At the CAPPA Conference in September, a very exciting announcement was made—training and certification for a brand-new program would begin in 2018! After years in the making, the New Parent Educator program was introduced to the world.
The New Parent Educator is a one-of-a-kind training and certification. Unlike anything currently available, this program will prepare educators to teach to expectant and new parents all about the newborn and postpartum period in a way that can balance the parents’ needs for evidence as well as incorporating their own philosophies and influences on their future parenting.
Most parents today really aren’t prepared for life with a new baby. While there’s plenty of focus on pregnancy and labor, there’s a huge lack of education available once the baby has joined the family, often leaving parents to figure things out for themselves. Or they are given considerable amounts of conflicting advice—much of which is not evidence-based—from many different sources including complete strangers. They may do some crowd sourcing on social media, which will yield much of the same conflicting, non-evidence based information. This may leave parents even more confused, and certainly less confident, than they were before they looked for the answers. Add to this the sleep deficit many are suffering, which can amount to even more stress in a relationship that is navigating some very new and potentially difficult waters.
The New Parent Educator program is designed to help educators be prepared to teach expecting and new families to retain new information in interesting and fun ways. Covering adult education, the training workshop will teach educators how to create timely and captivating curriculum. By learning from the same techniques that will keep their student’s attention, educators will learn to skip the lecture to formulate ways to teach their students confidence in their new skills. Educators will be given time to practice developing educational tools, presenting something old in a new way, and learning approaches for group teaching or private classes that consistently get fantastic reviews.
The New Parent Educator training is built on the evidence-based information that new parents want to know. From newborn physical and emotional abilities, to how to bond and play with a new baby while encouraging proper development, to the big topics of crying, soothing and SLEEP, the training will cover the latest research that parents have questions about. Offering beyond the basic newborn care topics, standard newborn procedures and infant feeding, the New Parent Educator will be prepared to cover the first few months of a new baby’s life in classes or one-on-one with clients.
As the newborn is only part of the picture, the New Parent Educator program will also focus on the new mom, the parental relationship, extended family members, and preparing the home. The physical and emotional transition of the postpartum woman, strategies for couples to keep connection and the relationship strong, ideas for preparing grandparents, siblings and pets—all are covered with a modern activity-based approach. What to buy, babyproofing, how to set up the house in a practical way for the postpartum time period—it’s all in there! Ideas for teaching specialty classes such as those for premature babies, multiples, cesarean births, single parents, adoptive parents, LGBTQ parents, as well as those welcoming a baby through surrogacy are included in the training as well.
And as is the case with all CAPPA training programs, business development and marketing are included in the training. There will also be opportunities to practice teaching and developing new learning activities. Even for those who have been teaching for years, there will be new approaches, new activities, and a chance to improve the impact of the educator’s teaching and presentation.
The New Parent Educator training and certification is a much-needed program to prepare and support families through the overwhelming time the newborn and postpartum period can be. Nowhere else is a program like this being offered that will offer practical and emotionally appropriate teaching skills for educators so they can offer amazing classes, facilitate mom’s groups, or work with families one-on-one. It is a great complement to the Lactation Educator and Childbirth Educator programs, but also can stand alone for those who want to focus specifically on the postnatal family. For many who have been in this field for years with recognition of their skills, this certification program will offer credibility whether in the hospital, a government body like WIC or Healthy Families, or in the community as a health educator.
Trainings for this program will begin in March and will be offered all over the United States in 2018 by CAPPA Senior Advisors and developers of the program, Laura Nance and Kimberly Bepler. For more information about the program or trainings, see cappa.net/new-parent-educator.
CPD, CLD, CLE®, CCCE, CAPPA Faculty, Senior Program Advisor of Postpartum Doula Programs
Laura joined the board as the Senior Program Advisor of Postpartum Doulas in January 2014 after being a CAPPA member since 2001 and faculty since 2006. In addition to teaching for the postpartum doula program, she also teaches for the labor doula and lactation educator programs. She is CAPPA Certified as a Postpartum Doula, Labor Doula, Lactation Educator and Childbirth Educator. She is very active in her local birth community as a doula and an educator, as well as a mentor and adviser. She and her husband of over 20 years live in the country with their 2 teenagers whose births were the spark that ignited her passion for all things “birthy”. They enjoy spending time together as a family especially in outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, biking, boating and just relaxing outside. She also loves photography and getting lost in a good book. She is looking forward to many more years of inspiring others as doulas, educators, and mothers.
IBCLC, CPD, CLE®, CAPPA Faculty, Senior Program Advisor of Lactation Education Programs
Kimberly has been serving breastfeeding families since 2001, first as a postpartum doula, then as a hospital educator, then as a Lactation Consultant (IBCLC since 2011). She founded a ABC Doula Service in Portland, OR in 2001 and has seen it grow to serve over 1800 families within the first 15 years. She has a passion for newborns and their families, as well as new doulas and educators launching into their own businesses. She has been Faculty for CAPPA since 2005 and now trains postpartum doulas, lactation educators, and her own advanced program for working with multiples. Kimberly is the mother to two lively school aged kids, and enjoys the collaboration at home and work with her husband of over 20 years. She also teaches breastfeeding, newborn care, and twin/triplet classes as within the Providence Health System. Kimberly has also produced 2 instructional videos for educators and new parents about newborn care. Her joy is in really making a difference for new parents and new doulas, and changing the world one family at a time.