How much are the classes?
The Complete Childbirth Class (either the 6 week series or the weekend immersion) fee is $275/couple and that includes everything you need to participate in these highly dynamic classes, as well as an online notebook (a google doc), rich in resources, thoughtfully compiled, that will support you through the childbearing year.
When should I start the class?
We recommend you begin your childbirth class between 28-30 weeks if possible. The Complete Childbirth Class is focused on childbirth and postpartum and before 28 weeks, even though you might be thinking about the birth, it’s still far enough away that the tools from the class can become lost in the getting-ready-for-baby tasks. We want you to step in fully to your pregnancy and cherish this unfolding experience without rushing to the end. Also, experience has taught us that by about 36 weeks, mothers turn inward. Sometimes profoundly. Their focus shifts even deeper as their baby draws great energy from them. They turn a psychic corner where they move slower, think slower, and are saturated with birth information. We believe the last month of pregnancy is magical and we highly encourage mothers to tune out the world rushing around them and turn inward to the great wisdom within.
Will we learn how to cope with pain and difficulty?
Oh yes. At least 1/3 of each class is dedicated to exploring a unique pain-coping practice. Many of them have deep roots in minfulness awareness practices. This exploration is hands-on practice, discussion, and demonstration. Even better, these practices can be applied to any difficulty, not only pain, but *especially* pain. Because the pain of childbirth is finite, it doesn’t go on forever, we believe parents must have well-rounded tools they can apply to the difficulties and unknowns of early parenting. This time spent in each class is an investment in the parent you are becoming!
Do we learn labor positions?
No. Although this class is heavily experiential, there is not a dedicated portion for *practicing* labor positions. Surprising right? Here’s why. I’ve been supporting families for a long long time and I feel it’s difficult for parents to remember labor positions in labor and when/if to apply them. Rather, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND all families have doula support. Your doula holds the critical knowledge for helping facilitate labor progress and coping. Your doula knows what normal labor looks like and knows how and when to apply special tricks. A birth companion who has not been initiated by the intensity of birth can become overwhelmed even when things are moving along normally. Expecting this person to navigate this power AND remember any, let alone all of the tricks under duress? It’s a set up I believe. Let them and yourself off the hook and hire a doula. It’s worth it! That said, I do mention helpful positions and link some specific ones in our class curriculum (google doc). I believe that parents, when encouraged to move freely, will find what works best for them as they navigate their unique experience. Labor is a path of learning!
Does my partner/wife/husband/significant other come to the class?
YES! Emphatically yes! We believe that complete birth preparation includes both parents and we deeply respect the individual journey of mothers and fathers. Our unique curriculum will speak to BOTH of you, individually AND as a couple.
Because we believe so strongly in the unique tasks of preparation for mothers and fathers/birth companions, we have a special class just for them, embedded in the full 6 week series.
What if I don’t have a partner?
Babies come to all kinds of families. You don’t have to have a partner to have a child or come to our childbirth class. We do highly recommend that you bring with you to class whoever will be with you during your birth. This could be a friend, your doula, a family member, etc. Anyone you will be relying on for support is welcome to come with you. We are not meant to go through this initiation alone!
Is Conscious Birthing only for ‘natural birth’?
No. What is ‘natural birth’ exactly anyway? The foundation of Conscious Birthing is that parents deserve respect and support for any birth option which might be right for them (whether it be medicine, cesarean, or home birth). Because medical support like epidurals are not perfect, we believe parents must have a variety of ways to cope with the intensity and unknowns of birth. Conscious Birthing is an exploration into a variety of ways we can do whatever needs to be done in the moment, whatever the moment calls for. Holistic birth preparation includes exploration of medical support like epidurals and cesarean birth.
We love getting inquiries from potential class participants! Please contact us to ask whatever questions arise for you!