Childbirth And Parenting Educators of Australia, Inc. (CAPEA) believes that:

  • Pregnancy, birth and parenting are normal and significant life events for most families.
  • Childbirth and early parenting education is an integral component of maternity and child and family health care.
  • Childbirth and early parenting education is a significant primary health initiative that has the potential to influence not only the health and well-being of the woman and her immediate family, but those of future generations.
  • All expectant and new parents and their family have the right to respectful and professional care.
  • Childbirth and parenting education is based on an understanding and application of adult learning principles and group facilitation.
  • Excellent, accessible and responsive childbirth and parenting education is available for all expectant women, new parents, and their families.
  • Woman-centred care (Leap, 2000), a term central to and gaining importance in midwifery practice, is care that: 
    • 'is focussed on the woman's individual unique needs, expectations and aspirations, rather than the needs of the institutions or professions involved; 
    • recognises the woman's right to self-determination in terms of choice, control, and continuity of care from a known or known caregivers; 
    • encompasses the needs of the baby, the woman's family, her significant others and community, as identified and negotiated by the woman herself; 
    • follows the woman across the interface between institutions and the community, through all phases of pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period. It therefore involves collaboration with other health professionals when necessary; 
    • is holistic in terms of addressing the woman's social, emotional, physical, psychological, spiritual and cultural needs and expectations.' (Homer, Brodie, & Leap, 2008). 
  • Fathers have a central role in supporting mothers during pregnancy, birth and the early parenting period. The term father is inclusive of fathers, husbands, partners, non-resident fathers, step-fathers and other father figures. Fathers have specialised educational needs in the transition to parenthood and this can be achieved without jeopardising the notion of woman-centred care. 
  • The development of the early parent-infant relationship is crucial for the future physical and mental health of the infant. This is achieved through parents (and others) actively engaging in the provision of sensitive, timely and appropriate responses to their infant's cues for interaction and assistance. 
  • The learning needs of all parents and carers of infants and young children regardless of family structure are recognised. A women's family may have diversified from the traditional family structure to now include entities such as same-sex relationships be that male or female, single mothers, blended families, adoptive parents and legal guardians.
  • Childbirth and Parenting Educators are accountable and responsible for their own practice and professional development. 


Homer, C., Brodie, P., & Leap, N. (2008). Introduction. In C. Homer, P. Brodie & N. Leap (Eds.), Midwifery Continuity of Care: A Practical Guide Sydney: Churchill Livingstone. 

Leap, N. (2000). A definition of woman-centred care. Prepared for the Nurses' Registration Board of NSW. Sydney: Nurses' Registration Board.