There are various pathways to follow your dream and passion to become a childbirth educator, or birth and parenting educator. Here are a few facts and ideas to get you started:
- There is NO registration process for childbirth and parenting educators in Australia. Anyone can legally set up their own private business to provide this service, however consumers expect a high quality professional service from qualified educators.
- Birth and parenting educators who are listed on a professional register (AHPRA) are bound by the rules and regulations of their profession, eg: midwifery, physiotherapy.
- As the only national professional body representing Australian birth and parenting educators, Childbirth And Parenting Educators of Australia, Inc (CAPEA) has a process that recognizes the skills and knowledge at various levels of childbirth and parenting educators in Australia as a CAPEA Certified Educator.
- In 2011, CAPEA developed National Competency Standards for Childbirth and Parenting Educators (NACE, 2011) and an Assessment Tool, both highly regarded in Australia and United Kingdom.
- Pay rates for educators working within existing maternity services vary greatly. There are no national or state Awards just for birth and parenting educators, so they are employed under a range of award structures.
- Private Health Funds may provide rebates to clients attending birth and parenting and associated courses. Childbirth and parenting educators working privately, as well as managers of public and private maternity service courses, will need to periodically liaise with Private Health Funds to maintain eligibility for client rebates.
Professional Indemnity Insurance
- CAPEA recommends due diligence if you are setting up your own private practice, including considering professional indemnity insurance options.
- CAPEA is unable to recommend any particular insurance companies.
- Public and private maternity services employing birth and parenting educators usually provide vicarious professional indemnity.
If you are already working with expectant and new parents and:
You have a sound knowledge of pregnancy, labour, birth, breastfeeding, role of support people, becoming new parents and Australian maternity care systems because …
- Either you are registered on the AHPRA Professional Register, eg; midwifery, physiotherapy, nursing (maybe with additional maternity, child and family health qualifications), medicine, psychologist, and others
- Or you provide doula services, teach pre-natal and/or post-natal yoga or other similar services
… You will need additional skills in adult learning and group facilitation to provide excellent birth and parenting education to small groups.
If you are already experienced in teaching, adult learning and group facilitation:
You will need to learn in some depth and in a formal, accountable way about the many aspects related to pregnancy, labour, birth, breastfeeding, role of support people, becoming new parents, infant communication and optimal growth and development, Australian maternity care systems, as well as current and changing trends, debates and guidelines.
Being passionate to share your personal experiences and wisdom alone is not sufficient to meet the required in Standard 2.1 of the Australian National Competency Standards for Childbirth and Parenting Educators (2011).
Before you sign up to any facilitators' training course:
- Ascertain the target group with whom you wish to work.
- Ascertain which current skills and/or knowledge you already have, and those that you need to gain.
- When registering for any course or workshop, you should read the terms and conditions thoroughly BEFORE registering, asking questions about assessment procedures, results, certification, professional recognition, refunds, etc prior to payment.
- Thoroughly investigate the claims made by the provider of the training course re: research results derived from a single provider of a course; any certification process (i.e.: who awards the certificate, using what standards and assessment processes); and portability of the qualification across Australia and other countries
- The following list is not exhaustive and only contains suggestions for you to explore. There may be other excellent courses for you.
- CAPEA does NOT recommend any particular course or provider.
Childbirth And Parenting Educators of Australia, Inc (CAPEA)
- Provides short 2-4 day workshops in adult learning and group facilitation
- Require presumed knowledge of pregnancy, labour, birth, breastfeeding, role of support people, becoming new parents and Australian maternity care systems.
- Presented irregularly in various states, so check our Calendar for Educators or Training Courses for educators
Large public Maternity Services with a Birth and Parenting Education Service may offer short or longer courses in adult learning and group facilitation, predominantly for health professionals from that area health service. Enquire near you, or check our CAPEA Calendar for Educators or Training Courses for educators
Lamaze International educator training in Australia through Birthwell Birthright . Those who complete all the components may apply for international Lamaze Certification. The mission of Lamaze International is to advance safe and healthy pregnancy, birth and early parenting through evidence-based education and advocacy. Their vision is “knowledgeable parents making informed decisions.”
Calmbirth ® was developed to educate and empower pregnant couples so that they may experience pregnancy, labour and childbirth with the tools necessary for the most positive outcome. It provides training programs for Calmbirth ® facilitators.
HypnoBirthing International ®The Mongan Method - Australian Faculty - teaches the birthing mother to tap into and follow her body’s own wisdom. Mothers learn how to follow their body’s own instincts, while the birth partner learns how to support mum for an easier and calmer birth; backed by over 25 years of experience, research and impressive results around the world. HypnoBirthing® International is the Australian faculty that provides practitioner training that meets internationally recognised Certification as a HypnoBirthing Practitioner.
HypnoBirthing Australia™ Training programs for hypnobirthing practitioners.
She Births ® offers training programs for childbirth educators and prenatal yoga practitioners
Doulas provide a range of support to expectant parents that may include facilitating birth and parenting education groups. See Australian Doula College and Birth Right or try an internet search for ‘doula college’.
Yoga groups that specialise in providing care and classes for pregnant women and new mothers. The internet will help you find providers nationally that train yoga practitioners to facilitate pre- and post-natal groups.
Childbirth International – USA-based, offers flexible on-line training programs that fit in with your family, your work and your busy life.
Lactation Courses to support breastfeeding mothers and her family:
Training programs to support new parents:
Bringing Baby Home © workshops are based on research by John & Julie Gottman to prepare couples for life with a new baby and helps them be the best parenting team possible. Accredited Trainers of this highly acclaimed program are available in Australia
Circle of Security © is a relationship based early intervention program designed to enhance attachment security between parents and children. Training courses for facilitators available in Australia.
Triple P ® gives parents simple and practical strategies to help them confidently manage their children's behaviour, prevent problems developing and build strong, healthy relationships. Triple P is currently used in 25 countries and has been shown to work across cultures, socio-economic groups and in all kinds of family structures. Training courses for facilitators available in Australia.
Infant Massage training courses to teach infant massage to parents
Certificate IV in Training and Education
Other pathways include:
International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA) - USA
National Childbirth Trust (NCT) - UK