Aspiring childbirth educator- where do I start? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 02-16-2011, 02:35 PM - Thread Starter
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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! :)

Actually, I'm a joyful mom of three and counting! (I was a tad short-sighted when picking my username!) Married to DH since 2006, mom of DS (2007), DD (2009), DS2 (2012) and a new little one expected early May 2015!
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#2 of 20 Old 02-17-2011, 10:43 PM
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I am a former Bradley instructor now affiliated with Brio Birth. It is a brand-new organization so for now is pretty affordable and the program is amazing. There will be a new educator training in Arizona next month, too. Here's a link to the Brio website.


Feel free to PM me for more info if you'd like. Whatever you decide on, good luck!


Peace, Jenny


Jenny: 40 Something AP mom to 2 adult kids, 2 teen step kids, and one amazing 7YO. Doula and Brio Birth educator, too!
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#3 of 20 Old 05-29-2011, 11:38 AM
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lurk.gif  Very similar situation here.  I'm passionate about birth, plan to become a CPM one day, via doula work, but for now my primary focus is homeschooling my children.  So, CBE is really the path I want to go right now, but I can't afford Bradley (had a Bradley class and two births after), and not sure where to begin otherwise.


joy.gif Wife to  geek.gif,  mama to  reading.gif,   guitar.gif, fly-by-nursing1.gif, and thumbsuck.gif - bonus mommy to  loveeyes.gif!  homebirth.jpghomeschool.gifnovaxnocirc.gif

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#4 of 20 Old 06-01-2011, 02:56 PM
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Don't discount the route of doing lots of research on pregnancy, birth, labor support, breastfeeding, newborns, and on teaching adults, sitting in on someone's class series, and developing your own curriculum and lesson plan. Once you're well equipped the biggest obstacle is getting students. Advertise and network a LOT, flyers, business cards, talk to people and ask them to talk to people, have a website, join local birth organizations. I trained through CBI and they're alright but I'm not sure it's worth the fee unless they can really help direct students to you once you're teaching. That's the part I'm stuck on, myself.

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#5 of 20 Old 06-04-2011, 10:49 AM
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Consider becoming a La Leche League Leader. I took childbirth educator training and became a LLL Leader about the same time. I found LLL to be a better fit when I had young children and stayed a Leader for 25 years. I helped many more women as a Leader than I could have as a childbirth educator.

: Grandmother , 3 Adult Sons

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#6 of 20 Old 06-10-2011, 05:13 PM
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Check out Pure Birth....



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Amy,  organically growing 5 homeschooled sweetieshomeschool.gifhomebirth.jpg5 lossesbrokenheart.gifbelly.gif due this summer!
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#7 of 20 Old 06-26-2011, 10:34 AM
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Great thread!  This was my question too.  I had a Bradley birth, but I'm far less passionate about Bradley thaan I am about natural birth in general. 

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#8 of 20 Old 06-27-2011, 05:44 AM
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I am considering getting my certification through CAPPA and doing their distance program. I had been teaching a "preparing for childbirth class" for my WIC office (where I work as a certified lactation counselor) as well as teach breastfeeding classes for about a year now. However, our director said that (after WIC teaching these classes for 20+ years) that it is a liability if we are not certified, even if we were just pretty much teaching how your body works, different options you have and encouraging natural birth as the safest... but medications if wanted/necessary. I planned on getting certified anyway because I'd like to become a midwife one day, and I am doing the distance doula certification through CAPPA as well. I did Hypnobirthing with my last birth and loved it, but the midwifery school that I plan on attending does not accept it as a pre-req for their childbirth educator cert. 


I haven't started yet, but plan on purchasing my distance cert. packet soon. I like their options because as a pregnant mama with two boys under 6 who is planning on homeschooling after the summer... who is working in my office 3 days a week, and partner to my hubby who works 60+ hours a week.... it's the only way I COULD get it done! 

Jesse, mama to my three wonderful boys, our newest born at home late Jan 2012 luxlove.gif





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#9 of 20 Old 07-14-2011, 12:43 AM
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the pure birth site is really fantastic and in line with my views/values, and i liked the DONA and CBI reading lists to help me sort of round out my self education.


my process/desire was to teach "holistic pregnancy, labor, and birth classes" -- as a part of what I do with my yoga classes. my business (holistic health center) is looking at "whole woman" care as part of a woman's care process during her pregnancy, birth, and beyond. we are jus trying to figure out how to fit it all together!


anyway, it's just going in a deeper direction for me, and i think the purebirth materials could really help me out a lot. i'll also probably take a few CBE classes around town and see what is what. should be interesting. 

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#10 of 20 Old 07-20-2011, 12:13 AM
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I worked with a doula in my area who made her own curriculum after self study and doula experience. I had planned on teaching her curriculum or very similar, but I'm looking into organizations to enhance what I have to offer.


I'm looking at Hypnobabies right now, comparing that to creating my own course. The only problem I have with most orgs is the cost, and clients don't just flock to you after your training, so I'm concerned about putting out so much money when I could easily make my own courses and not be restricted on what I do/don't teach. 

, birth-working wife to   (06/2010).
TTC #1 since 2010. Dx PCOS and large uterine polyp, July 2014. Currently waiting on surgery.
, July 2012. Waiting for our  sometime very soon.
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#11 of 20 Old 07-20-2011, 02:00 PM
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Being completely independent is so nice!  I love having the ability to create my own content and not being restricted.  Even "indepdendent" educators who are a part of organizations are still limited on their content, their course lengths...etc.  I don't think that fits well w/ a lot of parents these days.  Flexibility is awesome and I was very disappointed in the support I got from CAPPA after spending around $1000.... simply because I couldn't get people to allow me to observe their sacred birth experience, I was unable to obtain a credential...  They ignored me when I requested an extension - it was very difficult to get responses to e-mails...etc. so, I just decided to go my own route, do my own thing, and now I train others as well (who have access to all my course content, but are free to do their own thing if they want without yearly memberships or anything).


Learning marketing is a very valuable technique - getting into local childbirth/parenting groups is one of the best ways to get your name out there.

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#12 of 20 Old 07-28-2011, 05:15 AM
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Take a look at Birth Arts International and email if you have any questions. Scholarships available.

Many programs are available and I am sure you can find the right program for you.

BAI revamps its programs yearly.

Heart of Herbs Herbal and Aromatherapy School and Birth Arts International, educational solutions that work for you! Check out my new book
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#13 of 20 Old 01-02-2012, 06:49 AM
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What about Birthing From Within?




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#14 of 20 Old 02-23-2012, 07:42 PM
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I would highly suggest looking into Esali Birth.  It is very in-depth and teaches very natural techniques that make a lot of sense.  They also have an EXCELLENT video on YouTube called "Butterfly Birth" under Esali Birth.  I will be starting with them in a few weeks and cannot wait!

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#15 of 20 Old 04-03-2012, 06:14 AM
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Birth Arts International is a great program and I really like it.

Many great programs exist, finding on that supports you is so special.

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#16 of 20 Old 06-01-2012, 12:46 PM
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Gotta warn about Brio Birth, there are some really shady things going on there.  Individual instructors are nice people, but the organization has been taking money from prospective instructors and not giving anything in return, plus they lost lawsuits trying to steal the Bradley name and most recently came under scrutiny for selling non-legal parking passes to pregnant women. 


Just finished taking the Bradley Method one and I loved it.


Hope you find the best path for you!

Cindy + DH Paul = DS1 (4/26/06), DS2 (11/30/07), DD (12/20/10) & surprise 4th edition coming in April 2014.

Bradley Method Natural Childbirth Educator, Doula, and Breastfeeding Counselor

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#17 of 20 Old 06-07-2012, 07:25 AM
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I am considering doing the Bradley training later this year. I have done the ICEA childbirth education training and worked as a DONA birth and postpartum doula for 5+ years. It seems like the Bradley classes are by far the most popular in my area, so I'm wondering if it would be worth it to train and teach Bradley. I want to be able to make teaching into my main job (the doula on call lifestyle is so, so hard).


Does anyone know if they will accept people to the Bradley trainings if they have not done an actual Bradley course themselves as parents? Any insight about this would be appreciated. I've had two unmedicated births, breastfed for years, and am very passionate about this, but have never taken an actual Bradley course (just read the books).

Mama, birth worker, and dreamer extraordinaire. slingboy.gif


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#18 of 20 Old 06-07-2012, 05:51 PM
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I am a Bradley instructor, so ask away!  They do require you to have taken a Bradley class and had a Bradley birth before becoming trained and certified.  I think they will consider you if you had a natural birth, but you'll have to sit in on a full class series.  If you had a medicated birth, c-section etc then there are a lot more hoops to jump through.  I do believe that their goal is to provide the best information to expectatn couples and in order to be able to teach the method you need to have done it yourself!  I am happy to answer any other questions and really love teaching the classes.  I've been certified for 6 years.

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#19 of 20 Old 06-07-2012, 09:28 PM
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Hi mamasana. Thanks for the reply!


What type of restrictions does Bradley have after you're certified and teaching classes- if any? What are the yearly fees associated with certification? What, in your opinion, are the downsides of teaching Bradley vs. being an independent instrctor?


And what's the whole deal with the Bradley/Brio drama?

Mama, birth worker, and dreamer extraordinaire. slingboy.gif


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#20 of 20 Old 08-14-2012, 09:14 PM
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It was in 1976 when I first heard of The Bradley Method.  The mission of TBM was what I wanted to accomplish in the birth of my children.  It was harder to find support where I lived.  My options were to be strapped down or to be strapped down.  As time passed my path kept falling onto the lives of other mothers wanting the freedom to birth the way they wanted to birth.  My life became busy with work but I continued to take phone call after phone call helping others find resources for natural births.  Many times the little library in our town let me show birth videos and I invited local doulas to set up tables to display their information.  With my first birth I drove over an hour to a rural hospital to have the birth experience I hoped for and for my second, in 1980, we had a home birth.  In 2009 I applied to become a Bradley educator.


Because I took Bradley classes sooooo many years ago I was required to attend a full series taught by a local educator.  In exchange for various favors I attended another 12 week series taught by a teacher in my area.  I had to write a report on each class I attended.  That was no problem at all.  The teacher was a great mentor and very free to share her skills with me.  I do not see, or feel that I have any restrictions as a Bradley educator because I believe in the mission of The Bradley Method.  My class time can't be spent on a lot of the interests that so many other childbirth educators are adding to their classes.  I would hope that the additional information is helpful to their students.  Families are lucky now to have so many options to pick from.  As a matter of fact, childbirth educators are lucky too, to have so many options! 


My students are taught how to have a natural birth, how to stay low risk, and how to advocate on their own behalf; that is a lot of information to digest in 12 weeks.  In keeping the series curricula variables limited to the Bradley Student Workbook and to the Teacher's Manual Outlines I have unlimited freedom and creativity as to how I teach families to have a natural birth.  I am an independent childbirth educator certified in The Bradley Method because I believe it is the best education, after all of these years, to offer a safe passage to the most delicate little beings on this earth.


Visit check it out, get the number for the main office and give them a call to learn more about the fees and call several other teachers in your area and ask them why they believe in and teach The Bradley Method.

Family and Consumer Science Major in Child Development/Childcare Specialist
Certified Childbirth Educator and Doula in The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth
Advanced Doula Traning: JJ Doula in the Netherlands
Please enjoy an article I wrote about a Bradley student.
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