Dawna Insua, CBE, Doula, BA (Birth Assistant), CLC, LCCE
Where do you live? Cooper City, Florida, USA
How many years have you been teaching?6+
What is your goal as a childbirth educator? Extending my reach. I want to be available for all families, in all circumstances to help empower, educate, and provide the best resources for them so they can make the best decisions surrounding the birth of their child/children allowing them to enjoy their pregnancy/birth/postpartum experience.
Keep reading about Dawna.
What was your journey to a career in childbirth education? I started my journey supporting growing families as a birth doula. Very quickly I realized the gap between the expecting family and the healthcare system. I noticed mostly fear-based information is given to families to prepare them for what to expect as far as policies and procedures in the birth place, and very little on how their bodies and babies work together and even less on natural resources for natural labor and birth.
Why did you choose to become a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator (LCCE)? I chose Lamaze after researching information for a client and finding great resources on the Lamaze site. I already knew the accreditation Lamaze holds, and thought it would be more beneficial to be a direct part of the Lamaze team.
How, where, and what do you teach? I have developed my own outline for classes based on the vast experience I have gained attending births and supporting new families. I teach private classes and group classes to expecting families along with some postpartum care classes. I have traveled and volunteered in Haiti. I have mentored other doulas in the area and open my classes to them for observation and participation when they are accompanied by an expecting family. I have been invited to teach in a hospital setting to L&D Nursing Staff and plan to use my LCCE to take part in that journey soon.
Eftychia Topouzi, LCCE
Where do you live? Athens, Greece
How many years have you been teaching? 5
What is your goal as a childbirth educator? To support and educate families by providing evidence-based information, so as to make informed choices and experience the birth of their child with self-confidence, respect, calmness, love and connection.
Keep reading about Eftychia.
What was your journey to a career in childbirth education? My initial journey started when I shifted careers from Marketing & Communications to Perinatal Care, by becoming a doula. Childbirth Education came right after when I felt the need to provide families with all the necessary information and support that I needed when pregnant.
Why did you choose to become a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator (LCCE)? I chose to become a LCCE because Lamaze totally represents my values and beliefs, both as a professional and an individual.
What or who influences your teaching? The philosophy of "learning throughout life" and the fact that I join mothers at the point where they allow me to "meet" them, with empathy and respect.
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.