Celine Kinneberg was born and raised in Los Angeles and has worked as a Labor and Delivery Nurse for the past six years at several hospitals across the country. She is a Registered Nurse in the District of Columbia and Maryland and now devotes herself full time to her two young children. She has been an educator for the FEMM Foundation for the past three years, teaching clients and training teachers about a comprehensive approach to women’s health care that affirms the dignity of the woman. Celine also devotes some nap times to educating medical professionals about FEMM’s pedagogy. Celine, her husband and their two children reside in the DC area.
1 What made you want to become a FEMM (Fertility Education and Medical Management) instructor?
Women’s health has always been my passion since nursing school, but also personally through my teen’s, twenty’s and now thirty’s trying to navigate endometriosis, infertility, too much fertility and making sense of my overall health. I found a great gap in FABM’s that generally addressed married women who wanted to “space” children. Since most hormonal imbalances happen at puberty and don’t spontaneously resolve on their own, I was looking for a comprehensive women’s health program that addressed every woman’s needs, from puberty through menopause—that is FEMM.
2 What was the process like to learn to become an instructor? What were the costs (time, money, etc.)?
If you want to become a FEMM Certified Teacher, you can register on their website.
It’s a 10 week online course for $650. You have a year to complete your certification from the time you start once all your quizzes, practice teaching and final exam is done. It’s all guided and supported by a FEMM Educator. It really depends on the pace you want to set and the time you have for it, so it’s very flexible for many.
Once you are a Certified FEMM Teacher, FEMM offers an additional course, teenFEMM, for $350. The training is 2.5 hours, and after the session you will have all the material to teach a 6 part class tailored to teenage girls’ unique needs- emotional intelligence, what is a normal ovulating pattern, PMS, acne, weight gain, health and lifestyle. It’s definitely something I wish I had when I was a teen!
3 Can you briefly describe the way this method works in light of the particular biomarkers it tracks?
All FABM’s are based off of the same science. FEMM uses the biomarkers of cervical mucus (estrogen) and LH test strips (luteinizing hormone) to track a woman’s fertile and infertile phases and to track ovulation, which is a sign of her health. All observations are external and can be observed by wiping when going to the bathroom. As she starts to see an increase in cervical mucus, this signals that her ovaries are “waking up” and the follicle is starting to grow which is producing estrogen.
4 What are the main reasons you’ve encountered for why women choose this method? Is there any area you think this method particularly excels? Can improve?
FEMM users come from a wide background of experiences and reasons they use it—teens, menopause, health tracking, avoiding pregnancy, and achieving pregnancy. Probably the main reason most women use FEMM is that it educates and empowers them to know and track their overall health. We educate women on the 4 major hormones at play during the ovulatory cycle (FSH, LH, Estrogen and Progesterone) and teach them how they can track these from their biomarkers. FEMM is also backed by the Reproductive Health Research Institute that has developed medical protocols for a wide variety of hormonal imbalances and reproductive disorders.
We also have a free app that women love for its ease, and the feedback that they can get from a FEMM teacher. The app has over 400,000 downloads and the majority have not been formally educated by a FEMM teacher in how to observe and the method. An area of improvement, therefore, would be to reach all these women to give them the full education so that she can tailor it to her needs and unique cycle.
5 How has being an instructor enhanced your understanding of your own fertility and/or faith?
Being an instructor and user of FEMM has taught me that if I know the foundation of the science and my patterns well, I can come to understand my body at any stage of life—postpartum, managing my mental health and wellness, avoiding pregnancy, achieving pregnancy, and someday being able to manage menopausal symptoms. I have also come to learn and realize that much of our cycle is out of our control. Whether you want to achieve pregnancy or avoid, there is only so much you can know and understand and the rest is nature’s process, no matter if you try solving and avoiding things naturally or unnaturally.
6 What resources can you share for women interested in learning more about this method? Communities, books, websites, etc.
I would encourage them to check out our free app, FEMM, and through it they can be connected to a FEMM teacher near them. We offer 4 classes: Introduction to FEMM, FEMM and Your Health, FEMM Expert and Family Planning.
You can also check out our website for resources on classes, how to become a FEMM teacher, and much of our research is there as well.