Become a Certified Childbirth Educator

If you want to be part of a big, well-known childbirth education organization with a fine reputation and a lot of resources, I can recommend several (see the big list below).  I’m certified by a couple of them myself, and they have superb trainings, conferences, newsletters, and networking. “Certification” varies from one organization to the next, with no universal standard, but reputation, resources, and name recognition might be important to you, your clients, or your employer.

On the other hand, if you just want to get a wonderful foundation for teaching independent prenatal classes in your neighborhood, village, hospital, birth center, jail, outback, Peace Corps destination, or community center, and you don’t want to spend a lot of time or money, then you might enjoy the very accessible “Childbirth Education Essentials” certification program.  You can always decide to join a larger organization later, and you will be encouraged to do so.

The Childbirth Education Essentials certification program consists of:

A fascinating and unique one-day workshop ($150)

A reading list of 5 required books, 5 elective books, and 2 websites

Agreeing to ethical and professional guidelines

Auditing a childbirth class in its entirety

Teaching a class and submitting your clients’ evaluations

Attending 3 births (past experience and personal experience count)

Choosing a “study buddy” with whom to share ideas and support (optional)

A set of learning assignments that can be submitted online or by mail ($100)

That’s a total of $250 plus books. By the time you finish the assignments, you’ll be ready to start teaching!  You can teach however and wherever you like, within ethical and professional guidelines, and charge whatever you like. Contact Us!

But first…

It’s in your best interest to check out all your options BEFORE you sign up for certification with Childbirth Education Essentials. Compare childbirth educator certification programs carefully.  You might start with the links below.  For each organization you’re considering, find out…

Do they match your personal and professional values?

Do they focus on coping with labor, or do they also include information about complications, postpartum, baby care, breastfeeding?

Do they include all the topics you care about? (tailoring classes for special populations, evidence-based care, cultural competency…)

Does the training fit your budget, your time, and your geographical location?  Are there scholarships, online options, or traveling trainers?

Does their certification qualify you for the job you are seeking?  For example, hospitals may prefer Lamaze, CAPPA, or ICEA.

Does their infrastructure (web presence, CEU’s, conferences, newsletter, networking) match your needs?


In no particular order, here are some that might be well worth your consideration: (Penny Simkin is my heroine!)  (an exciting Lamaze program — Deb is the “Orgasmic Birth” filmmaker) (excellent 50-year-old organization) (also an excellent 50-year-old organization) (a new but very fast-growing, multifaceted organization) (this has now morphed into International Birth and Wellness Project)


  1. Jennifer Warner

    I am interested in attending your workshop for certified childbirth educator. I am currently “auditing” a Bradley birthing class as part of my certification requirements for birth doula under Michelle L’Esperance. I will be participating in her workshop Jan 28 & 29. I am very new to this and basically re-mapping my life to include choices as opposed to hurried survival skills. I think this would be another great starting point in discovering the true destination of my life work. I have some basic knowledge and belief in whole health utilizing natural foods, herbs, consciousness and spirituality. My general desire at this point is to find a niche in educating and supporting/serving women in order to empower them in making healthy choices for themselves and their families.
    I live in Florence, MA so it is convenient for me to attend your class in January if it is not full already.
    I have read about your work with the prisons and I am grateful that you are aware of this and actively creating consciousness and change.
    Sincere regards,
    Jennifer Warner

    • It would be lovely to have you in the workshop. It’s for experienced birth professionals looking for inspiration and fresh ideas, and it’s also for enthusiastic newcomers like you. It’s the first required step if you’re interested in becoming certified as a childbirth educator with Childbirth Education Essentials, a streamlined and very economical program aimed at making childbirth education more accessible to everybody. And if you’re interested in certifying with another training organization, it’s a great kick-start. I’m so glad you found Michelle’s doula training. She inspires me in so many ways! Best wishes in all you do!

  2. Kathy Jo Keever

    I am an educator, women’s health of course 🙂 a nurse midwife, and want to know if the credentials with this are CCE? Thanks. By the way, saw your presentation before release of your birth video, when you had laryngitis and your son read the script. Now I own the DVD. Thank you for taking on the Media…Kathy Jo

    • Yes, Certified Childbirth Educator = CCE. Childbirth Education Essentials isn’t famous and doesn’t offer a lot of infrastructure, but it’s a super-inexpensive, quick, thorough, and fun certification program. My mission is to help make high-quality childbirth education accessible to every pregnant person.

  3. nema phillips

    Greetings…I corresponded with you, Vicki, in early December, if memory serves me correct, and voted in your survey of dates/times for the upcoming CEE workshop. Just wondering if you have firmed up a day and time? All things permitting, I am on board and eager to build….

    Love and Honor,
    Nema Phillips

    • Sunday, January 22 and Sunday, February 26 (choose one)
      9am to 6 pm
      Northampton Wellness Associates, 395 Pleasant Street, Northampton

      Looking forward to meeting you in person!!!

  4. Kristin

    I would love to take youe CEE Workshop on Feb 26, 2012. Where do I sign up for it? Is there still room in the class?

    • Hi!

      The February 2012 workshop is full, but I’ll be offering it again in Northampton at least once in next few months. Would you like to participate in a Doodle poll to find a date that works for the people on the waiting list? If so,

      Go to this Doodle poll, and mark every date that would work for you. Be sure to write your first AND last name AND your email address on the poll so I can contact you!

      I’ll contact you with the date(s) that work for everybody. Thanks for your interest!

      All the best!


  5. Hi Vicki,

    I look forward to connecting with you more in late November and I would definitely like to talk with you also about bringing your childbirth ed. training to the SF bay area


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