Taking classes and adding names!

I have returned from an adventurous trip to New Orleans, where I attended the Lamaze International 2013 Annual Conference Pre-Conference Childbirth Educator Seminar conducted by Duke University Area Health Education Program (AHEC) last week.  My right and left brains were stimulated immensely.  I could barely pause and breathe during the seminar, I was so busy madly typing notes into and taking pictures with my Google Nexus 7 (which I adore, by the way).  I came away realizing I have a lot more learning to do and an enormous amount of preparation, but I will soon be teaching a prepared childbirth education course in the Auburn-Opelika area.  My goal is to be ready to practice teach early next year and then sit for the Lamaze Certification exam in April 2014.  I can get my practice teaching experience while teaching a full course; however, I will not be able to call it a Lamaze class until I am certified.  But the course will be based upon and will utilize all of my Lamaze training and personally-developed curriculum.

Our instructor, Debbie Petersburg, BS, LCCE, FACCE, demonstrating the cardinal movements of a baby through the pelvis

Our instructor, Debbie Petersburg, BS, LCCE, FACCE,  of the Duke University AHEC Program, demonstrates the cardinal movements of a baby through the pelvis.

I should take a quick moment to explain Lamaze to anyone who is reading.  Lamaze has been a trusted name in childbirth education for decades. But this Lamaze class “ain’t your mama’s Lamaze class!”  Lamaze, International, has re-branded itself.  It is not a “method” of breathing through contractions as it once was.  It is a broader philosophy and clear way to have a safe and healthy birth.  Lamaze stays current with all of the latest, evidence-based practices that improve birth for women around the world.  Their course materials are written concisely in an easy-to-understand format that, in my opinion, cuts through all of the chatter and confusing messages.  They are non-biased and contain no judgement because they are written based on evidence.  Their blog, Science and Sensibility, is generally very thorough.  While medical research and systematic review is not perfect, it still remains the most rigorous and best way to implement medical practices when compared to anecdotal practices, status quo, practices based on convenience or economic profit, and restrictions to avoid malpractice litigation.

So hopefully, by May 2014, I will be able to add these letters after my name:  Ashley Lovell, MS, CD (DONA), LCCE.

I should also update you here on my experience renting a shared room through airbnb.com.  Hmmm.  I will just say that this travel experience was fine for me and would really suit adventuresome travelers that look to meet new and unique individuals from all over the world.  I think I will give it a try again, though I may opt for a private room.  I will link you to my review of the place where I stayed, in case you are curious.

Mandeville Street home where I spent three nights.

Mandeville Street home where I spent three nights.

In other news, I am furiously adding to my Resources page.  One thing I have been building, thanks to my required reading for certification through DONA, is a good lending library to any of my doula clients.  Check out the Lending Library section on my Resources page.  Most of the books I own and offer to clients are electronic editions, which means I can lend them out electronically for 7 days.  They can be read on any mobile device or PC!  Pretty nifty, huh?

I am also seeing a physical therapist who is helping me recover from my birthing injury that occurred 18 months ago.  She has demonstrated that I do not have to settle for the way my body has healed, and that I can improve my pelvic stability, even this long after my injury!  What a wonderful resource she is to women in this community!  She is unique in that she specializes in pelvic pain during and after pregnancy.  If you experience any of this, be sure you contact Paula Merchant at Transcend Physical Therapy.  She is also unlike other physical therapists I have seen with this injury.  She does not just prescribe exercises and watch me do them.  She manipulates the muscular/skeletal aspects of my injury in a literal, hands-on way.  I am so happy to have found her!  She is officially ADDED to my Resource page!

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