Posts Tagged ‘cappa’

It’s World Doula Week!

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

How are you celebrating?! Share your own video response in the comments on YouTube! Who are the doulas in your life?

A Weighty Responsibility

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Image credit: longdrivejourney.com


Finishing up a class is always bittersweet, triggering a time of self-evaluation, reflection, and a desire to do better next time.

Childbirth education is not a job where I can just show up, punch a card, and go home. It is filled with challenges as unique as each student who walks through the door. Each student requires some customization of the curriculum, and will invariably ask a question I don’t know the answer to. There will be rabbit trails every so often, and bringing class back on track in order to cover the essentials adequately is critical. It is also just as critical to know when it is time to abandon a few of my slides in order to acknowledge and travel down a rabbit trail with purpose.

It requires constant research, reading, and learning on my part. I cannot recycle the same information over and over, and expect to meet the needs of an ever-changing population. Every class series I teach, while built upon the same foundation, will be a little bit different.

As I work toward finishing my re-certification process as a CAPPA Certified Childbirth Educator, I am overwhelmed at the amount of new information permeating the atmosphere surrounding the perinatal year! I am required to choose and read ten complete studies relating to my field that were published in the last five years. I thought it would be a challenge to find new research. I was wrong. The information is out there. It is accessible, if you know where to look, and I am astonished and excited at how much I still have to learn!

I am so glad I chose to certify with an organization that has such rigorous standards for its members. If it weren’t for the constant challenge of re-certification, I think it would be too easy to fall into a rut and stay there, becoming more and more irrelevant in the community. More and more useless in effectively navigating the changing state of childbirth in this country.

When I am up front teaching, I am viewed as an expert, and even an authority on childbirth. Shame on me if I fail to strive to live up to such labels by maintaining a steadfast continuing education. While I know I can never impart everything I know to every student who walks into my classroom, it does not excuse a lack of evidence-based, current knowledge driving and directing my passion. All the passion in the world means nothing if it isn’t paired with a working knowledge of current evidence, applied realistically, and presented in a way that is easy for students to integrate into their own real-world experience.

A discerning childbirth educator changes with the times. Changes with each new group of students who choose their class. Incorporates new information into curriculum as quickly and accurately as possible, enabling students to apply the new knowledge to their own circumstances and worldviews. A wise childbirth educator strives to get a little better each day, understanding that people are making decisions based (at least in part) on what they have said in class.

It is a weighty responsibility.

And I love it.

How do you continue to learn, grown, and change in your own work? What drives you to keep reaching for the next step?

Grace & Peace,
Tiffany

Life Lessons Found As A Doula

Monday, July 28th, 2014

Being a doula has taught me…

  • I have to disappoint people I love sometimes. At any moment, I may have to leave people I care about high and dry while I bolt to the side of a mother in labor. Babies don’t care about the date on the calendar.
  • I will be growing and learning forever. I will never “arrive” at a place where I cannot possibly learn any more.
  • It is not only okay to ask for help, it is imperative.
  • It is also imperative to walk in gratitude for all the help I receive.
  • Self-care is really important, and I am not very good at it most of the time.
  • To value the friends who stick around, even though they can never really depend on me as if I were a normal person.
  • To take myself and my work seriously. This isn’t just a feel-good hobby. It’s hard work, and it is worth it to invest time and resources into growing professionally.
  • Never to take anything for granted. There are no guarantees of good outcomes in any decision I make.
  • There are risks and consequences to everything in life. All we have to do is decide which ones we are willing to live with.
  • Having a mentor is critical.
  • Growing to become a mentor is a privilege.
  • Peer review in the safest context possible is essential to avoiding burnout.
  • I can never care more about a birth, and its outcome, than the mother. Ever.
  • Humility is the first pillar of solid bridge-building between the staff, care providers, my clients, and myself.
  • When I walk into a birthing space, I walk in with the reputation of all doulas in my hands.
  • To be flexible.
  • I don’t have to know everything. I just need to know where to find good information.
  • Scope of Practice is one of my most valuable assets.
  • How and when to say “No.” The rubber has met the road, where my family is concerned, and saying “No” is becoming a little less difficult.
  • While I will never check my faith at the door, my hands, my heart, and my love are far better tools than my tongue.
  • How to actually listen, though I think I will always be working at this.
  • There is no such thing as perfect balance in a person’s life. I can only do the best I can with what I have.
  • I cannot be all things to all people in all situations. However, I can love all people in all situations, and I can be fully myself in whatever moment I am living in.
  • My best is enough.

Above all, being a doula has helped me grow in love–for my God, my husband, my children, and all who come across my path.

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” ~1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV)

As a doula, I finally understand what it looks like when love wins. It doesn’t always mean that everyone is happy, or that everything works out perfectly. It means that choices are made that encompass what is truly best for the other person. It means laying down my desires, opinions, passions, hopes, and putting the best interest of the other person at the top of my priority list. In all situations, love of God, and love for my neighbor (beginning with those in my home) is the answer, and is the deep water my roots drink from.

I am so grateful for the growth I have experienced as a doula, and I pray that I never stop growing. That I always stay teachable. That I always walk in what I know to be true.

What life lessons have you learned from your work, either as a mother, wife, birth professional, flapjack flapper, or whatever it is that you do?

I have to give a shout-out to my mentor and friend, Desirre Andrews. More than anyone, she has challenged me to take risks, get up after I fall, and to widen my view while staying within the bounds of a very narrow path.

Grace & Peace,
Tiffany

Being A Doula

Friday, July 18th, 2014
Image credit: tumblr

Image credit: tumblr

Being a doula, for me, is not about changing hospital policy, or steering women away from “bad” providers. It is not about disseminating information to every client. It’s not about birth plans. It’s not about informed consent. It’s not about vaginal birth, home birth, or cesarean birth. It’s not about statistics. It’s not about rebozos, crock pots, or rice socks. It’s not even about making a difference or changing the world.

Being a doula is about laying aside my notion of what a particular birth ought to be, and instead surrendering to what it actually is. It is opening my eyes to the reality of each woman’s circumstances, and meeting her right where she happens to be.

It is seeing beyond myself, and stepping into someone else’s experience. It is opening my hands in service, in whatever way the mother sees fit. It is about humbling myself, and understanding that each birth can and will teach me something I did not know before.

It is about respecting the care provider(s) my client has chosen, simply because she has chosen them. It is about learning how to show respect and compassion to everyone in the room, even when I don’t feel like it, because it is the right thing to do. Many times, it’s about being an example.

It is about protecting space around a birthing woman and her partner, so all they see is each other. It’s about becoming invisible, so that the birthing woman can focus on what is most important.

It is about being with this woman, right here, in this moment in time. It is often about helping her surrender fully to this great work she is doing. It is looking her in the eye and lending her my strength when she runs out. It is opening a door when she hits her wall. It is about believing her when she expresses pain, and validating her struggle.

It is believing in her, even if no one else does.

It is about bringing a little bit of sunshine into this storm that feels so big, and reminding her that it will not last forever. Being a doula is a lot like trying to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.

It is about love.

And I love being a doula.

Grace & Peace,
Tiffany

 

CAPPA Conference 2012, Day 1: My Take on Things

Friday, July 20th, 2012

I’m beginning to wish that I had brought my camera after all. I decided to leave it home so that my husband could take pics of all the fun things he planned to do with the kids while I was gone. Turns out we have a sick kiddo, so that fun is not necessarily going to happen.

After five great, brain-busting, heart-tugging sessions, my mind is full. The theme this year is building bridges, and all the sessions so far have really given me some practical tools and advice on how to make productive, positive changes to the way I approach my clients and students.

I thought that tonight, I’d just share a few quotes that I really liked from the various sessions today, as well as a few things I learned.

1) Bridging the Nutrition Gap (Laurel Wilson IBCLC, CLE, CLD, CCCE):
The nutrition moms are able to get lay the foundation for her unborn baby for the rest of their life. Sure, we can make changes as needed as adults, but it’s far easier to make healthier choices if the foundation is already laid. Nutrition affects our epi-genome. (Google epigenetics – it’s fascinating stuff. Not going into it here, but man alive…)

2) The Accidental Parent (Tracy Wilson Peters CLD, CLE, CCCE):
I learned the H.A.L.T. principle. Never make important decisions or have important discussions with your spouse when you are Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired. Makes sense!

3) Birth & Postpartum Rituals Around the World (Darla Burns CPD, CLE, CCCE):
We need to learn to value the trichotomy of father/mother/baby, not just the dichotomy of mother and baby. We all know fathers are important, but we do tend to sort of leave dads out a little in childbirth education.

4) Building Birth Bridges (Janice Banther CCCE, CLD, CD):
I learned here how to get things done, reach my goals, and fulfill the dreams I have in birth work by building communication bridges based on the interests and needs of others before myself. Super-inspiring lecture!

5) The eBirth Professional – Best Practices in Technology Use (Desirre Andrews, CLD, CLE, CCCE, Intern Midwife, Advocate):
Oh, MAN – all the stuff I learned in this session! The balance of being real, but professional. Human and accessible, but appropriately private. Developing and establishing my online presence, and finding my own voice.

Looking forward to tomorrow, so much. I can’t wait to really process all this and put it into practice!

Grace & Peace,
Tiffany

At CAPPA: 10 More Things

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Oh. My. Word.

How on earth am I going to narrow today’s post down to 10 things? The fact is that I must. I’m really ready for bed after a long, crazy-full day. Well, here goes nothing, and in no particular order:

#1: These sessions are jam-packed FULL of some seriously life-changing information.

#2: There have been things that I have “known,” somewhere in my gut, were true. I found out today that much of that has a biological basis, and is, in fact, TRUE. Awesome. I love that.

#3: All neural connections for the full spectrum of human emotions in an unborn baby is completed by the first week of the third trimester. In other words, the unborn child is capable of feeling anything from bliss to despair – in utero.

#4: The heart is another brain – it actually has brain cells in it. No, really.

#5: Babies feel begin to feel pain no later than twelve weeks in utero, but it’s probably earlier. However, the part of the brain that can produce analgesic effects, to help cope with pain, are not developed until much later. (I’ll have to go get the dvd of the session to double-check the age, so I won’t list it here yet. It was somewhere in toddlerhood, though.)

#6: Epigenetics are friggin’ awesome.

A few good quotes:

#7: “The foundation of emotional intelligence is emotional security.” ~Robin Grille, psychologist and author of Parenting For a Peaceful World and Heart to Heart Parenting.

#8: “Babies are not resilient, they are adaptive.” ~Bruce Perry In other words, babies don’t “bounce back,” they adapt and cope to deal with whatever comes their way in life – not always in healthy ways.

#9: “Loving eye contact is the other breastmilk.” ~Robin Grille (See #7)

#10: I haven’t danced, like I did tonight, since high school. CAPPA put together an amazing chocolate fondue party to end the night, and I hardly left the dance floor. So much good, clean fun, with women of all ages, shapes, sizes, and colors. It was a beautiful thing.

I don’t have pictures yet, since my camera battery died in my lap yesterday morning. I rue his passing. However, I have friends who promised to email me a few to share with you.

Grace & Peace,
Tiffany

At CAPPA: 10 Things

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

After almost four years as a trained doula, and almost three as a trained childbirth educator, I have finally made it to my certifying organization’s annual conference! I am so grateful and blessed to be here, and to be part of CAPPA.

Even more, I am so glad that I didn’t have to fly out here, navigate LAX, or reserve a hotel room alone. I flew out with a new friend and associate, Kari Golyer, whose friends graciously allowed a stranger to tag along. We are both rooming with Desirre Andrews. This is going to be a unique experience!

Without much further ado, I’d like to share ten things from my day today.

#1: I wish my camera battery wasn’t nearly dead, and I wish that I had remembered my charger for it.

#2: I forgot to bring many different, fairly essential, items on this particular trip.

#3: Kari’s friend, Cari, spent her day taking us to the beach and introducing us to the most amazing Mexican restaurant I’ve ever been to. I’ve already forgotten it’s name. Something like Pablo’s or … PONCHO’S! That’s it, Poncho’s.

#4: Aforementioned Cari also took us to a sand dune used by a lot of people as a workout. The stupid thing was HUGE! Neither Kari or I thought we could do it. It glowered at us and dared us. So we did it.

#5: Six months ago, I would not have been able to do it. At all. Twenty pounds lighter, and 6 weeks into the the Couch to 5K training, I made it! I felt amazing afterward, too. My legs will be sore tomorrow, but I’m proud of myself!

#6: Tonight’s meet-n-greet turned into a wonderful series of surprises, as I met some women whose faces I’ve never seen, except on Twitter or Facebook. The most exciting face-to-face for me was to meet Janice Banther, the founder of Birth Behind Bars, an organization that provides doulas to women inmates. Something that I would like to be a part of, in my “someday dreams.”

#7: I got to see my doula trainer tonight too! I haven’t seen Ana since my training, but have been in touch online. She’s amazing, and I’m so glad to know her, even a little.

#8: Kari and I enjoyed getting out toes into the Pacific Ocean for a little while today. The weather was perfect. Absolutely perfect. That little visit brought us each a little bit of much-needed peace.

#9: I miss my kids and husband, who have graciously allowed me to come to this conference, knowing how much it will benefit me. I have the best family I could have ever asked for.

#10: I have a feeling that this is going to be a wonderful, brain-bustingly fantastic weekend. I can’t wait to share my birth-geekiness with you.

In fact, I think I just might try to share 10 new things a day that I’ve learned…it’s an idea. I make no promises. As you know, my blogging isn’t exactly consistent, but I really do delight in sharing with you when I can; and I appreciate that you care to drop by and read it.

Today’s post was quite random, but my brain needs a little more order to it before I can give you anything other than random. I certainly hope that’s alright with you!

‘Til tomorrow then (or the next day-ish)!

Grace & Peace,
Tiffany Miller, CLD

Lactation Training Colorado Springs – Register now.

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

Transform your understanding about what breastfeeding/breastmilk really is:

• An irreplaceable relationship
• A brain developer

• An immune system
• An organ system
• A living tissue

Transform your professional skills

• Increase your doula competencies in the first hours after birth
• Hone your postpartum doula skills
• Learn unique strategies for teaching breastfeeding to families
• Explore adult learning styles
• Enhance your communication skills

Transform yourself

• Take the leap to explore new ways to work with families
• Connect with other women who love working with moms and babies
• Open your mind about new concepts surrounding breastfeeding
• Take the first step to becoming certified as a lactation
educator with CAPPA

Concepts covered over the three days include: Lactation Professionals, History
of Breastfeeding, Group Process, Learning Styles, Anatomy and Physiology of
Breastfeeding, The Importance of Breastmilk and Breastfeeding, Prenatal Support
and Breastfeeding issues, Birth’s Impact on Breastfeeding, the Hospital
Experience, Latch and the Breast Crawl, Skin To Skin, Signs of Successful
Feeding, Maternal and Infant Challenges, Medications and Breastmilk, Fathers and
Partners, and Curriculum Development.

LAST DAYS TO REGISTER!!!! Must register before 5pm, May 9th MST.

June 3-5, 2011, 8:30am-5:30pm, $425

Colorado Springs, CO at Prep for Birth

To register www.motherjourney.com

Ready to become more proficient when offering breastfeeding education? This
course is designed to improve the skill base, knowledge and perspectives on
breastfeeding and supporting both the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative and
Mother Friendly practices.

This course satisfies the following:

*The Core Competencies in Breastfeeding Care and Services for All Health
Professionals as outlined by the United States Breastfeeding Committee (no
endorsement by the USBC is implied).
http://www.usbreastfeeding.org/Portals/0/Publications/Core-Competencies-2010-rev.pdf

*The 20 Hour World Health Organization Curriculum to support the baby Friendly
Hospital Initiative.

http://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/bfhi/en/index.html

*The CAPPA Lactation Educator certification step for workshop attendance.

http://www.cappa.net/get-certified.php?lactation-educator

Why become a certified lactation educator?

Certified Lactation Educators (CLEs) provide evidence based information to the
community, families and professionals to encourage an increase in breastfeeding
initiation, duration and support. CLEs are found teaching community and hospital
based breastfeeding classes, as peer breastfeeding counselors in hospital and
public health setting, facilitation support groups, running pump rental stations
and providing phone support.

The CAPPA CLE does not prescribe, treat, nor diagnose breastfeeding related
conditions and is trained to refer clients facing circumstances that require
this degree of intervention to a qualified professional. The CAPPA 20 Hour CLE
course is not an IBCLC exam prep course, nor does the CAPPA CLE training prepare
a student to become an IBCLC.

Your faculty:

Laurel Wilson, BS, IBCLC, CCCE, CLE, CLD, CPPFE, CPPI owns and manages
MotherJourney in Centennial, Colorado. She has her degree in Maternal and Child
Health-Lactation Consulting. With over sixteen years experience working with
women in the childbearing year, Laurel takes a creative approach to working with
the pregnant family. So is co-author of forthcoming book, The Greatest
Pregnancy Ever: The Keys to the MotherBaby Connection. Using journaling, birth
art, visualization and experiential exercises, women connect with their inner
resources to discover their true beliefs about themselves, their relationships,
and their abilities to birth and parent their children.

Laurel is certified as a lactation consultant/counselor and educator, childbirth
educator, labor doula, Prenatal Parenting Instructor, and Pre and Postpartum
fitness educator and prenatal yoga teacher. She serves as the CAPPA Executive
Director of Lactation Programs and trains Childbirth Educators and Lactation
Educators for CAPPA certification. Offering education and movement classes to
families in private and hospital settings, Laurel has created teaching
strategies that facilitate better understanding of the change processes during
the childbearing year. Laurel has been joyfully married to her husband for
almost 20 years and has two beautiful teenagers, whose difficult births led her
on a path towards helping emerging families create positive experiences. She
believes that the journey towards and into motherhood is a life changing rite of
passage that should be deeply honored and celebrated.

In light,
Laurel Wilson, BS, IBCLC, CLE, CCCE, CLD
Co-Author of forthcoming book, The Greatest Pregnancy Ever: The Keys to The
Mother-Baby Bond
MotherJourney Childbirth Services
CAPPA Executive Director and Faculty for Lactation Programs
Customer Advocate for InJoy Birth and Parenting
linfinitee@aol.com, www.motherjourney.com
720-291-9115

Connect with CAPPA:

Our website

On Facebook

Announcing New Addition to the PFB Team

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

I am very excited to announce the addition of  Lori Welch, BS, CCCE to the Preparing For Birth teaching team. She is a CAPPA Certified Childbirth Educator and also Lamaze trained. She has experienced both hospital and home births herself.  She has a deep calling for assisting others in their pregnancy, birth and early parenting journeys.

Beginning in May 2010, she will begin teaching and overseeing the bulk of  PFB group classes.

Class registration will remain the same. Her contact information will be lori@prepforbirth.com.

I look forward to working alongside her and expanding the available offerings for birthing families.

Finding and Hiring A Labor Doula

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

Building a labor support team is a vital piece of conscious preparation during pregnancy in preparation for birth and life with the very newborn. Today as part of that support team many women are opting to hire a labor doula to come alongside them at the end of pregnancy through labor and delivery with some additional early postpartum follow-up.  For additional after birth support, a postpartum doula can be hired.

Step 1: Finding a Doula

  • Inquire with friends, family, local support/informational groups (for example – ICAN, LLLI, Birth Network, Birth Circle), childbirth educators, care providers, prenatal massage therapists, prenatal exercise instructors, lactation experts and chiropractors for referrals.
  • Use your favorite search engine and type in your city or area name with the keyword doula
  • Search training and certifying organizations such as CAPPA, DONA, ICEA ALACE and CBI
  • Search general doula sites such as All Doulas, Doulas.com, About.com or Doula.com

Step 2: First Contact

Once you have located local area doulas, the next step is a visit to make contact. You will likely find that most doulas are women though occasionally you will find a male doula in your area.  After visiting any applicable websites, phone or email only the doulas that most interest you and fit your particular needs.  Generally there is not much need to contact more than three perspective doulas.

During your phone conversation or in your email be sure to include:

  • Full name
  • Contact information
  • Estimated Due Date
  • General location where you live
  • Care Provider
  • Birth Location
  • Top needs and desires for birth
  • If referred, by whom
  • Any financial considerations

Step 3:  Setting up the Interview

I encourage an initial interview via phone prior to meeting in person to get more of an idea for compatibility that email alone cannot offer.

  • Unless the doula has an office, interviews are done in a public place such as a coffee house, restaurant, library, park, or shopping center. If you meet at a place where beverages or food will be ordered you can offer to pick up the tab for everyone if you desire, but it is not expected.
  • Your partner, husband or other support who will be attending the birth needs to be at in-person interview.
  • Expect the interview to be approximately an hour and to be free of charge.

Step 4: The Interview

The interview is to gain more detailed information from the doula, as well as, share more detailed information about yourself and what you want.  It is customary for the doula to bring a client packet with her that may include her professional background, client agreement, services, and support details and offerings.

Suggested Interview Questions:

  • Why are you a doula?
  • What is your philosophy of childbirth?
  • Where did you get your training?
  • Are you certified? Why or why not?
  • How long have you been a doula?
  • What is your scope of practice?
  • What types of births have you participated in?
  • What types of birth locations have you been to?
  • How many births per month on average do you attend?
  • How many clients would max you out in a month?
  • Have you ever missed a birth? Please explain why.
  • Do you specialize in working with a specific type of clientele or birth plan?
  • What has been the most challenging birth you have attended? Why?
  • How do you work with my husband/partner/other support?
  • Have you worked with my provider before? If yes, please describe the experience.
  • How many prenatal visits would there be?
  • In general, what is covered in the prenatal visits?
  • Will you help me make a birth plan?
  • Please explain how your fee is structured.
  • Do you have a back-up and do I meet her ahead of time?
  • When do you go on-call?
  • Do you labor at home with me?
  • What do you do if I am induced or need to schedule a cesarean?
  • When will you see me postpartum and what does it include?
  • What are your expectations of me as a client?
  • How long do I have to decide before you would contract with someone else around my EDD?

Of course that is a fairly long list of overview questions. Brainstorm some of your own. The interview is not meant to be a free prenatal visit, it is simply to find out if you and the doula are a fit personality wise and in how she practices.  Most doulas do not expect to be hired on the spot. You  need time to think over all the interviews before making a decision. If a doula is pressuring you to hire on the spot, that could be a red flag.

Step 5: Hiring the Doula

When you make your decision, please also contact those you are not choosing as well to let them know you have hired someone else so they will not be holding your EDD space open any longer.

Details to be clear about when initially hiring your doula:

  • Sign and return the agreement/contract she gave you at the interview (if applicable).
  • Payment  – First portion of fee is usually paid upon hiring a doula.
  • Ask her usual business hours and contact preference for non-emergencies or labor related needs.
  • Let her know your contact preferences and all phone numbers to reach you and your spouse/partner or other support.
  • Set the date and time for the first prenatal appointment. Give her directions if your home is not easy to find.

Congratulations!