Many of the students in my Birth Boot Camp classes tell me their primary goal when enrolling in a childbirth class is to avoid a cesarean section or to prepare to minimize medical interventions. On many other purchases made throughout pregnancy, we seek out reviews or look for evidence the product or service will meet our expectations. Why shouldn't you do this for your birth class too?
I collect statistics on the births of my students and submit them to the Birth Boot Camp Board of Directors. The information is compiled nationally and includes live classes in 32 states, Canada and Germany, as well as online classes. Each instructor is required to submit statistics on at least 80% of their enrolled students in order to keep a current instructor certification. Here are the Birth Boot Camp statistics for 2015 and an interactive class guide to review.
In order to obtain my certification to teach Birth Boot Camp, I spent several months reading, studying, and preparing for the training workshop. I had to submit book reviews of many required reading materials such as midwifery and anatomy textbooks, labor progress handbooks, breastfeeding, and postpartum books. I also viewed the movies Orgasmic Birth and Born in the USA, and completed and submitted a study guide prior to attending the course training.
Before the course training, all Birth Boot Camp instructors are required to have given birth without pain medication as well as to have breastfed a baby for at least 12 months. Requirements also included witnessing at least two births that were not my own, one in the hospital and one outside the hospital, and writing a summary of those observed births, specifically about my role and what I learned from each about labor progress. I also wrote an in depth essay about why I chose to become a childbirth educator. Next, I compiled and submitted a list of community resources, which required me to interact with members of the local birth community so I could share quality resource provider information with my students.
"Before training, all Birth Boot Camp instructors are required to have given birth without pain medication as well as to have breastfed a baby for at least 12 months." - tweet this!
After submitting each of the above items, and having these reviewed by the Birth Boot Camp Board of Directors, I was enrolled in the training program. The course was approximately 30 hours and included hands on relaxation training, curriculum training with the founders of the program and the teachers of the online class, and live practice teaching and training of my fellow instructors to get experience and feedback while interacting with students. The training class ended with a 3 hour exam, ensuring that everyone who completes the training workshop with certification knows the material inside and out and is capable of competently speaking about the curriculum.
Since my certification in 2012, I am required to re-certify each year by submitting an updated resource list, attending at least three community events related to pregnancy or birth throughout the year, reading at least two new birth related books each year, and submitting written explanations of the events and reading outlining what I learn from them and how it will affect my teaching. If I fail to complete these yearly requirements, I will lose my certification to teach and will not be able to access teaching materials, including ordering student workbooks.
Although this article speaks more to people considering becoming an instructor, not so much towards students, I feel it helps explain the importance of learning slowly and carefully rather than in a fast-food, rushed approach many new educators are taking to become "certified." The Birth Boot Camp program is not a weekend long workshop where you can walk away with a certification to teach childbirth education classes. It takes years of hands-on experience, classes, assignments, and exams to gain the necessary skills to teach a comprehensive childbirth class.
Learn more about upcoming class dates and locations, so you can maximize your chances of an amazing birth!