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Our Story

About Childbirth International

Childbirth International was born in 1998. There were few options for training as a doula, childbirth educator, or lactation counselor at the time. You could choose a two-day workshop, but we saw many birth and lactation professionals who didn’t feel prepared or ready for the challenges of their role. We wanted to up the game. To help people feel confident in their skills and knowledge and to be able to learn in a supportive environment. And we wanted to make training more accessible for those with families, jobs, and lives outside work!

A Different Way of Training

But how to do this? How could we reach people who lived in areas where training wasn’t available? People in rural areas, people who worked full time or didn’t have childcare. People who wanted more than just the basics and to feel prepared, confident, and professional in their role. We looked at the skills and competencies important in working with families. What made the difference? We discovered that families feel strong and empowered when they have knowledge. But they also need tools to know how to use that knowledge to meet their needs. Birth and lactation professionals need time to absorb knowledge and reflect on their work. The time just isn’t available in two days! We realized that our training would need to be different. We didn’t just change the rules but changed the game!

Our story began with recognizing training as a journey rather than a destination. A journey where the focus is on personal growth and building competency rather than simply receiving a certificate. A journey that pairs students and trainers to walk the path together for as long as it takes. Access to a global peer community continues even after you complete your training.

Childbirth International’s Growth

Our first courses in 1998 were for Birth Doulas and Childbirth Educators. In 2008, we added Postpartum Doula and Lactation Counselor courses. Over the past 20 years, reproductive healthcare has changed. More technology and interventions are used, and more rules exist within the healthcare system.

Technology has also allowed clients to become aware of their options, seek out support, and communicate faster with others. The birth and lactation profession has changed. People want to have successful businesses and take part in lifelong learning to become even more skilled. Childbirth International has risen to these challenges by expanding our course offerings and giving our students more options. Our business course supports you in growing your business (included in our full certification courses). Advanced modules on various topics provide continuing education opportunities to develop specialist skills and build your professional portfolio. We’ve also seen a growing interest in health professionals wanting to learn more about supporting families effectively. We’ve responded to this with the launch of professional development programs.

Accreditation

The most exciting development of 2019 was gaining accreditation. The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) recognized the quality of our courses and awarded us accreditation with distinction. CBI is the only organization globally that provides birth and lactation training to be given this honor!

Professional Development

In 2019, we expanded our professional development offering, enabling birth and lactation professionals to develop skills in specialist areas. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we launched our Safety and Infection Prevention and Control course. Through 2020 and 2021, this course was available on a “pay what you can basis” to enable every person to access it.

We focus on providing professional development and advanced learning programs for all birth and lactation professionals. This recognizes the importance of continually learning, building knowledge, and developing skills.

Leading the Way

Childbirth International has always focused on providing leadership in our industry. From utilizing the latest technology to deliver our courses to recognizing the global issues affecting all birth and lactation professionals.

In 2019, we began developing the core competencies for all birth and lactation professionals. Extensive research and surveys helped determine the competencies of birth and lactation professionals. We’ve mapped our courses to these competencies to ensure that our course materials address these. In 2023, we will launch a website outlining the competencies. We intend to make the competencies available for all birth and lactation professionals so they can make their current knowledge and skills. This will enable them to identify areas for personal growth and professional development opportunities.

Our Core Values

We have stayed true to our core values through all this growth – inclusivity, diversity, and sustainability.

Inclusivity

Our core values have always included the goal of offering a learning platform that is welcoming and inclusive of all individuals. We strive to develop reflection and empathy so students can interact with their community with dignity and respect for all persons. We use inclusive language in all our courses and believe every individual should be treated with equity and kindness.

Diversity

We recognize disparities in healthcare for marginalized and vulnerable groups and seek to be part of the solution to eliminating these. This takes place through listening, understanding, dialogue, and education. We embrace and celebrate the diversity of humanity and continually seek out diverse perspectives. Read our Diversity and Inclusivity Statement

Sustainability

We are committed to social, cultural, environmental, financial, and personal sustainability: to minimizing consumption of natural resources; supporting individuals in fostering healthy communities; and encouraging a maintainable work/life integration through flexible employment and study arrangements. Read our Sustainability Policy

Flexibility

In designing our training programs, we consider flexibility, affordability, and an appreciation for each student’s individual and unique needs. When choosing your training program, we want to ensure that you define what your business will look like and how that business will be run. CBI training enables you to feel supported by your peers and trainers as you continue to grow for years to come.

Best Practice

We will always provide courses that identify best-practice, and teach skills that build competencies to support families in a way that enables them to have empowered, positive experiences through the childbearing years. We endorse the World Health Organization in their goal to “ensure that not only do women survive childbirth complications if they arise but also that they thrive and reach their full potential for health and life” (WHO, 2018). Parents who are educated, supported, and respected through this period are more likely to be strong advocates for themselves and their families. When families are healthy, communities are healthy.

You have a vital role to play in this process!

Who Are Our Trainers?

Our team of trainers are the people you will get to know during your training. We are all parents. Some of us are grandparents. We all have established businesses as doulas, educators, and lactation counselors. Living on four different continents with extensive experience with different cultures, different families, and different outcomes. We all know firsthand what it is like to work in hospitals, birthing centers, and home births. We understand the challenges of balancing study with work and family. All of us have been through the courses as students ourselves. We are committed to seeing reproductive healthcare that puts families first.

Building relationships with your trainer

When you begin, your trainer will be in touch with you in the first few days to introduce themselves. They want to make sure you don’t feel isolated and will encourage you to make connections within the Childbirth International community and your local network. Each time you submit a piece of work your trainer will contact you with feedback and suggestions. Your trainer will review and assess your assignments and evaluations throughout your course. Rather than an anonymous person checking your assignment submissions off a checklist, you will receive personalized feedback with each assignment from your trainer – the person who has got to know you and established a relationship with you. (Because you can take as long as you like to complete your training, your trainer may change during your course.)

You can read a personal introduction from our trainers here

In summary, we will be beside you every step of the way – our goal is for you to succeed. Childbirth International is always looking to grow and develop – we never stop learning. With a strong team of trainers worldwide, we are exploring new courses and ways to make your training journey even more rewarding. Together we all stand with parents, their babies, and families worldwide. Birth matters.