When people find out I am a Lamaze childbirth educator, it usually produces a variety of responses ranging from; ” Wow! That’s so interesting!” to “So are you a midwife?” to “What the hell is a Lamaze childbirth educator?”
The fact is, (and I know I am a just a teeny bit biased!) I think I have the best bloody job in the world. Here are just 10 reasons why.
1. You get to be a part of one of the most important moments in a person’s life – preparing for the birth of their child. The information and resources you can provide a pregnant woman and her partner can have a profound and lifelong positive impact on them. Now, how many jobs can you think of where you get to have THAT kind of impact?!
2. If you are someone who can’t stand the monotony of working in an office, doing the same old thing day in and day out, you are going to LOVE being an independent Lamaze childbirth educator. Literally no two days are the same! I’ve taught classes all over Melbourne – in group settings, in my clients’ homes, in my home – even online for a couple in New York! I am also developing some online childbirth education courses – your options are only restricted by your imagination.
3. If you are a people person and you love meeting new people, this is the ideal career for you! Through your teaching, you’ll come across some amazing people that you would never otherwise get the opportunity to meet. You also have the potential to bring people together who may become lifelong friends. There is something really special about the experience of meeting other couples who are expecting their first baby around the same time as you.
4. If you crave independence and are desperate to say goodbye to the corporate rat race, look no further! While working for yourself isn’t always easy (and there are days I REALLY miss having paid sick leave, paid annual leave and a regular pay cheque!) I honestly wouldn’t give up my independence for anything in the world. I know I will never be out of work and no one can ever make me redundant! As long as people keep having babies, there will be a job for me!
5. Are you a parent with young children of your own and you’re wanting a career that enables you to put your family first? I love that I can attend special occasions at my children’s school and pick them up in the afternoon without feeling guilty that I am leaving work early. This would have to be one of the rare professions that you can absolutely achieve a healthy work-life balance.
6. If you love being intellectually stimulated and continually challenged professionally, you will LOVE this aspect of being a Lamaze childbirth educator! Lamaze International is widely considered to be the gold standard of birth education worldwide, and has high expectations of its educators, who are required to re-certify every three years. This means that we are lifelong learners so we can ensure that the information we pass on to our families is current and evidence-based.
7. Are you a birth geek? You might not actually realise that you are, but if your Facebook and Insta feeds consist almost exclusively of birth videos, birth photography or pretty much anything to do with pregnancy, birth or babies – Ummm… I’m going guess that the answer to that is a resounding YAAASSSS! If so, this is a no-brainer – you’ve found your dream job girlfriend!
8. Do you love the idea of being part of something bigger than you? There are almost 2,500 Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educators teaching in 37 countries around the world! By becoming Lamaze Certified, you are joining an incredible family of like-minded, passionate professionals who are dedicated to improving birth for mothers and babies the world over. Some of the most meaningful friendships I have ever made have been with fellow Lamaze educators from around the world.
Through my work, I have now been able to incorporate both national and international travel for the educator training programs that I run, as well as my involvement with Lamaze International as a member of the board of directors. It actually never occurred to me that a Lamaze educator living outside the United States could play such an integral role within the organisation, but I couldn’t have been more wrong! Lamaze is absolutely committed to supporting ALL its members and strongly encourages educators from around the world to get involved in committees and leadership roles. P.S. If you take a close look at this photo, you’ll spot a veritable Who’s-Who of the international birth world including Penny Simkin, Debra Pascali-Bonaro, and Judith Lothian.
9. Do you have a creative side to your personality? This is one of the most fun aspects of teaching childbirth classes! I love coming up with creative and interactive ways of teaching my course. Teaching adults can be a bit of a challenge sometimes, so creating memorable and engaging content is really rewarding. Get your creative on! Lamaze International have even devoted an entire blog series to showcase the creative talents of its educators!
“Do a job you love, and you’ll never work another day in your life.”
10. Finally, I am sure you’ve heard the old saying; “do a job you love, and you’ll never work another day in your life.” This perfectly sums up everything I love about my work as a Lamaze childbirth educator. Without doubt, this is the most rewarding, satisfying and important work I have ever done. If this work sounds like something you’d like to be doing, then we need to talk 🙂
So, what are you waiting for?!
If you’d like to learn more about how you can start your journey to becoming a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, then click here.
Tanya Strusberg is the founder of birthwell birthright and the co-founder of Lamaze Australia. She is a Melbourne-based Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, doula and a Fellow of the Association of Certified Childbirth Educators (FACCE). Tanya is also a member of the Lamaze International Board of Directors, the first non-North American to ever serve on the board in Lamaze’s 60-plus year history. She is a passionate advocate for women’s maternity care and her articles have appeared in The Journal of Perinatal Education, Australian Midwifery News, Science & Sensibility, Interaction – the journal of the Childbirth and Parenting Educators Association of Australia (CAPEA), International Doula, Empowering Birth Magazine and Rockstar Birth Magazine. Through her internationally-accredited Lamaze Educator Training program, she is very excited to be training a new generation of Australian Lamaze educators. Last, but absolutely not least, she is also the mum of two beautiful children, her son Liev and daughter Amalia.