In your search for a natural childbirth class, be sure to check out the credentials of your childbirth educator. While many are well-qualified, others may have little to no experience aside from their own birth. Let’s discuss natural childbirth educator certification requirements and the benefits of choosing a certified educator.
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Natural Childbirth Educator Certification Requirements:
Types of Certification Programs
There are many options for certification programs, ranging from fledgling start-ups to big names such as Lamaze International. Some of these are accredited, while others are not. A few of the more well-known, independent certification programs include:
- Lamaze International
- International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA)
- Childbirth and Postpartum Association (CAPPA)
Ask if your childbirth educator maintains a current certification in one of these organizations. If so, the chances are good that he/she has the education, skills, and ethics needed to host a childbirth class.
What Educators Learn
The most qualified childbirth educators have participated in an internationally-recognized certification program. The curriculum of these programs include a wide variety of subjects, including:
- Informed decision-making
- Family-centered maternity care
- Labor and birth
- Strategies for a healthy pregnancy and birth
- Complications and labor interventions
- Postpartum & newborn care
Natural childbirth educator certification requirements often include reading books and research articles, writing papers, and passing a certification exam. Many require that participants teach or co-teach a childbirth class, and receive feedback from peers. Others require that they view at least 2 births, not including their own, before certification is complete.
Independent Certification vs Method-Specific Certification
Independent Natural Childbirth Educator Certification
Most internationally-recognized certification programs, such as Lamaze, ICEA, and CAPPA, use ongoing research as the basis of their training. However, they don’t provide an actual curriculum for educators to use when they start teaching. In this case, educators use their training to develop an evidence-based curriculum of their own. By maintaining their certification and keeping up-to-date on the latest research, these educators continuously improve their course content and teaching materials over time.
Kopa Birth® offers curriculum resources (course presentation materials, course manuals, online content, etc.) that independent certified childbirth educators can use to present high-quality classes. The course curriculum undergoes regular updates. Kopa Birth® encourages and empowers educators to suggest changes and improvements — a contribution made possible by their independent study and ongoing certification. Kopa Birth® works in tandem with well-trained, certified educators to present the highest quality, engaging childbirth classes.
Method-Specific Natural Childbirth Certification
Some organizations self-certify their childbirth educators. This means that the particular course or method trains educators to teach their specific course or method. This includes organizations such as:
- Bradley Method
- Birth Boot Camp
The benefit of a method-specific certification is that couples can plan to receive highly specific training in that particular method. If you want to learn deep hypnosis, you can trust that you’ll learn the same skills in a HypnoBirthing class that your friend in another state did. Ultimately, self-certifying results in a predictable class experience. The drawback is that educators are being taught what the method wants them to teach to their clients. This poses the risk that the class material may be biased or less objective.
Kopa Birth’s online birthing classes allow you to prepare for natural childbirth in the comfort of your own home, 24/7. Enroll today in our free online childbirth class to learn more about preparing for natural childbirth.