This year, I completed several new trainings that I am very excited about.
Prenatal Yoga Training
This weekend I fulfilled a 7 year old dream and attended a prenatal yoga teacher training in St. Louis. I have wanted to teach prenatal yoga since I was pregnant with my first baby, but a training opportunity just never opened up for me until now. I felt like this was perfect timing. The training was through YogaFit and was pretty basic, but it was just what I needed to feel like I can move forward with this dream. YogaFit is a very “fitness” oriented type of program vs. any kind of holistic-mind/body connection stuff, but I can add those elements in myself. I think I will be able to offer something fairly unique—not just yoga and not just childbirth education but yoga-childbirth-education. There are several other programs like that, of course, but none in the local area! At the training, I also learned some really cool partner yoga stuff that I didn’t know how to do before.
Birth Art Training
In February, I completed something else that I’ve been dreaming about for some time—I took Birthing from Within‘s online course, “How to Lead the Birth Art Process.” Aside from a few minor complaints about the sometimes-frustrating “Zen” underlay and occasional contradictions within the course, I really LOVED this class. I found the online course format to be an ideal format for me—real-person interaction through message board, chat, phone call, and email; written information; writing journals/essay responses; hands-on personal practice with the assignments; and real-life application with other people/clients in birth art sessions. I felt like I got more out of actual use out of this workshop than most of the other classes and workshops I’ve attended—I think this was because the course was spread out over 5 weeks, not just a weekend, which allowed plenty of time to really assimilate and USE the information. It was very affordable too and I was able to attend right from the comfort of my own chair! The class is marketed as suitable for beginners, but personally I found my past background in childbirth education to be very important and I cannot imagine having taken the class with no prior birth class teaching experience—I think the people who had little experience were kind of disadvantaged in this course. Birthing from Within is my all-time favorite birth preparation book/resource and it was so exciting for me to have a little taste of direct training with them. Hopefully at some point in the not-too-distant future, I will take further training with BfW.
Childbirth Educator Certification
In March of this year, I was pleased to earn my childbirth educator certification with CAPPA. Since I am already certified with other organizations, I enrolled in the dual certification program option. I am very excited to be “throwing my hat in” with CAPPA. The organization is very friendly and stable and I really connect with the CAPPA Vision. The program information itself was pretty basic and I didn’t really learn anything new from it, but that makes sense because it isn’t specifically designed for people who already have CBE teaching experience—I think it is a great program for someone starting out in this field.
Comparing CBE Programs:
I get a lot of inquiries from people seeking information about different childbirth education programs and thought I would provide a super-quick mention of the things I enjoyed most about each of my certification programs/organizations. Keep in mind that I certified with ALACE first, hence, I had the most direct experience with their full training program, vs. the other organization’s “accelerated” options (which I SO deeply value and I am SO grateful that ICEA and CAPPA make that option available to people—I’m very, very grateful!). In sequential order:
ALACE (now IBWP)—phenomenally in-depth training program with a wonderful woman-oriented, holistic, midwifery-model. Very homebirth friendly. When I finished this program, I felt like I’d earned another master’s degree—this time in birth. At the present time, however, I do not get a “stable” or professional feeling from the organization and that is very disappointing 😦
ICEA—very professional. Lots of really good information on how to teach and on the principles of adult education in general. I learned the most about the “how” from ICEA (and the “how” is very, very important). They also have several great teaching manuals that are super-affordable. I enjoy the International Journal of Childbirth Education as well. Very professional. The training information assumes educators will be teaching a “mainstream” population, probably in a hospital, but their position papers are very sound and I can really get behind their mission as well. Their certification exam was the most difficult of the three programs and I feel like I really earned my certificate!
CAPPA—I am really pleased with my association with CAPPA. As I noted, they are very friendly and I feel like they will be around for a long time to come. I just get a lovely, warm feeling of “sisterhood” from CAPPA and that is very important to me. I feel connected to the organization and the people and it is a very supportive atmosphere. I recommend them for training, especially for people who are just starting out. I’m excited about the free conferences CAPPA offers as well and I’m going to my first one this July! I also enjoy the CAPPA Quarterly and and I am proud to write the book/film reviews column.