Childbirth Educator Training

Conducted through Bastyr University's Simkin Center for Allied Birth Professions, the Childbirth Educator Training is a comprehensive and engaging educational experience that prepares excellent prenatal educators.

Length of course: 9-week course consisting of a weekly remote-live class and online learning modules.  

 

Testimonials

Background

Childbirth educators provide information and training to expectant parents in preparing for labor, birth, and the postpartum period. They may work independently, for a private organization, or for a hospital or maternity care provider.

Childbirth education classes typically include information on late pregnancy, labor, breastfeeding, postpartum, and newborn care. Childbirth educators also guide expectant parents in the practice of relaxation, breathing techniques, and comfort measures for labor.

The Childbirth Educator Training (CET) is a comprehensive educational experience that prepares excellent prenatal educators with content and teaching skills. The newly revised curriculum provides two online learning platforms and a weekly remote live class that meets for 9 weeks during the evenings.

This training will use two online learning platforms, Canvas and Injoy e-class titled, Understanding Birth.

Canvas (Bastyr University’s online learning platform) will be the “hub” where your online course work lives. You will use this online learning platform weekly to complete your assignments, reading, videos and supplementary resources, moderated discussions, case studies, interactive exercises, quizzes, and self-assessments. Canvas will also be the online gathering to connect with your instructor and classmates.

Injoy e-class is a comprehensive review regarding the basics of “Understanding Birth”.

Our remote-live classes will focus on gaining valuable teaching skills. This includes teaching demonstrations and student teach-backs, practice teaching observed by experienced educators. Guidance and support are provided by highly experienced instructors throughout the course.

Completion of two online learning modules is required before the end of the 9-week course. Depending on your current knowledge and experience, this will take between 20-40+ hours to complete.

This time-range estimate includes several hours of prerequisite (prior to the start of class) module review in Canvas and Injoy’s “Understanding Birth” e-class.

Certification as a Childbirth Educator

Completion of the Childbirth Educator Training (CET) is the first step toward becoming a certified childbirth educator prepared to teach childbirth education, breastfeeding and newborn care classes in the hospital or the community.

The CET fulfills the requirements for:

  • International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA) certification and/or recertification and includes 16 ICEA contact hours.
  • Great Starts Birth and Family Education recognizes the CET as one step toward certification as childbirth educator.

The CET also fulfills the childbirth educator training prerequisite for the Bastyr University Department of Midwifery.

ZOOM Live Virtual classroom:

This remote live training will be hosted using Zoom. If you have not used Zoom, please familiarize yourself with the application prior to the first day of class. If you are new to Zoom, the following topics will be most relevant:

Attending a live Zoom class requires that you have a reliable internet connection, camera, and microphone. Check this link for system requirements: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362023-System-requirements-for-Windows-macOS-and-Linux

Training Details

The Childbirth Educator Training includes 14+ modules in an online classroom platform in addition to 9 weekly remote live classes.

Students learn the basics of how to teach childbirth and newborn care to adults.  Instructors model a variety of teaching techniques including lecture, use of audio-visual aids, role-playing, active learning methods and small group activities. Students apply their learning through practice teaching sessions, which offer each student a chance to give a short presentation to peers and receive an experienced childbirth educator's feedback.

Topics include:

  • The History of Childbirth Education
  • Scope of Practice for the Childbirth Educator
  • Art and Science of Learning and Teaching
  • Reproductive anatomy and physiology
  • Fetal Development
  • Physical Changes in Pregnancy
  • Emotional Experience of Pregnancy, Labor and Postpartum
  • Nutrition and Exercise in Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Care and Prenatal Testing
  • Complications and Interventions in Pregnancy, Labor and Birth
  • Stages of labor
  • Comfort Measures for Labor
  • Pain Medications
  • Birth-Planning and Informed choice
  • Cesarean Birth
  • Postpartum, Breastfeeding, Newborn Care and Safety
  • Transformation of Birth, Postpartum and Early Parenthood
  • Learning Objectives and Developing a CBE Curriculum
  • Dynamics of Group Learning
  • Teaching Strategies
  • Curriculum Development
  • Understanding Research and Evidence-based Practice
  • Designing Evaluations
  • Certification and Job Opportunities

Since most expectant parents plan to give birth in a hospital, most opportunities for childbirth educators involve teaching about hospital birth. Therefore, the class focuses primarily on how to teach about hospital birth, although out-of-hospital birth is also addressed.

Required Texts

Recommended Texts

Childbirth Educator Training Cancellation, Transfer and Refund Policy

Cancellation

Cancellation requests made prior to the release of the online modules are eligible for a full refund minus a $100 processing fee.
Once the online modules are open and students are given access, any cancellations made 30 days before the start of class are eligible for a 50% refund.
Once the online modules are open and students are given access, any cancellations made less than 30 days before the start of class are NOT eligible for a refund.

Transfers

Transfer requests made PRIOR to the release of the online modules (Canvas and InJoy) are eligible for a transfer with the addition of a $100 processing fee.
Once the online modules are open and students are given access, any transfer requests made 30 days BEFORE the start of class are eligible for a transfer with the addition of a $325 fee.
Once the modules are open and students are given access, any transfer requests made less than 30 days before the start of class are eligible for a transfer, with the addition of a $425 fee.

Upcoming Trainings

Oct
18
Tuesday, 2022
Simkin Center for Allied Birth Vocations
Achieve proficiency as a Prenatal Educator in a 9-week format from October 18- December 13, on Tuesday evenings from 6:00pm-9:00pm PST. Taught by ICEA Approved trainer, Joni Parthemer and guest speakers. This course will be taught as a live-remote learning via ZOOM, offering the perfect opportunity to have a more spread-out schedule for people who want more time to assimilate the material and to learn with a close cohort of students while completing 3-5* hours of flipped content between classes. *Depending on your knowledge and experience, you can expect to complete assignments between classes. REGISTER NOW! Registration Deadline: Sept 30, 2022. Full tuition: $959. Please contact us regarding our Zoom Class Assistant position. Phone us at 425-602-3378, in you have any questions about this training.
Feb
28
Tuesday, 2023
Simkin Center for Allied Birth Vocations
Achieve proficiency as a Prenatal Educator in a 9-week format from February 28 - April 25, 2023 on Tuesday evenings from 6:00pm-9:00pm PST. Taught by ICEA Approved trainer, Joni Parthemer and guest speakers. This course will be taught as a live-remote learning via ZOOM, offering the perfect opportunity to have a more spread-out schedule for people who want more time to assimilate the material and to learn with a close cohort of students while completing 3-5* hours of flipped content between classes. *Depending on your knowledge and experience, you can expect to complete assignments between classes. REGISTER NOW! Registration Deadline: January 28, 2023. Full tuition: $959. Please contact us regarding our Zoom Class Assistant position. Phone us at 425-602-3378, in you have any questions about this training.
Jul
11
Tuesday, 2023
Simkin Center for Allied Birth Vocations
Achieve proficiency as a Prenatal Educator in a 9-week format from July 11 - September 5, 2023 on Tuesday evenings from 6:00pm-9:00pm PST. Taught by ICEA Approved trainer, Joni Parthemer and guest speakers. This course will be taught as a live-remote learning via ZOOM, offering the perfect opportunity to have a more spread-out schedule for people who want more time to assimilate the material and to learn with a close cohort of students while completing 3-5* hours of flipped content between classes. *Depending on your knowledge and experience, you can expect to complete assignments between classes. REGISTER NOW! Registration Deadline: June 11, 2023. Full tuition: $959. Please contact us regarding our Zoom Class Assistant position. Phone us at 425-602-3378, in you have any questions about this training.
Oct
17
Tuesday, 2023
Simkin Center for Allied Birth Vocations
Achieve proficiency as a Prenatal Educator in a 9-week format from October 17 - December 12, 2023 on Tuesday evenings from 6:00pm-9:00pm PST. Taught by ICEA Approved trainer, Joni Parthemer and guest speakers. This course will be taught as a live-remote learning via ZOOM, offering the perfect opportunity to have a more spread-out schedule for people who want more time to assimilate the material and to learn with a close cohort of students while completing 3-5* hours of flipped content between classes. *Depending on your knowledge and experience, you can expect to complete assignments between classes. REGISTER NOW! Registration Deadline: September 17, 2023. Full tuition: $959. Please contact us regarding our Zoom Class Assistant position. Phone us at 425-602-3378, in you have any questions about this training.

Frequently Asked Questions - Childbirth Educators

Are there prerequisites for the Simkin Center Childbirth Educator Training?

No, however, for students without prior experience in the field, it will be helpful to attend the Simkin Center DONA-approved Birth Doula Skills Workshop or observe a childbirth education series as preparation for the class. It is also helpful if you have attended at least one labor and birth, either as a birthing woman or as a support person or birth doula.

Who attends the Childbirth Educator Training?

The Childbirth Educator Training is primarily designed for people who would like to teach structured childbirth preparation classes, for a hospital or the community. We cover instruction of childbirth preparation, breastfeeding and newborn care. The course is also appropriate for anyone who works with expectant parents and would like to incorporate client education into their work. Birth and postpartum doulas, midwives, nurses, prenatal exercise instructors, massage therapists and social workers, among others, have completed the training.

What does the Childbirth Educator Training prepare me to do?

On completion, you will be well qualified to provide formal and informal education to expectant parents, as a supplement to other services that you provide (birth or postpartum doula support, pre- and perinatal massage therapy, prenatal yoga instruction, mental health and nutrition counseling, integrative care, etc.).

If you want to teach a formal childbirth preparation class, you will want to become a certified childbirth educator. Hospitals and other employers often require certification to teach. To teach childbirth education classes in the community, there is no legal requirement to be certified. However, most professionals in the childbirth field consider certification essential to ensure that all expectant parents are well served.

What organizations provide certification in childbirth education?

The Childbirth Educator Training prepares you for certification with the International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA) and is approved for 16 ICEA contact hours.  In the Puget Sound area certification is available through Great Starts Birth and Family Education, click here. If you live in the Puget Sound region, this is a good organization to choose. There are other certifying organizations that require you to attend their specific training program, and this course does not prepare you for their certification. These include Bradley, Lamaze International and Birthing from Within, among others.

What is the certification process?

Different programs have different steps to certification. These may include taking a training class such as the Childbirth Educator Training, observing one or more childbirth series, and teaching under supervision. The course applies toward certification with the International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA). For information on certification through Great Starts, visit their web site.

After I am certified, what jobs are available to me?

Hospital education programs hire certified childbirth educators to teach childbirth preparation classes, breastfeeding classes and newborn care classes. Check with hospitals in your area to find out about job opportunities. You can also organize community-based classes. Community classes can be formed in collaboration with midwives or obstetric practices. They could be offered through parks department educational programs, community colleges or other adult education programs. There may also be public sector employment available to you. Some hospital programs require their educators to also be nurses. A few hospitals will only use certified lactation educators to teach their breastfeeding classes.

What is the pay like for childbirth educators? Could I make a living doing this?

Most settings pay by the hour. A hospital in the Seattle area may pay $22 to $35 an hour for a beginning childbirth educator. This typically covers class time, plus some time for setting up for class, and for cleaning up after a class. Pay rates increase with experience.

Note that time spent developing curriculum or handouts, or preparing materials for classes, is not paid time. Childbirth education offers a flexible job to bring in some extra money, to contribute to the community, and to combine professional development with other responsibilities such as parenting. Typically, an instructor has flexibility in setting her own schedule. Some instructors teach for only a few hours a week, or only in summer, or only during the school year. Some instructors teach multiple evenings each week. It is generally not possible to work full-time as a childbirth educator, or use this as a primary source of income, because the available working hours are limited. Because of the work schedules of expectant parents, childbirth classes typically are offered between 6 and 9 p.m. on Monday through Thursday evenings, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. Even if someone taught all these available slots each week, it is not a full-time job.

What are the advantages of Simkin's childbirth educator training compared to other training programs?

The majority of technical content childbirth educators need to know is covered in the online modules, at the students own pace.  Intensive on-site days allow focus on adult learning, gaining teaching skills and methods and especially practice teaching.  During the training, you will have the opportunity to present five different mini-classes (each presentation is 5 to 10 minutes long) to a supportive group of four to six other students. An experienced childbirth educator will observe and provide productive and specific feedback. This opportunity to practice teach in a supportive environment significantly increases your readiness to begin your new career as an educator. The Childbirth Educator Training is taught by some of the most experienced childbirth educators in the community, from a variety of backgrounds. The Childbirth Educator Training offers the best parts of many childbirth education theories rather than sticking solely to one philosophy of childbirth preparation.

I already have a lot of background and training in the birth field. Is there a way to "test out" of part of the course?

No. We expect all of our students to have a basic working knowledge of pregnancy, birth and newborn care. However, the blended curriculum allows students who already have specific knowledge base to spend less time on topics you know and focus on content areas you need to strenghthen.  On-site it's all about how to teach this information to a variety of adult learners, to a variety of different learning styles. 

What Our Students Say

  • "I had been toying with the idea of being involved in birth and new families for a very long time. I was so happy to find a supportive, informative, and inspiring place to learn how to do it. I came with trepidations and left feeling inspired, hopeful, and confident. I’ve found out not just what I want to do with the rest of my life, but how."
  • "The Childbirth Educator Training and the Birth Doula Skills Workshop prepared me to take on the former Soviet government in Georgia to create the first ever childbirth educator certification course in the country. My training taught me the importance of quality classes for new parents, and the strength that these families can gain from taking this first step in the best, most positive way possible. It also taught me how to present the information in a way that reaches and captivates every parent in the class, regardless of previous knowledge or experience."
  • "I passed and am now an ICEA Certified Childbirth Educator! Please pass along my sincere thanks to your staff and teaching faculty. Everyone I have come in contact with at [Simkin Center] has been wonderfully professional and knowledgeable. I refer people to your program quite often. Keep up the great work!"
  • [I hope] “that Carrie, Joni and the rest of this teaching team continues to teach, mentor, share, demonstrate and learn! You are all inspirational!”
  • “I enjoy feeling that I have good teaching qualities, abilities, techniques and knowledge. That I too can be an effective educator with practice.”
  • “This is such an amazing community to be involved with and I can’t wait to see where it takes me.”
  • “I am aware of my strengths and weaknesses, and know areas that need practice. I’ve learned so much about myself – I didn’t really expect that!”

 

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