Sharon Muza has been a childbirth professional in the Seattle area since 2004, and wears all kinds of hats to help her clients and students. In this interview, Robin and Sharon discuss being an independent childbirth educator and how hard it can be to find the right teaching space not only in person, but for extending the reach of the classroom through social connections and online platforms. She discusses different types of classes that she teaches, Seattle traffic advice, and how to balance setting your students up for reality while not scaring them in the process. Sharon and Robin go way back, so I’m sure you’re going to have fun listening in to them geeking out about the nitty gritty of being a childbirth educator and doula. 

In the episode, Robin mentions a statistic that only 12% of adults in the United States are considered to be proficient in health literacy. You can find a source for that information here if you are interested in learning more.  Later in the episode, I review 2 resources for learning more about health literacy and for how we can help make a difference in our own communities as well. The first is the CDC information page about Health Literacy & the second is the Health Literacy Action Plan which will help you formulate some real next steps and see what the actual planning process looks like to change this sad statistic. I’ll also link to some further reading below if this sends you down a research rabbit-hole!

Bio: Sharon Muza, BS, CD(DONA) BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, CLE.

Sharon has been an active childbirth professional since 2004, teaching Lamaze classes to thousands of families and providing doula services to approximately 500 more through her private practice in Seattle, Washington. She is an instructor at the Simkin Center, Bastyr University where she is a DONA-approved birth doula trainer.Sharon is also a trainer with Passion for Birth, a Lamaze-Accredited Childbirth Educator Program. In September 2011, Sharon was admitted as a Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators. In 2015, Sharon was awarded Lamaze International’s Media Award for her work promoting safe and healthy birth. Sharon also serves as the consulting instructor for Parent Trust for Washington Children‘s childbirth education program serving thousands of families every year. Very active in her community, serving in a variety of positions that promote maternal-infant health, Sharon enjoys active online engagement and facilitating discussion around best practice, current research and its practical application to community standards and actions by health care providers, and how that affects families in the childbearing year. Sharon has been an engaging speaker at international conferences on topics of interest to birth professionals and enjoys collaborating with others to share ideas and information that benefit birth professionals and families. You can find Sharon’s writing on Lamaze International’s perinatal professionals’ blog Connecting the Dots and the DONA Doula Chronicles, where she serves as the blogs’ community manager. What Sharon loves to do most is design and implement engaging and interactive curriculum for families and professionals on topics of maternal-infant health. She also loves to drink coffee. But only first thing in the morning.

Be sure to check out the Muza Education Center if you are interested!

Further Health Literacy Reading:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message

Health Literacy: A Prescription to End Confusion

Understanding Health Literacy: Implications For Medicine And Public Health

 

 

 

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