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Twelve Reasons to Join Lamaze International or Renew Your Membership Now!

December 17th, 2013 by avatar

muza renewalYesterday, I renewed my Lamaze International membership!  Membership runs with the calendar year and with this renewal I am all set for 2014.  Have you renewed your Lamaze membership yet?  Did you know that you do not have to be a childbirth educator to be a Lamaze International member and support the organization? Here are twelve reasons why you should renew your membership or join Lamaze International today.  What are you waiting for? Renew or join now!

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 I use yearly offer me savings that exceed the price of my yearly membership.  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. You can find printable handouts and infographics, and discover new teaching ideas and curriculum.

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 and collaborate with 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 representatives 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.

11.  Access to Online Webinars

Lamaze International offers online webinars with leaders in the field of maternal/infant health that are free to Lamaze members and provides contact hours that can be used toward LCCE recertification.  Additionally, these continuing education hours are accepted by other birth organizations as well.

12. A Deductible Business Expense

My membership fee is a deductible business expense and by purchasing it before the end of the year, I can deduct the cost on my 2013 taxes.

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.

 

Childbirth Education, Lamaze International, Lamaze News, Webinars , , ,

Online Monthly Meet Ups Are Now Available for Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educators

May 7th, 2013 by avatar

Starting on May 22, 2013, current LCCE Educators will have a new venue for sharing thoughts, ideas, and suggestions with each other. The “Monthly Meet-Up” is a live, online discussion that allows LCCE Educators around the globe to come together to solve problems, share solutions, and stay connected. Monthly Meet-Ups are hosted by Lisa Baker, LCCE Educator Member At-Large for the Lamaze Education Council. The LCCE Educator Member At-Large provides a voice for the LCCE Educator population on issues addressed by the Education Council.  Monthly Meet-Ups are a great way to give your input on all things Lamaze and to gather helpful strategies and ideas from other LCCE Educators who share your passion. 

What is a Monthly Meet-Up?

 The Monthly Meet-Up is a casual, online gathering of Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educators. The online chat will last 45 – 60 minutes and will provide a chance for LCCE Educators to share their thoughts, ideas, questions, and concerns on specific topics. The LCCE Educator Member At-Large for the Education Council will host the event and will present all relevant suggestions and questions to the Education Council.

 When is the Next Monthly Meet-Up?

 The first Monthly Meet-Up will occur on Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 11:00am EST. To register for the event, visit http://www.lamazeinternational.org/MonthlyMeetUp. A maximum of 20 participants will be able to attend each session, so register early! Monthly Meet-Ups will be held on the fourth Wednesday of every month.

Meet Lisa Baker, Monthly Meet-Up HostLisa Baker, BSc (Hon), BEd, LCCELisa Baker, BSc (Hon), BEd, LCCE, is a hospital-based childbirth educator and founder of Labour and Love Childbirth and Early Parenting Education. She is also an active blogger on her own site, labourandlove.ca. An award-winning educator, Lisa has been empowering and educating people from a very early age. Lisa is also mom to two little boys and currently resides with her husband and children in Alberta, Canada.

Where can I go for more information on Monthly Meet-Ups?

 Discussion notes for the previous Meet-Up and topic suggestions for the upcoming Meet-Up can be found at the Lamaze “Monthly Meet-Up” Discussion Forum. Be sure to watch Facebook and Twitter for reminders of upcoming Monthly Meet-Ups and set your calendar for the fourth Wednesday of every month. 

What is the Lamaze Education Council?

 The purpose of the Education Council is to ensure that all childbearing women have access to Lamaze education through developing, implementing, and evaluating:

  • High quality evidenced-based training for childbirth educators;
  • High quality evidenced-based continuing education for childbirth educators and other health care professionals;
  • High quality evidence-based consumer education.

 For more information on the Education Council please review this policy document.

If you are interested in joining Lamaze International, please click through to our membership page.

Childbirth Education, Continuing Education, Lamaze International, Uncategorized, Webinars , , , , ,

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 , , , , , , , , ,

Close Up on Midwifery Care: A New Study Published in the Journal of Perinatal Education

December 14th, 2010 by avatar

The journal article referenced in this post may be accessed here (http://tinyurl.com/2azmhmg) for free, in the event you do not have access to the Journal of Perinatal Education on line—a benefit of Lamaze membership.

Introduction
As a childbirth educator, the Journal of Perinatal Education has been an amazingly helpful tool to me over the years.  Look through my copies of JPE, and you’ll find dog-eared pages, underline marks in varying ink colors, notes in the margins regarding how to implement a certain piece of knowledge into my class curriculum.

The current issue of JPE delivers yet again, and I want to highlight one article in particular, which I found interesting.

Maternity care and childbirth is, at the very heart of things, an intimate business.  And because so many of us have a vested and impassioned interest in how maternity care plays out—no matter what side of the fence we find ourselves on—there have been hundreds of studies completed and published about birth and all things related.

The purpose of this phenomenological study, Midwifery Care:  Reflections of Midwifery Clients, by Mary Ellen Doherty, PhD, RN, CNM, “was to describe the lived experience of midwifery clients throughout the life span.”  Not only did this study collect lived-experience data on women’s impressions of their midwifery care during pregnancy, labor and birth, but before, during and after their childbearing years as well.

There’s a lot to be said for the value of gathering data on care delivered by health professionals from the recipients of that care.

Methods
In-person interviews between Dr. Doherty and self-selected participants from four different New England midwifery practices took place over a three-month period.  The interviews, prompted by the open-ended question, “What has been your experience with midwifery care?” and following brief screening telephone calls, were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim, before grouping responses into broad, and eventually more detailed theme clusters.

One of the theme clusters that emerged during the data compilation and analysis phase of the study was Nurse-Midwives as Primary Health-Care Providers Throughout the Life Span.  Many people assume midwives deliver pregnancy-related care only.  And, in my experience, some midwives do choose (or are trained) to only offer perinatal care services—as is typical of Certified Professional and Direct Entry Midwifery training.  But take a look at the curricula offered by all nurse-midwifery programs, and you’ll find several courses on women’s health across the lifespan within each program.  This is, in fact, one of the core competencies as outlined by the American College of Nurse-Midwives.  This element of midwifery care—tending to women from menarche to menopause—seemed to be a recurrent theme in the study participants’ responses, as exemplified by this remark:

“I have been going to the same midwifery practice for about 10 years now…I started with my first pregnancy and never left.  The midwives do my annual exams, pap smear, check my diaphragm to make sure the fit is still good for birth control, and they have even cured a few vaginal infections along the way.”

Along with the theme of midwifery care across the lifespan, other topics that apparently emerged with great frequency were: Decision to Seek Midwifery Care, Working Together in a Therapeutic Alliance, Formulating a Birth Plan and Childbirth Education.  Epitomizing the reason a woman might choose midwifery care, came this statement from one study participant who also happened to be a former pediatric nurse:

“I guess I feel safe with nurses and totally subscribe to the belief that nurse-midwives are experts in normal birth and know when to get help if needed.  I like the fact that they stay with you during labor and don’t just come in at the last minute to catch the baby.”

Doherty goes on to provide many additional quotes from study participants, demonstrating their experiences with midwife-taught childbirth education classes, birth plan formulation and approaching a woman’s health care as a team:

“My midwife coached and supported me.  She always made me feel involved in the decision making and was so positive and encouraging.  She really tuned in to my feelings and behaviors during labor.  There was so much sensitivity.”

Analysis
The twelve participants in Doherty’s study seemed to lack the diversity I would like to have seen:  on average, they were Caucasian, highly educated and married to their baby’s father with a self-proclaimed financial status of “middle class.”  There was some variability in parity (nulliparous through multiparous x 4) and their average age was 34.5 years old.  Lastly, the women included in Doherty’s study all experienced vaginal, non-complicated births following low-risk, singleton pregnancies.  Resultantly, one could argue this subset of participants possessed a commonly biased experience of midwifery care.  For these reasons, I initially found myself questioning the overall generalizability of this study and was compelled to want to know more:  how many of the women who initially responded to brochures they saw/received at their health care provider’s office or the hospital laboratory were actually accepted into the study?  What were the inclusion criteria for this (beyond the stated basic criteria of ability to read, speak and comprehend English)?  What would the response theme clusters (and individual data) look like with a larger number of participants?

Some of these limitations are addressed by Dr. Doherty and countered with the stipulation that she felt data saturation had been sufficiently achieved during the interview process.  She also acknowledged the potential lack of generalizability, but explained this as a common and expected side effect of a phenomenological study.  Likewise, the number of study participants becomes less important than in, say an RCT, because data saturation suggests generalizability, in and of itself.  An enlightening follow-up study then, (as suggested by Dr. Doherty and expanded upon by yours truly) might be to assess and compare lived experiences of more subjects with varying characteristics, as well as across different models of maternity care (provided by different types of midwives, as well as family physicians and OBs), yet using the same interview question:  “What has been your experience with your health care provider?”

Final Thoughts
In re-visiting the themes that arose from the participants’ own depictions of their midwifery care experiences, the process and outcome of their birth experiences was, interestingly enough, not considered a major theme in and of itself.  The experiences associated with midwifery care which seemed to leave a lasting impression on these women revolved around what prompted them to choose midwifery care in the first place, along with the nature and quality of interaction between themselves and their midwives throughout the duration of their care.  Resultantly, this study offers us a categorical glance at the experience a woman might expect to have throughout the spectrum of midwifery care.  Aptly put, one of Dr. Doherty’s concluding remarks suggests,

“It is important for all women to learn about midwifery care, and one of the best ways to accomplish this is for them to listen to the voices of other women as they tell their stories.”

What are we, as maternity care professionals, doing to facilitate this sharing of stories?  Is it our role to connect women with each other and facilitate the oral exchange of lived experiences?  If so, how can we best do this?

Post by:  Kimmelin Hull, PA, LCCE

Healthy Care Practices, Journal of Perinatal Education, New Research, Research, Uncategorized , , , , , , , , , , ,