Staci Bishop

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Training Recap Part 1: Choosing A Program

I just completed my birth doula training with Childbirth International. I wanted to give a quick recap of my experience for those who may be considering the same.

First of all, it took me a while to decide which training program to pursue. I researched quite a bit before deciding on CBI. Here's the short version of my selection process.

The main certifying organizations for doulas in the United States are DONA and CAPPA. They are both very well known and popular. However, they both require you to train through weekend conferences. For me, I tend to get a little overwhelmed in a jam-packed conference type environment. My brain can only hold so much information in a short span and I need time to process. Also, it is interesting to note that their prices are different based on the trainer. I also didn't want the added expense of having to travel to another city for training nor did I want to wait for the next conference to come to Nashville.

I needed a program that offered a distance learning option with no hard deadlines. I am very capable of setting and meeting my own deadlines as I completed my Bachelor's degree and medical transcription training through online programs. I like working at my own pace. I also wanted training that was consistent across the board. I felt that the variation in trainers and costs could ultimately lead to a variation in learning. Meaning, you may or may not get the same information depending upon the trainer. (Side Notes: 1. I'm confident that the DONA and CAPPA trainers are quite knowledgeable. I'm just trying to share my thought process and this was a hangup. 2. CAPPA now offers a distance learning program.)

I learned about a few other programs, Birth Arts International, Birthing From Withing and Childbirth International. The BAI and BFW programs seemed to have a more holistic/spiritual approach, which is definitely inline with my beliefs about birth and I strongly considered them. In fact, the BAI program also has a scholarship program. However, the consensus among reviews was that the CBI course was one of the most comprehensive programs out there, which was a major deciding factor for me. Not only did I want to become a doula, I want to be a good doula. Also, CBI does not require you to pay a recertification fee every year, which was an added plus.

To get this information, I did tons of Google searches. I also browsed through the archives of many forums. The most helpful of which was over at I also gave it a lot of thought and prayer before finally deciding that I wanted to certify through Childbirth International.

In review, here are the doula training organizations that I looked into.

Childbirth International (CBI) - My choice for Birth Doula Training!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Staci Bishop, Certified Doula, At Your Service

It's official! I'm a doula. A certified doula.

I've done all the steps, read all of the materials, taken all the tests, finished the book reviews, completed the surveys, performed the hands-on training, and labored over the written communication assignment. Beyond these assignments, I've also done further research on my own and aim to continue to pursue knowledge regarding all topics surrounding pregnancy and birth.

Through this process, I've grown and learned a great deal. I aim to write about my full experience but for now I just wanted to make the announcement that I received my final grade, the highest mark possible, on my written assignment. This was the last piece of the puzzle. My certificate has been requested and will arrive soon. Yay!!!

I'm so excited to finally put these precious little letters behind my name.

Staci Bishop, CD (CBI)

**CD stands for Certified Doula and CBI is for the program I completed, Childbirth International.

Reading Roundup 6/26 (vernix, marijuana, borax, vaccine history, VBAC facts)

Here's a look at a few interesting things I've read this week.

A Young Mother's Birth Story Told With Photos - This mother is 18 years old and shares the journey of her natural, homebirth through pictures. It's beautiful! If she can do it, anyone can. Very inspiring!

Wait! Don't Wash That Newborn - Routine baths are given rather quickly in hospital settings despite the fact that research has shown vernix to have anti-bacterial and temperature regulating qualities.

Newborns Testing Positive for Marijuana Because of Their Baby Soaps?!?! - Two well-known baby washes by Johnson & Johnson and Aveeno contain THC. No joke. And there is a scientific study to prove it.

22 Favorite Birth Quotes and Affirmations - My fave from this list is... "‎If I don’t know my options, I don’t have any.” ~ Diana Korte

VBAC Quick Facts - Helpful post and informative website for VBAC info.

Boron: Major Cause and Cure for Arthritis - I'll admit. I've never been a fan of Borax. In fact, I have intentionally left it out of my homemade laundry detergent recipe. But, after reading this (because my hubby has arthritis of the knees), I may be changing my tune.

Vaccines (Part II): Hygiene, Sanitation, Immunization, and Pestilential Diseases - This article shares the history of many diseases but I find the visual aid to be the most helpful. Basically, it shows that the diseases were already on the sharp decline (mainly due to better hygiene and sanitation) before the vaccines were ever introduced.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Two Week Wait

When trying to conceive, this term is often used to describe the time between ovulation and menstruation or a positive pregnancy test.

Right now, I am also in the midst of a "two week wait" for a test. But I'm not pregnant. I just submitted my final assignment for my doula certification. WHOO HOO!!! The anticipation is unreal. While I'm fully expecting to get a "positive" result, I still have to wait for the official email and ultimately my certificate.

In the meantime I'm....
  • still offering a reduced rate of $250 for any client who reserves my services before I'm "official." Their due date can be at any point in the future. They would simply need to commit with a deposit.
  • inquiring about applying for an NPI #, which means that clients can bill my services to their insurance company for reimbursement.
  • designing business cards.
  • mapping out my client availability for the rest of 2012.
  • trying to decide what book I want to read next. I'm pretty decided on "Pushed" by Jennifer Block.
  • thinking about offering a sliding scale fee.
  • daydreaming about helping more women get the birth experience they want.
  • pondering how to reach moms who don't know what a doula is or why they would need one.
Thanks for stopping by. Stay tuned for more news.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Reading Roundup 6/10 {Something for Everyone}

I've got tons of things bookmarked that I've read over the past month. Just now having chance to catch up and post them. There's a lot here. I'm sure everyone can find at least one topic below, if not more, that interests them.

Benefits of Breastfeeding - All in a handy dandy, easy to read, PDF format.

EWG 2012 Sunscreen Guide - They test almost every sunscreen on the market and give them a rating. Check this list to see where your sunscreen ranks. This study was enough to make me finally switch sunscreen brands last year. Let's be honest, if the sunscreen that is supposed to be protecting you from skin cancer can actually give you cancer, what's the point?

Top 10 Procedures to Reject When You're Expecting - From Consumer Reports. "...infants and mothers fare worse in the U.S. than in many other industrialized nations... Why are we doing so badly?" This may be one of my new favorite articles. it's very thorough and even goes on to explain the 10 things you should do during pregnancy including hiring a doula.

Shingles and Chicken Pox Vaccinations, Oh My - This author does a great job of explaining what I have said all alone. By requiring the chicken pox vaccination, which is not exactly effective, we are essentially causing more cases of shingles, which is more dangerous and painful. Getting the chicken pox as a child, while inconvenient, will actually give you life-long immunity to shingles.

Breast Milk Should Be Drunk At The Same Time Of Day It Is Expressed - Fascinating! You have to read it. They can explain it so much better than I can. Once again, the intelligence of breast milk never ceases to amaze me.

Why Every Mom Should Have Homeopathic Arnica in Her Purse - I'm definitely getting some of this. "...the most miraculous demonstrations of arnica’s ability happen when we give arnica withing about ten minutes of the initial injury."

Top 10 Nursing Must Haves - Mom of 7 describes the tips and tricks and gadgets that worked for her.

9 Non-Medicinal Remedies for Your Headache - These tips can be especially helpful for pregnant moms who are avoiding OTC medicines.

Peanut Balls and Epidurals - This device is similar to a yoga ball and is getting rave reviews from initial studies. It has been shown to decrease the 1st and 2nd stage of labor and C-section rates. I think I'm gonna have to get one of these.

Diaper Change Roll Technique to Reduce Colic - I'm a big fan of chiropractic and after seeing this demonstration it totally makes sense.

Primary Herbs to Avoid During Pregnancy - It's always helpful to know what to avoid and this post also explains why.

Is There a Vitamin D and Uterine Fibroid Connection - Interesting study that suggests vitamin D as a potential treatment for uterine fibroids.

Sh*t Crunch Dads Say (hilarious followup to Sh*t Crunchy Moms Say)

Friday, June 8, 2012

REVIEW: The Birth Book (Sears)

I recently completed this book as my 3rd option from the Childbirth International reading list. My notes below are based on the questions I answered to complete my book review for the course.

What did you enjoy about this book?

I thought this book was a very even-tempered book which gave unbiased information about all aspects of birth. They covered all of the topics well even going in depth to explain the details of each potential procedure and its possible outcomes. I felt this book also did a great, but gentle, job of encouraging women to take an active part of their birth by letting them know that there are options. I think Martha's chapter at the very beginning of the book would get most any woman to at least consider the benefits of natural childbirth. I also appreciated her notes throughout, which made the material more personable.

What did you not like about this book?

I was very displeased with the outdated nature of this book. While it appears that they have updated the cover, the content is still from the early 90's. There is a lot of speculation in the book about how maternity care will improve over the next decade. The true passing of time has shown the opposite. Some of the options are even outdated (i.e. banned in some areas) now. It was very frustrating to read their hopes for the future yet knowing that the American maternity care system still has a long way to go. I was also disappointed to see that the term “doula” isn't even used in the book. In some cases, I even felt that their definition of a professional labor assistant was incorrect. This fact alone would give me pause before recommending this book.

What was the most significant thing you learned when reading this book?

It was very interesting to learn about the history of birth and to see just how we got this far off track. I think the authors did a fantastic job explaining why, at the time, women thought this was a better way. Sometimes it isn't until we look back that we notice how bad that scenario was. I also took special note of Martha's birth stories and the feelings that were evoked after each birth and how much they learned from each experience. I was also fascinated to see the bonding that Dad experienced and how it increased as each birth became more “natural.”

How do you think this book will affect your role as a doula?

As I mentioned previously, Martha's notes were extremely helpful. Dr. Sears would describe something such as relaxation, but her words were very realistic and I was able to visualize exactly what needed to happen in the process. I envision that I will also use some of her verbiage with future clients to explain “how” I need them to relax. The explanations and illustrations of positioning were also helpful. Overall, this was a good refresher course of birth preparation and the process itself.