Lamaze Childbirth Educator Program Study Guide-2011 Edition

April 17th, 2011 by avatar

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:

1. The Official Lamaze Guide – Giving Birth with Confidence (second edition) by Lothian & DeVries

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

VI. Teaching

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.



Childbirth Education, Healthy Birth Practices, Lamaze Official Guide Book, Uncategorized , , , , , , , , ,

  1. April 18th, 2011 at 17:30 | #1

    I LOVE the manual – it is very well organized and easy to work through – and the articles included are very helpful!

  2. April 18th, 2011 at 21:24 | #2

    Thank you for the feedback, Jacquelin!

  3. avatar
    July 19th, 2011 at 22:03 | #3

    I paid for the exam prep course on this website and when I went to attachments there are tabs to print the Educator Program Study Guide but the link doesn’t work when you click on it. also the link for The official guide: giving birth with confidence doesn’t work.. Lamaze International certiication scholarship link also doesn’t work. AND the link for Exam info and dates doesn’t work.

    Considering the links are there I assume that when I paid for the course I paid for the infomation in those links. I would really like it if someone could find me the missing information and send it to me somehow.

    Thanks Bunches :)

  4. July 20th, 2011 at 07:59 | #4


    Thank you for raising these questions. Just now, I visited the Lamaze site and found the Official Guide link, as well as exam info and dates links to be working. (I can’t access the download Program Study Guide link w/o paying for another copy, however!)
    I have forwarded your concerns to Lamaze and anticipate you will hear back shortly from them regarding accessing the Study Guide.
    Best of luck in your path to becoming a Lamaze educator!

  5. avatar
    July 21st, 2011 at 17:43 | #5

    I purchased the 2008 study guide and took the seminar in 2008. I am now taking the 2011 seminar as a refresher again, and plan to take the exam this fall. I do not have a revised 2011 study guide, and would like one. The 2008 was way to big and overwhelming for me to navigate and I had trouble learning from it. Are you able to send me a 2011 study guide so I can prepare for the exam? Thank you!

  6. July 21st, 2011 at 18:00 | #6

    Yes–the previous study guide(s) were large and daunting. The revised study guide is similar in content but more condensed as they removed redundancies that appeared in the previous version(s). To access the new study guide, you’ll want to go here on the Lamaze website. You can get heh study guides printed at FedEx/Kinkos for a discount and also receive a CD of the guide for an extra $10 (per the web link). If you have questions about receiving an updated study guide so soon after purchasing one in 2008, you may want to call and chat with someone in the administrative office: 202-367-1128.

    Best of luck!

  7. avatar
    Robin Walsh
    November 27th, 2012 at 06:08 | #7

    Can I purchase a hard copy of the Study GUIDE, I paid for the class and was looking for a hard copy but got only the on line one.thanks

  8. November 27th, 2012 at 08:38 | #8

    Robin, please direct this question to the Lamaze office, I know they will be happy to help.

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