Teaching our clients about childbirth and its intersections is an important part of providing comprehensive, competent care to the families we serve as birth workers and doulas. Today, DTI educator and our CBE (Child Birth Educator) instructor Jenny Bennett walks us through the four key things every childbirth educator needs to host informational, experiential and communal birth education classes.
(Bennett’s comments are framed around DTI’s Childbirth Educator training, a course that equips doulas and birth workers to offer their own CBE classes. Our next one is on Feb. 5 and you can learn more about it here.)
1.) Have a curriculum.
This may sound obvious, but you can’t teach without a curriculum, and it’s surprising how many programs certify you without giving you any materials to work with. You have to go and create them on your own. (In our CBE training, DTI provides you with a finished student workbook and teaching guide and slides. Our materials are modern and gender-neutral.)
2.) Develop your voice.
Another strength our program has is that we don’t restrict how or where you use these materials, or even whether you use them at all. Our participants enjoy having finished materials they can use right away, but they are also free to develop their own and find a teaching style and content that best fits the needs of their communities. No restrictions!
3.) Practice, practice, practice.
In our program, you have opportunities to practice teaching and answering questions among your peers. The more you practice on your own, in front of a mirror or with friends, the easier it will be to speak confidently in front of a group of expectant parents. (Hint: Our Slow Educator Method also helps!)
4.) Know your stuff.
Teaching childbirth education is a lifelong commitment. Research and practice trends are always ebbing and flowing. Staying up-to-date is something you’ll always be working at, but our program and membership support group exist to help you know where to look and how to interpret what you read. Our required reading list sets you on the right path toward continuing education, too.
About Jenny: After graduating with a degree in journalism and nearly 10 years in the corporate world, the birth of two babies fueled Jenny’s desire to pursue her own small business as a childbirth educator. In 2012 she founded her company Expecting the Best and began offering Hypnobabies classes. Not long after, the path to being a doula became evident. Supporting students at their births was an easy fit, but it felt like just the beginning of the story. Shortly after attending her first birth, Jenny discovered Doula Trainings International and pursued their Birth + Postpartum certification. The significance of supporting all birthing people drives Jenny’s passion to spread the word about DTI’s unique training model, not only within her city near D.C. but across the U.S. She lives with her husband of 15 years, daughter Avery, son Liam and their furry friend Norah.
About our CBE course: Our Childbirth Edu training is a continuing education course meant for doulas, birth workers and advocates interested in becoming childbirth educators, expanding their capacity as professionals and providing better support to clients and their families. Offered online, our next course begins Feb. 5. Click here to learn more about the registration process.