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The World's Largest Childbirth Education Organization
E-Newsletter  | August 2015

Tracy Wilson Peters CAPPA CEO 
Tracy Wilson Peters CAPPA CEO

Are you  familiar  with the CAPPA Approach? If not take this  opportunity  to learn why it is so important!

CAPPA professionals approach their work with expectant families during the perinatal year with a desire to educate, support, and to see all families succeed. The CAPPA Approach is built on the CAPPA Vision, which supports four cornerstone tenets.

 These cornerstones are:

Using evidence-based information in practice

Embracing positive mental attitudes

Approaching all situations with a loving, non-judgmental mindset

Building bridges amongst support and healthcare professionals



The four cornerstones mutually support one another, and are strengthened by the commitment of CAPPA members and professionals. A synergy exists between the four cornerstones that make The CAPPA Approach a strong foundation upon which to build education and support services to growing families.

The quote below embodies what we strive to do at CAPPA. 
Thank you for being part of our CAPPA family!

"Be consistent. Be honest. Deliver what you've promised and the reputation you build will be the ultimate persuader." 
~Zig Ziglar

Make plans now to join us for the
2016 CAPPA Conference
in Destin, Florida!

More information coming soon!

CAPPA has a NEW mailing address!

Please send ALL mail to:

PO Box 547 
 Flowery Branch, Georgia 30542
Rena Koerner CLD, CLE, CCCE, CPD 
CAPPA Faculty

Expectations! Do you have them? 
Are you talking with your clients about them?

Something expected: a result that did not live up to expectations. b. expectations. Prospects, especially of success or gain.

This is a word that surfaces and resurfaces throughout our work as doulas. We often have to evaluate our expectations of ourselves, our business, and that of our clients, all the while helping them to evaluate their personal expectations. There are good expectations and there are those that don't necessarily have a place in the work that we do.

To expect that you have goals is a good expectation; put it on a post-it note, make that vision board, and achieve your highest level of success. This would be classified as a great expectation. One in which you set standards of personal and professional growth. "See it. Achieve it!"

An example of an expectation that may not hit the mark is that of a doula leaving for a birth, stating "oh this is her second baby--I should be home quickly" only to find herself still there over twenty hours later. Imagine how the energy in the room would shift as you continued to watch the clock in disbelief. As you set those unrealistic expectations there becomes room for error and disappointment.

Imagine showing up without expectations and being fully present for your client, ready to serve and being completely surprised when the birth does go quickly. Your compassion, empathy, and willingness would not suffer, nor will your client's satisfaction in the care she received from her doula.

Clients also have expectations of themselves and their babies. They expect on average the first time mom will labor for 12 hours. Why? Because she read that on the internet or in a book, or heard it in her childbirth class. She can do anything for half a day! But what if that day turns into another day? How will you help her cope with the potential for disappointment in that unrealistic timeframe?

Be proactive! Talk with your clients prenatally about their expectations. Ask them to travel through the vision of their birth with you during those visits prior to their estimated due date. What does that birth look like? If you hear something that sounds unrealistic in nature, discuss it with them and ask them if they would be disappointed if it didn't go exactly as they envisioned. And how can you help them through that disappointment in the moment?

When a client plans for a natural/normal birth but in the moment decides on an epidural, ask them if they will be disappointed if they decide to get the epidural? If the answer is yes then ask what can I do to help you continue with your original goal or to help you find peace with your new decision?

Clients may expect that their baby will sleep 10-12 hours a night by the time they are eight weeks old and they have asked you to come in and sleep train their baby! Is this a realistic expectation of a newborn? Help them find peace in what IS. Help them to find light at the end of the tunnel. Yes, at some point your baby may begin to sleep through the night or have longer stretches in the night, but to begin realizing that is definitely not the norm and that you may fail in helping them achieve an unrealistic expectation. This does not help the client nor does it help their satisfaction of the services you provided.

Expectations vs reality! Don't leave anything to chance. Create dialogue and make sure that all members of the support team are aiming for the same goal; a goal that is realistic and obtainable. This could only lead to overall satisfaction for everyone!

This new group is for CAPPA members to connect, network, 
share, learn, and grow.
HERE  to join the group. We look forward to connecting and interacting with you there! 

Jacquelyn Duke, M.Ed., CCCE, CLD, CPES (IPPA)
CAPPA Faculty

When Pregnancy is Not the Best

So I know the cultural expectation is for women to be thrilled when we are pregnant, thankful for our privileged status as the life-giving sex of our species. And I think most pregnant women would say they are, in fact, overjoyed. We may even have spent quite a bit of effort and time getting ourselves into this mess. But that is not quite the same thing as loving our pregnant state now is it?

Let's be real, ladies. What I want to know is why no one seems to warn us about the not so fabulous sides of pregnancy, such as the hormonal headaches, achy hips, heartburn, insomnia, anxiety, acne, greasy hair, stretch marks, symphysis pubis dysfunction, bloating, and pregnancy-induced nasal congestion. And I'll spare you the havoc it wreaks on the more personal side of a marriage relationship. Let's just say it is not Fifty Shades of Gray in the bedroom!

Perhaps nausea was the one that I personally felt the most blind-sided by. "Morning sickness" has such a sweet ring to it compared to the reality of all day never ending waves of feeling like I had the stomach flu. Sometimes it would bring me to my knees, literally praying to the porcelain goddess. If you've ever been there, you know what I'm talking about - that horrible moment when you have to decide between peeing or losing your prenatal vitamin on the floor. Not exactly the rosy picture of pregnancy I had imagined when my mother described these months as the best she'd ever felt.

That's when the worst part came, at least for me - the guilt. My first experience with mommy guilt, and I didn't even have a sweet babe yet to hold in my arms. Guilt for not enjoying every moment of this blessing. Guilt for not being sick enough to be complaining - I wasn't in the hospital getting IV fluids, after all. Guilt for taking medications to remain functional. Guilt for not feeling more maternal towards this little person that thus far had only brought me pain and discomfort. Then the guilt for illogically resenting my husband for not having to suffer to bring our child into the world the way I must. Perhaps worst of all, the guilt I'd feel for being angry at God and even this precious little life inside of me, in full disclosure for making me feel the worst I'd ever felt physically and emotionally in my life...What kind of mother feels those things towards the people she loves most in the world? This mother, that's who.

Yes, I said it. Jacquelyn Duke, labor doula, natural childbirth educator, CAPPA labor doula faculty member, placenta encapsulater, home birther, and over all birth junkie hates being pregnant! Up until the moment I experienced pregnancy for myself, it seems all I ever heard about from the women in my life were how thrilled they were to be pregnant, how wonderful they felt, how lucky they were. Every magazine raved about the fabulous nails and hair I would have and the confidence I would feel as my body morphed into a sexy, fertile goddess my husband wouldn't be able to get enough of. Well, it's time to be real ladies. That wasn't my experience of pregnancy with either of my children, and I'm guessing that I'm not alone. When appropriate, I've made a point to open myself up to vulnerability and judgement in the hope that by sharing my story women who may be struggling with some of these same feelings during pregnancy won't feel quite so alone.

I have a message to share. These may in fact be the hardest months of your life. But they do end, and you will feel like yourself again. And that's when the real fun begins! Getting to know this amazing, beautiful, and precious baby that grows up before your eyes and before you know it, you not only gave birth and returned to your non-pregnant fabulous self, but you're the mother to a kindergartner and you're wondering how in the world it all went so fast.

I connect with my clients through my honesty. I encourage you to be brave enough to do the same with the women in your life, whether they are your clients, friends, or family. Sooner or later someone will thank you for it! 


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There are many certification options out there for perinatal professionals who wish to further their education. Choosing an organization for your education is an important decision. Because doulas, childbirth educators, and lactation educators are not licensed by the government, it is very easy for anyone to create a website and begin issuing their own certifications. In the past 17 years, CAPPA has seen many certification agencies and organizations come and go; we have even been contacted by former students of these defunct organizations looking for a lifeline, asking, "Where do I go from here?"

As with every investment, you should always do your research. Use discernment. Consider the options that are best for your career and your future. 

Click HERE to read more.

Quick Links


Certifications and Recertifications

Name, Credential, State or Country
Luz Parra, CCCE, CA
Laura Kay-Wigglesworth Powers, CCCE, CA
Jennifer Deneault, CCCE, VA
Kristie Holt, CCCE, OH
Mary Jo Foley, CCCE, CO
Emily Knowles, CCCE, ID
Christine Catherall, CCCE, Alberta, Canada
Susan Inglesby, CCCE, VA
Melanie LaCroix, CCCE, TX
Traci Meredith-McComiskey, CCCE, CT
Julie Bowers, CLD, OH
Meliea Holbrook, CLD, NC
Nicole Prati, CLD, IA
Paula Norcott, CLD, ME
Kristina Harper, CLD, MS
Chelsea Croce, CLD, CA
Jacquelyn Duke, CLD, IA
Rosario Rimada, CLD, Ecuador
Lilianna Villarreal Fresquez, CLD, CO
Traci Weafer, CLD, AL
Carol Schnabel, CLD, VT
Molly Johnson, CLD, MO
Traci Meredith-McComiskey, CLD, CT
Sharon Natalicchio, CLE®, NC
Ana Hill, CLE®, CO
Julia Hladky, CLE®, MO
Carol MacVicar, CLE®, CA
Vidhi Beri, CLE®, India
Lori Knorr, CLE®, CO
Satomi Nishime, CLE®, CA
Renee Pearson, CLE®, MI
Tamara Harper, CPD, MA
Janet Purvis, CPD, CA
Christine Hinkley, CPD, CA
Margie Spry, CPD, CA
Carolyn Butler, CPD, CO
Joanna Ahlman, CPD, NC
Holly Orr, CPFE, TX


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Ruth Kraft, CD, CLD, FOCEP, CCCE
CAPPA Faculty

The Importance of a Resource List

When I started out as a doula many moons ago, there was no requirement of a resource list for certification. In fact, it was never even suggested by my doula trainer at the time. I found myself lost quite frequently, and had no idea how to answer many of my clients' questions. So I set out to start learning the answers myself. This brought me great knowledge. When someone would ask me about a certain kind of childbirth method and I wasn't sure what it was about, I took the class myself so that I could be well aware of the information I was sharing. When they asked for a recommendation for the best classes, I could accurately give them referrals because I had probably sat in on them myself and I could answer their questions. Every month I was taking a different class from a different teacher, different hospital, or different office. When I was asked about different things like acupuncture or acupressure or how to induce, I scheduled appointments and had the therapy done to me so that I could effectively explain the treatments. I now have a great deal of knowledge about many subjects because of my voracious desire to be able to help guide my clients well. I quickly learned that I am only one person, and that I do not need to know it all. I cannot know it all.  After several certifications, I realized I should not know it all. I took all the trainings relevant to what I would directly use to guide my clients, and started building my resource list.
Putting together a resource list can be a daunting task as a new childbirth professional.  When you are new, you are really excited and often feel like you have no idea where to start. Having a list of community resources is one of the most helpful things for your clients, and since it is needed for certification, we know we have to have one. But how important is it, really?
Of course it is important because you have the requirement for certification. It is imperative that you have one so that you can be able to help effectively guide your clients. We can only know and do so much. But who you put on your list is far more important than many people give credit. I can give you a list and make it really easy. You want to make sure you have on your list other doulas who are also in the area; lactation educators;  IBCLCs; birth centers; pediatricians; chiropractors; OBGYNs who are local and go to whatever hospitals are around. It's also a good idea to have childbirth educators; postpartum doulas; baby nurses; baby stores; and the list can go on and on. It's rather easy to find many of these. You can go online and do a google search and you have an endless index of options of people to put on this list.  And just like that, you have comprised a list of resources and feel prepared. But, there is more to it than that.
Referring to someone just because they do a certain job does not always mean a good referral, even if those people are willing to give you a referral fee. Who you refer to reflects on you. You may have the local massage therapist, chiropractor, or IBCLC on your list and assume that because they have the training specialized in what you want to refer to  that they will give good advice or give good customer service. This is not always the case. Sometimes this isn't so bad, but sometimes it can be devastating to your clients.
I encourage you to go and meet those you want to put on your list whenever that is possible. Not only does this give you a chance to network and introduce yourself, but it can give you a feel for the person as well.  Do they have the same beliefs as you? Do they run their business on the ethical basis that you do?  Will they also refer back to you?  Have them explain to you how they can also help your clients when you refer to them. Ask them why they do the work that they do. How did they come into this line of work?  Does it show a passion for the work you are referring for? Does it align with your business model? Have you talked to others in the community and found out how they feel about this particular person?  Have you googled them to see if there are any reviews online?
Our students and clients trust us. They look up to us as the professionals, and they should. My resource list is full of people and businesses that align well with my own beliefs about birth, customer service, and wellness on every level. I have talked to them all, and when possible, experienced firsthand the entire process from making an appointment with them to talking to office staff to experiencing the service they offer. If I cannot, I will often go with a client when they go for the first time or two, or I follow up with clients after they have seen someone who I refer to and find out how they felt about the whole experience. I continue to do this until I feel comfortable enough to no longer ask. Now I can tell clients and students that I believe the people I refer to are as good as gold. If they should ever have a negative experience, I encourage them to also let me know so I can monitor referrals to that person in the future.
It is important to me that my clients get the service I feel they deserve. When I cannot provide it, I do everything I can to make sure that those who I refer to will provide them with the service they need.  Even though I am not the one providing that service, when my client goes to several of those I refer to and has a great informed and empowered experience, they then come back to me more empowered, more informed, and they trust me even more.
Trust with my clients is one of the most important parts of our experience together. Trust is what allows me to teach them a childbirth class and have them listen. Trust is what allows me to be by them through their birth. When they trust I can handle it and feel safe, they are able to let go and let their body do what it needs to. Trust is what allows a mother to let me touch her breasts and baby when needed for breastfeeding consults. Trust is what helps a mother sleep well when I do postpartum care or show her how to care for her baby.
Everything I do and say matters, including everyone I send her to for the services I do not provide. Trust is what makes the whole thing work.  

PO Box 547  Flowery Branch, Georgia 30542


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