We have been very focused on Brio Birth, a particularly pernicious scam in the birth community. However, the name of this blog is Birth Scam Report, and as such we wish to protect the birth community from any and all scams.
One such concern raised has been a placental encapsulation training from Full Circle Encapsulation. This training, based on information received, has taken place at various locations in the United States and Australia. There has apparently been pretty universal dissatisfaction with both the content and the conduct of the trainings. A letter from Australia reads:
It is with considerable regret that we in Australia are contacting birth workers throughout our beautiful global community, but at this stage we feel we have no other option than to share our experience with other hard working, well intentioned women.
Like many of you, we are very committed to women and their families and as Midwives, Doulas and Childbirth Educators, we are always looking to expand our education to further support women during their perinatal period. It was with some excitement that we organised and welcomed Amanda Johnson, of Full Circle Encapsulation in America, into our Community and our homes, as many of us are increasingly getting requests about placenta encapsulation. The plan was for her to visit 3 of our states. She delivered her training to New South Whales and Victoria, but cancelled the Werstern Australia training the day before it was scheduled to start, due to low numbers. This was extremely disappointing to say the least, particularly regarding the short notice as all participants had made special arrangements around personal and work responsibilities in order to attend this training.
The hosts involved in NSW and Vic were very generous in their hospitality with Amanda, and in organising the courses. A financial remuneration had been agreed upon, as part of a signed contract, prior to the training.
Amanda returned to America after the NSW and VIC trainings, and the WA women waited for their refunds (some $3000 in total), and waited and waited. Emails were sent, requesting, begging and demanding refunds, but no replies were received in return. Eventually, a single email was received by one of the disappointed attendees to say that Amanda had had a financial situation and was unable to refund at this time. Obviously this was completely unacceptable to us and at this stage, the other hosts became involved and an almost daily communication from them and ourselves FINALLY led to most of us being reimbursed. At this stage, there is still money outstanding and certainly no form of an apology has been issued.
Unfortunately, during this time, it became evident that Amanda had also not paid the hosts. Money was owed for venue, food, materials and a small percentage for organising the training. The hosts in NSW and VIC have tried communicating with Amanda but her sporadic replies are consistently vague and sketchy.
We gave her many weeks ( months now) to reply to our emails, but over time it became obvious that the unthinkable had happened, and that we have all in fact been misled.
We are still waiting for the hosts to be refunded, but were really torn as to whether we should warn other women about this organisation. We are a compassionate, caring community of women who work very hard and respectfully with women, and the very last thing we would want to do it to cause stress to another woman ( we all have families and understand life can throw some challenges)
However, it has just come to our attention that Amanda has again taken payment for another course, in America this time and then cancelled the day before training. So, we no longer feel hesitant in potentially damaging Amanda’s reputation by sharing this information. We just want to warn women, Midwives, Doulas and Childbirth Educators out there, that there are more reputable places to train. It is with heavy hearts that we share this experience with the birthing community, but we feel that it is our duty to inform our fellow birth workers so that they can avoid similar issues. We have tried everything to work with Amanda, given her every chance to come good on her promises but she has let us all down time and time again.
Another report from a training in the United States reads:
The training itself was disappointing... It was a year ago, so I hope things have improved. But she gave us binders and training consisted of taking turns reading out of it. At the beginning, someone asked how she became qualified to certify encapsulators. The short answer was she googled it. She didn't give us a list of necessary tools so we didn't have enough gloves... I don't think the information was accurate... and the promised "hands on from beginning to end" was laughable. Since she stayed with me, we had more of a conversation and she told me how some one said it was "the best training they'd ever taken." I can't fathom who would say that.
This experience was evidently similar to that of the trainees in Australia. The sources quoted above want the birth community to know that this may not be the best option for a training in placental encapsulation, and that signing up may result in a loss of hard-earned money, whether due to a training cancellation with no refund, or due to inferior training.
It seems that many in the birth community are learning the hard way to do research on organizations offering training before investing their money and/or their reputations.