Why should I take a holistic childbirth class?
There are several reasons. First and foremost, to know ALL your options because if you don't know your options, you don't have any! Most women today, especially in our culture are not immersed in normality. Most of us did not grow up in a society where we witnessed our mothers, aunts, friends, sisters, and other women giving birth without fear and without medications. Most of us have never witnessed a mother breastfeeding or know of anyone who has breastfed successfully. We are lead to believe that childbirth is a scary event which culminates in us taking all sorts of medication and a long list of interventions. Many times women do not want to take medication but feel that they will be unable to handle the pain or that because everyone else did, they should too.
Couples benefit greatly from understanding the normal process of labor and then knowing how to work with and not against labor. When we start with this foundation, we are better equipped to make more informed decisions and avoid unnecessary interventions.
8 weeks seems like a long time for childbirth classes. Why so many classes?
I believe that the more you put into the classes the more you will get out of them. In the grand scheme of things, 8 weeks is such a small commitment. I hope that you are putting even more time into it outside of class. I have seen better success with couples who attend longer classes because you get more time to prepare and practice and take in all of the information you learn.
When should I enroll in your classes?
You should contact me early on in your pregnancy to find out the upcoming schedule and get put on the contact list for upcoming classes. You should enroll when you are 20-30 weeks. Ideally, you should have about 3-4 weeks before your baby is born when the series ends. If you find that you will be close to your due date, please know that I can still meet your needs. I will try and work with you outside of class time as well to update you on all the information.
Who should come with me to classes?
The person who is going to support you in labor is the person who should be coming to class with you. You are welcome to bring up to two birth partners to class. Along with all of the basics of pregnancy, labor and newborn care, they will learn how to support you and understand their vital role in everything.
Can my older child come to class?
I believe children should know about birth. My own children understand the basic process of birth and have witnessed their siblings births. I do not feel however that including them in the regular series is appropriate, as it could make them and other couples feel uncomfortable when we discuss certain topics like female and male anatomy, sex, etc. If you want specific instruction on how to include your child at birth, please ask me. We can set up private times to meet.
What other type of support outside of classes do you offer?
I love when couples call me. I have students/clients calling me 24/7 during pregnancy, labor and throughout the first year with many questions. I do not guarantee I will be reached immediately unless I am on call for you but I will return voice mails ASAP.
I have a wonderful library of books, cds, dvd and referrals to online and local resources.
What type of births have you had?
I have had 9 natural, home births with minimal or no interventions.. 6 were water births, and the twins were born 9 1/2 hours apart, the 2nd being breech. We used a lot of different natural techniques and positions to facilitate the normal function of labor as well as found effective relaxation techniques and tools for comfort!
Why should I consider a Birth Doula?
A Doula is a professional labor assistant who is working for you. I draw on my knowledge and experience to provide physical comfort, emotional support to both the mother and her partner, and communication with the staff to make sure that you have the information you need to make informed decisions as they may arise in labor. I can provide reassurance and perspective to positioning and other techniques for comfort and progression. A doula provides a more personal touch and constant role during labor and birth than a doctor, nurse, or even a midwife can provide because of the personal prenatal contact and simply because of the differences in roles. Statistics show wonderful outcomes from Doula assisted births.
Why should I consider a Postpartum Doula?
The postpartum time or what we call the "4th Trimester" is most often overlooked in our society. After baby is doted on, the mother is left abandoned to care for herself and this little one all alone with no social network or resources when she has questions. Most dads return to work quickly or after a few days and moms are expected to regain normal life right away. When in fact, mothers need much nurturing and reassurance, time to heal and bond for success with breastfeeding and confidence in parenting. A Doula can help with light chores, meal planning, infant and mother care, comfort measures and guide you through this 40 day period while also facilitating communication with and directing family and friends in ways that they can truly be helpful and not hinder the mother infant bond!
Do I need a Doula if I have a great partner & support from family/friend(s)?
That depends. You need to consider your goals and your desires as well as be realistic about what exactly your support system is able to provide for you. For example, your husband is not expected to be a professional but a supportive husband. A Doula does not replace dad but compliments the father and takes the burden of solo support off of his shoulders. There is much to consider about ways that a Doula and others can be helpful at your birth. In case of a long labor, doulas and dads can switch off or work together. In a hospital a doula provides a presence of professionalism, someone that is "on your side", working for you and not the hospital. At a home birth, there may also be sibling care, home care, food prep. etc. and other considerations such as photography, video etc.
When should I contact/hire you?
If you are pregnant and considering a Doula at all, you should contact me right away, early on in your pregnancy. We can schedule a consult. The first visit does not obligate you to my services. We can talk about availability around your due date and then decide if we feel like we are a good match for each other. A non-refundable deposit is required to reserve my services if you decide to hire me. I only take a minimal number of births per year because of my own growing family!
Why is a course on maidenhood needed?
The world has influenced woman of every age, even in the church, negatively and falsely about their bodies. Most woman do not have a true and thorough understanding of their bodies and therefore do not appreciate nor embrace its perfect design. Therefore, they are not capable or comfortable preparing their daughters for these beautiful milestones. We need accountability, we need support, we need resources to teach this from a Christian perspective.This course is a prefect way to help guide you as the mother and prepare you for further discussion.
Can I just teach this course to my daughter, myself?
Yes. If you decide you would rather teach the course alone with your daughter, you can purchase the kit at Blessinggodsway.com
However there are many benefits for attending this course with your daughter. There is something to be said about normalizing this topic with a community of woman. We make this day not only educational but a celebration of womanhood! As woman's health educators we bring a knowledge base to this topic and we make the day fun for you too with lots of activities and prizes!
How do I know if my daughter is ready to learn about puberty and menstruation?
You are more likely to wait too long then to approach her too early. The Maidens by His Design curriculum recommends 8 years and up because most girls start showing signs of readiness and curiosity around this time. The average age for mothers to take this course is 10-11.This a very delicate subject and each family must decide how and when they will approach it but I can help guide you whenever you decide to do that. If we expose our daughters to this information in a non-embarrassing way, they will take in what they want that's appropriate to their own maturity level and then we can continue to nurture their needs as they mature. I believe that talking about our bodies in a factual way and explaining normal functions at an early age is the first step to viewing our bodies as wonderful creations and not something to be ashamed of. For example- calling body parts by their rightful name, never teasing or embarrassing them and exposing them to normal things like breastfeeding and birth is a natural foundational step for future conversations.
My daughter has already started her period, will she still benefit from this course?
Absolutely! Just because she has already started her period doesn't mean she understands it or thinks of it as a positive thing, if fact, most likely she doesn't. We are sure, you'll probably learn something too and be inspired!
Will my daughter be embarrassed taking this course with other girls?
No, I do not believe so. At the beginning of class I ask ?Who is a little embarrassed to be here today to learn about this?? and maybe one or two will raise their hands (and I am sure there are others not raising their hands) but I quickly say ?This is exactly why we are doing this course.? We are offering this course so that it isn?t taboo anymore, so that girls and women can begin to support one another during this time. We encourage discretion at all times and for them not to discuss this issue with just anyone ? but encourage them to use this class as an opportunity to ask questions and be comfortable and safe in doing so. Toward the end of the class the daughters are having SUCH a good time together. They will never forget their experience of taking this course, LORD willing.
Is this like a sex ed class?
No. We do not talk about sex, birth control or introduce the male parts? but instead provide resources for you to learn that as a family.