Patricia Howell, CD, PCD(DONA), LCCE
Where do you live?
How long have you been teaching?
I have been teaching for two years.
What was your journey to a career in childbirth education?
I became a doula and after two years, decided I'd like to expand my knowledge and experience by pursuing my Lamaze certification. I felt I could make a larger impact by teaching group classes and wanted families to gain the camaraderie from a group setting.
Why did you choose to become a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator?
I chose Lamaze because I align with the philosophy and because it is backed by evidence. It is also a well respected childbirth resource in my community.
How, where, and what do you teach?
I teach a 4 week series childbirth class at The Doula Foundation. We are located in Springfield Mo. We are unique in that we provide free or reduced-fee doula services to women in our area. I also am the Doula Services Coordinator and supervise our staff of 8 doulas. I hold monthly training on topics that come up such as essential oils, rebozo use, debriefing after a difficult birth and relaxation, etc. We have guest speakers come and share their knowledge with us as well.
What or who influences your teaching?
I am a huge fan of Penny Simkin and Ina May Gaskin. I also carry with me the things I was taught by my midwife Diane Barnes and Doula trainer, Ginny Ross.
What is your goal as an educator?My goal is to allow each student, mom and dad, to discover their strength and capability to handle labor, birth, parenting and whatever else may come their way.
How do you use Lamaze Resources to support you as an educator?
I use the printed Healthy Birth Practices and I also read birth stories from The Official Lamaze Guide. I also use the Lamaze toolkit for a variety of activities.I really love the Science and Sensibility blog: Brilliant Activities for Childbirth Educators. I think some of my favorite activities have come from that.
How could you suggest other members receive maximum value from Lamaze?
Definitely read the blogs and the Journal of Perinatal Education. There is so much new research coming out, that it really helps you stay ahead of the curve.
When you aren't teaching, what do you enjoy doing?
I love watching Call the Midwife or spending time outdoors with my kids.