Birthing Naturally: Partner Supported Childbirth
as of 3/16/2020 ALL upcoming Childbirth & Baby Prep classes have shifted to a virtual classroom via Zoom. Your instructor will email links to access the class session 10-15 minutes before the class begins.
What you will learn
Students will learn practical tools and techniques that help minimize discomfort and encourage the smooth progression of labor and birth while sustaining confidence in one’s abilities to labor and deliver with beauty and strength. At the end of each class, students will practice a different relaxation technique. Students will practice the various physical, mental, and emotional types of relaxation with the support and guidance from their partners. Birthing partners will also learn how to actively support the expectant person during pregnancy, labor, birth and the postpartum period.
Detailed class description
Class 1: Introduction To Birthing Naturally
This introductory class allows students time to get to know the instructor and other classmates. Students will learn how to stay healthy and low risk during pregnancy. We will discuss the importance of regular exercise and the importance of practicing various relaxation techniques that can be used to cope through the laboring process. We will also discuss other pain coping tools and methods to avoid unnecessary pain during labor.
Class 2: First Stage Labor
Students will learn the 3 phases of 1st stage labor, the physiological and emotional response to each phase, and the physical characteristics of what to expect during the latent, active, and transitional period. Participants will learn how to time contractions and distinguish the meaning of the length and frequency in order to identify what phase of labor they are in. Students will learn to identify female reproductive anatomy and how it relates to the birthing process. Various terminologies including cervical dilation, effacement, and station will be defined and clearly explained. We will discuss the indications of ‘true-labor’ vs ‘false-labor,’ learn methods to naturally stimulate or expedite labor, learn natural pain coping techniques, and recognize the time frame of when to make the transfer to the hospital or birth-center (for those delivering outside of the home).
Class 3: Comfort Measures / First Stage Labor Rehearsal
As the previous class examines the ‘theory’ of first stage labor, this class provides the ‘practical’ application by means of a first stage labor rehearsal. Birthing persons and their partners will learn various comfort measure techniques and learn how and when these techniques are best used. We will learn how to breathe during the different phases of labor and how to identify and remedy hyperventilation. Students will practice various positions and movements used to encourage the progression of labor and result in ideal fetal positioning. Partners will learn how to best support the expectant person through the application of massage, counter pressure, verbal encouragement, support, and guidance.
Class 4: Second Stage Labor
Second stage labor (aka the pushing stage) is a time of empowerment and active participation. Students will learn about the physiological processes of 2nd and 3rd stage labor, understand the process of fetal descent through the pelvis, how to encourage ideal fetal positioning, and learn how one can best support the perineum to avoid tears. Birthing persons, with the support of their partners, will actively practice various pushing positions such as squatting, hands & knees, side lying, and the use of a birth stool. Various breathing techniques and pushing styles will also be covered. Individuals are encouraged to discover what position, breathing technique, and pushing style works best for them.
Class 5: Evidence Based Care
An ‘evidence-based’ approach to prenatal, labor, and postpartum care is one where parents are encouraged to make informed decisions based on the most current and relevant scientific research available. Students will learn how specific medications and medical interventions are administered, their effects, benefits, risks, and alternative possibilities. We will provide an extensive explanation of the various types of pain management options (e.g. Epidural, Spinal, CSE, Fentanyl, N2O) and induction methods that are currently available in hospital settings. Students are encouraged to feel empowered and responsible for the decisions they will choose to make regarding their labor and birth and to recognize that there are always two sides to every issue. The topics covered in this class are approached in an objective and non-judgmental format.
Class 6: Variations & Unexpected Situations / Cesareans
As the percentage of cesarean sections in the U.S. rises, well above the optimal rate, it is important to acknowledge this reality and consider ways to prepare oneself physically, mentally, and emotionally in the event a surgical delivery is anticipated. The purpose of this class is to increase an awareness of what medical indications necessitate the need for surgery, understand the prepping and surgical procedures involved, and learn how to encourage and expedite recovery after surgery and during the postpartum period. Practical tools and techniques that may help reduce the possibility of surgery, such as methods to encourage proper rotation of a breech presentation, will be covered. Students will identify what questions to ask their care-provider and learn what alternatives are available as it applies to surgery.
Class 7: Preferences In Childbirth
Writing out a personal ‘birth plan’ (commonly referred to as a Birthing Preferences or Wish List) allows one’s care provider to understand and respect an individuals hopes and wishes regarding their labor and birth. We will offer tips and suggestions in how to word, format and develop your preferences in such a way as to retain the enthusiastic support of your birth team. Once students have evaluated their priorities, they will be able to express themselves, keep a positive attitude and be able to emphasize their wishes in a manner that is both open and flexible. Newborn procedures that are preformed immediately postpartum will also be addressed.
Class 8: Postpartum Preparation
This segment will introduce the various prenatal, labor, postpartum, and infant care supplies that may be used to enhance comfort and recovery. We will discuss breastfeeding anatomy & physiology, positioning, how to promote a proper latch, and the use of certain supplies that may encourage a gentle and efficient breastfeeding experience. We will also discuss what to expect of a newborn baby and learn about newborn tests and conditions (such as PKU and the different types and treatments of Jaundice).
Class & Registration Information
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This class meets 6:30 - 9:00pm for 8 consecutive weeks.
Class fee includes expectant person and a birth partner.
Please note: $25 materials fee payable to the instructor at the first class meeting.
If you find the class you prefer is full, please contact us and we will put you on waiting list. If there is demand, we will do our best to open another class.
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She was very enthusiastic and knowledgeable on topics. She gave very useful tips that are not covered in textbooks.”
"Lori was real. She has taken a pretty nervous, future dad and made it easier for him to be a father!" "Would recommend the class to anyone having a baby!"
"I like how she covered medical interventions very comprehensively. She has a great sense of humor, which made the class exciting and fun.”