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Member Spotlight

Debra.pngDebra Sciranka, CD(DONA), LCCE

Where do you live?

Pittsburgh, PA

How long have you been teaching?

I have been teaching for two years.

What was your journey to a career in childbirth education?

I had worked in healthcare for many years in an administrative role. My last healthcare position took me to Amsterdam, The Netherlands where I was exposed to how different childbirth is treated in that country. It made me aware of the possibilities for women other than what was typically the hospital birth at that time.

When I returned to Pittsburgh I was invited to attend a friend's birth. She had a doula and that clearly demonstrated to me that this role could lead to changes for more empowerment and educated decisions for women.

That prompted a career change for me. I first became a DONA certified birth doula and then pursued Lamaze certification. My initial reason was that I wanted to be the best support possible for my clients.

Why did you choose to become an LCCE Educator?

While pursuing my certification I was able to do some mentored teaching with several childbirth educators and I found that I loved teaching more than I could have ever imagined!.

How, where, and what do you teach?

I began my teaching providing private childbirth classes in my clients homes. I currently work with a very unique group of childbirth educators at Bloom Birth Concierge in Pittsburgh. All of the teachers are not only Lamaze certified but are also current, or recently active, birth doulas. The collective experiences of attending hundreds of births at every available birthing facility in the city brings a rare insight to the value of a well informed family in the pregnancy, birth and postpartum process

What or who influences your teaching?

My clients influence my teaching, particularly in private classes. It is wonderful to be able to tailor a class specifically to what that couple needs. Lamaze for professionals helps keep me abreast of new research related to birthing which also influences my teaching agenda.

What is your goal as an educator?

To have my students feel confident, supported and empowered when they give birth.

How do you use Lamaze Resources to support you as an educator?

I love all the resources that are available on line and frequently reference the handouts and videos that are available.

How could you suggest other members receive maximum value from Lamaze?

Thoroughly explore what is available on line. Also explore the blogs and newsletters for interesting bits to add to your classes. The Cochrane Library is a great resource for getting answers to students’ questions and arming them with data to take to their doctor/midwife appointments.

When you aren't teaching, what do you enjoy doing?

Attending births as a doula, gardening, cooking and volunteering for non-profit organizations.