Welcome to the AMANI Birth Family
We are thrilled you are exploring the beginning of your journey towards Assisting Mothers for Active, Natural Instinctive Births. Below are some frequently asked questions by our trainees.
1. What is a CBE?
The acronym “CBE” means Childbirth Educator. AMANI CBEs are certified to teach expectant parents using the 118-page AMANI Birth curriculum. Although each teacher is encouraged to bring her unique personality and creativity to her classes, all parents who register for AMANI classes should have the same core materials presented.
2. What is a Doula?
In short, a Doula is a professional labor support person whose goal it is to ease the woman’s journey to motherhood, insha’Allah. She serves as a source of information as well as emotional and physical comfort. Doula’s are not midwives and do not deliver babies. For more details please visit our blog post, "What is a Doula?"
3. Will AMANI certification guarantee me a job?
Typically CBEs and Doulas are self-employed and work directly with the women of their community. Some may work in a clinic or hospital setting, but we usually try to avoid these situations, as it often leads to a conflict of interest where our true support should be of the mother, not of the protocols of the medical community.
Nevertheless, doulas often interact with the medical community while serving at hospital births. We strive to provide the best support for our mothers without getting in the way of the medical team. Typically you will be allowed to attend births just as any friend or family member may. However, it’s always the discretion of the hospital management or birth team as to how many people are allowed into the birth room. In any setting where birthing mothers are typically afforded their choice of birth companions, this isn’t usually much of a problem.
Of course, most home birth and birth center midwives value the presence of a doula and are most welcoming.
4. How do I find clients?
Once your an AMANI Birth certified affiliate, you will establish a profile page on our Affliate Members page where you can present yourself to mothers who are browsing our site. Of course, word of mouth and client referrals are our biggest blessing! Beyond that, we have social media and the Internet at our disposal. We’ve found that blogging about natural birth has brought a lot of attention to our work and we have an active blog page on this website and welcome submissions by our affiliates. Be creative and make contacts in your local community. Tell EVERYONE you’re a Childbirth Teacher and/or Doula. Make flyers, brochures, and have business cards. As the AMANI brand becomes more established in your community, there will likely be clients looking for you, insha’Allah.
Another great feature of the AMANI Birth is the Introduction section of our material. It is written such that it can be given as a free introductory class in your community. We encourage you to work with other AMANI Affiliates in your area and present these free sessions to raise awareness of your services. We have found that most everyone who attends an introductory session signs up for the full series of classes.
We also encourage you to look into the birth statistics of your local community to get a grasp for the potential in your region. Additionally, consider the penetration of Muslim families in your community and compare what their options are for religiously based birthing material. With creative marketing efforts and a sincere heart to serve birthing women, we believe that you will have no problems finding clients in most any community, insha’Allah. Frankly, anywhere there are pregnant women, there is need for our services.
5. Why should I certify with AMANI Birth?
AMANI Birth seeks first and foremost to serve Allah (SWT). With that we truly care about the women of our communities and that starts with you, our affiliates.
Our program is supportive to even the newest entrant into birth work and we will provide you everything you need to grow and develop in this rewarding field of work, insha’Allah. Our copyrighted materials for childbirth education classes are your guides to working with new parents and you’ll always have the backing of our experience in this field behind you.
Together with our affiliates we are working hard to build a strong brand image in your community that will in turn support your efforts, insha’Allah. Our underlying values are of strong sisterhood. Affiliating with AMANI Birth truly is joining the AMANI Family.
One huge advantage of the AMANI program is that it encompasses CBE and Doula certification into one training. You can certify as a CBE or a Doula or both for one fee. You can certify as one or the other and add the second later for no additional cost.
As with all decisions, we encourage you to make istakhara (prayer to Allah to facilitate your decision and make it easy).
6. Do I have to be Muslim?
We are happy to welcome any woman with a passion for birth so long as she respects the religious foundation of our work.
It’s important to know that AMANI Birth is founded on Islamic teachings and presents birth as a natural act of trust and worship of our Creator. This perspective is opening birthing options for our sisters around the globe. For Muslim sisters, it’s the obvious choice in their birth journey.
For those of other faiths, it is a guide to supporting the birthing women in their communities with a unique view into the Islamic culture of birth.
Regardless of the faith of the teacher or student, AMANI Birth is a guide to preparing for the most natural and gentle start in life for your family. Birth is birth, regardless of religious conviction and we are here to support women. Of course, our materials reference Islamic teachings along with the biological and physiological aspects of birthing. In the end our goal is the best start in life for everyone and we have plenty of non Muslim teachers and parents who are enjoying the AMANI Birth program.
7. Is it required that I teach? Do I have to attend a stranger’s birth?
Our program will prepare you to teach childbirth education and attend births. You may choose to do both or just one or the other. You decide what best suits your lifestyle and adjust your services as your personal situation changes.
8. Do I have to include men (husbands) in my classes?
Our program welcomes fathers and we believe it is in the couple’s best interest to attend classes together. However, no teacher is forced to include men in her classes. If you are not comfortable teaching men, you can opt to teach women only classes. Just realize this may limit your clientele. But there are some women whose husbands don’t want to attend anyway. So for every unique situation, there is a solution on the other side.
9. Where would I teach?
This is entirely up to you. One of the beauties of childbirth education is that you can make your own schedule and teach in the location most convenient for you. In many cases, that’s your own home with your own children milling about or nearby.
10. How much do I charge for my services?
This is entirely up to you. However, we do recommend that you work with other AMANI Birth Affiliates in your region to establish some continuity and value for your services. At the same time, there is nothing wrong with offering your services as an occasional sadaqah (charity) to women who truly need it and do not have funds. This is obviously completely up to you and your family to decide.
11. How much is training? Do you offer financial aid, discounts, or payment plans?
The general fee for training is equivalent to $700 in Saudi Arabia and $800 in any other location. Remember, you are making an investment in yourself and your Ummah and you should recoup your investment by teaching just one class, insha’Allah.
Additionally, once you are registered, you will receive a student number. If you refer others to any of our workshops, ask them to enter your student number when they apply. We will credit you with 10% per deposited referral, up to 50% off for five referrals!
We do offer payment options but ask that your account be paid in full at the start of the workshop. If you have special financial needs we are willing to discuss this with you further.
Our goal is to reach as many women in the community as possible. Remember, this is an investment in your professionalism and an income potential for you. Don’t let money be the determining factor. Obviously we need to be paid for our service to you, but we are willing to work with sisters who demonstrate passion and special financial need.
12. What are the benefits of being a CBE or Doula?
First of all, if our intention is to seek the pleasure of our Lord through service to our sisters, our final rewards rest with Him. But that doesn’t mean we don’t deserve to be compensated for our time and efforts/work in this life. Additional noted benefits include doing gratifying work that you are most likely passionate about.
Teaching AMANI Birth is an easy income for busy mothers with a flexible schedule that you control. Minimally you teach just one session per week, however, you can always offer more if your energy level and time commitments allow.
Serving as a Doula on the other hand, is far less flexible and demanding in terms of births happening at all hours of the day/night. This is why many Affiliates start out as Teachers and add Doula services when their own families have grown a bit.
13. Are there any prerequisites?
You must have a command of the English language (reading, writing, verbal, understanding) and a passion for serving birthing mothers. [Please note teams are currently working to translate our materials into Arabic, Indonesian, and Malaysian, insha’Allah. We welcome volunteers who are interested in helping us translate into other languages as well. Regardless of the language of the materials or expectant clientele, our Affiliates should always speak English.]
You must respect the religious foundation of our program.
You must be open-minded about natural birth, although you do not have to have had one yourself.
14. Where are workshops held? What are the class times? Do I need to bring anything? What about food? Is there childcare?
Our workshops are held in many different venues depending on the local community. This includes mosques, hospitals, universities, boarding schools, preschools, clubhouses, community centers, hotels, and private homes. You will be notified closer to the date of workshop with the details of your workshop location, insha’Allah.
Classes cover 21 hours of material and are typically held on a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm. We ask participants to arrive 15 to 20 minutes early and plan to stay half hour late in case we run over (or like to visit). There are two exceptions to this. In Union City, New Jersey the workshop will be held over four weekday days from 10 am to 3:30 pm. In Richmond, Virginia the workshop will be held over three weekday days at the normal 9-5 schedule.
You should dress comfortably enough to sit on the floor and do light exercises and bring a blanket or mat to sit on, along with two bed-sized pillows.
Some workshop locations provide snacks and lunches; others do not (depending on local sponsors). You will be notified of the situation of your location closer to the date, insha’Allah. If there is no food provided, we can opt as a group to do potluck or to share the cost of catering. Again this will be determined closer to the date. [Please note, for classes scheduled in Ramadan there will be no food provided and “lunch breaks” will be shortened to just half an hour so we can end a little earlier, insha’Allah. If you are not fasting, you will definitely need to bring your own snacks/lunch/beverages.]
As for childcare, nursing babies are always welcome. Older children are best left elsewhere so that you can focus on the workshop. However, if there is space and need, we can offer services by the Muslimah Childcare Providers Group (teen girls with extensive childcare experience and training). They do charge an additional fee. If childcare is a necessity for you, please let us know so that we can determine if we are able to provide it for your class.
15. Is AMANI Birth recognized by any official certifying bodies?
Childbirth Education and Doula Services and Training programs are not currently regulated in most countries in the world, so these trainings fall into what is called a self-certifying industry. Nevertheless, there are a number of research studies and years of experiential history of childbirth education and doula efforts which provide the requisite characteristics, knowledge, skills and tools which should be brought together to equip women to become effective Childbirth Educators and/or Doulas. The AMANI Birth program is designed to meet or exceed these self-imposed industry standards.
Having said that, AMANI Birth has been granted CMEs (Continuing Medical Education) Units in some countries overseas. It is also recognized by Midwives College of Utah as a fulfillment of their Doula training requirement and can be used to waive their Childbirth Education class if students wish to apply for the waiver.
We are currently under application with MEAC (Midwifery Education Accreditation Council) and expect to be awarded CE (Continuing Education) hours, insha’Allah (God willing). These can usually be transferred into CEUs (Continuing Education Units) for licensed midwives in various states.
16. What is taught in AMANI Birth trainings?
First and foremost, birth is an act of trust and worship of our Creator. We are strong supporters of natural births in any setting (home, hospital, birth center, etc.). We teach good birth consumerism and physical/mental/emotional preparation for the big event. Afterbirth care and an overview of breastfeeding are included.
Whether you are a Muslim or simply want to be more culturally competent, this course offers reference to Islamic teachings, practices and culture that makes this training unique.
Besides the core curriculum of pregnancy, labor, and birth physiology and working with our materials, our syllabus combines soft skills (interpersonal and teaching skills) with practical knowledge and simulated practice set in an Islamic context. We cover teaching skills, hands-on doula skills (including rebozo), marketing and more. Come prepared to learn and have fun in a relaxed setting with other like-minded sisters who are passionate about birth!
17. Are there any requirements after the workshop?
The workshop is the first step. Afterwards (or you may do so before) you will be required to read two books on natural birth and one on breastfeeding (reading list will be provided upon registration) and write a short report about what you read. If you are already a certified CBE or Doula, these may be waived with proof of your certification.
You’ll also be required to read the AMANI Birth book, also available on Amazon or Kindle, and in all Jarir stores throughout Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, and Abu Dhabi. You'll be required to answer online questions as you read, as well as submit a short report of this book. [This may not be waived.]
For CBE certification, you’ll teach your first set of classes (typically 10 weeks) with close reflection and feedback from us. For Doula certification, you’ll attend your first birth (or three labors if you cannot attend the actual birth for any reason) with close reflection and feedback from us.
Then, when you’re ready, you’ll take a four-part, online, open-book exam. Once passed there is a nominal annual certification fee that becomes due to process your full affiliation and you will then be granted the privilege of carrying the AMANI initials after your name, advertising yourself as an AMANI Birth Teacher and/or Doula, permission for use of our materials, and will be given a listing on our website.
We are honored for your interest and look forward to welcoming you to the AMANI Birth Family, insha’Allah (God willing).