Great Starts Instructor

Cate Vrooman

MPH, CCE (GS), CD (DONA), CLE
Classes Taught:
Childbirth Preparation Series
Breastfeeding
Newborn Care
Professional Childbirth Educator's Workshop

Background

In 2016 I began teaching childbirth classes with Great Starts. Then in 2020 I started working as the coordinator and lead trainer for the Great Starts’ Professional Childbirth Educators Workshop, training new childbirth educators. I have a Master of Public Health in Maternal and Child Health Services from the University of Washington and a Bachelor of Art in Anthropology from Whitman College. Before starting my career in maternal health, I worked as an elementary school teacher. I have also worked as a birth doula and as a health manager for a home visiting program that supports families during pregnancy through their child’s third birthday.

Philosophy

I believe that childbirth class is an invaluable opportunity for expectant parents to build their labor and parenting “toolbox” by engaging in hands-on practice and learning relevant, evidence-based information. I want students to leave class confident in their own wisdom to make decisions about their birth and to care for their newborn.

Family, hobbies

My husband and I welcomed our first child in 2023. We are very fortunate to live near our large extended family with whom we spend a lot of time. I enjoy downhill skiing, playing board games, discovering new recipes, and playing my clarinet in a community band.

What is your favorite thing about teaching?

It is very rewarding to watch parents build their confidence, skills, and knowledge each week during the childbirth series. I also enjoy developing engaging lesson plans that creatively pair curriculum content and fun activities. I love seeing participants fully immersed in the material and excited to learn.

What adjectives best describe your teaching style?

Evidence-base, Non-judgmental, Structured and Supportive.

Is there anything you’d like your students to know about you, or to do prior to coming to class?

I encourage pregnant people to bring a partner to class. This person does not need to be a life partner or a romantic partner. A friend or family member is a great addition too! Class is not only a place to learn new material but also an opportunity to reflect on and develop your birth and parenting philosophy. It is meaningful to share this experience with someone close.

What would you like to be doing in 5-10 years:

In the next five to ten years, I hope to be working in a leadership capacity for an organization that supports families during pregnancy and early parenthood. Personally, I want to continue to grow as a childbirth educator and as a parent.