Childbirth Health Educator

Many professionals are finding that the current job market is not conducive to advancement or change.  Public health careers are still experiencing a steady growth rate, and new positions on specialty fields are being creates regularly.  The job of childbirth health educator is one line of work that combines community wellness with health awareness.

Public health jobs are some of the most secure positions for professionals in these difficult economic times.  These positions offer job security and a competitive salary, but they also offer the satisfaction of serving the community.  If this prospect interests you, then a career as a childbirth health educator could provide a good start to a better quality of life.

What Is A Childbirth Health Educator?

A childbirth health educator is a public health specialist who guides and counsels expectant mothers about the process of giving birth and caring for a newborn.  This job can include instructional guidance for coping with labor and learning breathing techniques, but may also address health concerns that arise during pregnancy, such as preeclampsia or gestational diabetes.  The childbirth health educator would help to provide information about these conditions and also offer service resources for healthcare treatments. 

Childbirth health educators would have the following expectations as a part of their job:

  •   Hold group and individual educational sessions.
  •   Conduct seminars about maintaining health during pregnancy and birth.
  •   Instruct mothers on breathing methods, natural, pain relief, and coping mechanisms during pregnancy.
  •   Educate mother on care for newborns and expectations after birth.
  •   Draft lesson plans and resource materials.
  •   Answer questions and give access to information about health and wellness for mother and child.
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These professional skills can also help childbirth health educators perform their job:

  •   Teaching skills:  You will need to engage your teaching group in a variety of manners that imparts information with clarity and encourages interaction and sharing.
  •   Organization:  You will need to be organized in the lessons and information that you present, to ensure that you are covering all bases with a number of individuals and groups.
  •   Compassion:  This will require good listening skills as well, since emotional concerns will also be a subject that you will need to address.
  •   Communication:  You will need to be able to interact with clarity and exactitude with a public that may have variable background and educational levels..

Nature Of The Work

Childbirth health educators may work out of public clinics, hospitals, community centers, or even birthing facilities.  You may counsel mothers on an individual basis, or hold group sessions as well.  You will also hold birthing classes to educate new mothers about the process and what to expect, as well as teach breathing techniques and natural forms of pain management.

You may also be required to develop a written curriculum.  This can include pamphlets, workbooks, or even handouts that will offer mothers information and resources to draw upon during pregnancy and after the child is born. 

Education And Training

Childbirth health educators will need least a four year Bachelor’s degree to obtain a position in this field.  Courses should include education, child welfare, health and wellness, pediatrics or other subjects related to biological sciences and women’s health.  Some childbirth health educators will also train as midwifes and become licensed in that specialty, but that is not a requirement for the position

All public health educators need certification in order to practice.  You will need to pass the CHES exam in order to gain your credentialing.  To maintain your credentials, you will be required to take continuing education credit hours.

Median salaries for childbirth health educators are close to $40,000 per year.  Entry level positions start around $30,000, but advanced positions will make as much as $75,000 annually.  This is often dependent upon credentials and education, as well as experience.  

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This career option has good growth potential, as do most jobs in public health.  Childbirth health educators are expected to see the creation of over 21,000 positions within the next ten years.   That translates to a 21% increase over current employment in this field.  For people who want to make an impact on the future of the community and your own quality of life, a position as childbirth health educator can offer a rewarding and beneficial career option.

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