Most know what a childbirth educator is but did you know there are different kinds of childbirth educators? I’m not talking about what they teach but who they choose to affiliate with. For example – a childbirth educator working out of a hospital, birth center, doctor’s or midwife’s office has aligned her/himself with that entity. They are more likely to teach what that entity wants them to teach in order to continue the relationship.
There are also childbirth educators who choose to teach specific “method” or “technique” like The Bradley Method, Hypnobirthing or Lamaze. These all have specific requirements of those who choose to align with them. They will require their teachers to follow certain guidelines in order to maintain the relationship. A breech in these guidelines may lead to immediate termination of contract without any opportunity given to the educator to make corrections and maintain the relationship.
Then there are independent childbirth educators. Those who teach a specific method or technique may believe they are “independent” educators simply because they set their own tuition fees and determine what additional items will be included within that fee but they are still held to a certain guideline set by the certifying entity and must ask for permission if they want to include anything that is not normally part of that method or technique. This means that the information they teach is limited by the certifying entity.
A truly independent childbirth educator is one who not only sets his/her tuition fees, determines what will be included in the cost of the classes, but also has complete freedom in regards to curriculum. This is why I chose to certify with Childbirth International after the certifying entity for the Bradley Method terminated my contract with them without cause, warning or opportunity to “make things right” (even though I did not do what they claim I had done). Childbirth International believes that I know what I am doing and am competent enough to create my own curriculum – they also provide a curriculum that I can use if I’d like.
The smart independent childbirth educator will do his/her homework and provide a course that is full of birth truth. He/she will care more about the students learning the truth about childbirth than about his/her relationship with local doctors, midwives, hospitals, birth centers, doulas, other childbirth educators, etc. After all, “the truth is the truth and the a lie is a lie regardless of how many people believe it.”
While hearing, “I wish I would have taken you seriously when you taught us about……” is difficult to hear from a former student. Hearing, “Why didn’t you tell me……” is much harder to hear and justify. It is my job to teach birth truth especially when it is in opposition to what the greater portion of the population understands these days.
There are so many things occurring today that have roots in pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding. If every couple knew even a fraction of the birth truth I know, they would consider their choices more deeply. They would research more and ask more questions and they would listen more closely to the part inside of them that is telling them that something is not right. They may be the most understood couple but they will be able to live with their choices because they took the time to become truly informed.