International Childbirth Education Association is an organization that counts over 4,000 members in the United States and in 42 countries where people believe in the freedom of choice based on the knowledge of the alternatives in the family-centered maternity as well as newborn care.
International Childbirth Education Association offers a wide range of learning opportunities for its members in order to enhance their personal development. The organization also offers some programs for new families and expectant parents.
These certification programs are created for educators. They assure that he has achieved a certain level in this or that focus area. For example, there are the following certifications: childbirth educator, postnatal educator, doula and perinatal fitness educator.
There are so called professional training programs which are aimed at enhancing teaching methods and skills both of new and experienced educators.
ICEA journal is a special journal which is distributed to the members of the organization 4 times a year.
International Childbirth Education Association has its own philosophy. The birth of the baby is represented as the birth of the family. The woman who gives birth and the people, who are close and significant to her, form a new relationship with the new responsibilities to each other, to the child and to the society as a whole.
The reproductive care which is focused on the family is defined as the care recognizing the importance of the new responsibilities and relationships. The goal of this care is the best possible health outcome for all the members of the family.
The care centered on the family consists of the attitude rather than some protocol. It takes the birth as an important life event rather than some medical procedure. It appreciates the vital importance of the event and believes it is of tremendous importance both to the woman and to the people who are close to her. It respects the sense of autonomy and the individuality of the woman. It is important that the woman should get all the necessary information in order to help her achieve her goals. It is also necessary the woman to be guided rather than directed by the specialists she has chosen to share the responsibility for her care.
The goal of International Childbirth Education Association is to support such a type of family-centered care.
It is also relevant to enumerate the following goals of ICEA: training as well as continuing education programs, professional certification programs and quality educational programs.
ICEA is defined as an autonomous organization. It was formed in 1960. Speaking about ICEA membership, it is necessary to mention the fact that all ICEA member groups and individual members are autonomous. They establish their own policies and create their own programs. There are no special requirements to the members. The only requirement is the commitment to the family-centered maternity care as well as to the philosophy of the freedom of choice which is based on the knowledge of the alternatives in the childbirth.