Wednesday, January 7, 2015

I am a Lamaze Childbirth Educator

It's been 5 years since I did my doula training and attended my first birth, and I am finally officially adding a new service to my birth professional repertoire -- childbirth education!

I attended a Lamaze childbirth educator training a few months ago so that I can work toward becoming Lamaze certified. I have been wanting to become a childbirth educator for some time, but knew I wanted to do certify with Lamaze. Why Lamaze? Because I consider them the most in touch with birth-related research and evidence-based recommendations. I love their blog Science and Sensibility and that they have their own peer-reviewed Journal of Perinatal Education.

Lamaze isn't "all about the breathing," which is what many people who knew of Lamaze in the 20th century think of. It has come a long way to be a leading International professional organization.

Tonight I officially teach my first course as a childbirth educator (rather than "just" a doula)! The responsibility is almost greater, in a way, than my usual doula prenatal visits. At those visits we can talk about anything - what I think of, what the client thinks of - and I don't have the responsibility of being the font of all their knowledge. I can assume or hope that they have read books or been to a childbirth education class already and I can just fill in the gaps or reassure. But, as childbirth educator, I am presumably the first point of contact and information with the birth world. I have the responsibility to not forget to tell them something, and to tell them everything in the right way (don't want to freak anyone out)!

My favorite aspect of the Lamaze approach are the 6 Healthy Birth Practices. If you visit their website, you can watch easy-to-digest videos on each birth practice, or read each practice's paper, which includes the research-based for every recommendation. All of this is available here:

My scholarly heart rejoices at how evidence-based it all is!

They recently created an infographic and accompanying infographic video that outlines the Healthy Birth Practices in a simple way. They are also slowly releasing infographics for each of the individual steps. Learn more below!

6 Simple Steps to a Safe and Healthy Birth

click to enlarge

Anyone else out there Lamaze certified? 

Turns out there is only one other Lamaze-certified childbirth educator (LCCE) in my area. ONE! I hope that I can fill a need. I wasn't able to attend a training as soon as I had wanted, because there are no Lamaze trainers in my state. I'm not sure why they aren't as popular here. 

Just as an aside, I actually thought that my Lamaze seminar was kind of a waste of time. I already knew all of the content, and was hoping to learn more about teaching methods than I dd (since I'm new to teaching). It was a requirement for those of us who haven't taught childbirth education before  and want to take the certification exam sooner than we can teach 60 hours of CBE. You can get around it if you are a CBE that has taught 60 hours in in the 3 years prior to taking the Lamaze exam. The seminar would be valuable for someone very new to birth stuff. I think it was valuable for the L&D nurses who were in the training with me, too. But I learned nothing new. (But I keep up with things more than most!)

Wish me luck! :)

1 comment:

  1. Congrats! I'm a medical librarian looking into options for becoming certified as a childbirth educator (and maybe a doula later on). I'm really leaning towards Lamaze for the same reasons. The librarian side of me loves their emphasis on evidence-based research and I like how simple they explain healthy birth practices. How long did it take you to complete the certification requirements?

    By the way, I love your blog. Very informative!


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