Be Fruitful And Diversify

by Bonita Katz, BA RN ICCE ICBD IAT CLC

It’s fall in the northern hemisphere and it makes me think of fruitfulness and harvest. I live in a harsh climate, so farmers and ranchers here are always interested in diversifying – looking at different crops or livestock as well as considering alternative ways to manage those things, wondering how can they improve their harvest.

Some of us live in harsh environments when it comes to evidence-based practice. I have spoken with some of you that work in areas with high rates of cesarean birth and other interventions. Others live in rural areas where maternity care is becoming harder to access. It can seem as though our efforts are accomplishing so little. So, let’s borrow a page from the farmer’s book and see if we can diversify. Let me give you some examples that I’ve heard of:

  • In an area where access to care is limited a group of educators is taking their “class” into the homes of indigenous women to teach them one-on-one.
  • One of our trainers offers a workshop in her area that is spread out over several weekends making it more accessible to the local community.
  • A childbirth educator teaches about birth in the health classes at the local high school.
  • Others offer “lunch-and-learn” opportunities – a no-obligation kind of teaser to help people understand why childbirth education would be beneficial.

Supporting new families can take place in a variety of ways and occur in a variety of venues. Most of us learn best when we take in information in a variety of ways – maybe a meme gets our attention so we watch a short video clip. The information there refers us to a more in-depth article to read.

Are you using any of these methods to increase interest in childbirth classes or to increase your doula clientele? Do you have unique opportunities to teach others about birth? Have you carved out a niche to serve a particular population? Let’s share those ideas!

Diversifying how and where we teach and serve will improve our harvest – a well-educated population that results in improved birth practices and outcomes. Together we can accomplish ICEA’s vision of “a nurtured world through professionals trained in family-centered maternity and newborn care.”

I’d love to hear about the ideas and opportunities that you have. Please post on our Facebook Group, ICEA Certified Professionals Support, or email me at president@icea.org.