The course ethos has grown from a deep respect for women and their decisions during childbearing, as well as an understanding about the physiological, emotional, spiritual, social and political nature of birth. The course style and content will reflect this and is therefore based on mutual respect and the sharing of knowledge. We therefore welcome and intend to include and build on the skills, talents, diverse knowledges, and experiences of those in the group.
The course covers three broad areas of study. These are yoga, self development and group skills, and knowledge of birth and related issues.
This will include individual yoga and yoga for pregnancy. Yoga sessions will be included throughout the course. However, a knowledge of yoga and the embodiment of yoga practice can only be gained through regular, preferably daily, personal yoga practice and weekly attendance at a yoga class. Without this most potential birth educators do not gain the skills or confidence they need in order to lead pregnancy yoga groups competently and safely.
Past experience and feedback also suggests that repeated opportunities to practice teaching yoga is extremely valuable and helps course members gain confidence. For this reason the course will be very practically based. It will include some basic physiology, yoga theory and discussion to help members gain understanding about the benefits of yoga for pregnant women, and when postures may be contraindicated.
Yoga practice provides an excellent opportunity for self-development, which in turn facilitates ease with the skills needed for leading groups.
There will be some opportunities to attend yoga for pregnancy groups and birth preparation workshops run by childbirth educators who have completed the previous birth education courses.
Personal Development and Group Skills
We believe that ongoing development through reflection, self-awareness and personal growth are crucial when working with pregnant women and their partners, on a one-to-one basis or in groups. Pregnant women and their partners are particularly vulnerable, sensitive and open to influence. We need to know how our own qualities, personalities, styles of facilitation and limitations impact on people. This helps us to minimise power differentials when working with individuals or within groups. Self-knowledge decreases the potential harm we can do and increases the likelihood of providing a safe environment where pregnant women can explore their own knowledges, intuitions, feelings and decisions around childbearing.
Thus, our intention for the course is to provide a safe environment where members feel as free as possible to express themselves, unhindered by judgmental attitudes, which stifle our autonomy and learning. By experiencing this ourselves, we are more likely to provide this for pregnant women. There will be opportunities to practice listening skills, to make presentations, to role play, to counsel, and to give and receive feedback.
The theory of learning and group dynamics will be included. Amongst ourselves, and with input from others, we will find role models to further develop these skills.
We recognise that knowledge arises from cultural belief systems and that there are therefore many different knowledges. It is important that we are aware of different belief systems, approaches and experiences. These include research and evidence-based approaches, women`s and midwives’ embodied and intuitive knowledges, spirituality, and the social and political context in which women give birth.
As part of developing our knowledge base, guest speakers and members of the group, will present on topics such as, the physiology of childbearing and its complications, ritual in childbirth, antenatal screening and testing, nutrition, interventions, pain relief, water birth, complementary therapies, breastfeeding, and the complaints procedure, amongst others.
In order to complete the course, members will be expected to attend the 12 set weekends, practice yoga, keep a yoga diary, complete reading and assignments between weekends (some of these will be web based), prepare presentations and teach yoga postures to the rest of the group.
The PPC Birth Educators course will run from September 2011 and will consist of 12 weekends over the two year period, with work to be completed between weekends. The first weekend in September will include an introductory Friday evening session from 7.00-9.00pm. Dates for the first year are as follows:
30 Sept/1 Oct/2 Oct
The course is open to all women, including student midwives and midwives. There are 10 places available. The course fees are £1000 per annum. There are two concessionary places.
If you would like further information, please phone Nadine on 0131 229 6259, or Lee on 01382 330186.