Irma Kapsenberg, CD(DONA), LCCE
Where do you live?
How long have you been teaching?
I have been teaching for six years.
What was your journey to a career in childbirth education?
I worked as a doula and attended my most births in the Corvallis hospital. When both of their childbirth educators resigned, I was invited to teach the Lamaze classes, as they called them. So I looked into Lamaze, what it stands for, and found that this was just my track. I became certified so I could teach Lamaze and not be criticized for it as some of the Lamaze practices are somewhat different from the hospitals' routines.
How, where, and what do you teach?
I teach two weekly classes (5 in each series) in the hospital's conference room. I teach pregnant couples who mostly will birth their babies in this same hospital. I teach the basics of preparing for childbirth but the main focus is on self empowerment, partner support, respectful practices for the baby, early interaction and prepare them for the postpartum period.
What or who influences your teaching?
My own three personal births: two home births in the Netherlands, my country of origin, and one in a Oregon hospital. My years as elementary school teacher and being a mother have taught me the vulnerability of young children, and we have start with pregnancy.
What are your goals as an educator?
- For couples to have the best birth possible, based on making their own educated decisions and to empower them by teaching them on how to make their decisions.
- For people to meet others in a similar situation and to create a sense of community.
How do you use Lamaze Resources to support you as an educator?
For my own education and as handouts for my students. I encourage them to use the Lamaze website and to sign up for Lamaze week by week emails.
When you aren't teaching, what do you enjoy doing?
We set up a birth center in Corvallis that opened in May of 2016, and my husband and I are silent partners. I am a dog trainer as well, and help the couples in my class after class if they have questions about their dogs. I enjoy playing the Native American flute and spending time with my two dogs and pet mice.