DTI’s EDU Childbirth Education: How Are We Different?

Simone Toomer, CD/CBE (DTI), LC

I am a DTI doula and will soon be a DTI childbirth educator. As a Lamaze-certified educator, you might wonder why I chose to certify with another program, given Lamaze is such a well-known name.

After the Lamaze weekend workshop, I remember feeling that l’d gained nothing new aside from evidence-based research tools. The study guide was thick and daunting to read and I only passed the exam because of my already existing knowledge as a practicing birth doula and lactation counselor.

As a doula, I had become more comfortable with teaching in my prenatal visits with clients, but I wanted to venture into group settings, facilitate childbirth education classes and have a thorough grasp on all aspects of labor, birth, and the postpartum period, all goals I had yet to realize. With the trust that I already had in DTI’s offerings, I knew that the Childbirth Education Training program would give me the right tools to deliver information to a wide variety of families and also provide the strong sense of community DTI offers to troubleshoot my class curriculum, pacify my fears of teaching, learn from my peers, and help me grow as an educator.

The 3-month program includes online modules where the instructor guides you through not only the process of labor and delivery but also healthy pregnancy practices, health care options, mindfulness, and more. DTI honors all births and the autonomy of the birthing person and this is reflected in the childbirth training education course. The program does not present one philosophy regarding labor and birth over another, such as Bradley or Lamaze, instead providing a well-rounded approach and pulling from evidence based practices to empower birthing families to make informed decisions and work toward improving their care. There are required readings and assignments to help you tap into curriculum building and teaching skills, and you get an educator’s manual that you can use or revamp as you discover your own individual style.

I am now one month away from certification and although I’ve been teaching for some time now, I feel more empowered than ever in my classes to teach and equip families. Teaching childbirth education is the perfect balance to doula work. DTI is continually providing its community with innovative resources and the Childbirth Education Training program is no exception.

Jay Rodriguez, BS, NRP, CCP, EMS-I

I became a Paramedic and am now a doula because of one surprisingly simple reason: I love to help people. I became an educator because one of the most profound ways to help people is to alleviate fear, and the greatest way to do that is through education. Whether this is their very first child or their very last, every client will have questions. And whether they admit it or not, some will have coinciding fear. Learning the information, techniques, and terminology to allay those fears will benefit your client but increase the depth of your knowledge and the breadth of your services as a doula.

 

Artwork by Cheyenne Varner, commissioned for DTI’s CBE course

As birth workers, I would imagine one common fear we all have is being asked the one question we don’t know how to answer or to be placed in the one situation we don’t know how to handle. We can alleviate this fear by expanding our education, so that when it inevitably occurs again we are not fearful and can handle the situation with some sense of familiarity. Simply put – if you understand it, you cannot fear it. Undertaking a childbirth education course is the ultimate representation of this statement. Regardless of your educational or experiential background, a childbirth education course will solidify the knowledge you already have and then combine it with more extensive training to elevate that knowledge far beyond that of the traditional doula. DTI’s course absolutely fulfills the core base of physiologic birth and postpartum knowledge necessary to facilitate a childbirth education course, while also digging deepth into the potential complications and procedural remediation of the birth and postpartum period, giving the educator the knowledge to successfully answer the attendees’ questions. Having undertaken this course through DTI, I feel more prepared to teach the curriculum, answer questions, and facilitate the course than I have after taking other non-birth related instructor courses. I would highly recommend this course to fellow doulas, regardless of experience level. If you have the drive to take your practice to the next level and have the passion to help clients become better educated, more informed about birth, and better prepared for the postpartum period, then this course is for you!From as far back as he can remember, Jay has loved helping people. Growing up in a family of physicians and fascinated by the human body, he knew medicine was his calling. After becoming a Paramedic, EMS was his niche. He currently holds multiple specialty certifications and is a nationally registered Paramedic with dual licensure in Texas and Washington. A prehospital medical educator for 17 years, he holds instructorships from the American Heart Association (AHA), EMS Safety Services and the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT). Jay has also earned two bachelor’s degrees and three associate’s degrees.

While undertaking a large independent study for his second bachelor’s degree, Jay had the privilege of interviewing a midwife. After this profound interview, he seriously considered his long and short term career goals, ultimately determining a change was needed. Jay had always considered a career as a birth professional but until this moment did not think it was a feasible option because of his gender. With the support of his wife, family and many friends, he began birth and postpartum doula training in October 2016. He is currently in the inaugural Childbirth Educator Training program for DTI. In the near future, his goal is to begin midwifery school.

He recently moved from his native Texas to the beautiful Pacific Northwest, where he runs The Great Northwest Doula Service (www.greatnorthwestdoula.com). He lives with his wife Heather, a full time master’s Degree candidate in Middle Eastern Studies; their 7-year-old Sheltie, Socks; and a 3-year-old jet black cat, Cricket.[/vc_column_text][divider line_type=”Full Width Line”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]DTI’s next childbirth education cohort begins August 21, 2017. DTI members can take $157.00 off using code “CBEsummerfun”. Learn more about the CBE course and sign up here: https://www.doulatrainingsinternational.com/dtis-childbirth-edu-training-program/.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]