I am thrilled to announce that after a two-year certification period, I am now fully affiliated as a Bradley Method® Natural Childbirth Educator!
My journey towards becoming an active birth educator began as a Bradley student while expecting my first child. My husband and I were eager students and very enthusiastic about having a natural and unmedicated childbirth. We were so eager that we even decided to forgo the hospital and have our baby at home by a Certified Professional Midwife. The twelve weeks of classes were so informative and empowering, the labour was very short (five hours!) and the birth was amazing. I remember when the midwife helped lift my daughter up out of the water and onto my chest that my baby’s arms were up, outstretched for me, and I held her against my upper abdomen, for the umbilical cord was quite short, and was an awe that I had birthed this beautiful baby, in my own home, with my own strength, without drugs!
Soon after, with the prospect of becoming a stay-at-home mum, we looked into getting certified to become a Bradley Method® teacher. We were in between moving from Baltimore to the United Kingdom, and I had to jump quickly at the chance to attend the Teacher’s Workshop to start the certification process. I signed up for a conference happening in Chicago, booked my flight, booked my hotel, and started working on the assigned readings, outlines, and research. In my diligence, I completed all of the assigned tasks before heading to the conference, in which my five-month old baby was in attendance. At the end of the intensive weekend-long workshop, I became provisionally certified.
Provisional status was the most difficult for me, as the typical provisional student is given 6 months to compete two full series of 12-week long classes, and yet, we were moving to a different country! I’ll admit that I had several nights of tears, doubt, and worry that I would ever be able to complete my two class series as a fresh new face in a country that has never even HEARD of the Bradley Method®, and I turned out to be the first and ONLY Bradley teacher here.
By the grace of God, I was able to find couples who wanted to learn from me and have a Bradley birth. With dedication and patience, I completed my two full series, and then I had to take the final examination. I was so eager to be fully affiliated that I completed the final exam within a week, though we are given one month to do it.
Last night, I received the great news that I passed my final exam, and I am now FULLY AFFILIATED, and no longer a Provisional Teacher. This also means I can add the credentials “AAHCC” (American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth, the official name of the Bradley Method® Academy) after my name to indicate full affiliation.
I am excited to be starting several new things, which only fully affiliated teachers can do:
- Teach FREE Pregnancy 101 Classes
- Teach more than 1 series at the same time
- Help other people become Bradley teachers
- Promote the Bradley Method® in my local community (Southampton)
- Start a Bradley Method® movement in the UK
I hope you’ll join me in my celebration of Full Affiliate status and get connected with me so we can work together to empower mothers and bring about positive change for birth in the United Kingdom.