Jessica Deeb, MS, RN, WHNP-BC, IBCLC, LCCE
Where do you live? I just moved to Bethlehem, NY, having lived in Manhattan for the last 10 years.
How many years have you been teaching? 8
What is your goal as a childbirth educator? To be a life long learner. There is so much more to know!
Keep reading about Jessica.
What was your journey to a career in childbirth education? As a bedside nurse, one of my most favorite parts of postpartum care was educating families during their hospital stay. In 2010 I began volunteer teaching at a pregnancy center and shortly thereafter, Eileen DiFrisco (former Lamaze International President) approached me about teaching at NYU Langone Health and becoming Lamaze certified. Having just given birth to my first baby, I realized the value of childbirth education.
Why did you choose to become a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator (LCCE)? Pursuing Lamaze certification was an easy decision. Their philosophy matched my own. It was extremely useful to be able to center my teaching around Lamaze.
What or who influences your teaching? Families are the constant driver of my teaching. Their needs are constantly changing.
Robin Gibson-Douthit, CD (DONA), CLC, MA, LCCE
Where do you live? New York City (born and raised)
How many years have you been teaching? 7
What is your goal as a childbirth educator? To share The Simple Story of Birth in order to replace my students' fears and anxieties about the birthing experience with solid information and advocacy skills... to make them excited about what's ahead instead of being terrified (being afraid is such an awful way to meet one's birthing experience!).
Keep reading about Robin.
What was your journey to a career in childbirth education? I was a doula for a few years and realized my birth clients (particularly those who did not take a childbirth preparation class) needed to know more about what can happen during labor in order to feel more prepared for the experience. That's when I signed up for the Lamaze seminar.
Why did you choose to become a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator (LCCE)? I loved the fact that Lamaze is a comprehensive program based on six healthy practices for the best birth outcomes and I appreciated the depth and simplicity of those six recommendations.
How could you suggest other members receive maximum value from Lamaze? My strongest recommendation is for members to read the Journal of Perinatal Education, join the members' Facebook group for great teaching ideas, attend the Lamaze conferences when you can, and stay up to date with the webinars. If you are on the teacher certification track, I especially recommend finding a Lamaze certified instructor to mentor you beyond passing the Lamaze exam and into your first teaching gig!
When you're not teaching, what do you enjoy doing? Reading!! I'm an avid reader, I usually have 2 or 3 books that I'm reading around the same time, and one of them is usually about birth! And of course, spending time with my family is precious!
Lynda Smith, RN, CM, LCCE
Where do you live? Gerringong, Australia (South of Sydney on the Coast)
How many years have you been teaching? 1.5
What is your goal as a childbirth educator? To empower women to confidence
Keep reading about Lynda.
What was your journey to a career in childbirth education? My mother taught home classes to pregnant women in South Africa in the 70's when I was a child. She followed the teaching of Marjorie Karmel and the psychoprophylaxis method that she learnt in the UK in the 1960's. I remember many pregnant ladies coming to our house to learn Lamaze breathing, physiology of birth and the importance of partner support. My mother taught me how to cope with labour and I have taught many friends the same things because they worked! Mostly, hospital classes do not prepare women enough. I decided to become a midwife the day after my first baby was born and left teaching for midwifery. Now 3 years into being a midwife, I am about to do my Lamaze Certification Exam in November this year. I will be following in the footsteps of my mother, which is an honour, and I hope to continue to empower women and make a difference for their birth and parenting experiences.
Why did you choose to become a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator (LCCE)? I believe that Lamaze offers a good evidence-based philosophy of pregnancy, birth and parenting. It works very well with my employment as a midwife and I hope to teach privately as well as influence the way classes are taught in our hospital.