Childbirth Education and Instructors

Couple in Childbirth Class
Couple in Childbirth Class. Photo © Scott Olson/Staff / Getting Images

I wanted to take a minute to tell you a bit about childbirth education, and to give a tribute to the amazing women (and a few men) out there educating the masses on pregnancy, birth, parenting, and so much more. I hope after you read this article you will remember to say a special thank you to your childbirth educator.

Childbirth education means a lot of different things to different consumers:

  • socialization with other pregnant couples
  • funny breathing
  • gory videos
  • relaxing on the floor
  • wonderful few hours spent on planning for the baby every week

Do you know what it means to the instructors? Is it just another job? Here are what a few educators told me this weekend:

"One of the reasons that I teach is that I am aware that women never forget their experiences giving birth and I want to do what I can to help ensure a good memory." -Penny Simkin, Seattle Washington

"I teach to have an impact on the beginning of the family through empowerment, choices and education." Robin Sharples-Ray, Tempe AZ

"To share the wonder in the process of birth, to accept as a ‘doable' natural process, with tools to cope with labor and information to make choices for birth as they want it to be, with the communications skills to do so." Diane Oakland, West Allis, WI

"To help couples have a more positive birth." Suzanne Nelson, Rochester Hills, MI

There are many reasons to take childbirth classes.

For most the problem is deciding which childbirth class to take. This can be a big problem, although the choices really are a good thing. Many insurances companies will now reimburse for classes because of the known benefits, several classes are free (Although this is not the only reason to choose a class), others offer scholarships to those unable to pay.

Here are some sample topics that may be covered in your childbirth classes:

  • Anatomy & Physiology
  • Comfort Measures for Pregnancy
  • Stages of Labor & Birth
  • Relaxation
  • Reducing Labor Pain
  • Medications
  • Complications
  • Cesarean Surgery
  • Newborn Care
  • Postpartum Care
  • Breastfeeding

Becoming a childbirth educator is a calling for most. Although, there are different routes of becoming a childbirth educator, some requiring certification and others not. A few of the certification organizations include:

To find one of these gems you can contact the above mentioned organizations or contact local educators. 

Enjoy your childbirth education classes!

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