Childbirth Preparation Workshop
Our Holistic Childbirth Preparation workshop is the quintessential class all expecting parents should take before the big event. Taking the class anywhere between 26 weeks and 37 weeks will help ensure you get the information you need prior to giving birth. Many past participants have felt supported in taking the class earlier as they were able to practice techniques learned in the class, from advocacy skills to optimal fetal positioning techniques.
Each class is kept to six couples to allow for individual and hands-on attention from the instructor while allowing for community building with other expanding families. We encourage participants to bring meals, pillows, snacks and other items that will allow them to get comfortable and relax.
We will discuss, practice and review the following techniques and information:
• Love and Relaxation: Guided relaxation and the hormones of labor
Hormones are the bridge between the mind-body connection. They allow us to feel emotions and trigger physical responses to our environment and internal thought process. By understanding the hormones of labor, we can begin to understand how our connection to ourselves, our partner, our environment and our birth team will have a dramatic affect on our ability to birth from a place of safety. We'll practice guided relaxation while being informed about why it works beyond just feeling good.
• Spinning Baby: The role of the baby, optimal fetal positioning, and troubleshooting through birth
One of the most important things we can do to encourage labor naturally and decrease interventions is to create more space in our uterus for the baby to align into the optimal fetal position. In class we will review optimal fetal positioning, exercises and yoga positions for before and during labor, and interventions that may impede optimal positioning and how to troubleshoot positioning when interventions are necessary.
• Moaning and Moving: Evidence based healthy birth practices, from vocalizations to opening the pelvic floor
From understanding the sounds and positions we turn to during labor to release tension, families can benefit from creating body memories of what empowered birth may sound and feel like.
• The Landscape of Labor: Understanding the emotional and physiological process of birthing your baby
In addition to myth-busting the textbook stages of labor, we will have a fuller conversation about the non-linear landscape of labor, how to support birth as it unfolds, and tools for working with each valley, peak and summit, from a physiological, emotional, and logistical viewpoint.
• The Role of the Partner: Creating Safety
Partner support is a central focus of class. Birth partners (life partners, family member or trusted friend) will learn how to intuit the woman's needs, engage in the experience, and create an environment that feels safe, protected and conducive to birthing. We will review verbal and non-verbnal communication skills, birth room etiquette, and the art of observing birth.
• Being in Birth: Massage, Acupressure, Positions, Vocalizations, and Breathing Techniques
We will review the art of touch, breath and saying yes to birth. Partners will have a chance to hold, massage and practice pressure points that will assist in getting labor going naturally while creating counter pressure along the hips.
• Advocacy and Collaboration: Positive Communication Skills with Providers
Class participants will walk away with the terms and phrases most used in the birth room so that they can have informed conversations with their providers. We will review strategies for collaboration, advocacy and informed consent.
• Understanding Interventions
Most people can agree that safety is paramount to birth, and that the mother's experience is not separate from healthy outcomes but rather an integral aspect to mental and physical health during the childbearing years. We will review common interventions through an evidence based care perspective. By linking our conversation around advocacy and collaboration with providers, we start to answer and raise questions around the necessity of interventions. We will build a toolkit for decreasing unnecessary interventions, increasing vaginal birth outcomes, and avoiding cesareans. In addition, we will review tools for maximizing positive outcomes when interventions are necessary and review natural counterparts, as well as protecting the micro biome and the breastfeeding relationship.
• Watching, Hearing, Knowing: Empowered Birth Videos
We will watch uncensored videos of families having empowered births.
We will review the sacred hours after birth and discuss how our choices during birth impact breastfeeding, your infant’s immune system, mother’s recovery, mental health, and hormonal balance. We will review common interventions and support offered after birth.
NOTES:There will be lots of movement. Please wear clothing that allows for squatting and access to the lower back for massage practice. There will be an hour-long lunch break. Lunch is not provided.