I might want to be a childbirth educator - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 06-17-2008, 12:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Childbirth educators, talk to me! I am interested in teaching childbirth classes. I have a one year old, born at home. DH is military so we will move frequently.
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#2 of 9 Old 06-17-2008, 11:32 AM
 
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Sadly I won't be able to offer much encouragement !

I hated being a childbirth educator.
I never felt so ineffectual and like I was talking to myself week after week. This was classes where couples are very motivated to have unmedicalized birth (but they were all birthing in hospitals, I know it was an absolute contradiction). A loosing battle IMO to expect a normal birth in a hospital. Just not what they offer in most hospitals.

In my city there is about an epidural rate of 98% (NY state keeps statistics). So couples take classes that teach techniques how to have a natural birth, some want a natural birth, some know they want an epidural, and take classes seriously, some even hire labor doulas, then everyone seems to get bamboozled into the standard American birth with with all the cascading effect from interventions to end in 35% having cesarean birth.
Teaching turned out not to be my calling!

I adore being a postpartum doula and teaching families to breastfeed and nurture their babies tenderly. 100% breastfeeding rates!
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#3 of 9 Old 06-17-2008, 02:45 PM
 
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Grrr...I wrote this lovely little post, and it got lost in cyberspace!

Anyway, what I said was that I believe many childbirth educators who experience burnout do so because they are focusing on outcome, and/or anticipating a certain birth outcome. I know the reason that I wanted to become a childbirth educator, initially, was because I wanted to teach women how to have perfect, natural births!

Boy, was the Birthing From Within intro workshop a slap in the face for me.

One of the best things about BFW is that instead of teaching women how to have a natural birth, it teaches women how to be present in every moment of labor and birth. When we let go of what WE want for another woman's birth, and instead help these women learn how to be present in birth, a nice little side-effect of that is that usually this leads to much more pleasant birth experiences, regardless of whether the birth was 100% natural or not.

I absolutely ADORE Birthing From Within. It has changed my life in so many ways, it's hard to explain. I would definitely recommend this program to anyone who wants to make a difference in the world of childbirth. It's just an amazing organization and I am so grateful that I found it.

Sprat , Certified Professional Midwife, loved very much by Sprig , the most open-minded, loving, gentle man in the world, little Sprout and now someone new! on begins with .
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#4 of 9 Old 06-17-2008, 03:46 PM
 
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Feminine earth
To dispel your notion that one needs to have burnout to feel the way I feel, it was not burnout or being judgemental. I was a brand new teacher, and I only taught one series of childbirth classes and knew that was enough for me to realize it was not right what was happening.

There is a huge difference in having an investment in clients outcome (which i don't) and deciding to refuse to participate in our medical system and what it is doing to women.

It is unimaginable what is going on in hospitals. With all you know as a cbe but not someone who birthed yet, choose a random doctor, most likely your GYN for birth control and pap smears (as most clients do) and try to have a normal birth in your local hospital with that random docotr!

Could be your calling, or the original posters, but not mine once I realize what was really happening in hospitals, I did not like teaching classes.
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#5 of 9 Old 06-17-2008, 06:12 PM
 
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dewi, I'm sorry you took what I said personally...I was not referring to you or your post...just childbirth educators and burnout in general.

I'm a little confused, however...were you teaching hospital classes? Recommending clients go with their GYN's as their care providers? I don't really understand what you are saying...?

I already know what is going on in hospitals, and I (among many) am trying to change it. But I have (personally--again, I was referring to my own personal experience here, no one else's.) come to realize that focusing on a woman's birth outcome is not going to change our screwed up medical system.

One day things will change and most women will be giving birth at home once again. History always repeats itself. But we're just not there yet, and it's going to take some work. Just presenting the statistics and trying to persuade women to have home births is NOT working. It's time to try something different.

Anyway, all that to, again, promote Birthing From Within...and to applaud Pam England for being brave enough to be the one to try something different.

Sprat , Certified Professional Midwife, loved very much by Sprig , the most open-minded, loving, gentle man in the world, little Sprout and now someone new! on begins with .
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#6 of 9 Old 06-17-2008, 10:22 PM
 
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I second the vote for BFW. I just took their Workshop a couple of weeks ago. And it was pretty amazing. It did let me breathe relief when they talked about not being outcome focused. For me as a doula and a childbirth educator (I'm yet to teach my first class but quite enthusiastic and scared about it!) that was an important bit of knowledge I needed to "keep my head up" in this world of hospital assembly line births.

Anyway, it is unlike any childbirth class I've attended or heard about.

Mother to FOUR BOYS!!  Austin (1997) Luke (2005) Mason (2007) and Judah (2010), wife to Joe, doula to many, and Birthing From Within Mentor in SE Michigan
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#7 of 9 Old 06-17-2008, 11:28 PM
 
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To the OP -- I suggest you go sit in on some various styles of CBE courses and see how you feel about the different methods and also about the process of working with couples that way. I am like Dewi, CBE is not my calling. I have been to several classes and know I would not want to be leading one (except maybe Bradley, but even then I would rather just do the birth and postpartum work). I adore being a birth doula and a PP doula and I think I really help people this way. You might find you feel the same way about being a CBE and then you should go for it! But, I would sample some classes first to get a sense.

Megan Davidson, Labor & Postpartum Doula, Breastfeeding Counselor, Anthropologist, Mom to August (9) and Clay (4), Partner to Shawn.

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#8 of 9 Old 06-18-2008, 03:20 AM
 
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To give you some more insight the PP have all had great info!

There's many different "views" on childbirth education: Lamaze, Bradley, ICEA, ALACE, Birthing from Within, CAPPA, and others I'm forgetting...read their mission statements, see where you feel drawn: homebirth couples, hospital birth, birth center, etc. Then see which teaching system is right for you. Due to your DH being military and moving a lot see if that will influence your choice...

I wish you the best of luck...most CBE's I know are mothers and started after the birth of the first child!

*I'm an ALACE trained CBE (home-birth based curriculum with knowledge of all medical procedures/interventions) and I love my job, somedays! I teach both in hospitals and private home-birth couples.

Summer: crafty mama to 2 little girls and wife to Bob
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#9 of 9 Old 06-18-2008, 07:56 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dewi View Post
Feminine earth
To dispel your notion that one needs to have burnout to feel the way I feel, it was not burnout or being judgemental. I was a brand new teacher, and I only taught one series of childbirth classes and knew that was enough for me to realize it was not right what was happening.

There is a huge difference in having an investment in clients outcome (which i don't) and deciding to refuse to participate in our medical system and what it is doing to women.

It is unimaginable what is going on in hospitals. With all you know as a cbe but not someone who birthed yet, choose a random doctor, most likely your GYN for birth control and pap smears (as most clients do) and try to have a normal birth in your local hospital with that random docotr!

Could be your calling, or the original posters, but not mine once I realize what was really happening in hospitals, I did not like teaching classes.
I am currently working with ALACE and I plan to be an independent CBE, I will NOT work inside of a hospital!
We are military as well and you can most certainly do CBE anywhere you are. There will always be pregnant women, especially near a military base!
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