The discussion of birth trauma and being trauma-informed is relatively new, although the experience of birth trauma probably goes as far back as humans have been having babies in the company of others.”Birth Trauma” is an expression that carries a wide range of connotations and understanding. In this course, we will look at the experiences of those who are birthing or parenting after trauma, the impact of PTSD on families, and those who experience birth trauma or obstetric violence. With all of the pressure put on care providers, being able to take this course, learn practical skills to more fully support birthing families, and be a trauma-informed professional, could have a profound impact on how parents experience birth.

This is the first course in the world that specifically covers trauma in relation to pregnancy, birth and parenting. With one-third of birthing individuals describing their births as traumatic, and one in ten parents beginning their journey with PTSD, trauma has a profound impact on the health and wellbeing of families and communities. During this fully evidence based course (with nearly 450 references), you will have the opportunity to reflect on the impact of trauma, PTSD and obstetric violence for the clients you work with and also for you personally and professionally.

Your trainer will be available to support you through the course and beyond. There is a closed Facebook group for you to discuss what you are learning with other students. We know how challenging it can be address the topic of trauma which is why we have integrated self-care breaks throughout the course. We also know that trauma does not just affect the individuals who experience it directly. As a professional, you are at risk of burnout and vicarious trauma – this is why we directly address these issues. We also provide you with practical strategies for implementing trauma-informed care into your own practice or your workplace.

Whether you are a hospital administrator, a midwife, nurse, doctor, doula, breastfeeding counselor or anyone else who is working with families during pregnancy, birth and beyond, this advanced certification course can offer you a comprehensive solution in addressing trauma and ultimately be part of changing maternity care and the experiences of your clients.

Certification: Certified Trauma-Informed Professional

Duration: 2-5 months

Time Limit: None

Delivery: Online & Printed Manuals

Cost: From $365 or 5 payments of $83 (special introductory price until 31 Oct 2018)

Refunds: Full refund within 2 days, less administration fee ($50)

One Payment: US$395 (printed manuals + online access)

Green Option: US$365 (online only – no shipping)

Five Installments: US$89 per month (printed manuals + online access) or US$83 per month (online only)

Payment plans (5 installments) include an administration fee of $10 per month.

If you choose the payment plan and the printed manual option, you will have immediate access to the course manuals on the student website and your paper manuals will be sent to you when the final payment is made.

  • Open book exams
  • Community Services Survey
  • Resources Binder
  • Reflection on learning

Five Payments

US$ 89

per month for 5 monthsPay over five easy monthly installments with online access immediately and your paper manuals will be sent to you when the final payment is made. Monthly payments include an admin fee of $10.

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One Paymentmost popular

US$ 395

single paymentPay one single payment and receive your paper manuals as well as online access through the student website.

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Green Option

$ 365

one paymentBe gentle on the environment! Complete your course online and save money and trees! The Green Option is also available in monthly installments for $83 per month for 5 months.

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Course Syllabus

This comprehensive course will provide you with the knowledge and skills to be a trauma-informed professional. The eight modules cover:

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Humans have been exposed to traumatizing experiences from the time they were escaping saber-toothed tigers. Until recently though, the expression of PTSD has been poorly understood. Soldiers would return from war with a far-off expression that was called “The 1,000 Yard Stare” or “shell shock.” This condition was considered a character flaw or a weakness in the individual that incapacitated them rather than being a response to an external event. In this module, we will explore what Postpartum Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is and how it manifests in the individual.

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Effects of Trauma

The effects of a traumatic perinatal experience can be far-reaching, affecting the core of an individual’s self-concepts and filtering out into all areas of their lives. An individual experiences a sense of loss: loss of identity, loss of skills, and loss of trust. The impact of trauma also reaches out into their relationships affecting bonding with their baby and intimacy with their partner. Moreover, there are additional health concerns including sleep disturbances, chronic pain, changes in brain functioning, substance abuse, and future obstetric complications. In this module we will explore the far-reaching effects of trauma and PPTSD.

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Risk Factors for Trauma

Fortunately, not everyone who experiences a traumatic event will develop PTSD. In fact, most people do not develop PTSD even after exposure to traumatic events! The prevalence of PTSD after childbirth speaks to some risk factors that may not be found in much of the general population. In this section, we’ll look at some of the risk factors for PTSD and see how these relate to childbirth. We will explore the role that nutritional deficiencies have as a risk factor for developing PTSD and the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s). We will also consider cultural differences that impact how trauma is perceived, expressed or interpreted.

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Obstetric Violence

It’s challenging to consider that clients are abused during their birthing experiences. Obstetric violence is an issue that has been discussed throughout the world as both providers and clients have recognized that the treatment of birthing individuals in hospitals can indeed be abusive.This module may be challenging to read for those working within the medical model of childbirth. There are numerous studies referenced that identify the degree to which obstetric violence takes place, and this may be confronting to some. However, unless we reflect on the practices we see taking place or participate in even unwillingly, we cannot move forward in addressing obstetric violence.

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Nutrition for Trauma Injury

As our understanding regarding the effects of adequate nutrition grows, there is increasing evidence that inadequate nutrition not only prolongs recovery from trauma, but may also play a role in setting the stage for developing PTSD, depression, and anxiety after a traumatic event. Nutrition plays an integral role in brain function, mood, behavior, and thoughts. All illnesses, whether felt in the body or mind, are influenced by nutrition, where poor nutritional status can set an individual on a path of diminished wellness through a compromised immune system, inflammation, altered gene expression, and through compromised functioning in the various organs and processes. This module will explore nutritional strategies for healing after trauma.

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Healing Strategies

The effects of trauma are far-reaching and sometimes feel resistant to treatment. But far from hopeless, there are many healing steps that offer relief and eventual healing, including the brain injury associated with trauma. Our brains are neuro-plastic, meaning changeable. Given the right conditions, our brains, our thinking, and our bodies can heal from trauma. In this module, we will explore the various healing strategies that can be effective in healing after trauma looking at both traditional approaches and complementary therapies.

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Trauma-Informed Professionals

While birth trauma can be associated with medical interventions, it’s the interactions with care providers that are more likely to contribute to trauma than any medical interventions or emergencies. Crucial to the perception of trauma is the client’s perceived lack of control and involvement in decision-making. Birth trauma is largely related to a breakdown in the interpersonal relationships between the client and the maternity providers. In this module, we’ll talk about how birth professionals can integrate trauma-informed practices into their interactions with all birthing clients and parents.

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Birthing After Trauma

Birthing after a traumatic experience is fraught with challenges for the individual who is anxious not to repeat the experience. The choices they make for subsequent births could be quite varied and diverse. In this module, we will explore the options that a client might choose if they are birthing after trauma, reflect on strategies that can promote post-traumatic growth, and how a client can most effectively prepare for a subsequent birth after they have experienced trauma.

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When I was thinking about where to certify, I spoke with every doula I know. I also asked some doula friends of mine to ask THEIR friends. I kept hearing, "I certified with xxx but then I switched to Childbirth International" "I wish I had just gone to CBI from the beginning. With CBI I feel so much more prepared." I heard that phrase over and over, "CBI really prepares you", "CBI does a better job of making sure you are prepared", "with CBI you'll be more prepared."

Brandy, Alabama, USA

I really enjoyed the thoroughness of the information - it was great to get stuck into the study and really feel like you were gaining good background knowledge for all aspects of working as a doula. The course material was also very well presented and the website very easy to navigate. Very prompt replies to questions. Good, honest, constructive feedback and help.

Tracie, QLD, Australia

I was amazed by my own personal growth and understanding that occurred during my training. This course goes beyond the common approach to a Doula certification. Bravo! My experience with CBI has been a truly life changing event! Thank you!

Kathy, Wisconsin, USA

I have enjoyed so much about this course. I have always had a great interest in labour and birth, and medical things. But the greatest thing was that eventually on my third birth, I had the labour and birth that I truly wanted, and needed, and that was all down to completing this course. I was able to give myself the support I yearned for and had a completely natural labour and birth in 3 hours with no medical intervention. I now feel a stronger woman for doing this and for the first time I do not have postnatal depression.

Eleanor, UK

This training has opened my eyes to a completely new way to birth. I have always loved and been passionate about birth, but it was from the medical model. I have learned so many new ideas and techniques from this course. It has led me to consider new ideas that I have never thought of. I have had to change some of my basic beliefs about what is the safest and best way to birth a baby. I am so thankful that I had this experience. My trainer provided excellent feedback and challenged me to think about what I have written, dig deeper and research more. She always asked good questions. She was very positive, supportive and prompt. Thanks for a great course and the great support. I would recommend your course to anyone who is passionate about childbirth.

Trena, Taiwan (Registered Nurse)

Questions about the Trauma-Informed Professional advanced course

Who is this course designed for?

Any health or birth professional working with clients during pregnancy, labor, or the postpartum period will encounter those who have experienced trauma. Either before their birth or during their labor. Understanding what trauma-informed care looks like and working with clients to avoid or heal from trauma is an important component in our work. Whether you are a lactation consultant, midwife, nurse, medical doctor, birth doula, or even a yoga instructor, you will learn about the latest research on trauma and PTSD, and be prepared to support clients using trauma-informed care.

How long do I have to complete the course?

There are no time limits at all! The course provides 50 hours of continuing education so it all depends on how much time you put into the course each week. Generally though, it would take about 2-5 months to complete the course given the assignments and reflection time. If you are on a payment plan your certificate will be available once you have completed the course AND completed your payment plan.