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Childbirth Educators from AAHCC (Bradley®)
I looked only at Bradley Method. I had just taken the series as a student
and had gone on to have my first VBAC. I was completely convinced that the
only reason I succeeded was because I had taken Bradley. I never considered
teaching without certification - it did not occur to me that anyone would
take a class if the teacher was not certified by one organization or another.
I enjoyed my training. We had a good sized group. Several
people, including me, brought their husbands and children, but none of the
really disruptive in any way (I think we got really lucky in that respect!).
I enjoyed the
relaxed atmosphere of the training session. We were all on the floor with
around. The units of lecture were interspersed with activities and the long
quite quickly. The actual information dispensed was helpful, however I did
feel at times
that some of the video information seemed quite old. I was also disappointed
that most of
the promised experts were on video, not in person. The instructors were
knowledgeable, however they seemed to go about their work quite methodically.
obvious they had done this again and again and again. In some ways this was
a good thing
- we always started and ended exactly on time. However, it also seemed that
little room for addressing issues or questions that were not exactly on the
agenda. One of
the instructors seemed a little too negative about the medical establishment
almost. Bradley teachers in some areas have a reputation, unfortunately, as
I believe that some (but definitely not all) of that comes from the attitude
that underlies in
some of the sessions in the workshop. Overall, however, I quite enjoyed it
and was able
to keep things in perspective. The training could be improved by a) making
affordable -maybe offering a few scholarships per city; b) having a few
speak at workshops; c) updating some of the material and handouts; d)
negative attitude of previously mentioned instructor; e) offering more phone
flexibility during the whole certification process and beyond.
I am happy to be a Bradley teacher and would do it again, as my certification
smoothly. I gather this is not everyone's experience however. I would
prospective Childbirth Educators investigate a few methods and interview a
teachers (of several methods) about the internal workings of their
I looked at Bradley and Birth Works when I was first thinking
about becomeing a CE - about 1988-89 after my VBAC.
I picked Bradley because it was more established and had a more
structured lesson plan... Birth Works appealed to me because I'd been a
long time member of CPM and later ICAN - but it was brand new and had a
reputation as VBAC only (Which I knew NOT to be true but I have always
been a little introverted and couldn't see having to "sell" it so hard.)
I was alson concerned because I THOUGHT I'd have to develop the lesson
plan from scratch. I just didn't have enough practical birth experience
under my belt.
I chose to be certified because I thought that it would be an
advantage to be a member of a national organization - especially one which
had an established reputation, a national referral hotline and *continuous
support* in the form of a regular teacher newsletter..... (Ha Ha Ha Ha)
At first Fetal Advocates came pretty regularly and it was a
highlight of my day to sit and read about what the org. was up to. I was
isolated geographically - no other teachers - still am and until BCCE came
along had very little one on one with other teachers. It was extrememly
exciting to be trained when the pink workbook was brand new. I had hope
that they'd update ALL of their material in a similar PROFESSIONAL way.
The teacher training manual (which they're very proud of) has been
basically useless to me... I can't believe ANYONE uses it as their main
source of information.
Fetal advocates have become non-existant. The class materials
have proven to be very expensive - I think I've yet to clear a profit
(And NO, I don't charge enough... but I JUST can't stomach charging what
I'm worth. Sigh.) They seem to think the main form of teacher to teacher
interaction should be BIRTHS conferences, which frankly, I don't know if
I'll ever be able to afford in either time or money. California might as
well be the moon for as likely as I am to get there.
Extremely. It was the most intense and interesting experience
I've had in a long time. M&J are wonderful in person - and Marian
Thompson came to one session and she presented LLL to me in a whole new
light! The "home" work part of the training was fairly adequate. I'd like
to see continuing ed. beyond the re-reading of certain books - I've done
some breastfeeding and C.E. seminars on my own which greatly benefitted
my teaching abilities.
Continuing ed. More information on what to bring to Training
workshop. Lower costs?
Karen E. Vradlis, AAHCC.
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