Childbirth Education in the 21st Century: An Immodest Proposal
Childbirth education was an important social movement in the 20th century but has lost its way in recent years. We describe the reasons for the dwindling importance of childbirth education and offer a proposal for reform that will align childbirth education with the needs of today's birthing mothers. Our plan will create “Centers for the Childbearing Year” (CCBYs) and a new model of childbirth educator, which we call the “birth coach.” The CCBY is the place for women to go to for information and support related to fertility, pregnancy, childbirth, and newborn care; the birth coach combines the role of childbirth educator, doula, and postpartum caregiver. In creating a fresh model of childbirth education, we not only honor our pioneers but also rediscover the wisdom in community and relationship that childbirth offers us, and we learn in new ways to journey alongside each other to create new possibilities for birthing families.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: September 1, 2007
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