How Do I Become a Childbirth Educator?

Whitney Leigh White

In order to become a childbirth educator, a person does not necessarily have to obtain a college degree, but sometimes one is preferred. Most times, a person can become a childbirth educator by simply obtaining certain certification(s). With so many organizations offering childbirth education certification, it is important for a person to identify the exact type of certification(s) that he or she needs.

A pregnant woman.
A pregnant woman.

Both individual and business entities hire childbirth educators. It depends on what type of entity a childbirth educator wants to work for that determines what type of certification he or she will need to obtain. Those that want to make a large amount of money from teaching childbirth education classes will most likely do so by working for a hospital. If the person wants to teach natural childbirth classes, he or she will generally benefit the most by working for non-organizational entities. Since becoming certified in childbirth education does become quite costly, it is important for a person to obtain the right type of certification the first time around.

People may also choose to obtain certification for the teaching the Bradley Method and Hypnobirthing processes. The Lamaze International organization and Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association also provide their own types of certification. No matter what type of certification a person obtains in order to become a childbirth educator, a budget should be created because books, materials, supplies, and exams will become costly.

Many times, a hospital will prefer for a person to have no previous childbirth instructing experience. The hospital creates its own curriculum and, after the person completes the rigorous work, he or she becomes a childbirth educator. Many times, the curriculum will include readings, completing observation hours, and attending workshops. Since childbirth educators can teach a number of different subjects, including sibling information, cesarean preparation, and labor comforts courses, the curriculums usually vary. When a hospital does not create its own curriculum, it will usually have the person complete certification through the International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA).

If a person chooses to become a childbirth educator and teach natural childbirth, he or she will find it most beneficial to obtain certification through the Association of Labor Assistants and Childbirth Educators (ALACE), which is a non-profit organization. The organization teaches people how to treat pregnancy and birth as a natural process, not one that should be treated with medications. The program is taken through a distance-learning curriculum and can be completed in about 10 to 14 months.

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