Lamaze Childbirth Educator Program Study Guide-2011 Edition
Editor’s note: In this guest post from Lamaze International’s Debby Amis, we receive an excellent overview of the new Lamaze Study Guide. The Study Guide is accessible on Lamaze’s website and is available in both English and Spanish. Additionally, for those approaching certification for the first time or renewal, an examination preparation course is accessible online here.
Last spring, a group of Lamaze leaders met in Texas to revise the Study Guide for the Lamaze Childbirth Educator Training Program. Organized around the competencies of a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, the “old” Study Guide contained over 700 pages with redundancies because topics appeared under more than one competency. For instance, you could find breastfeeding topics and references in almost every competency. We were told that more than one student burst into tears upon seeing the size of the Study Guide. On the other hand, recent students also told us that the Study Guide was a fabulous resource that prepared them perfectly for the Lamaze Certification Exam. Many students told us that the Study Guide is an important resource in their childbirth libraries. In addition to updating the Study Guide, our goal was to reorganize it to minimize duplication and cut its size, yet retain a comprehensive foundation for the new childbirth educator.
We invited two newly certified LCCE educators, Kirsten James and Jeanie Portinari, who gave us direction for our meeting. Kirsten told us that, as she was reading through the Study Guide, she wondered if many topics and references were critical knowledge or just something someone thought it would be “nice to know.” Throughout the weekend, our litmus test for topics and references was, “Is this vital information or is it nice to know?”
We reduced the core (required) books for the Lamaze Childbirth Educator Program from ten to four. The new core books are:
2. Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn, 2010 edition, by Simkin, Bolding, Keppler, Durham, & Whalley
3. Prepared Childbirth – The Educator’s Guide, 2011 or current edition, by Amis &Green
4. A current, good book on breastfeeding
We then organized the Study Guide around topics into the following six modules:
I. Changing the World of Birth
II. Professional Role of the Childbirth Educator
III. Promoting a Safe and Healthy Pregnancy
IV. Promoting a Natural, Safe, and Healthy Birth
V. Healthy Baby, Breastfeeding, and Early Parenting
Because each module focuses on a specific topic, it is much easier to navigate the new Study Guide. For instance, all the breastfeeding topics and references are in Module V – Healthy Baby, Breastfeeding, and Early Parenting. The six Healthy Birth Practices are highlighted in Module IV.
Each module has objectives, core content (topics), core reading and learning activities, and an evaluation section. In addition, there are “bonus” features such as brief summaries on important topics (ie. informed decision-making) and several book reviews.
Several years ago, the Lamaze Study Guide went online. When you read the Study Guide on your computer screen, the various components are marked by colorful icons. Links are provided to all the core journal articles. There are also links to the core reading on the Web.
Each module contains all the core articles (other than those on the Web) for that module.
We didn’t want to eliminate the “Nice to Know” references. Our students come from a wide variety of backgrounds from elementary school teachers and massage therapists to doulas and nurses. Each student has unique learning needs depending on her education and experience. We pulled out all the “Read, Learn, and See More About It” references and put them in a separate Appendix. The “core” reading and learning recommendations are no longer overwhelming, yet there are plenty of up-to-date resources in the Appendix for the student who needs or wants to learn more about a particular topic. There is a second Appendix with the forms for the learning activities required by some Lamaze Accredited Childbirth Educator programs, such as birth observations. Even with two Appendices, the 2011 Study Guide is about 35% smaller than the previous version, now a little under 500 pages.
Each time that a new edition of William’s Obstetrics is published, I order one. Some of the information is the same from edition to edition, but it is important to me to read the new research and recommendations from the prestigious University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. In the same way, if it has been a while since you have read or referred to the Lamaze Childbirth Educator Program Study Guide, you may want to order the 2011 online copy to see the current foundation of knowledge for childbirth educators. I think you will be impressed.
The 2011 Lamaze Childbirth Educator Study Guide Committee included Debby Amis, Beth Day, Elena Carrillo de Reyes, Joyce DiFranco, Caroline Donahue, Sharron Gibbs, Jeanne Green, Judy Lothian, and Teri Shilling.
Note: If you want to print a hard copy of the Study Guide, there is a large file on the Study Guide webpage that you can use to do so. If you have access to a duplex (prints both sides of the paper) printer, you can print the Study Guide yourself. Otherwise, send it electronically to a print shop such as FedEx Office. However, before sending it to FedEx Office, we recommend that you to apply for the Lamaze FedEx Office discount card. (Just follow the directions in the “Members Only” section of the Lamaze website). If you have your Study Guide printed at a commercial print shop, request that they print it in black and white on both sides of the paper using standard copy paper. You can have it 3-hole punched so that you can put it into a binder or you can have them bind it.