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Top Ten Reasons to Become a Member and Join Lamaze International Now!

January 3rd, 2013 by avatar

Did you know that Lamaze International membership runs with the calendar year?  Did you remember to renew your membership at the end of 2012, or did it get lost in the hustle and bustle of the holidays, along with your normal everyday juggle of work, family and self-care?  Have you considered becoming a Lamaze International member but never followed through or were unsure of how it benefits you?  I would like to take a few minutes to share my “Top 10 List” of why it is simply wonderful to be a Lamaze International member, and how I benefit financially and professionally from my membership every day.

1. Supporting the Lamaze International Mission

The mission of Lamaze International is to promote, support and protect natural, safe and healthy birth through education and advocacy through the dedicated efforts of professional childbirth educators, providers and parents.

I am a childbirth professional, working with birthing families, new doulas and new childbirth educators.  I find that Lamaze’s mission aligns so well with my own, and how I create my classes and work with families and birth professionals.  I am proud to say that I am a member of Lamaze and an LCCE.  I think that many of today’s families and birth professionals can also respect and relate to Lamaze’s mission and find that their values are in sync with what Lamaze offers to the maternity world.  Your membership dollars, combined with other members’ financial support help Lamaze to fulfill this very important mission.

2. Journal of Perinatal Education

The Journal of Perinatal Education (JPE) is a quarterly journal mailed to the home of all Lamaze members and is  filled with relevant, current research that can change the way you teach or practice.  The JPE offers you insights into current maternity trends, access to in-depth articles and the opportunity to learn from international experts.  The JPE is read by childbirth educators, doulas, midwives, RNs, Doctors, Lactation Counselors and other professionals. Additionally, as a Lamaze member, you have access to back issues of the JPE online.

3. FedEx Office Discounts

Being a member of Lamaze International allows you to receive a FedEx Office (Kinko’s) discount that has the opportunity to provide you with significant savings.  All of the discounted services that you can receive at the FedEx Office store along with online discounts have the potential to save you more money than your membership costs.  I am amazed at the level of savings on some of the products and services I use for my business printing and shipping needs.

4. Reduced Fees for Lamaze Products and Events

As a member of Lamaze, you receive member discounts when you register for the annual conference, continuing education contact hours, purchase the Study Guide and other Lamaze materials in the Online Education Store, certification materials and test fees for your LCCE or when you recertify for your LCCE.

5. Birth: Issues in Perinatal Care Journal Discounts

Birth is published quarterly and Lamaze members receive a 50% discount on both the hard copy journal and the online journal. Birth: Issues in Perinatal Care is a multidisciplinary, refereed journal devoted to issues and practices in the care of childbearing women, infants, and families. It is written by and for professionals in maternal and neonatal health, nurses, midwives, physicians, public health workers, doulas, psychologists, social scientists, childbirth educators, lactation counselors, epidemiologists, and other health caregivers and policymakers in perinatal care.

6. Your Lamaze Classes Listed on Lamaze Website

If you are a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator and a current Lamaze member, your childbirth classes can be listed on the Lamaze International website for parents, in the “Find a Lamaze Childbirth Class” section so that those families looking for a childbirth class can locate your offerings. Increase your class enrollment with this members only benefit.

7. Full Cochrane Library Access

Lamaze International members have full access to the Cochrane Library, a collection of databases containing independent evidence to inform healthcare decision-making.  The Cochrane Library is considered the gold standard of evidence based information and if you are looking for the most up-to-date research on topics relevant to obstetrics and maternity care, breastfeeding and newborn issues, this is the ideal place to find the information you are looking for.

8. Lamaze Forums and Community

As a Lamaze International member, you have member access to our professional forums, on-line communities and discussion groups, where you can share teaching ideas, learn how your peers feel and respond to different topics of interest and collaborate with professionals around the world, from the comfort of your own home or office.

9. Members Only Teaching Resources

When you join Lamaze International, you are provided access to teaching handouts and resources to share with your students, and a variety of class-enriching resources to make your course more relevant, useful and informative to the families that you are working with.

10. Supporting Lamaze Improves Maternity Care Worldwide

LCCEs attend the DONA Conference
Photo Credit HeatherGail Lovejoy

When you purchase a Lamaze membership, Lamaze International can pool your dollars with other members’ dollars and use some of this income to support other organizations that are leading the way in changing maternity care around the world for the better.  Lamaze International supports and collaborates with the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS) and others.  Additionally, Lamaze can send personnel to international conferences to represent Lamaze International, create networking opportunities for all of us, collaborate with other maternity leaders and further work to fulfill the mission of Lamaze International and improve birth for women everywhere.

Where else can a membership that costs only $115 ( or less, depending on your country of residence) produce such tangible benefits and savings for you and combine with other membership funds to improve maternity care world-wide?  I am proud and excited to renew my Lamaze International membership every year and invite you to renew yours, if you haven’t already.  If you are not a member of Lamaze, then now is the time to join, so that you can reap the professional benefits for the full calendar year.  For a full list of member benefits , please see the member benefits page on the website. Don’t hesitate, join or renew now!

Can you share how being a Lamaze International member has benefited you? Why are YOU a Lamaze member?  Tell us what it means to you in the comments section.

Journal of Perinatal Education, Lamaze International, Maternal Quality Improvement, Maternity Care, Push for Your Baby , , , , , , , , ,

Do Childbirth Educators Make a Difference?

December 22nd, 2011 by avatar

The other day, while looking through my issues of Birth for something else, I ran across a commentary* written by Lamaze teacher Betsy Adrian on why she was leaving the field after five years. She writes:

I realize now that my feelings of burn-out are much more than simply boredom with repeating myself for five years. What lies at the root of my feelings is the conflict between what I believe and what I felt I had to teach. I realized that I have had absolutely no impact on how people have babies. In fact . . . things are worse now for laboring women than when I started five years ago! Fetal monitoring is taken for granted, IVs are always started, almost everyone gets the “deluxe” high-risk treatment, whether they need it or not. . . . The cesarean rate is nothing short of alarming . . . . All of the things that I felt optimistic about early on are actually less likely to occur in a delivery experience now. I believe that childbirth is a unique experience of personal growth for a woman and her partner and that it should take place according to her needs and desires. Birth should never be “routine.” . . . [I]t became ultimately impossible for me to stand up in front of a class and expound on the virtues of fetal monitoring, IVs, being confined to bed, lithotomy position or limited nursing. I can’t do it anymore. I can’t even be “objective” and present both sides of each issue, as I have religiously done in the past. I did not arrive at my opinions irrationally. I read all the pertinent studies in fetal monitoring and IVs . . . and birthing positions. And the evidence is overwhelmingly against these routine procedures. Yet I knew that almost every one of my clients would experience all of these things anyway. I also knew that continuing to teach meant remaining in the good graces of my hospital and that if I became very vocal or militant about my opinions I would lose my source of income. . . . Sadly, I am done with childbirth education. . . . I can’t do it—not if my real purpose has to be to socialize women into accepting poor care, and that’s what we have been doing in too many cases.

Now here is the kicker: this commentary was written 30 years ago. How many childbirth educators could write the exact same commentary today? If a goal of childbirth education is to give women the information and tools they need to make decisions that best promote safe, healthy birth, clearly, we are not achieving it. The “alarming” cesarean rate Adrian cites is 35% at one hospital in her area. Thirty years later, the U.S. national average is 33%, and some hospitals have rates double that or more. Adrian attributes the failure to hospital-based childbirth education, closing with:

My ultimate hope is that childbirth education will move out of hospitals, back into the community where it belongs. Then we can devote ourselves completely to our clients, and not to the doctors and hospitals.

Is the problem simply that educators have to please their employers? I think this is an issue, but not the only one. I taught Lamaze classes independently from 1980 into the 1990s, yet, like Adrian, I quit because I could no longer stand watching my students lie down on the railroad track despite all I could do to tell them there was a train coming. And if hospital-based classes aren’t the only problem, what else is? More importantly, what more could—no, should—childbirth educators be doing about it, including hospital-based educators? What are your thoughts and ideas?

 

 

Reference
Adrian BK. Childbirth educator burn-out. Birth and the Family Journal 1981;8(2):101-103.

[Editor’s note: Excerpt from Birth contained in the post is used with permission by the publisher.]

Posted by:  Henci Goer


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