Are you considering becoming a Birth Boot Camp Instructor? Well look no further than this post. I have had a lot of interest in the program from friends and former students, so I decided to compile all of the information and share it on this blog. Hopefully it will be an easy way to communicate my experiences with others who are interested.
So here we go!
Why I chose Birth Boot Camp:
I knew I wanted to help other women prepare for birth through education and support. I definitely felt that becoming a childbirth educator was my calling. Since I had young children I knew it would fit into our lives well and still allow me share my passion with others.
I began looking at a few different programs. Honestly, while each program had certain elements that I loved, they also had some that I just couldn’t get behind 100%. I had taken one with my third, and while I loved the relaxation portion of it, which was the focus of the class, the relaxation stuff alone was not enough preparation to help me handle a non “text-book” labor. I had to tap into knowledge that I had gained from different sources outside of my childbirth class. I felt the class did an unfair job of preparing a mom for the hard (but very rewarding) work of labor.
As I continued my search for the perfect program I found some program’s teacher and student material to be out-dated. I didn’t like that I, as an instructor, would have to do a lot of prep work researching current evidence based research for my class. I have three young children and the thought of spending hours on the internet, making sure I had everything I would need for class night, made me nauseous. I liked that Birth Boot Camp materials stood on their own as they include the most current evidence based research. How do I know this? Because they update the student workbook YEARLY to make sure both instructors and students are getting the best information available.
The student workbook is amazing. It’s a full color workbook – no black and white or pastels pages. Dads are not afraid to get their hands on the materials. The 3 hour breastfeeding DVD that students get is simply fantastic. I watched it after already breastfeeding three babies well into their second year of their lives and I STILL learned new information. Go on – read the reviews!
Also, Birth Boot Camp is the only program that publicly posts their birth statistics for each year. They are able to do this because they have a unique follow up survey that allows them to communicate with students and see what their experience was and gain feedback that is used to help the program better serve future students.
Birth Boot Camp has a whole portion of the workshop dedicated to marketing. They teach you how to market your business and network with other birth professionals in your area. For a very small fee they built my website for me and I, who am not tech savvy at all, am able to do this lovely little blog. This professional photograph was included in my certification:
There more trainings I have gone to since going to my Birth Boot Camp Instructor Training, has made me even more impressed with everything Birth Boot Camp covered. Since doing a doula workshop, I realized what top notch training I received at the Birth Boot Camp Instructor workshop. I did not learn anything useful about business, marketing, or even labor and birth at the doula workshop. Sounds a little harsh but when I consider what I learned going through the Birth Boot Camp Instructor training process and compare it to what I learned at my doula workshop, the Birth Boot Camp workshop and training process was way more in depth, practical and just MORE.
The support doesn’t stop after the workshop. Birth Boot Camp markets YOU, and you market THEM. Some instructors like to blog and we share our ideas and thoughts with each other. Occasionally, I’ll write a really good one and Birth Boot Camp’s facebook page will share it, as do other instructors who enjoyed it. For example, a blog I wrote a few days ago (my friends birth story) was viewed 900 times within two days. We are all a team, working together to make Birth Boot Camp continue to grow.
The fact that it’s online is great too because your students never miss any information. If they cant make it to class because they have a sick kiddo, no problem! You get them a code for the online class they need and they don’t miss any information, you don’t have to reteach or make up a class for them, and they get their full monies worth.That is HUGE for me as my students are mostly made up of military families and they NEED that option of flexibility (and I do too!)
Birth Boot Camp’s president and founder assembled an amazing team of midwives, doulas, massage therapists, lactation consultants, physical therapists, chiropractors – just about any specialty field you can think related to birth. All these experts contributed to the student workbook, teaching material, instructor resources, etc making the program very well rounded.
Plus, how cute are these onesies for your students?!
So that’s a little bit why I picked Birth Boot Camp. If you feel like it’s your match, then read on…..
Requirements and the order in which to proceed:
Have experienced an unmedicated birth – this is my students FAVORITE part about me More than once, I have received a phone call, text, or email from a student telling me about her birth and saying that remembering that I had been there and done it gave her SO MUCH confidence during labor. “When it got hard, I told myself: “Dani did it so I can too!” and I did!” is a quote from one of my student’s birth story.
Breastfed for 12 months – (if you haven’t nursed for 12 months yet but are currently enjoying a breastfeeding relationship with a younger baby and plan to continue it, your individual circumstances will be considered. Once you factor in the time you allow yourself to complete the certification requirements, chances are, you will have hit that 12 month mark anyway)
Fill out the instructor application – wait anxiously for a reply (Good thing they responded promptly!)
Once you are accepted and pay your deposit, your certification packet will be emailed to you which includes all the information you need to begin working through your pre-certification work.
You can find that list here.
Here are my tips if I had to do it again:
Realistically, take around 9 months to read all the books on the required reading list if you have little ones. I worked VERY quickly and it took me 6 months to do the reading and then I worked through my study guide. It would have been better to work through my study guide as I was reading.
It is a LOT of reading. Buy a book at a time. Read it. Write down 3-5 things you learned after each book as soon as you finish it. DO NOT read all the books and plan on going back and writing a paper on what you learned. That is what I did and by the time I was done with all 11 books, I had a hard time sorting out which information I learned from what book.
Slow and steady wins the race
The hardest part for me was to find births to attend as I was not a doula at the time. I should have contacted local doulas and asked to shadow a few births. A few women allowed me into their birth space (which I am eternally grateful and it was amazing to be in that space) but in hindsight, it would have been pretty easy to find a doula to shadow and saved me the stress of having to seek pregnant mommies out (by “seek” I mean “stalk”)
My other input is that it might seem like a lot of money upfront for the workshop, the business cards, etc. But I made it all back within a few months of teaching. And just look how beautiful my business cards are!
I love being a birth educator because it is a career that can travel with me. I can set my own hours meaning, I know what day and time I have class and can plan according. I love doula work but being on call and trying to shuffle kids is much more chaotic than my Birth Boot Camp class hours.
Basically, if you feel a passion for helping women have great births and breastfeed but have little kids at home, teaching class is the way to go in my opinion.
Let me know if you have any other questions! I will say that my husband was really great about letting me encouraging me and helping me find time to get the reading done.
Also mention my name (Dani Long) when you do fill out the instructor application (or the name of the instructor with who you have been in contact with if it is someone other than myself). We like to help you through your journey and answer any questions you have along the way. I am always willing to meet up with you, let you look over the student and teaching materials. You will be impressed and so excited to get started on YOUR journey to helping couples learn their options and prepare to have an AMAZING experience.