By Michelle LaRowe
Several years ago I had the opportunity to connect with Mary Oscategui as she was developing the International Academy of Baby Planner Professionals. Since then, Mary has expanded her vision of helping expectant and new mothers, childcare professionals and those who care for families into a global network of parents, providers and educators. Through the International Maternity Institute™, Mary offers educational programming for maternity professionals. I recently had a chance to connect with Mary to learn more about the institute and its offerings.
NewbornCare: What is the International Maternity Institute™?
Mary: The International Maternity Institute™ is a leader in birth and maternity professional education, providing online, cutting edge, evidenced-based educational programs, products and services for the maternity professional. We are represented in 24 countries and specialize in baby planning, eco-maternity consulting, green birth education, sleep consulting, stress management, nutrition, mompreneur business success, and disabilities resource consulting. Our educational continuum is designed to enhance the careers of maternity professionals by supplying them with an integrative approach so that they can empower families to make informed decisions. Our Online Distance Courses are available in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese.
NewbornCare: How long has the institute been offering educational programming?
Mary: The International Maternity Institute™ (IMI) evolved naturally in December 2010 from the International Academy of Baby Planner Professionals, which was founded in September 2009.
NewbornCare: Do you offer programs for nannies?
Mary: Yes, all of our programs are beneficial in expanding and growing the career of a professional nanny. A few popular courses nannies have taken from the institute are Maternity & Child Sleep Consulting, Baby Planning, and Eco-Maternity Consulting.
NewbornCare: You have a lot of eco-friendly educational programming. Can you share a bit about that?
Mary: Yes, the IMI is committed to raising awareness and education about health and safety issues that affect preconception, pregnancy, and the postpartum period. Our maternity professionals are trained and equipped with this information so that the families they work with may make informed decisions in order to protect themselves and their children. Two of our seven courses offered specialize directly in eco-friendly educational programming and all of our other courses interweave eco-friendly elements.
NewbornCare: Tell me about baby planners? Why continuing education?
Mary: Baby Planners trained with the International Maternity Institute™ develop skills and training that extends beyond the typical main stream baby planner role, which mainly assists clients with baby gear selection. IMI Baby Planners are primarily focused with providing support and education to their client in order to meet their specific needs. By introducing their clients to a variety of options on preconception, pregnancy, postpartum and parenting topics, baby planners empower their clients to make informed and educated decisions. Baby planners may introduce their clients to various options regarding birthing, feeding, sleeping, health, fitness, nutrition, eco-friendly living, safety, post-partum support, budgeting, baby gear and more.
IMI Certified Baby Planners are trained:
- To offer an objective approach with families in order to empower them to make the best educated decisions suitable for their family.
- To educate and raise awareness about all aspects of pregnancy (including pre-conception, postpartum, and newborn care).
- To support parents with time and stress management.
- To understand the baby planning training methods, roles and practices.
- With an in-depth look at healthy and safety.
- With a comprehension of their scope of practice, boundaries to practice, and when to refer out.
- To be aware of issues that involve medical attention, abuse, trauma, post-partum depression in order to provide their client’s the proper guidance and referral.
- In all aspects of starting and managing a successful business.
Continuing Education is so important as new information and updates are always coming forward. As a result, it is important and professionally responsible to stay on top of current industry standards and news.
Mary Oscategui is the founder of the International Maternity Institute ™, the International Academy of Baby Planner Professionals, the Baby Planner, and Physical Awakening. She is also the co-founder of the Association of Professional Sleep Consultants and Baby Gear Industry Alliance. Mary is an educational content developer for the International Maternity Institute™ and author of “The Baby Planner Profession: What You Need To Know” and “Green Body Green Birth.” She is also mom to a four and a half year old girl, Bella Luna, and a four month old boy, Taj.