Emily attended a Family Trees Lamaze Accredited Childbirth Educator Seminar this summer in Denver, CO and is currently enrolled in Family Trees Doula School. We're catching up with Emily to hear her story and follow her path to certification and beyond.
What led you to train/certify as a Lamaze Childbirth Educator?
Emily: "I have been interested in childbirth education and learning about options for childbirth since before my son was born almost 7 years ago. Even though I read Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth and watched The Business of Being Born during my pregnancy, I still didn’t act on my feeling that a hospital birth might not be in my best interest. Sure enough, I had a less than optimal experience with my son’s hospital birth, which led me to seek out a freestanding birth center when I became pregnant with my daughter 3 years ago. My daughter’s birth center birth was amazing, physiologic, and an experience I wish every woman could have. As soon as I found out that you didn’t have to have any medical background to be a childbirth educator, I started looking into becoming one.
I heavily researched ALL of the childbirth educator programs before I chose Lamaze. Lamaze really stood out to me because of its emphasis on natural birth and evidence-based information, as well as helping women empower themselves when it comes to choices in their childbirth. Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth literally changed my life and opened my eyes. I knew I was in the right place with Lamaze when I opened “Giving Birth with Confidence” to read for my required readings and Ina May was mentioned in the first few pages."
What kind of work were you doing prior to your Lamaze training/certification?
Emily: "I have been a stay at home mom since my son was born in 2011. Before that, I worked in non-profits, environmental education with the National Park Service, the state forest service and the state wildlife agency and I was a 7th grade English/Language Arts teacher for 2 years. I’ve had a lot of jobs and career trajectories… but my varied background has made me realize how passionate I am about childbirth education. I never felt as passionate or interested in anything else I’ve done as I do about the work I will do as an LCCE."
Tell us about the wonderful things you are doing since your training/certification.
Emily: 'I’ve been working on expanding my knowledge via the required readings and other resources. I also just started Wendy’s Doula School, which I’m so excited about because of the complementary knowledge and experience that childbirth educators and doulas share. I am planning to take the Lamaze exam in April 2019. I know that I can start teaching non-Lamaze branded childbirth classes now, but I really want the recognition and backing of Lamaze and being able to call myself an LCCE."
How can we support your work?
Emily: "Being able to keep in touch with others who have certified and are working on certification, as well as the amazing women who were attended the Denver Lamaze seminar!"
What advice would you give to someone considering Lamaze certification?
Emily: "Lamaze is a great organization to be a part of!"
What advice would you give new trainees who are trying to figure out the best way to prepare for the exam?
Emily: "Oh gosh, I can’t wait to read responses to this!"
Wendy Trees Shiffer, MS, FACCE, LCCE is a mother and maternal-fetal health educator. She is the founder and program director for Family Trees Birth Programs serving childbirth professionals and new parents.