Frequently Asked Questions

How we are different?

Why don't you have workshops?

Because we believe there is a better way! As birth professionals you’ll need a lot of in-depth knowledge, the chance to build skills and opportunities to practice these. All the best research tells us that real learning takes place over time, in a supportive environment, with ongoing guidance from mentors.

With Childbirth International you’ll receive course materials that look at communication skills, comprehensive information on physiology, establishing and growing a business, as well as the physical support aspects. In total, 150 contact hours just in the course manuals and activities alone for the doula courses, and more than 600 contact hours for the childbirth educator and breastfeeding counselor courses. Added to this will be the practical experience you’ll gain as you work through your certification requirements.

Being able to complete your course online means you have no additional costs, no need to travel, no limitations on when or where you can study, no time limits and the time to be able to really absorb what you are learning.

Other organizations have required reading. Why does CBI have such a broad reading list?

CBI course materials cover everything you need to be a birth professional. The reading list is to provide different perspectives… of which there are many… hence the broad list. We want you to be able to read on topics that you have an interest in and are relevant to you and your clients. We provide 150 books to choose from and it is up to you which books you read from this list.

I heard that CBI is based in the USA and not very relevant to where I live. Is this true?

We are truly an international organization. Our registered office is in Singapore. Our administrative team is in Canada. Our trainers live all over the world. Our students and graduates come from 112 different countries. The course materials you will study look at birth, parenting and breastfeeding from an international perspective. We explore culture and how it affects the way we work and the experiences of our clients. We share ideas in our active discussion groups that enable all students to learn about different beliefs, values and practices. We present research and readings that come from a wide variety of countries.

What support and guidance will I get while I am training?

Although our courses are delivered through distance learning, our students feel more supported and connected than they do in face-to-face workshops! A big part of this is the relationship you build with your trainer. Rather than just teaching you over a couple of days, she will be the one reviewing and assessing every piece of work you submit – from your first assignment to your last evaluation. She’ll give you guidance throughout your course, no matter how long it takes. Our Facebook and discussion groups provide a bridge for you to connect and network with other birth professionals. You’ll be exposed to birth and postpartum doulas, childbirth educators and breastfeeding counselors, meaning your peer learning is broad and extensive. The discussions on these groups reflect the essence of who we are as an organization – they are always respectful, kind and supportive.

How much help will you give me in setting up my business?

We were the first organization to specifically focus on business issues relevant to birth professionals – our courses have always included an introduction to business. In 2009 we launched a Business of Birth course that provided more depth and helped students to get a more solid understanding of marketing and finances.

In 2016 we took Business of Birth and gave it a facelift. Providing 34 hours of business specific topics, Business of Birth is now included in every training program. You’ll work through a simple step-by-step process to examine your own goals and objectives, develop a strong brand and a marketing approach, analyze your customers and competitors, understand the products and services you want to offer, and get on top of your finances and legal issues. Rather than being daunted by the business side of your work, Business of Birth will help you to easily produce a plan and a clear path for starting and growing your business. This is an optional module – meaning you’ll receive it but it is up to you how much you focus on it. You could just choose the topic areas you’re interested in or use it as a reference document for when business issues arise in the future. You also have the option of completing assignments and having your trainer review your business plan and website, providing suggestions on how to improve them both.

Why don't you require recertification every three years?

We provide training – and we’re really good at it! Similar to a university program, you deserve to have your hard work acknowledged for life! We’re not going to charge you every three years to prove that you still have the knowledge and skills that you built.

If you need to show recertification in order to belong to a local organization (e.g. DASC) can do so – you can submit the required documents for proof, we will review them and reissue your certification – showing it is a recertification. And we’ll do this for a minimum fee that just covers our costs.

I have to be recertified to be able to join my local doula group. How can I do this?

While we don’t require recertification, we also recognize that some of you may want to join local organizations that require recertification as part of their membership. To address this, we have optional recertification available if you would like it. You can submit evidence of ongoing learning and experience every three years, together with a fee to cover our costs, and we’ll review your documents. Once everything is validated we’ll then reissue your certificate, showing clearly that you are now recertified.

Do I have to show that I am doing continuing education?

There is no need for continuing education. And there never will be. We are a training organization and not a regulatory body. Other professions (accountants, doctors, lawyers etc.) require continuing education as part of their membership of a regulatory body. Their original training organization doesn’t require it. If you go to University you get a degree. You don’t have to go back every three years to show you’re still learning, or pay money in order to keep your degree. You have it for life. We are the same and make no apologies for that.

What is this 'reflective practice' I keep hearing about?

At the heart of every CBI training and certification program is reflective practice. But what exactly is “reflective practice”?

At its simplest, reflective practice is looking at what you have done, or didn’t do, and reflecting on it. In relation to CBI training, though, it is so much more. Reflective practice is about examining choices and decisions, considering them from different perspectives, thinking about alternatives, learning from them, and then applying that learning to your work. It’s a part of best practice in continuing education, increases confidence and professionalism. It’s an incredibly valuable skill that you can pass on to your clients and help them to assimilate their experiences.

All CBI training programs have an ongoing reflective practice focus. In every assignment you submit, this will be evaluated by your trainer. She’ll give you feedback on this aspect and help you to see your own growth in this area. You’ll be encouraged to reflect on the language you use, your participation in discussions and how you approach every aspect of your work.

In the Communication Skills section of your course you will learn how to use the CBI Reflective Practice model and will finish this module by writing an assignment using the model.