When I got pregnant with my first child, I started my journey into childbirth education.
I became my own educator via Google. I signed up for weekly emails telling me the fruit equivalent to the size of baby. I searched for answers to every symptom I showed. I asked questions of friends, family, and anyone who would answer about pregnancy and birth. I even pulled analytics on which class in my area had the highest rate of vaginal, low intervention outcomes. I signed up for a 12 week (non-Lamaze) childbirth class that met every Sunday. The classes were over an hour away from me, each way, and I gladly made the drive in hopes of learning secrets to a “successful” birth.
During and after my pregnancy I began to see that I was not your average expectant parent. Who actually has that much time to pour into the internet? For me, I didn’t have many commitments outside of work (or cable TV) and my husband worked nights so it was easy. But I also saw that there were many choices I had made that my friends were not even aware of.
Motherhood was a journey I loved. Like so many mothers along the way, I wanted to share the information I had learned. I began looking for career moves where I could put my love of pregnancy and birth to work and found a position managing a hospital based prenatal education program. Wanting to better understand the field I was now working in I decided I should become a certified childbirth educator. As you may guess, this started a new research journey.
I automatically ruled out the childbirth education program I used for my birth, because I wanted to empower women in their births and recognized that it a 12 week commitment would be difficult for most moms. For my own birth, I ended up needing interventions and felt as though my birth was flawed and I knew that wasn’t what I wanted to teach other mothers. I wanted to give women information and for them to feel confident in their birth choices. The more I researched Lamaze, the more strongly I felt that was what I needed to teach.
I ended up becoming a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator (LCCE) when I was 5 months pregnant with my second son.
Here are a few of the reasons why I chose to become a Lamaze Childbirth Educator:
- Lamaze has been around and continuously taught since the 1960’s.
- Lamaze is very well respected within the medical and holistic communities (not something easily accomplished).
- Lamaze is the only childbirth education program accredited by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
- Lamaze supports women and their choices in birth.
- Lamaze uses reliable data to support their 6 Healthy Birth Practices and Fundamentals of Pregnancy, Birth, and Early Parenting.
This last point really was the sticking point for me. I have a background in Research Methodology and am highly skeptical of antecdotal rationales. Learning that Lamaze’s practices are based on good/reproducible research means a lot to me.
Looking back, I realize this is just where I was meant to be. My mother took Lamaze classes when she was pregnant with my sister and then again with me. I have been using the techniques, taught by my mother, my whole life!
If you think a Lamaze class is right for your pregnancy and birth, classes can be found here. If you are interested in becoming a Lamaze instructor additional details on the Lamaze Educator Seminar can be found here.