Birthing From Within Newsletter #1 October 26, 2017
Re-Visioning the Role of the
Nomadic Childbirth Mentor
We are observing many changes in birth in our culture. One change in particular is the decline of parents pursuing a series of childbirth preparation classes. If BIRTHING FROM WITHIN“childbirth mentoring” is to remain relevant and competitive, it is time to re-vision our mission, message, trainings, certification, and marketing of Birthing From Within mentors.
A Common Problem Frustrating Birth Mentors
Twenty to thirty years ago when I developed the BIRTHING FROM WITHIN model of childbirth education and certification program, it fit with the trends and expectations of parents for childbirth education at the time. However, over the past decade, fewer and fewer parents are seeking a series of childbirth or group classes. As a result, after taking a Level One Introduction workshop, too many inspired mentors have not been able to fill their classes.
What if this problem is not about mentors’ confidence or marketing skills, but rather a reflection of the value our culture and contemporary parents place on preparation for childbirth? What needs to happen next?
I sensed that my first task of re-visioning BFW was to reflect deeply on the emerging role of modern childbirth mentors. Who are they? If their base is no longer the classroom, where do they work? What do they strive to offer, and achieve? Perhaps our culture is rapidly transitioning from fading fifty-year old norms of childbirth classes—toward something radically different.
I invite the creative and committed members of Birthing From Within to re-envision the true spirit of the modern, nomadic Mentor, (represented in any nurse, midwife, social worker, doula, or childbirth teacher) who can inspire, motivate for change, and teach in any situation or environment —on the spot mentoring.
Introducing a New Pathway to
Certification for Mentors
Recently an advanced mentor told me that although she was inspired by the intensive three-day Introductory workshop, it took her years to integrate the processes and philosophy into herself before she had the confidence to teach others or to complete her packet. We know that she is not alone, and that there are many kinds of learners.
I want to make the pathway to certification more engaging and less intimidating for everyone.
If you are comfortable with the Level One or Level Two Home Study packets you received and are nearly finished, I encourage you to complete and submit your packet and recordings to me by February 1, 2018. However, if you find yourself procrastinating or dreading diving into or completing the Home Study packet, and you cannot meet this deadline but want to pursue advanced trainings and certification, you may join your peers in either of the new pathways called The HEART AND ART OF MENTORING I and II, described below:
Two pathways to Level I: The former and the new “Birthy Dozen”
If you attended a Level One Introduction to Mentoring workshop anytime before the end of 2017, you can enroll in the new pathway to certification. This pathway, called the “Birthy Dozen,” begins on January 30, 2018. It consists of a series of six consecutive monthly pre-recorded webinar-lessons on topics offered in a sequence that builds momentum, logic, skills, and confidence. Webinars will cover topics such as Whetting a Mother’s Appetite for Prenatal Nutrition in 15 minutes; the Feminine, Ferocious & Healing Path of Mentoring; and Enhancing Your Motivational Teaching, among others.
Following each webinar-lesson—using the Zoom platform—you will participate in a 90-minute live interactive meeting with me or a certified mentor/BFW advisor. The Zoom platform allows us to see one another during discussions and demonstrations, which enhances the learning process. You can practice your mentoring skills, complete your reading, and earn your Level One certification in just six months. All webinars and live-meetings will be recorded. Should circumstances prevent you from attending a webinar or a live call, you can still listen to the webinar-lesson(s) you missed at your earliest convenience, then join the next live meeting—and keep going. The maximum time limit to complete all six calls will be eight months.
Upon completion of Level One, you are eligible to take any of the advanced mentor courses, webinars, or workshops; these will be announced in future newsletters.
Two pathways to Level II Certification: The former and the new “Sweet Sixteen”
If you attended a Level Two Advanced Mentoring Retreat before the end of 2017, you can choose to follow the former certification requirements or enroll in the new pathway to certification. The new pathway is called the “Sweet Sixteen.” It begins on January 31, 2018, and consists of a series of eight consecutive monthly pre-recorded webinar-lessons on topics offered in a sequence that builds momentum, logic, skills, and confidence. Following each webinar-lesson—using the Zoom platform—you will participate in a live meeting with me or a certified mentor/BFW advisor. Practice your new mentoring skills, complete your reading, submit one audio-recording of your live mentoring, and earn your BFW Mentor Certification in just eight months. Should circumstances prevent you from attending a live meeting, you can still listen to the recorded webinar-lesson(s) at your earliest convenience, then join the next live meeting for advanced mentors. The maximum time limit to complete all eight calls will be ten months.
In addition to filling out a simple form to help us track what our mentors are doing, you can meet recertification requirements by simply attending one of the special, advanced mentor workshops offered by BFW, or by attending another birth-related conference/workshop of equivalent learning value.
Is your intention to get certified, sooner than later? And you like more personal and community support while doing it?
Fee for Recertification
Looking at the website for guidance was a little confusing. The new fee schedule looks like multiple choice because I am addressing the needs of three groups of mentors: (1) mentors enrolled and nearing completion; (2) enrolled but stuck; and (3) waiting to enroll. So read through the following explanation carefully to discover what fits for you.
There will be two new fee schedules:
Level One certification fees
• Those of you who enrolled in the certification program for $325 or $350, which included your Level One packet and review by your Advisor. Again, if you are close to finishing, send your packet to your Advisor by February 1, 2018.
• If you experiencing packet dystocia, let us augment your labors. Enroll in the “Birthy Dozen,” which consists of 6 webinar-lessons and 6 live interactive 90- minute meetings for only $120 if you register by November 15, 2017.
• If you are enrolling in the certification program for the first time now, your Level One enrollment fee toward certification is $200, and your required pathway will be the “Birthy Dozen”—you are done in six months. There is no packet review!
Level Two certification fees
• If you completed an advanced mentor training before the end of 2017, you may complete the current requirements and submit your packet to your Advisor for review. The fee for the review is $150. If you are close to finishing your packet, send your packet and recordings to your Advisor by February 1, 2018—or set a deadline with your Advisor—and wrap it up!
• If you attended an advanced retreat before the end of 2017, you can enroll in the supported new pathway called the “Sweet Sixteen. This may be especially appealing if you are experiencing a “prolonged certification process”, and want to augment your labors. The “Sweet Sixteen” consists of 8 webinar-lessons and 8 live, interactive 90-minute meetings for only $120 if you register by December 1, 2017. The Sweet Sixteen will begin in February. You will submit just one recording of yourself mentoring a parent to your Advisor with the $150 fee. More information You will be certified painlessly in eight months.
Pathways to doula certification
If you are enrolled in the doula program, you have two choices, too. If the present requirements are working for you, and you are close to completion (within the next three to four months), keep going. If you are stalled, or if you are just beginning, and you are wondering about a new pathway to certification, be patient until the next newsletter. There are several people thinking through a new pathway to certification for you. Don’t wait on us! Continue reading and working toward certification—everything you do counts toward becoming a doula.
Small changes can have positive and far reaching effects. A small business is more likely to survive and thrive by responding thoughtfully to the changing trends within its field, and by daring to re-vision its mission and services from time to time. It takes courage to deviate from a path that was once fresh, comfortable and working, but no longer is.
In the next newsletter, to be sent around November 9, 2017, you will learn about a few more changes in the program, upcoming facilitator training, and be inspired by what a few of your innovative peers have been doing!
Join me, and your peers, in a Zoom Meeting on November 16, 2017 at 1:00 pm PST to ask questions and share your impressions regarding the new Pathways to Certification. (See the invitation to the Zoom meeting at the end of this letter.) If you cannot make it to the live meeting, please watch the recording of the meeting.
Be Aware: There are hundreds of you, and only one Pam and one Angelique (new BFW office assistant). We encourage you to participate in the Zoom meetings rather than sending emails. If you do email suggestions, questions, or comments, please be patient as you wait for a personal response.
Pam England is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting on: