Birth is truly one of the most life-changing events ever. Whether you are planning an unmedicated (natural) childbirth or you plan to use medication, it is helpful and important to have a good understanding of what is going on during labor and birth.
In my birth prep series, I explain the physiology of birth–what actually happens to the uterus and cervix during a contraction, so the laboring mom and her birth partner can understand why she is feeling what she is feeling. This takes the mystery out of the unusual sensations and relieves anxiety.
I’ve found that most women are concerned about having pain in labor. In my classes, I approach the “p-word” head on and discuss why pain may be present and what can be done to alleviate it without (or before) using medication. I teach a variety of ways to relieve pain, including relaxation and relaxed abdominal breathing, simple pressure points for pain relief, ways to shift the pelvis to relieve back pain, how to use water for pain relief and other things.
Many women and men are surprised to learn that even a painful labor be a good, positive birth experience. I had some long and often challenging labors myself, but I had very positive birth experiences that I cherish. “Pain” and “bad experience” are not two sides of the same coin. What makes the difference, though? How can even a painful labor be a good, positive birth experience? Please click on What I Teach about Pain to read more on the topic of pain in labor and birth.
I also teach about normal variations of labor and how to use positions and techniques to help adjust your baby into a better position to help smooth out the labor process. We learn how to tell if the baby’s position needs to be adjusted, and we also talk about warning signs that indicate a need for medical intervention for mom or baby.
I love teaching about the emotional aspects of labor and birth and how the supporting birth partner can identify various emotional phases of the birthing woman and give appropriate emotional support. This is very important, as studies have shown that adequate emotional support can be as effective as medication for some women.
My birth prep series also includes breastfeeding information, including troubleshooting common problems, getting a good latch, preventing nipple injuries, increasing milk supply and other breastfeeding issues. I’m a certified lactation counselor and I breastfed my five children for two or more years each (about 13 years total). I’m happy to provide breastfeeding support to my new moms.
Postpartum care and information is also included in my childbirth series. I teach about normal postpartum recovery, both physical and emotional, and I am passionate about educating new parents on ways to help prevent postpartum depression and anxiety, and how to identify a need for postpartum assistance.
I also cover newborn care decisions that new parents have to face right away, and I teach about normal newborn behavior and how to recognize hunger cues and ways to comfort new babies. I am a strong advocate for responding quickly and appropriately to newborn needs, and I hope to inspire all of my new parents to hold their babies frequently and to interact with their newborns. Siblings issues are also covered in class as needed.
As a Healthy Moms Fitness certified perinatal fitness instructor, I value appropriate exercise for pregnancy and postpartum. There are definitely wise and unwise ways to approach exercise during this important time, and I am happy to provide information regarding that area. I also educate about the separation of the abdominal muscles that commonly occurs in pregnancy or labor and how it can be diagnosed and repaired.
How long does your birth prep series last and how are your courses offered?
My Birth Dynamics series is taught live and usually consists of 12-18 hours of personal instruction. We typically meet one night a week for 6 weeks, with each class lasting 2 hours (plus questions). I can also teach a 4 week series, meeting once a week for 3 hours each class.
I also offer a Birth Prep Intensive course for those who live too far to drive weekly or who have very complicated work/school schedules and can’t fit into a regular series. This course is usually taught as a 1 or 2 day seminar class.
Skype classes are sometimes available, usually offered in conjunction with a series I am presently teaching. I am hoping to get an online series available soon.
What is included in your series and how much does it cost?
Each mom or couple receives a 3-ring binder with about 80 handouts as supplements to the information we’ve discussed in class, plus help with birth plans and info on how to communicate with your doctor or care provider, and free consults via text, email or phone for any questions or concerns about pregnancy, labor, birth, postpartum, breastfeeding and newborn care.
The information we cover in class is extremely thorough. Please read the above article for more insight on the topics covered, and you can also contact me for a class outline.
The standard Birth Dynamics fee is $200 per couple, which averages to about $33 a week. If you are a single mom, a military family or have other financial needs, please contact me. I never want financial issues to keep a birthing mom from getting the help and information she needs. I am happy to work out payment plans for any of my birth prep students. Please feel free to contact me.
IMPORTANT – If you are interested in birth classes, please contact me asap. You will not be obligated to take the classes, but that will allow me to add your name to a waiting list so I can let you know when the series for your due date is scheduled. My classes tend to fill up fast, so if you are even a little bit interested in the classes or learning more about them, please email me and let me know. I’ll be happy to email back or chat with you and answer any questions you may have.