Kristen A. Rossi, MSEd, IBCLC, ALC, LCCE
Where do you live?
Ocean View, New Jersey
How long have you been teaching?
What was your journey to a career in childbirth education?
In co-directing our prenatal and wellness program at Shore Medical Center, it was both a passion and responsibility of mine to bring in a childbirth education curriculum that was evidence-based and also supported a woman's desire to believe in their body's ability to confidently and safely experience childbirth. Also being the one to then facilitate this program and educate our patients, I felt strongly about becoming an educator who would also empower women and help them experience the kind of birth they envisioned.
Why did you choose to become an LCCE Educator?
Being a mother myself who experienced a childbirth that was riddled with intervention, followed by a childbirth that was intervention-free, I felt every woman deserved to learn about their options on how to safely, confidently, and comfortably give birth, in addition to truly receive the education needed to help them advocate for themselves and make informed choices. Lamaze is totally in line with my beliefs of empowering women to understand the role they, their support person, and their providers play in this important event, as well as understand that with the correct tools, childbirth can be a safe, natural, and rewarding experience, which truly impacts them for a lifetime.
How, where, and what do you teach?
Currently, I am a lactation consultant and childbirth educator at Shore Medical Center. I teach expecting women of our community referred to us by the OB/GYNs in the surrounding area. I am also taking part in the CNM Project of "Reducing Primary Cesarean Rates", where I will be assisting one of our best midwives and other hospital staff in educating physicians, RNs, and other members of our community on the importance of reducing the primary C-section rate, and how Lamaze's philosophy can fully support this initiative.
What or who influences your teaching?
Passion for a woman's right to a positive birth experience, as well as the right to informed choice is what influences me the most.
What is your goal as an educator?
As an educator of both lactation and childbirth, my goal is to always be on top of the most current and evidence-based best practices in breastfeeding and childbirth. In teaching this to my patients, I believe more women will be able to work with their doctors, midwives, and support people to achieve a satisfying, healthy, safe, and positive birth experience.
How do you use Lamaze Resources to support you as an educator?
Lamaze handouts, power points, and videos of the "6 Healthy Birth Practices" are often incorporated into my presentations.
How could you suggest other members receive maximum value from Lamaze?
I suggest members always stay abreast of newly released information, take advantage of the fantastic research presented in Lamaze's journal, and always be on the lookout for new and creative ideas to inject energy, excitement, and fun into a typical childbirth class.
When you aren't teaching, what do you enjoy doing?
When I'm not teaching, I'm spending time outdoors and at the shore with my husband and my two amazing boys, Madden and Mason, who have changed my life and started me on this amazing journey. Without them, I would not know the rewards and challenges of childbirth and breastfeeding, all of which have made me the woman I am today.