Teaching Birth Classes Sound Fun?
Preparing families for their best birth is a wonderful job! If you are considering becoming a childbirth educator, I encourage you to ask each organization you are considering some questions so that you can find a program that’s a great fit for your career. We have already answered each one as BEST Educator and I encourage you to find out the answer from each organization you are considering.
What are the basics of training? Is it online? In person?
This is a big one. Many people consider online training because it may be a convenient and sometimes cheaper option. Traveling can seem daunting in some stages in life, however, online training is limited in teaching hands-on skills and face to face practice. If online training is your only option, we suggest reaching out to local-to-you birth pros for meetups and community. Hanging out with other people who love birth is much as you do is always fun, and it will excite you as you get started. The educators you train with may be your biggest cheerleaders!
BEST Educator is divided into an online portion and an in-person workshop – the best of both worlds. The online study guide is sent when you register for training. It includes reading a few books, listening to the class you will be certified to teach on podcasts (provided free) and working through a study guide. When you register for any BEST training, you are added to the BEST study groups online and will start receiving mentorship. The workshop itself is about 16 hours of face to face training. The even better news? After completing the workshop you are certified with no further waiting.
What is the total cost to be certified?
This question is going to get you a lot of answers because many programs have several layers of fees that are paid at different times over the course of training. Find out all of them as you begin so you can budget (membership fee, packet fee, workshop fee…). If the organization you are looking at also requires observation births, practice classes or other requirements to finish your training, you will need to count those expenses too (ie childcare, gas, parking, materials, etc.).
Luckily for our accountants at BEST, we have just one fee and it includes everything. The fee as of 2018 is $695 with early bird registration discount of $100. So basically if you sign up a month in advance you can become a certified educator for $595. This includes the childbirth class, workshop, study materials, and ongoing mentorship. There are no additional membership costs or hidden fees.
Will I need to sign a non-compete? Will my professional development be limited if I leave?
Some organizations that certify birth educators do have each educator to sign a non-compete before coming to training or certifying. A non-compete is a legal document which can mean anything from preventing you from teaching for a period of time if you choose not to re-certify or that you cannot train with or promote other organizations…and everything in between. Do not skip this question – ain't nobody got time for legal hassles while on the road to becoming an amazing educator! If the organization of your choice does have a non-compete, strongly consider spending the money to have a lawyer review the non-compete document before you choose to sign. It is good to understand what you are signing and how it might effect you now and later.
BEST does not have a non-compete and we love to hear that educators are doing professional development. Remember the T in the acronym BEST stands for working together. We love collaboration! We do feel our training is more than enough to get educators on their way to a sustainable, ethical and fulfilling career – but more training is never a bad thing.
What will I actually teach once I am certified?
Some organizations will teach about teaching, but you will cultivate your own curriculum and materials for your classes as well as do all your own marketing. Other organizations have set curriculum that you will teach and you will be marketing their "brand" to attract students. Both have pros and cons so there is not right answer for what works for you. BEST Educators are certified to teach Preparing for Birth. Each BEST Certified Childbirth Educator you will receive:
Childbirth education without emphasis on any one type of birth. Physiological, medicated, vaginal, and cesarean birth are all included.
Materials full of inspiration, discussion points and positive affirmations.
Full access to 4 curricula - a 6 week, comprehensive class; a weekend class; a hospital specific class; and a homebirth class.
A journal for your students, available only to BEST Certified Educators, that organizes the thoughts, hopes and dreams of an individual or couple and turns them into easy discussion points to bring up with their care provider, birth team, or partner.
The student journal is printed on the softest high quality paper. It looks and feels luxe - families will feel pampered and will want to explore and journal between classes.
Materials that are un-branded so if you are a doula or other professional, they will simply accent and add to all the wonderful things you are already doing!
Career support and mentoring as well as becoming a part of the BEST community of professionals who work collaboratively to build sustainable and ethical careers.
In addition to these things, Preparing for Birth students will have access to missed classes via podcasts and a bundle of meditations to stream. Every student also gets Prepared Feeding - an infant feeding class part of registration.
Does your certification include marketing and business skills?
You can be the wittiest and most knowledgeable teacher in the business, but if no one can find your class – it won’t matter. And that is sad. BEST includes the paperwork that makes business work all as part of the training and we teach marketing skills. New educators can walk out of the workshop and teach a class immediately! Every BEST workshop includes what we call BEST Launch, meaning that you leave the workshop with your business ready to lift off. LLCs, EPNs, SEO etc…..it’s all in Launch.
Where can I get more information and what is your customer service like?
Websites make research easier and they also tell you a lot about an organization. Does the website look current? Do they do online registrations and payment? Do you like the name and branding? How quickly are your emails returned? Is there a phone number for you to call?
Of course BEST would love to have you explore our website! Preparing for Birth also has it's own website for students to access podcasts and Prepared Feeding. Check that out HERE. We are happy to have you contact us at any time about the program and we will reply to you quickly. Our email is firstname.lastname@example.org and you can contact us at (214) 223-0226 during normal business hours.
Want to keep chatting about becoming an educator or doula training? BEST runs a Facebook group for new and experienced birth pros and we would love to have you join the group: Love What You DOULA