Monday, April 6, 2015

Prepared Childbirth Classes 2015

* 2016 schedule update below *

Here I sit nailing down a start schedule for class.  Finally.  It's only been on my to-do list since last summer.  When I taught Building Blocks for Birth with Bianca, she was amazing about posting our Better Beginnings schedule.  That was a couple of years ago, and I'm finally settled here in Mobile.  It's time to get organized again.

In this day of internet everything, why do you need to take the time to physically come, sit, learn, laugh, and connect with actual real people in a class setting to prepare for your baby's birth and the transition to parenting?  Why not Amazon a few books, join a few Facebook groups, take a virtual tour of the birth settings near you, and maybe find a shorty class to Skype or follow via Google Docs?  Why not just read as many blog posts as you can find?  That and asking your sister, friend, or co-worker where she had her baby and how it went down should be plenty, right?


A lot of these things are helpful.  They really are.  The trick is knowing what evidence-based maternity care looks like and choosing books, groups, birth settings, classes, etc... that reinforce it.  What to Expect When You're Expecting, Your Pregnancy Week-by-Week, and just any old hospital-based birth class will not equip you with the information you need to have a safe, healthy, well-informed experience.  Nor are those things likely to help you achieve your breastfeeding goals.

A woman's experience of pregnancy and childbirth is profound.  Absolutely profound.  It's so transformative that cultures across the globe create male rites of passage that mimic the change a woman undergoes as she grows, births, and nurtures an infant.  Robbie Davis Floyd has written about it extensively.  It's fascinating.  Does our society prepare new mothers for this change adequately?  Sadly, the answer is usually no.

My goal is to change that.  I can say with confidence that the mothers I teach are better if not fully prepared for the experience.  They know that I'm here to support them through the transition.  They know where in our community to find additional support.  I don't think anybody can ever be 110% ready to become parents.  It's a learn-as-you-go thing much like riding a bike.  You can read a library full of books about riding a bike, understand the mechanics of the bike, how gravity and momentum affect your outcome, and what happens when it crashes.  You can't ride a bike for the first time until you swing a leg across the saddle and position your feet on the pedals.  You may be tentative at first, but soon you'll be coasting along with the wind blowing you hair.  It feels like flying.

Women my mother's age and older often want to talk to me about their births when they discover that I teach classes.  We go from joking about unused undergraduate degrees to serious in seconds.  All it takes is me saying with a smile, "Yeah, I have an English degree, but I teach childbirth classes," and sometimes it's like the air gets sucked out of the room.  The entire feel of the conversation changes.  That woman's eyes soften, and her mind takes her back decades.  She shares intimate and vivid details of her birth experience, how much she loved nursing her babies, how euphoric she felt  achieving an unmedicated birth.  We are in cahoots, in on the same timeless secret.

It's amazing being trusted with such details.  She knows I GET IT.  We have connected the dots in a very broken chain of experience.  What mothers want is always the same--to be trusted to make the decisions that are safest and healthiest for her baby, to be loved and well-supported, to be encouraged and uplifted.

Let's talk about having the healthiest pregnancy possible, nutrition, exercise, labor, pushing, doulas, VBACs, supportive providers, breastfeeding, relationships, boundaries, shedding the baggage you pick up from others, baby wearing, early parenting, and so much more.  Nothing is off limits.  Let's laugh, watch, discuss, and read our way through some very intense topics.  Let's use research and intuition, balance heart and head knowledge, to make the best choices for you.  Let's figure out what you want and how to get it together.  Let me be your trail guide.

Confidence, knowledge, support, intuition, priorities.  Do you get it?


Spring Session:
Fridays April 10, 24, May 1, 8, 15, & 22

Summer Session:
Fridays June 19, 26, July 10, 17, 24, & 31

Fall Session 1:
Fridays August 28, September 4, 11, 18, 25, October & 2

Fall Session 2:
Fridays October 23, November 6, 13, 20, 27, & December 4


Fall Session 1:

Fridays October 28, November 4, 11,18, & December 2

Cost: $300 and includes The Official Lamaze Guide to Giving Birth with Confidence, Prepared Childbirth the Family Way, and a binder of resources and class handouts.  A $50 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your place at the time I deliver your books for class.

Location: Kate's house in Midtown Mobile.

What to wear/bring: Comfy, stretchy pants.  We will be moving around a lot.  Bring a pillow if you'd like.  Maybe a blanket.  I will have several of both plus hot packs, essential oils, bolster pillows, foam rollers, and massage tools to play with.

The above dates are somewhat flexible.  If you are interested in upcoming classes but that date/time doesn't work, let me know.  I can work something out Thursday-Sunday and earlier start times for weekend dates.  My time is fairly flexible.  When a baby comes is often less so.

Contact me on Facebook or at if you have any questions or would like to enroll.