I Teach Childbirth Education – I’m a Birth Expert!

When I meet aspiring doulas I’m asked how to get into this work, and my answer is simple… Teach Childbirth Education!

I started my career in birth work as a certified childbirth educator. I sought out a well-known method of childbirth education, completed my training, and became certified.

I needed the predictable schedule that teaching childbirth classes offered.

I began this work with the best of intentions, but quickly found that childbirth education methods are wrought with bias; that each method is the only way – the best way – the most tried and true way – to achieve a certain type of birth.

To say this mode of thinking, and teaching, was unfair to my clients would be a gross understatement.

I began piecing together non-judgmental topics, evidence based information, activities and a style to teach childbirth classes that would meet the needs and desires of these modern parents.

It wasn’t long before my classes were full, and in less than six months I was teaching two and three nights per week. Couples saw me as an expert on birth – an honest and unbiased resource.

What followed was a natural progression to my doula career. Couples invited me to be their doula! As doulas, we know that the foundation of this work is in building relationships with our clients, and spending time together exploring birth in my classes strengthen those relationships.

We know that there is no one tool – technique – state of mind – breath – movement – hum – moan – position – method – to birth.

We know that birth is unique to the person experiencing it, and we draw on that knowledge to build confidence in our clients around the uncertainties of pregnancy, birth and the early moments of parenthood when we teach childbirth classes.

There came a point where I had deviated so far from the method I was supposed to be teaching that I became worried. Not that the couples in my class would be disappointed, but of being “found out” by my certifying organization.

More so, I couldn’t effectively market what I was teaching – what people clearly wanted and were signing up for…

People joked that I should “retire before I get fired” and go out on my own. One of the partners in a class said the only thing that could possibly make my classes better would be having class “with whiskey in a spaceship.” I draw the line there, but was flattered by the compliment!

I knew it was time!

I bought the ProDoula CBE Exam the day it was launched.

When I notified my former certifying organization that I wouldn’t be renewing my credential, 
they couldn’t understand why.

I was advised to go back to teaching their curriculum and when I explained that I wouldn’t teach biased birth, I was advised to check with my husband to make sure I was making the best decision.

Check with my husband? Really? Ok…

The ProDoula CBE Exam filled gaps in my knowledge base that I didn’t even know I had. Expanding our childbirth education teaching curriculum after certifying with ProDoula gave Doulas of Cincinnati the opportunity to offer parents individualized options for positive and satisfying birth experiences.

Becoming a ProDoula Certified Childbirth Educator gives you the expertise to support modern parents. You’re prepared to teach unbiased and evidence based information, with resources and connections that are relevant to your community.

And if you’re new here, it’s a way to fast track your knowledge before you even start supporting clients during birth!

Wherever you are in your career, you’ll find opportunity to diversify your business and professional growth as you become an expert on birth.

Katie Brenner, Co-founder, Doulas of Cincinnati