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Discussion Starter #1
I've got a question that may seem a little strange...... I have wanted for almost two years now to become a doula and/or childbirth educator. I've got two very little ones at home (and one on the way!) and my husband works 48 hour shifts, so becoming a doula isn't terribly practical (we're military and don't have anyone to take the kids just whenever)... But as a childbirth educator, of course, I can set my hours...<br><br>
My husband doesn't want me spending the $$$ to get certified when I can just go and teach without a certification (and once I've got $ coming in, THEN pay for whatever program). At first the idea seemed absurd, however, there are NO childbirth eduators in the city where I work (besides the hospital, ack!!!), so it's not like people would be choosing certified educators over me...<br><br>
I'm already fairly well educated re:childbirth, and wouldn't even DREAM of teaching a class without reading TONS more. I would start out by accessing the book lists at CAPPA, DONA and ALACE (do any others have better/more extensive programs or reading lists???). Do you think this would qualify me to teach (at reduced rates until certification is final)? Or would I be missing an absolute ton by not becoming certified first?<br><br>
Did I mention that the area could REALLY REALLY use this service?<br><br>
I only ask because I am REALLY unsure (still leaning towards just doing it the "right" way), and need some honest feedback from other professionals... Thanks for your help!!!
 

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It's possible. If you already know alot about birth and then read a ton of books, you are doing good. I have a few suggestions:<br><br>
-Make a detailed outline of what material you would cover. Going through all the books will help with this. I am in the ALACE CBE program and their book list is extensive. Take lots of notes and then compile all the info together of how you would present it to students.<br>
- Observe or rent videos of a childbirth class series. This way you know what a typical class may cover and you can adjust/add your info as needed.<br>
- There are several online sites that you can download free CBE handouts, ideas, materials. I don't have the names of them off the top of my head, but just search around and I am sure you can find something helpful.
 

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One of the equally important things in teaching childbirth education is knowing how to teach effectivly.<br><br>
It's one thing to know a lot about childbirth and it's awesome to want to impart that knowledge to others, but there is a wealth of information to be gained in learning how to teach so that your students will listen, hear and even more importantly understand.<br><br>
Now that's not saying not to follow your heart, but at the very least invest in and read Childbirth Education: Practice, Research and Theory. It's part of the required reading for Lamaze and CAPPA and while it's dry reading at times, and it's set up like a college text, it's a wealth of information.
 

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It certainly is possible to do it without certification - especially if you plan to teach independently. I agree with reading Childbirth Education: Practice, Research and Theory along with all the other books you will read.<br><br>
Another option would be to become a certified Happiest Baby on the Block educator. Much cheaper and you could get started pretty quickly. That way you could be teaching and making money while doing your other reading and/or saving up for a certification package.<br><br>
good luck!
 

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I'm not currently certified by any large group, but I was originally certified with Bradley. I don't think certification is necessary-but I think the training involved is helpful, and it's important to have a really solid knowledge base.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">One of the equally important things in teaching childbirth education is knowing how to teach effectivly.</td>
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I wondered if that might be something to consider. I spent about a year in early childhood education before I changed my major... not sure how much of a difference this would make, though.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Observe or rent videos of a childbirth class series. This way you know what a typical class may cover and you can adjust/add your info as needed.</td>
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About 45-55 minutes south of me is (compared to HERE) a natural-living mecca, (Ft. Collins, CO) with lots of CPMs and doulas and hospitals that are actually PRO BF and NCB. They even have a homebirth support group that I intend attending next week... I am hoping to find cbe's (either certified or not) who will allow me to shadow or audit for a reduced fee or something along those lines... I'm certain that would be helpful.<br><br>
I am also starting to look for used cbe materials so that I could basically follow the homestudy course without the actual certification/membership/testing costs...<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">There are several online sites that you can download free CBE handouts, ideas, materials. I don't have the names of them off the top of my head, but just search around and I am sure you can find something helpful.</td>
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I found one of these after searching for "non certified childbirth educators" - it was about 20 pages in, but I found it! <a href="http://www.transitiontoparenthood.com/" target="_blank">http://www.transitiontoparenthood.com/</a> Very helpful.<br><br>
And thanks so much for the book rec - I'll make it the first I get! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Ok, well if you cant tell by my user id I am a Bradley teacher... lol<br><br>
Anyway, as a consumer, I don't think I would want to pay anyone to educate me who isn't certified to do so.<br><br>
Anyone can read books to learn about childbirth, anyone can listen to birth stories from other with positive experiences.<br><br>
How would you even advertise if you don't have a method to advertise as? What would you use as a workbook? Hypno, Lamamze, and Bradley all have factors that set them apart for one another, would you make up your own method because you can't copy someone elses... I am just thinking out loud here.<br><br>
Anyway, I don't think it would be fair to consumers to teach something that you are not certified to teach.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
even if I became certified, I would want to make my own lesson plans and teach from my own philosophy rather than someone elses... Some programs do allow for this.<br><br>
I took and loved Bradley Classes during my son's pregnancy, but I feel very strongly that there is a lot that the Bradley method leaves out... I considered becoming a bradley instructor, but understand that they have very strict guidelines on what to and not to teach. I do not feel comfortable with that...<br><br>
I would advertise myself as an independant natural childbirth educator...<br><br>
Edited to add: I'm not trying to argue, just clarify my intentions. Also, I was wondering - are nurses who teach childbirth classes in hospitals "certified" instructors? I'm 99% sure the nurse instructor for the hospital class I took with my first pregnancy wasn't... that being said, it WAS a waste of my money, lol!!!
 

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I know that the intructors in the hospitals here are certified Lamaze instructors.<br><br>
(I know that you aren't trying to argue, and I don't get that vibe AT ALL from your post, so don't worry!) <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br>
Have you cheked out CAPPA?<br><br>
I advertize myself as an independant NCB educator, as that is what I am, but I teach TBM. I feel that I offer the most extensive classes on the market today! (At least I think so!)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yeah, I've looked at cappa, dona, alace, icea, bradley (a long time ago), along with many others... they are all well out of our current price range.<br><br>
I also came across birtharts when I was looking into doula cert. I like their philosophy and despite being so new, and rather unknown, their doula training looks EXCELLENT. They are adding a cbe program in july 08, with a reduced rate that would work with our budget to the first 100 applicants, but I want to get started NOW... I did email them to see if I could at the very least get a book list... I will probably go that route if I can get a book list and if I am among the first 100. Not sure how long that's been on the webpage, though.
 

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We have two local hospitals here that teach classes, and NONE of their teachers are certified -- they are just labor and delivery nurses. You know, you don't need certification if you are just teaching people how to be good little patients at your hospital.<br><br>
I looked at CAPPA since they have a distance option. I am so glad I didn't choose that rout. I decided to go through Lamaze. With Lamaze, you have a set of topics you must cover, but you choose what info to include about them and in what order. You create your own course design, which is hard, but so worth it. Lamaze is not a method of childbirth anymore, it is now a philosophy, being promoting normal birth. I went through Passion for Birth. One things that was nice was I paid in segments. I signed up through PfB, and it was $150 to gest started, that included the Lamaze materials (a HUGE binder of just about everything you would ever need to know, evidence based articles, teaching stratgies, activities to get you more intune with your local birth climate, etc.). Since there wasn't a training planned for near me, I just stuck with all that reading and the suggested activities. I had to wait about a year to attend a training, but that was okay -- I had a lot to do in the meantime. If you host a training, you can either get it free for yourself or reduced, I believe? But it sounds like that may not be an option in your area. The things I learned in person -- addressing the needs of adult learners, styles of learning, actual teaching presentations and ideas -- those were the things I couldn't learn from a book. The training was $350, so I had a year between paying -- I didn't have to lay our $500 at once. I was even able to make payments on the $350. Now in April I will sit for the exam, and pay some more money. But I have really appreciated that I didn't have to commit the full amount at once.<br><br>
All that said, we have a very successful educator here who is not certified. She combines a lot of different ideas, BFW, Hypnobirthing, traditional stuff, and her classes fill well. She is a doula and a midwife's apprentice, though, so she really knows her stuff.<br><br>
I don't think certification is necessary (as I am teaching now uncertified), but I think what YOU learn from all that hard work (and, unfortunately, money) has the potential to make you a better teacher than what you might be alone.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I would almost certainly have to do a distance program, which is fine, I learn better and retain more on my own than in a classroom. For some people that is not the case...<br><br>
Along those lines, I wonder, when you do a distance course, is it fair to say that you are basically paying for the privilage of having all the info in one cohesive unit (ie: "read this this and this, and take a test to prove you read it, and you're done") or is there more to it? In other words, couldn't I theoretically find out what topics are covered in a course or seminar, and do my own research? I imagine I'd go deeper in my own studies than what could possibly be covered in a 3 day seminar or it's equivelent home study course.<br><br>
I totally get the need to learn about adult learning styles, various teaching techniques and such... But wouldn't I benefit more from pulling out my college text books and notes from a full college class on teaching and learning styles, as opposed to attending 3 days of class, only a portion of which is dedicated to teaching and learning styles? I'd assume that the same content is included in the distance learning options as would be in the seminars...<br><br>
Just playing with some thoughts that are going around in my head... and supposing I was able to do all the above research to the same level or higher than the various programs require, which would obviously take lots of time and energy, lots of hard work - is my work less valuable simply because I did it all for free in a library or online, rather than paying someone else to gather all the materials for me? I'm not being cheap here - it's not that I'm spending my money on other things - there IS no money. When I say "out of my price range" I mean that you could literally double my husband's pay and we would STILL qualify for WIC...<br><br>
I want more than anything to be able to help the mothers in my area make educated decisions regarding childbirth - the ob's in this area sure aren't going to provide that opportunity (I was told by an OB here that an "epidural never hurt anyone"... the hospital's epidural rate is 98-99%.)
 

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I think certification can have it's place, but honestly, it wasn't something I considered when I sought out childbirth classes. If one is teaching a certain, copyrighted method such as Bradley, and advertising oneself as teaching that method, then yes, of course I would not go to someone who was not certified.<br><br>
I taught childbirth classes in my community for a couple of years, and I simply advertised them as "independent natural childbirth classes, for those seeking a natural birth in the home, birth center, or hospital environment."<br><br>
When I spoke to prospective students, I simply stated my experience. I happen to have a lot of experience as a doula and a nurse at an independent birth center, and I taught childbirth classes there--but when I did, I didn't receive any special training. I would just be honest with your experience and preparation. I do think, though, if you dont' have hands on experience as a doula or nurse, it would be difficult for you to advertise yourself. Being certified might well lend some credibility to your teaching, and I would assume that your certifying body would provide you with some "back-up"--like if a client asked a question in class that you couldnt' answer, you would have some forum or support person to call and clarify. That sort of support would be nice for you, particularly if you don't have much hands on childbirth experience.<br><br>
I developed my own materials. I never used a workbook, or had clients fill out much of anything--certainly not enough to require finding some sort of workbook. From the feedback I received, the classes were very successful. When I got tired of the schedule, I simply turned my classes and materials over to the local doula organization.<br><br>
Hope that helps.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mom2mializ</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10307192"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I would almost certainly have to do a distance program, which is fine, I learn better and retain more on my own than in a classroom. For some people that is not the case...</div>
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I hear people say this a lot. The thing that is important to understand is, there are things that you can't learn alone -- techniques that are directly hands-on, in order to teach them to your students, etc. The body learns 10 times faster than the brain. What you can learn experientially can far surpass what you can ready in a book, at least for the majority of people, that holds true. Who know, you might be the exception <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Along those lines, I wonder, when you do a distance course, is it fair to say that you are basically paying for the privilage of having all the info in one cohesive unit (ie: "read this this and this, and take a test to prove you read it, and you're done") or is there more to it? In other words, couldn't I theoretically find out what topics are covered in a course or seminar, and do my own research? I imagine I'd go deeper in my own studies than what could possibly be covered in a 3 day seminar or it's equivelent home study course.</td>
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Yes, why pay for a distance course if you could acquire all the information yourself. It would be more work on your part, but if you are only paying to get the materials, you could source them yourself. What I would have been paying for, overall, is the certification option (even though CAPPA is not the highest regarded CBE organization out there).<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I totally get the need to learn about adult learning styles, various teaching techniques and such... But wouldn't I benefit more from pulling out my college text books and notes from a full college class on teaching and learning styles, as opposed to attending 3 days of class, only a portion of which is dedicated to teaching and learning styles? I'd assume that the same content is included in the distance learning options as would be in the seminars...</td>
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Of course that could work for you, looking over info you already have, but what many CBE orgs offer is how that directly relates to the subject matter of the very sensitive topic of birth, reproductive organs, corresponding emotions, etc.
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Just playing with some thoughts that are going around in my head... and supposing I was able to do all the above research to the same level or higher than the various programs require, which would obviously take lots of time and energy, lots of hard work - is my work less valuable simply because I did it all for free in a library or online, rather than paying someone else to gather all the materials for me? I'm not being cheap here - it's not that I'm spending my money on other things - there IS no money. When I say "out of my price range" I mean that you could literally double my husband's pay and we would STILL qualify for WIC...</td>
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I totally get what youa re talking about when it comes to money. I still dont' have the money to put into things -- I don't know how my doulas clients pay me, just writing a check for a $200 deposit -- in my life, I don't know where people get the money to do that! We are broke, like broke broke. WIC? Yeah, we are way worse off than that, we qualify for much more! But with income tax returns, student loan timings, birthday money, I have been able to pay a little bit at a time and slowy work my way into all of these things I have done.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I want more than anything to be able to help the mothers in my area make educated decisions regarding childbirth - the ob's in this area sure aren't going to provide that opportunity (I was told by an OB here that an "epidural never hurt anyone"... the hospital's epidural rate is 98-99%.)</td>
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If you want it bad enough, you will figure out how to do it <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">. Good luck.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mom2mializ</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10307192"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I totally get the need to learn about adult learning styles, various teaching techniques and such...</div>
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I'm not a CBE, but I have a Masters of Education degree and I wanted to chime in and support what you've said about researching pedagogy methods for teaching adult learners. I recommend looking up Howard Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences. I have found this theory particularly helpful in planning for teaching experiences, in which I will be working with a variety of individuals.<br><br>
It sounds like you are on your way to meeting a need in your community. Good luck on your path! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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ALACE's program is distance learning and that is what I am doing. It is more than just read this, read that, take a test. I turn in my work and get a lot of feedback from the director. There is a LOT of experiential exercises, for example, you have to teach certain topics to a pregnant couple and get feedback, observe another childbirth education class, role play different exercises, and more...there's some every module. So just because you are not in a classroom, doesn't mean that distance learning ignores the pedagogy aspect. My last module is solely about teaching. There is virtually no way I could duplicate what I've gotten from ALACE and their manual is just the tip of the iceburg. I am passionately in love with ALACE if you can't tell and while it is expensive, I think it is 100% worth it. I would not be wanting to try to put this stuff together on my own, it would take me forever and a day and I've been turned onto resources I never would have heard of without it. I guess I would just say if you can at all swing it, I think certification programs are worth it if only for what you learn. They all have payment plans so I would at least consider it...<br><br>
If you don't, I would observe as many childbirth classes as you can and really observe the participants reaction to the teacher and see if you can tell what works and what doesn't. READ. And then read some more. Get acquainted with all your local resources because people really rely on their CBE for recommendations on all kinds of stuff. Good luck with whatever you decide
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>AmieV</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10313778"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">ALACE's program is distance learning and that is what I am doing. It is more than just read this, read that, take a test. I turn in my work and get a lot of feedback from the director. There is a LOT of experiential exercises, for example, you have to teach certain topics to a pregnant couple and get feedback, observe another childbirth education class, role play different exercises, and more...there's some every module.</div>
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Lamaze is the same, just as I imagine other programs are as well. There is a lot of community interviewing, observing, and interaction-based projects.<br><br>
When I first got the bug to teach, I literally laid up at night, unable to sleep, because I SO wanted to teach, but I wasn't sure what path to pursue. I mean, if you just need a course desing, Janelle at transitionstoparenthood has tons of stuff one could use and teach. But I wanted more info, I wanted to know the reputable sources of evidence. I wanted to know ideas for presenting topics that was more than, 'look on this poster to see...' I schemed and worked to try and get it all together. Even with the Lamaze info (that I had to break up into 4 smaller binders just to be able to navigate through it), I still wasn't sure how to get things going. It wasn't until my weekend training that finally, I got it all organized in my head, and then, finally, I could sleep.<br><br>
Follow your heart and you will get there.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>iemaja</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10311604"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'm not a CBE, but I have a Masters of Education degree and I wanted to chime in and support what you've said about researching pedagogy methods for teaching adult learners. I recommend looking up Howard Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences. I have found this theory particularly helpful in planning for teaching experiences, in which I will be working with a variety of individuals.<br><br>
It sounds like you are on your way to meeting a need in your community. Good luck on your path! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"></div>
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I want to second Gardner's Multiple Intelligences.<br><br>
Also...teaching something allows the brain to retain the information exponentially more than hearing and even doing. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Maybe try practice teaching on a friend to see where you are at with info before you start advertising....just a thought <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Gardners theory was definately covered in my class, I've got the notes somewhere. I imagine I'll look into it further though.
 
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