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Series: Journey Towards LCCE Certification – Update: Preparing for the Exam

March 11th, 2014 by avatar

By Cara Terreri, BA, Community Manager for Lamaze International’s Giving Birth With Confidence blog

Many of you may be busy preparing to sit for the exam that, will, upon passing, bestow the credentials; Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator (LCCE) after your name.  The exam will be held during the 23-25th of April, 2014.  For some of you, this has been a long time coming and you have been working steadily working towards your goal.  For others, it has been a whirlwind of workshops and prep and observed teaching.  Regardless, now the exam date is nearing.  We have been following Cara Terreri, the community manager for Lamaze International’s parent blog, Giving Birth with Confidence, on her journey to become Lamaze certified in a regular series on this blog.  Read all of the posts to get the back story on Cara’s childbirth educator journey. Today, Cara updates us as she is counting down the days to the exam.  If you were considering taking the exam, but thought you missed the deadline, please be aware that the registration deadline has been extended until March 17th!  There is still time for you to register!  Contact the Lamaze International Certification Associate for questions and information about the process or to register for the April exam. -Sharon Muza, Science & Sensibility Community Manager

good luck signAs the April Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator exam date draws closer, I finding myself knee deep in studying. Of course, this is on top of finishing certification requirements for DONA, serving existing doula clients, teaching private childbirth classes, blog writing and management at Giving Birth with Confidence, and of course, my personal life. But who doesn’t have a full plate these days?

There are times when I question my choice to take on this path at a time when my children are young, my days are full, my patience is worn, and my energy wanes. And then, I wrap up teaching a class to first-time parents, and the dad turns to me and says enthusiastically, “Wow, I feel like I learned so much in a short amount of time – this was awesome!” There’s nothing like instant positive feedback to feel a renewed sense of purpose. I never thought I would enjoy the experience of teaching as much as I actually do – I love helping families build their own path to birth and discover confidence that previously didn’t exist. It is because of this desire that I feel an even stronger imperative to complete my Lamaze certification. It’s important to demonstrate to families that what I teach is evidence based and proven.  This is the foundation of today’s Lamaze.

So here I am, committed to my path, and working to fit it all in. I spend my evenings and mornings huddled over the Lamaze Study Guide, with a notebook at my side, jotting down important items – in particular, anything that is unfamiliar or not yet a solid part of my knowledge bank. The Study Guide has been most helpful in identifying several new (to me) reading materials (as well as many that are familiar, including resources from Science & Sensibility!  It’s designed in such a way that reading resources are either hyperlinked directly from the PDF so you can easily click through to the source, or they are included at the end each module. Each module also contains in-depth review questions to that serve as a quiz on the material just covered.

Perhaps most valuable to my confidence in preparing for the exam is the 20+ hours I’ve spent already teaching couples (not to mention the countless hours I’ve spent preparing and researching my curriculum and setting up my business). I feel confident that a good portion of the exam will be testing information that I know, live, and breathe on a daily basis. Of course, there is always more to learn, but I do feel more prepared than if I had not been teaching.

As this is my last update until after I sit for the exam, I would appreciate any words of encouragement – or better yet, study tips! Thanks for taking interest in my journey and supporting me along the way.

Cara- I wish you good luck on the upcoming exam.  I know you are well prepared and understand the material.  My tip for you is to know that you have done your best to prepare, you are ready, and I hope that you feel confident when you test.  Just like labor and birth – one question/contraction at a time!  To all of you who are also preparing at the same time, I wish you well and much success on this next big step.  I invite readers to share their best tip and well wishes for Cara and all the others registered for the exam,  in our comments section below.- SM

About Cara Terreri

Cara began working with Lamaze two years before she became a mother. Somewhere in the process of poring over marketing copy in a Lamaze brochure and birthing her first child, she became an advocate for childbirth education. Three kids later (and a whole lot more work for Lamaze), Cara is the Site Administrator for Giving Birth with Confidence, the Lamaze blog for and by women and expectant families. Cara continues to have a strong passion for the awesome power and beauty in pregnancy and birth, and for helping women to discover their own power and ability through birth. It is her hope that through the GBWC site, women will have a place to find and offer positive support to other women who are going through the amazing journey to motherhood.

 

 

Childbirth Education, Guest Posts, Lamaze International, Series: Journey to LCCE Certification , , , , , , , ,

Series: Journey Towards LCCE Certification – Update: Hands On Experience

December 27th, 2013 by avatar

By Cara Terreri, BA, Community Manager for Lamaze International’s Giving Birth With Confidence blog

Cara Terreri has been sharing her experiences as she works towards her Lamaze Childbirth Educator Certification. You can read Cara’s previous posts. Today on Science & Sensibility, Cara updates readers on what has been happening on her LCCE path and how she is preparing to sit for the spring LCCE exam. – Sharon Muza, Community Manager for Science & Sensibility.

It has been one year since my last update and boy, what a difference a year makes! In one year, I have:

  • Trained through DONA International to become a birth doula
  • Attended six births as a doula – enough births to submit for certification!
  • Taught three mini custom private childbirth classes
  • Committed to sit for the April 2014 LCCE exam
source: http://mixaysavang.typepad.com/

source: http://mixaysavang.typepad.com/

A year ago, I wasn’t sure if I could (or wanted to) make this diverging career path a priority. But with each new experience and each new expectant family I encounter, I realize that this is where I want to go, long term, with my professional life. Early hands-on experience, both in serving as a doula and teaching childbirth classes, has been a great way for me to dip my toe in the water, so to speak, and decide whether or not to jump in all the way. Becoming Lamaze certified is a big commitment – of time, money, and heart. And the payoff is big, too. For me, certification is a validation and recognition for the commitment I’ve made to serving women, and added credibility to my knowledge and experience.

When I began my path toward Lamaze certification a year and-a-half ago, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to teach traditional classes. This past year, however, I branched out into teaching private, mini (4-5 hour) childbirth classes one-on-one to couples. Similar to doula work, privately teaching couples in the comfort of their own home was fulfilling and fun. Plus, it fills a need for couples who have unusual schedules or who would otherwise be uncomfortable in a group class setting. In working with couples as a doula, I find – without a doubt – that couples who have taken reputable childbirth classes are more prepared and informed about their upcoming birth, particularly in their ability to make informed decisions.

As the year comes to a close, I am in the planning phase for partnering with a prenatal Pilates instructor to teach a series of joint childbirth and Pilates classes in a group setting. Prenatal Pilates incorporates the physical and mental groundwork that better prepares women to achieve a healthy, low-intervention birth – it seems a perfect complement to the teachings of the Lamaze Healthy Birth Practices, which lay the foundation to help women make evidence-based decisions surrounding their prenatal, birth, and postpartum care. There is still much planning to be done on the format of the classes, but I’m excited to move forward as I believe it will provide a new and exciting option for women in our area.

In between planning, I’ll be hunkering down with the Lamaze Study Guide in preparation for the April exam and compiling paperwork necessary for DONA certification. I see a few long nights in my future – not like that’s anything new as a mom of three kids! By the end of next year, I hope to have two certifications under my belt and a year’s worth of experience in managing an active doula and teaching practice. As I learn to navigate the waters of this new career and fit it into an already full life of family and freelance writing, it will be important for me to set boundaries that provide work-life balance and allow me to enjoy time with my husband and children.

How did you get into your career as an educator and/or doula? Did you begin when your children were small or did you pursue this path later in life? How do you find balance? Please share your tips for me and other childbirth educators just starting out.

About Cara Terreri

cara headshotCara began working with Lamaze in 2004, two years before becoming a mother. Three kids later, she’s a full-fledged healthy birth advocate and the Site Administrator for Giving Birth with Confidence. Most recently Cara began practicing as a doula and childbirth educator as she works toward certifications as a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator and DONA certified doula.

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A Guide to Finding and Using Images for Teaching, Presentations, Blogging and Other Uses

December 5th, 2013 by avatar

On Tuesday, contributor Andrea Lythgoe wrote “Copy Right! Using Images in Your Presentations and Teaching Materials Appropriately“sharing what educators and presenters need to know when preparing to use images or other works for teaching materials and presentations.  We learned about what it means when a work is copyrighted, (and basically, all work is copyrighted once it is produced by the artist/photographer.) Copyrighted work may not be used without permission from the owner.  Today, I discuss what are the options available to educators with a small to nonexistent budget who need to source images for childbirth classes or other presentation purposes.  I will explain about “Creative Commons” images, how to find and attribute images that you can use and some of my favorite resources for locating appropriate images for the needs of the educator or other professional.

Creative Commons

creative commons logo

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo by gnuckx: http://flickr.com/photos/gnuckx/3203364255/

Many creators want to share the work (music, artwork, photos, videos, even academic or scientific material and more) that they have created and make it available for others to use, while still maintaining the rights to how it is used.  Many bloggers, educators, students and others would like to access images and other works without having to purchase the rights, especially for non-commercial purposes.  Some people would even like to modify the works of others for their own purpose.  Enter Creative Commons.  Creative Commons is a non-profit organization that lets creators determine how their work may be used.  Creative Commons has established different licenses so that artists may specify under what circumstances a specific image, video or other creative work may be used by the general public. For a great general introduction to Creative Commons, please view this video on the Creative Commons website.

Creative Commons Licenses

There are six types of licenses under the Creative Commons Agreements.  Some of these licenses are very generous,  allowing the user to modify, tweak, change, build upon and distribute a version of the original work as long as the same level of Creative Commons license is applied to the new work, and this new work may be used for commercial purposes.  The most restrictive Creative Commons license allows the work to be shared for noncommercial  purposes only.  Each of the six license levels require the licensor (creator) to be credited. No matter what level of Creative Commons license is assigned to the item by the licensor, the copyright is still owned by the creator of the work.

cc license typesProper Attribution

Every time  you use a work that you obtained through a Creative Common license, you must attribute it properly.  This can be very confusing at times.  A very thorough guide on how to properly attribute Creative Commons works can be found here.  If you are using the Chrome web browser, there is a very handy extension, Flickr CC Attribution Helper, that automatically formats the correct attribution from any Creative Commons image you are using from Flickr.  Flickr is one of the largest sources for Creative Commons images, so this can be very helpful.  There very well may be other such plugins and extensions for Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer and other browsers.  I happen to use Chrome, so this extension is one I am familiar with.  Do make every attempt to provide the correct attribution for a piece of work.  If the artist was kind enough to share it, you should honor their request to be correctly attributed.

My Favorite Sources for Images and More

I have several favorite sites for finding images to use in this blog, my teaching materials, presentations and other image needs.  I would like to share them here with you.

Creative Commons Search

CC by search.creativecommons.org

CC by search.creativecommons.org

The mother of all Creative Commons search tools.   Easy to use, this website lets you specify if you want to use the material for commercial purposes or make changes to the original work.  You enter your search terms, and select the venue that you want to search and off you go.  You can find videos, music, images and artwork, along with other material.  If you don’t find what you are looking for, come back and try another option from the main site.

Wikimedia Commons

wikimedia commons logo

CC wikipedia.org/

A repository of almost 20 million educational media content images, including sound and video clips that are free to use and modify.  This site functions much like Wikipedia does, allowing everyone to edit it.  Work is available in a multitude of languages from this site. The main purpose of the site was to provide a source of images and other media to be used on the Wikipedia Commons site, but the material is also freely downloadable as well.

 

 

Flickr

flickr-logo

CC userlogos.org

Flickr has compiled millions and millions of photography images that are free for  you to use under the Creative Commons license.  The number of images available grows by leaps and bounds every day with new material added all the time.  Flickr also has a very large collection from the world’s public photography archive, in a collection called The Commons.  This is a great place to find old pictures from many public institutions.  Remember if you are using Chrome, check out Flickr CC Attribution Helper. Not all the images on Flick are available for use, so double check before using.

 

Google Images

google images logo

CC- google.com

Google Images is another one of my favorites for images, clip art, pictures along with technical drawings and illustrations.  To find Creative Commons work, you will want to go to the advanced settings (click on the gear image in the upper right,) and select the type of license you want near the bottom. Don’t worry, it is easy to change once your search returns some images. Doing this ensures you are using images that you are licensed to use under the Creative Commons license.

Other sites that I want you to know about include Pixabay, Every Stock Photo, PhotoPin and Bing Images. All of these image search engines let you limit the results to the material you can use under a Creative Commons License.  At times, I need to hit several different tools to find just the right image that I feel is perfect for what I am trying to convey.  Finding the right image is one of my favorite parts of working on Science & Sensibility.

What do you do to find images and other media for your teaching and presentations? What are your favorite sites?  Do you have additional tips and tricks to share with Science & Sensibility readers?  Let us know in the comments section.

Childbirth Education, Continuing Education, Science & Sensibility , , , , ,

Ten Reasons You Do Not Want to Miss The 2013 Lamaze International Annual Conference

September 12th, 2013 by avatar

 

Exactly one month from now, (October 11-13, 2013) childbirth educators, doulas, midwives, doctors, L&D nurses, lactation consultants and informed consumers will be gathering in New Orleans, LA for the Lamaze International 2013 Annual Conference, “Let the Good Times Roll for Safe and Healthy Birth”   If you are on the fence about attending, I have put together my own “Top Ten Reasons for Attending the 2013 Conference” in hopes that you will considering joining others in this wonderful opportunity for networking and learning.

1. Have fun in New Orleans, a wonderful southeastern coastal city full of great food, interesting neighborhoods, wonderful music and sweet hospitality!  Enjoy the conference’s major social event during an evening of traditional Creole entertainment and cuisine at Café Soule in the French Quarter.  Click here to find out how you can be a part of this great party and purchase tickets to this exciting event

2. See old friends from conferences past. This one of the best things about going to a conference.  When you attend, you have the chance to see the birth professionals that you connect with throughout the year online and on the phone, and rarely get a chance to visit with in person.  Imagine three whole days to chat, visit and learn with your best birth buddies.  Some of my dearest friends I only see at the Lamaze conference, and I cherish the time I get to spend with them.

3. Meet new friends and establish new relationships that can grow and flourish!  There will be so many interesting people from all over the world attending the annual conference.  This year, we will have LCCEs from Romania and Mexico and many other countries as well as men and women from all over the United States and Canada. It is easy to mix and mingle with people new to you, find out interesting things and establish new friendships!

4. 19 Lamaze International contact hours are available to you when you attend all the conference sessions, and  participation in pre-conference workshops will award you even more! The Lamaze International Annual conference is being planned for CNE, IBCLC CERPs and Yoga Alliance Credits.  Lamaze International is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation

© musica2012.wikispaces.com/Estilos+del+Jazz

5. Learn fun, childbirth class activities, creative teaching ideas and new topics and information to use in your childbirth classes.  See childbirth educators and other experts in action, providing you the opportunity to take away loads of useful material for to use when you go back home.

6. Learn about new research, evidence based information and best practices that you can take back to your communities to help improve maternal infant outcomes for women and families.  Leaders in the field will share the newest information with you.  Use this new information in your classes, offering the latest facts to your families so they can make informed choices.

7. Hear two fabulous keynote speakers present in our two general sessions.  Dr. Richard Waldman, OB/Gyn and Amber McCann, IBCLC are all ready to knock your socks off with their presentations designed just for our conference.  Read Dr. Waldman  and Amber McCann‘s interviews on Science & Sensibility and then hear them speak in New Orleans.

8. Attend fantastic pre-conference sessions on a variety of topics by arriving in New Orleans a few days early!  Complete a Lamaze Childbirth Education Seminar, one step on the path to becoming an LCCE.  Brush up on your lactation support skills in the full day Lamaze Specialist Breastfeeding Support Skills Workshop or take part in the half day workshops to bring yoga into your Lamaze class or increase your digital presence through learning social media and advanced internet skills.  All of these pre-conference activities offer additional Lamaze contact hours.

9. Learn about new and exciting opportunities and alliances that Lamaze International has planned for the future to continue to grow our organization and remain a leader in the field of childbirth education. Our Annual Meeting luncheon will be held on Saturday, where you can meet the Lamaze board and staff, vote for new board of directors and provide input on how the organization is meeting your needs.

10. Network with colleagues and experts and establish professional relationships with opportunity for collaboration and joint-ventures. Discuss business opportunities and create new alliances that can help you further your career and grow your business.

Bonus Reason #11!  Come say hello to me!  I will be in New Orleans, excitedly participating in several ways at the conference and would love the chance to meet you all, hear your thoughts on our blog and learn what you would like to see on the blog in the future!

Won’t you consider attending this year’s Lamaze International Conference in New Orleans, LA? What are some of your favorite reasons to attend the conference?  Will we see you there?  Let us know in the comments section.  To learn more about the programs, speakers, learning opportunities, venue and to register, please see our conference page.  See ya in NOLA! 

 

Childbirth Education, Continuing Education, Evidence Based Medicine, Lamaze International, Lamaze International 2013 Annual Conference, Research, Science & Sensibility , , , , , , , , , ,

A Great Start to LCCE Monthly Meet-Ups

June 7th, 2013 by avatar

http://flic.kr/p/6WDgh6

May 2013 saw the first-ever Monthly Meet-Up for LCCE Educators throughout the globe and by all measures it was a success! New and experienced LCCE educators, as well as Lamaze International staff, participated in the inaugural meeting. Educators shared their thoughts and ideas on topics ranging from smartphone birth and parenting apps to liability insurance for childbirth educators. Those who attended plan on attending once again in June and hope to have more LCCE Educators join in on the conversation!

 The Monthly Meet-Up is a live, online gathering of Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educators. Free to members of Lamaze International, the casual online chat lasts 45 – 60 minutes and provides a chance for LCCE Educators to share their thoughts, ideas, questions, and concerns on specific topics. The Monthly Meet-Up occurs on the fourth Wednesday of each month at 11:00 EST.  A maximum of 20 members will be able to attend each session, so sign-up early by visiting the Monthly Meet-Up page on Lamaze International website.

Topics discussed are based entirely on input from the LCCE population. If you have a specific idea or question you would like to explore during a Meet-Up, please share your thoughts on the Monthly Meet-Up discussion board. The discussion board is also the go-to place to catch up on any conversations you may have missed.

The June Monthly Meet-Up will include an idea-generation and resource-sharing session on the topic of role-play scenarios for childbirth class. If you have any ideas or if you use a scenario in your class to teach positive and assertive communication skills to parents, please mark your calendar for June 26 and plan to attend the next Monthly Meet-Up.

Childbirth Education, Guest Posts, Lamaze International, Lamaze News , , , ,