There are several organizations you can certify with. Generally, it is best to pick who you want to certify with before you choose your training, since most certifying organizations require specific training programs. (Note, if you already trained with one, you may be able to certify with a different organization through their experienced educator pathway (see below.) To learn more about the philosophies and class formats for each method, see this summary of childbirth methods.
Programs I recommend for a broad-based approach to childbirth education and informed choice:
- Great Starts program of Parent Trust for Washington Children. (formerly known as Childbirth Education Association of Seattle… this is where Penny Simkin has worked since 1968, and where I work) Students who take their training can also choose to certify with ICEA. www.parenttrust.org/uploads/pdf/ProfessionalTrainings/BTEP/certification2-09.pdf
- ICEA – International Childbirth Education Association. www.icea.org/content/traditional-childbirth-educator-certification
- Lamaze – Lamaze International. www.lamazeinternational.org/PathwaysToCertification#one
Specialized programs, and/or programs I am not as familiar with:
- Apple Tree Family (Christian-based teaching) www.appletreefamily.org/Teach.php
- Birth Arts International: www.birtharts.com/cbe.htm
- BirthWorks www.birthworks.org/site/doula-certification.html
- Birthing from Within – www.birthingfromwithin.com/mentor_program
- Bradley method of husband-coached natural childbirth. www.bradleybirth.com/WhyBradley.aspx
- CAPPA – Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association. www.cappa.et/get-certified.php?childbirth-educator
- Childbirth International – www.childbirthinternational.com/childbirth_educator/main.htm and www.childbirthinternational.com/childbirth_educator/certification.htm
- Hypnobabies – www.hypnobabies.com
- Hypno-Birthing – www.hypnobirthing.com/practitioner_training.htm.
- IBWP – International Birth & Wellness Project –(formerly ALACE) www.alace.org/education
- PCE – Prepared Childbirth Educators. www.childbirtheducation.org/ch_ed.html and www.childbirtheducation.org/ced_exam.html
For a chart that compares these options based on training requirements and costs, click here.