ALACE was the Association of Labor Assistants and Childbirth Educators.
It arose from Informed Homebirth/ Informed Birth and Parenting as a wing
to teach Labor Assistants (very much like Doulas) and Childbirth
Educators, and to serve as a professional organization for those who
have finished the training process and been certified. In 2009 ALACE
split into two groups; toLabor took over the process for labor assistants, and the International Birth and Labor Project, or IBWP, took over the childbirth education tasks.
My training process was almost complete when this change took place. I
was techinically certified by IBWP, but what I
teach was shaped most heavily by ALACE and ICEA. ICEA is a great place, and I am proud to be a member; ALACE was a warm and smart organization and I will always miss it.
From ALACE materials:
What makes the ALACE Childbirth Educator Program special?
- ALACE is the only nationally recognized training program developed and
guided by women - women who are midwives, childbirth educators and
natural birth advocates; women who are mothers.
- The training has been designed to address the needs of women and
families today. It incorporates insights from research in psychology,
sociology and anthropology.
- Our program has long been recognized for its holistic approach to
childbirth education. Our instructors are respected for their incorporation
of psychological aspects and mind-body integration in their classes.
- ALACE childbirth educators help increase parents' confidence in the
natural process of birth. We teach relaxation and coping tools to work
with pain and discomfort, rather than "techniques" for avoiding sensation.
- We respect obstetric procedures as beneficial in some circumstances but
potentially detrimental when applied routinely. (The rate of cesarean
section in the U.S. for 2003 was over 27%*). Our classes emphasize
informed consent and prevention of unnecessary cesareans and other
- We encourage vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC).
- We respect birth as an intimate act and a creative expression of love. We
believe that it is possible to help strengthen family bonds through
improving the experience of birth.
- ALACE childbirth educators respect birth as a woman-centered and
woman-directed passage. Our goal is to help women reclaim trust in their
ability to safely and dependably give birth.
- ALACE seeks to help all women experience birth's transforming power
with respect and dignity, in safety, support, and confidence.
- The positive changes that are seen in childbirth come about primarily
through the efforts and raised voices of women themselves. Becoming a
childbirth educator with ALACE is an excellent way to work for institutional
change while directly influencing the lives of women and their families.
*As of this writing, it is around 33%.