None at all! Being a birth professional is about using your skills to help parents have the births they desire, be the parents they wish to be and communicate effectively with their caregivers. The skills required to enable you to do this are covered in your training. You don’t need to have experience as a nurse or midwife in order to be a great birth professional. Some students have had children themselves, others haven’t. There are no prerequisites for you to study with Childbirth International. It doesn’t matter how many children you have had (or maybe you have not had any), it doesn’t matter if you’ve never experienced a vaginal birth, or if you’ve never breastfed.
Anybody can study with Childbirth International, whether they are aged 16 or 65 (or older!) We recognize that everyone has unique skills and experiences that can make them the perfect birth professional for a specific type of client. For example, in the Birth Doula field, as a younger doula you might be the perfect support for young women looking for peer support. As an older doula, you might be the perfect support for someone looking for life experience. Every birth professional has something different to offer.
Your previous experience can be enormously beneficial in your training as a birth professional. Perhaps you’ve completed other doula training programs, or have been working as a birth professional for some time. You might have experience as a nurse or a midwife. Whatever your experience or previous training, it can help you to understand some of the concepts covered in your birth professional training.
If you’ve certified with another organization, or have experience as a birth professional, we welcome you to CBI! We have many experienced professionals who join us – some of our graduates chose CBI even after they had 20-30 years experience! Our goal is to build on what you already know, and help you to become a more knowledgeable and effective professional.
We’re often asked whether the training that you complete will be recognized by hospitals. If you’re self employed, and have been hired directly by parents as an independent practitioner, this doesn’t appear to be a problem anywhere in the world. If you come across a hospital that requires a specific training organization, we can provide you with written details of the training you’ve undergone with Childbirth International, indicating the depth and quality of training. To date, no Childbirth International student or graduate has been denied the opportunity to work in a hospital because their training didn’t meet hospital requirements.
All students submit a communication assignment to demonstrate their proficiency in reflective practice. Your trainer will provide feedback and guidance on your draft assignment and then you’ll submit a final version.
Each course has a series of online physiology exams to demonstrate your knowledge of both normal and abnormal conditions. These are open book exams.
Once you’ve worked with women in your role, you’ll submit evaluations, completed by yourself, to outline your learning from the experience and how you will apply that to your future work. You don’t need to submit evaluations from clients or medical caregivers. We’re interested in the learning you took from the experience! Every student carries out a survey of resources in their local community.
Each course has a number of books that must be read and a book review completed. There are more than 150 books to choose from on the reading list. There are no compulsory texts that you have to read – you can choose the books from the list that appeal to you and are relevant to the women you will be working with. Books must be read after you start your training and must be new to you – you cannot write a review about a book you read previously, even if you re-read it. You can view the reading list here.
Finally, the Childbirth Educator and Breastfeeding Counselor courses have a number of smaller assignments for completing a teaching plan (Childbirth Educator) and case studies (Childbirth Educator and Breastfeeding Counselor).
We don’t require you to pay membership and recertification fees in order to stay certified.
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. We also will not charge you to continue to belong to CBI – your membership is lifelong.
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.