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Childbirth Education Classes

Many woman wonder whether they should attend a childbirth preparation course. The short answer is yes, they should. It’s true that birth is a natural process through which women have journeyed successfully for 200,000 years. Just because they have been doing it forever does not mean that they lack questions about it. Women typically go through their pregnancy with many questions, about proper nutrition, about the various sensations in the bellies, about the health of the baby. For many, the question of how will I know I am in labor and how will it feel are at the top of that list. One can choose either to receive information as the process unfolds or to enter it already informed to the best degree possible. We would argue that having answers to those questions in advance, allows a woman to have more choices and a more complete understanding of how the options she chooses in labor can affect the outcome of her birth experience. This is why we have encorporated a childbirth education class into our Birth Doula Services package for all our clients.

Many changes happen in women’s bodies while they labor. These changes are both physical and emotional. Understanding these changes before labor begins, allows a woman to recognize where she is in her labor, when it’s time to go to the hospital or call her homebirth midwife, and to relax more easily during the birth process. Not knowing what is happening in her own body is stressful for many women and can lead to tension and fear. Tension and fear often complicate a labor, making it more painful, and perhaps even stalling it completely. Knowledge is a powerful tool in helping to eliminate or reduce fear and make for an easier, more relaxed birthing experience. Moreover, in a childbirth preparation class, a woman and her partner will learn a variety of other tools, such as rhythmic breathing, relaxation techniques, and body movements and manipulations to help ease the discomforts of labor and empower them in a process guided by nature.

Our childbirth preparation class helps clarify misconceptions and misinformation about the labor process, offers firsthand knowledge of birth, and evidence-based information. It discusses a variety of options, from coping techniques and tips for partners to information on medical interventions and anesthesia. The course is designed to encourage a woman to move through her birth experience in an informed and empowered way, allowing her to make choices throughout that suit her needs physically, emotionally, and philosophically, and to have her best birth possible.


Class Information:

Our private childbirth education class is a 6-hr course that offers evidence-based information about labor and birth, teaches you a variety of relaxation skills and tips for your partner, and helps you to create a birth preferences list to guide you toward your best birth possible. It draws from some of the best childbirth modalities and relaxation strategies, from mindfulness to self-hypnosis, to help you find the strategies that will work best for your individual needs. The class can be taken as a one-day workshop or divided into 2 or 3 sessions, on weekends or during the work week. It's up to you and your schedule.

Because some of the relaxation techniques we teach you work best when practiced with regularity over many weeks, we suggest that you complete the class during or before your 36th week (although late comers can still benefit).

First Childbirth Education Class (2 hours) 
* How to know when it's labor
* Physiology of labor
* Labor variations
* What to expect physically and emotionally
* Augmentations and medical interventions
* Communication with your medical care providers

Second Childbirth Education Class (2 hours) 
* Pain management
* Comfort measures
* Relaxation tools

Third Prenatal Class (1-2 hours)
* Birth Plan counseling
* Couple questionnaire
* Relaxation exercise or personalized guided meditation

Fee: $300 (or included with Birth Doula Services)

Couples who would like to take Susan's Bradley Birth series of classes in lieu of our prenatal classes may do so at a discount. Inquire directly to Susan.