Childbirth classes are an effective way of increasing self-awareness and of teaching you how to deal with the process of labor and birth.
In this eight-week course you and your birth partner will learn a variety of techniques that will enable you to find your own body’s rhythm to guide you through the birth experience.
The goal is to provide education, which will help you achieve the safest, most rewarding and empowering birth experience possible. Whether you hope to birth in the hospital, at a birth center or at home, all your questions will be answered in this series. Jaci is also always available to answer any questions or concerns after class or via phone or email. Drop-in and refresher classes are available for experienced parents, as are private classes for time-crunched families. Please call Jaci to get more details.
In this class series, you will learn about:
• Active participation of the birth partner
• Avoidance of drugs
• Natural breathing
• A variety of relaxation techniques
• Tuning into your body and working with it
• Immediate and continuous contact with your newborn
• Breastfeeding beginning at birth
• Positive communication skills
• Options for informed decisions regarding birth choices
• Preparation for the unexpected
Nearly every class includes a DVD, lecture time, relaxation practice or exercise, a homework assignment, homework review and time to check-in with students. Read up on “Why Are Independent Birth Classes Important?”
Classes follow the general outline below.
• Introductions betweens students and instructor
• Introduction to educational tools: Bradley® workbook, Birthing From Within philosophy, Mothering magazine, DVD lending library etc.
• Nutrition: learning to eat mindfully
• Pregnancy exercises: the basics to prepare for birth
• Three types of relaxation: physical, emotional and mental
• Relaxation and art exercises: connecting parents to baby in the womb
• Homework review: sharing birth stories
• Basic pregnancy anatomy and how it affects bodily functions
• Pain coping skills: utilizing past experiences to build resources for labor, discussing comfort techniques
• Reviewing how our society/culture views pain and working with that sometimes challenging mindset
• Physical relaxation practice
• First stage of labor: how labor begins, how contractions might feel, timing contractions, breath awareness, early labor to active 1st stage labor
• Choosing whom to have at your birth
• Doulas: what a doula does
• Labor practice: timing contractions, practicing different labor positions and comfort techniques
• Transition: differences from first stage of labor, how to read the signs
• Second stage: pushing, tearing vs. episiotomy and how to prevent
• Third stage: placenta delivery, delay of cutting and clamping of cord
• Labor practice with additional position changes
• Birth “wish list”: traditional and nontraditional, how birth “plans” are viewed by some of the medical profession; how to write up something that does not put medical professionals on the defense; using it to a good advantage
• Primal birthing mother: historical options vs. contemporary ones
• Technology in birth: Good use vs. overuse
• Practice of acupressure & reflexology techniques to help with labor
• Massage techniques and positions for coping with back labor
• Other massage techniques to help with labor
• Review of the “what-ifs” of birth, unexpected turns in labor
• Overdue: natural induction techniques and procedures, hospital induction procedures
• Birth interventions: internal and external monitors, vacuum extractors Pain medications: narcotics vs. epidurals, waterfall of effects, cesarean sections.
• Informed consent: making empowered decisions, being open-minded and flexible, feeling like you have choices.
• Postpartum care: Birth through 6-8 weeks.
• Emotional rollercoaster: hormones, the baby blues vs. postpartum depression
• Preparing for postpartum help: realistic expectations of partner, family or friends; importance of self-care, nutrition and sleep; getting basic needs met to cope with dramatic changes; saying yes to help
• Newborn care: what to expect immediately after birth and for the first few weeks
• Basic breastfeeding: colostrum vs. milk coming in, positioning, partner’s role in breastfeeding, success with support
• Referrals to breastfeeding groups, classes and lactation specialist
• Guest speakers: new parents share their birth story, baby, postpartum and breastfeeding experience, Q&A time with them.
• Review of stages of labor: discussion of a variety of scenarios and students’ expectations of how they’d handle them
• Closing affirmations for each couple