Childbirth & Parenting Education FAQ

Q: I’ve read a lot of books. Why should I take a childbirth education class?

Reading lots of books is a great way to learn about childbirth, and is the way that some people learn best. Childbirth is a dynamic physical process so its often very beneficial to add visuals and physical movement to your learning. It’s an opportunity for you and your support person or partner to connect about the upcoming birth, to hear different opinions and experiences, and to connect with other people birthing around the same time as you. Childbirth education classes are fun, lively and interested and I promise you’ll get lots of neat tidbits you wont get from a book! I use pelvic models and show you different tools and instruments that you are you used in birth which you can actually check out and touch to help take some of the mystery out of the process.

Q:my hospital offers classes for less money. Why should I take your class instead?

I have taught in hospitals and hospital classes can be great! But the reality is that class sizes can be very large, time is tight and hospitals just aren’t as able to go as deeply on certain topics, or to change curriculum to adapt to your interests or concerns. Community based classes are not beholden to the institution that you’ll be birthing in so we can be more inclusive of different perspectives, more critical, and more expansive in our thinking. I have taught in the hospital and knew what I did and didn’t like have thus made my classes more rich, dynamic, welcoming and interactive! My prices are competitive and you get a lot of bang for your buck.

Q:What do I bring to class?

I’ll send out an email to remind you, but please bring a yoga mat or beach towel, a pillow, water and snacks. If you have a baby carrier you’d like to try out bring it to the newborn care class and we can practice with our babies.

Q: Who can come to class with me?

The fee for our classes includes the fee for the birthing person or primary parent and one support person or coparent. If you would like to bring an additional friend or family member a fee can be negotiated but if they are also pregnant/birthing they need to pay the full fee. Unfortunately we cannot accommodate children in our classes.

Q: What is your birthing philosophy? Do you do hypnobirthing or bradley or another method?

My birthing philosophy is that everyone should feel informed, empowered and supported in their birth. I don’t care how people give birth, what their medication plans are, or anything as long as you feel good about and supported in your choices. I’m a feminist who believes in informed choice! I have lots of experience with most of the common childbirth ed philosophies and have learned lots of great coping tools from each that I can share, but I don’t carry any of the dogma that sometimes come with a childbirth ed philosophy TM.

Q: What makes your classes different than anybody elses?

I carry a pretty unique background having attended hundreds of births as both a doula and a midwife in every birth setting. I have attended ~250 births, almost equal parts in hospital, home, and birth center settings. I’ve been teaching for much of the last decade and have taken my own childbirth education and I’ve had a lot of time to think about what works, what doesn’t work, what makes a class boring, what prepares people and what does not. As a midwife I’ve had the opportunity to hear families express what didn’t serve them about childbirth ed and what did, and what they wish they’d have known. I let those things guide me. Additionally, I have experience in academia and public health research, I have a science and biology background and can speak really enthusiastically and from a very informed place about the incredible physiologic processes that occur in birth, breastfeeding, and infant development. I take a very reverent science-based approach to education and I hope that my enthusiasm is infectious. I discuss recovery and the pelvic floor more extensively than most childbirth education programs because I think it’s an important and really neglected part of maternal healthcare.

My childbirth education classes are different because I believe that my non-dogmatic, open-minded approach will allow all types of folks to get their needs met and not feel judged for their preferences. I’d also like to think I have some good zingers and can keep you laughing.

Q: I want a natural birth. Can you make that happen?

I can’t make anything happen in someone else’s birth! But I can definitely give you an excellent skillset to understand the labor process, make informed decisions, and to cope with the intensity of natural labor and birth. It’s important to learn to roll with the unpredictability of birth and the understanding that plans change. That being said, I’ve been to hundreds of unmedicated labors and I know what it takes to get through birth without pain medications. I will make sure you leave my class well equipped for any kind of birth you wind up having.

Q: i want an epidural. why would I need to learn to cope with labor pain?

Unless you’re having a planned c-section without labor, most people will experience some labor without medication. Epidurals are not administered at the first contraction and you will need to cope with the early parts of labor without pain meds. Sometimes epidurals aren’t available the moment you want or need them, and, unfortunately they don’t always work as well as we’d hope! So, it benefits anyone who is going to go through labor to learn to cope with pain and to have tools to stay calm and comfortable.
The end of pregnancy can be full of discomforts as well, so the tools you learn in this class will also help you cope with some of the uncomfortable and frustrating experiences at the end of pregnancy!