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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 children were 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 pillows all around. The units of lecture were interspersed with activities and the long days passed 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 friendly and knowledgeable, however they seemed to go about their work quite methodically. It was 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 there was 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 - adversarial almost. Bradley teachers in some areas have a reputation, unfortunately, as being militant. 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 it more affordable -maybe offering a few scholarships per city; b) having a few local professionals speak at workshops; c) updating some of the material and handouts; d) addressing the negative attitude of previously mentioned instructor; e) offering more phone support and flexibility during the whole certification process and beyond.

I am happy to be a Bradley teacher and would do it again, as my certification went rather smoothly. I gather this is not everyone's experience however. I would recommend that prospective Childbirth Educators investigate a few methods and interview a few local teachers (of several methods) about the internal workings of their organizations before choosing.


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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