Whether you hope to birth in the hospital, at a birth center, or at home, all your questions will be answered in this six-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 and help you achieve the safest, most rewarding, and most empowering birth experience possible.
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, and private classes are available for time-crunched families. Please call Jaci for more details.
Sign up for classes via PayPal, in person, or write to us with questions via our website form.
All gift certificate purchases and class deposits are final and non-refundable.
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 in to 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 screening, lecture time, relaxation practice or exercise, a homework assignment, homework review, and question-and-answer/sharing time.
For more information, please read “Why Are Independent Birth Classes Important?”
Classes follow the general outline below.
Introductions between students and instructor
Introduction to educational tools: workbook; different childbirth philosophies; lending library of books and DVDs; and more
Nutrition: learning to eat mindfully
Three types of relaxation: physical, emotional, and mental
Primal birthing mother: historical options vs. contemporary ones
How our society/culture views pain and working with that sometimes challenging mindset
Pain-coping skills: using past experiences to build resources for labor; discussing comfort techniques
Physical relaxation practice
Sharing birth stories (homework review)
Basic pregnancy anatomy and how it affects daily function
First stage labor: how labor begins; how contractions might feel; how to time contractions; breath awareness; transition from early labor to active labor
Choosing who to have at your birth
Doulas: what a doula does
Labor practice: timing contractions; different labor positions
Transition: differences from first stage labor; how to read the signs
Second stage: pushing and how to prevent tearing or episiotomy
Third stage: delaying of clamping and cutting the umbilical cord; placenta delivery
Labor practice with additional position changes and comfort techniques
Birth “wish list”: traditional and nontraditional; how birth “plans” are viewed by some of the medical profession; how to write a birth “plan” that does not put medical professionals on the defense; using it to your advantage
Use of visual aids
Practice of acupressure and reflexology techniques to help with labor
Massage techniques and positions for coping with back labor
Other massage techniques to help with labor
The “what ifs” of birth; unexpected turns in labor
Technology in birth: appropriate use vs. overuse
Birth interventions: waterfall of effects
Induction: natural induction techniques and procedures; hospital induction procedures
Pain medications: narcotics vs. epidural
Informed consent: making empowered decisions; being open-minded and flexible; knowing and utilizing your choices
Mental relaxation practice
Postpartum care for mom
Emotional rollercoaster: hormones; baby blues vs. postpartum depression
Postpartum help: realistic expectations of partner, family, or friends; importance of self-care, nutrition, and sleep; getting basic needs met to cope with dramatic life 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 lactation specialists and breastfeeding groups and classes
"I learned so much from Jaci’s birthing class. It helps to know what to expect and what is available. She is very supportive and presents the facts in a concise and organized manner. I definitely recommend taking the class prior to giving birth!"
"Jaci’s birth classes informed and prepared us and we even made some friends. We trust Jaci’s knowledge and experience and it was great to bounce questions and scenarios by her and get her feedback to help with our decisions."