Take That First Step: An Interview with Patricia Fish

Patricia Fish is a certified professional from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is currently a certified Childbirth Educator, as well as an RN and IBCLC. Patricia serves on the ICEA board as Treasurer.

What inspired you to become a Childbirth Educator?

My childbirth education instructor inspired me. In 1991, I attended an ICEA childbirth education class which was so incredibly helpful. I learned so much and I gained the confidence to change

providers. Halfway through the 6-week class, I realized that I was not going to have the birth experience I wanted if I stayed with the provider I had at the time. I remember sharing with my instructor after class, and she said, “Kudos to you for having the courage to make a change!” I will never forget her or the encouragement she gave me to pursue my own path. I stayed after class on the final evening and asked her how I might become an instructor, and she guided me and encouraged me to take that first step. I’m so glad I did!

What is something you wish people knew about your work?

I wish people knew how fulfilling it is to educate and encourage new parents.

What is a lesson you have learned through your work in childbirth education?

You have to be willing to change your methods of teaching with advances in technology. When I first became an instructor, I used posters and a VHS recording of a birth. I have seen many changes since then and some of them were intimidating for me, but I asked for help and was able to learn the new ways of sharing information. Some fellow educators stopped teaching because of their fear of new technology. I currently teach virtual classes as well as in-person ones.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I love to dig in the dirt, experiment with new plants and spend time with nature. I recently discovered forest bathing which is a wonderful, healthful experience.

Why did you choose ICEA?

ICEA is a pioneer organization. Founded in 1960, it is one of the first organizations to offer certification in childbirth education. The organization is dedicated to educating expectant parents about the options available to them and supporting them in their choices.

What advice would you give newly certified professionals?

I encourage newly certified professionals to attend conferences. Spending a few days with like-minded people, learning about the latest trends in the field, and just encouraging each other is a priceless experience. I have always come away from conferences energized and full of new ideas.

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