BRIEF:ACM Article 1: Role of CAPEA, who we are, what we do, snapshot of members, website, resources available:

Karen Logan Vice President CAPEA on submission Bach App Sc (Phys)
Tracey Rayner President CAPEA on submission BA ( Nursing ) Grad Certificate Primary Healthcare ( Tresillian), Cert IV Workplace Training and Assessment.
Words: 650-700/ page

Ever taught an antenatal and early parenting education session? It’s just not picking up a pen, pelvis, and baby doll!

The Childbirth and Parenting Education space has seen many changes in the past decades. Midwives may remember, as part of their shift back in the 80’s, being expected to run a ‘class’ with no preparation.  The “see a colleague teach a ‘class’ … then copy this method” was common.

Thankfully, Childbirth and Parenting Educators Australia, (CAPEA) formed in 2013, recognised the more advanced skill set required to develop this craft and support the evolution of research and knowledge of birth and parenting skills for families through supporting the professional development of antenatal and early parenting facilitators

Currently this space has once again been challenged due to the evolving pandemic necessitating the transition of antenatal and early parenting programs online. Therefore, requiring further development of the facilitator skill set.

CAPEA is leading the way in supporting educators from all backgrounds to keep programs evidence based, contemporary and easily accessible. In a role that is primarily isolated, CAPEA has become antenatal and early parenting educator’s village within this evolving landscape.

CAPEA offers professional status and training, networking and support for beginner as well as experienced Childbirth and Parenting Educators, webinars, competency standards and the International Journal of Birth and Parenting (IJBP) as part of its membership. CAPEA’s Facebook posts link research articles specifically for educators and has a monthly newsletter full of tips and is a way to connect with others in this field.

Check out the CAPEA website which has a range of resources to continue online education with a free lecture for members each month to review from our 2020 Bi-annual National conference, and links to useful teaching resources and upcoming education.

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CAPEA membership currently includes professional educators, midwives, physiotherapists, academics, researchers, lactation consultants, child and family health nurses, infant massage therapists and doulas.

In a recent survey conducted in October 2021 62% members reported working in Public Health, 10% in Private Hospitals and 22% in Private Practice.

50% reported are facilitating Childbirth Education as a combination of Face to face or online (due to Covid).

85% of CAPEA members are Midwives and/or Child and Family Health Nurses.

As the birth and parenting space keeps changing, education needs to reflect the needs and diversity of parents to provide skills for birth and parenting within a medicalised landscape, empowering them to make informed evidence-based choices within the system they have chosen.

We now discuss using evidence-based practice that describes the integration of clinical expertise, best current evidence and client values. The third prong of this paradigm is where the greatest changes have emerged in this field.

Prendiville(1) describes working in partnership using strong adult education principles and advanced facilitation skills recognises the value of each person’s contribution, encouraging participation of each group member in identifying and utilising her/his skills, experience, creativity and analysis allowing problem solving and exploration of ideas and concepts within a safe space.

This is so much more than just lecturing and showcasing a sound knowledge base, telling families what they have to do.

All expectant and new parents are entitled to ownership of their unique, personal experience of pregnancy, birth and early parenting. They are also entitled to good quality, evidence-based education that is accessible and culturally appropriate using contemporary adult learning and group facilitation principles.

Based on a literature review by Smith and Homer(2) , recommendations for antenatal education, content development and delivery were established in a report commissioned by the Clinical Excellence Unit, Queensland Health(3). Several of these recommendations concluded that Educators/facilitators of antenatal education programs should be adequately prepared to deliver programs in accordance with the principles of adult education and should possess well-developed group facilitation skills; Programs should be regularly evaluated with reference to the CAPEA competency standards, and all facilitators should be encouraged to join CAPEA.

Developing these skills with the support of other antenatal and early parenting facilitators is the foundation of CAPEA.

Membership details are available on our website.


  1. Prendiville P. Developing Facilitation Skills- A handbook for Group Facilitators. Dublin Combat Poverty Agency; 2008.
  2. Smith R, Homer C. Literature review on Antenatal education – content and delivery. Sydney Centre for Midwifery, Child and Family Health, Faculty of Health, University of Technology; 2017.
  3. Health Q. Recommendations for Antenatal Education. Content, Development and Delivery. State of Queensland, Queensland Health; 2018.
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