It’s not every day you meet someone as multi-talented as Dr. Tijana Sefic Eby, DC, CBE, CD (DTI). Tijana is a birth doula, a chiropractor specializing in caring for the whole family during pregnancy (babies and children, too), and a childbirth educator serving the Marietta, Ga. community near Atlanta. She’s also a step-mom, partner to Pete, and now mama to their own little cub, 10-month-old Teo! Tijana developed an interest in pregnancy and babies long before her own baby was born. This month’s featured DTI EDU instructor shares more about how this career path came to be.
You can find Dr. Tijana on Facebook @ Healthy BEing Wellness and visit her website at www.healthybeingwellness.com. She’ll be offering Marietta birth classes beginning this month at her office! Click here for more information.
Tell us about your work (family life included) so far this year. How has your childbirth educator training influenced your path?
I am a chiropractor and doula, and I became a certified childbirth educator last summer right when my son was born. I took 9-10 months of maternity leave as a doula while continuing my work as a prenatal and pediatric chiropractor. As I returned to doula work, it really made me realize how much harder it is on my family life, which is one of the reasons why I started my journey as a childbirth educator to begin with. Seeing it all unfold in real life, it really made me shift my whole paradigm. So far I have been offering private classes for childbirth education to my clients, and now I’m shifting into larger, group classes, with plans to add some long-distance, online options as well.
What would you say are the trends in birth education in your area?
In the Atlanta area, there is a wide variety of classes offered and most clients seeking out birth education are looking for low intervention births in hospital settings. I have also noticed that clients often choose between childbirth education and hiring a doula as a support person. Unfortunately, one does not replace the other.
What are your top 3 teaching tools?
Drawing / visual aids / multimedia
What would you say are the top 3 reasons to take a childbirth class?
Empower yourself with knowledge
Advocate for your choices
Learn what is normal
What’s special about the classes you want to teach? How do you set them apart?
What I loved about DTI’s CBE training is that encompassed a broad spectrum of knowledge that you can adjust to your clients’ needs. I don’t stress one specific philosophy in my teaching. I discuss learning what is normal physiology during birth, comfort measures, birth plans, what to expect in different settings, and so on. Depending on the needs and desires of the clients, we may sway the discussion in a more naturally minded direction, or keep it more clinical.
What prompted your decision to train as a childbirth educator?
I did a lot of childbirth education with my prenatal chiropractic and doula clients already, but during the prenatal visits, sometimes we didn’t have enough time to cover all the topics and I wanted to be able to offer a well-rounded workshop.
Also, I was anticipating my baby’s arrival and I knew that my focus would shift somewhat during the first few years of his life. So I wanted to be able to set my schedule with classes and workshops that would fit my family’s life, and I appreciate the ability to have the opportunity to set my schedule as it best suits me.
What do you love most about teaching?
I love it when people make the connections during a class. When they learn things about normal birth they may have not previously known. Those “aha” moments are absolute winners! When they walk away from your class with the knowledge with gems that will later help them, that’s what feels really good.
Describe your classroom. What’s your favorite way to set up your space?
I like to start out with an open space and then offer a variety of seating options to the clients (cushions, balls, chairs) in a circular configuration in the room, so that it fosters camaraderie amongst clients and the teacher. I keep the lighting ambient to create a soft and soothing space without any harsh sights, smells, or sounds. I also always make sure to have snacks and water (infused with lemon/lime/cucumber/mint) for the pregnant clientes and their partners.
Tell us something about you that has nothing to do with birth!
I’m a mom to 10-month-old baby boy who was born 9 weeks early. He’s my little trusty sidekick these days. He goes where I go, work, play, even a home birth I attended as a doula. And we live and thrive by babywearing! I’m a total foodie and love to try new restaurants, especially off the beaten path.