How Plumtree Baby was Born
For many women, finding out you are pregnant sets you on a path to learn more about this new, wonderful and slightly scary experience that you are about to embark on. I was one of those women who craved information and a better understanding of my options for having a healthy and positive birth experience. I was fortunate to find a childbirth educator in my town who taught a class that would meet my needs (and she later became my doula too). My husband and I left every class feeling more informed and more confident in our decision to have a natural birth with a local CNM group. We went on to have a healthy baby girl and within eight months of her birth, I was sitting in a workshop to become a childbirth educator myself. Since that time, I have felt strongly that other women should have all of the education, preparation and support for their births that they desire and I knew that I could - and wanted to - help others in this role.
When I was just starting out as a childbirth educator, I taught a particular "method" that had a structured course outline that all instructors were to follow. I appreciated the convenience and consistency of this at first, but after for a while I realized that there were some gaps in the information I was supposed to teach and some lessons that I felt could have been improved to better meet the needs of my students. I was motivated to learn more about the topics I was teaching and research other ways of sharing information, so I began to write my own curriculum. I eventually decided to pursue a different certification and then one day it dawned on me: there are probably many other childbirth educators who are in the same position I am, who want to teach an evidence-based, flexible course that they can tailor to meet the needs of their students. I created Plumtree Baby (along with my team of experts) to provide myself and all of you with these tools that I had dreamed about and worked on for so many years. It is important for me to mention that Plumtree Baby would not be here if it wasn't for the help of Katie Immel (a childbirth educator, doula, graphic designer and writer) who has tirelessly worked alongside me to create the very best resources for birth professionals.
When Plumtree Baby began in 2011, we started off by publishing booklets for parent education (our Complete Set) that could serve as in-class guides or as resources for parents to read at home. We were also hard at work on our Childbirth Curriculum that was published just six months later. Fast forward three years and we have already published the second editions of these original products and now have dozens of other resources and tools for birth professionals. All of our materials have been created to inform and educate parents about their choices and help them ask questions and get resources to better make decisions.
Having taught childbirth education courses for the past nine years, I have learned that not all women have the same need for information or desire the same type of birth experience that I did, but nearly every women wants to be respected and to have her needs met during birth and beyond. I have learned that our classes and the tools we use need to meet parents where they are and engage them in a meaningful and individual way. I have learned that how a mother feels and how she is treated often matter more anything else and that there are many different birth experiences that women view as positive and joyful. I have learned that partners are often committed to being a strong support for mom, but that sometimes they are not comfortable serving in that role and need support themselves.
With every class I teach and every birth professional I meet, I continue to be inspired to meet the needs of parents and fellow birth professionals in any way that I can. It is my hope that the modern, comprehensive and flexible teaching tools that we offer will truly help you and your clients. This goal has been at the heart of Plumtree Baby from before it was born and continues to be our motivation today. Together we are making a difference and helping parents feel prepared, confident and calm during this life-changing experience.
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