Workshops for Pregnancy, Birth and Early Postpartum
7-week Comprehensive series:
Body, Breath, Heart + Mind: A Contemplative Birthing Workshop
1. From In to Out: Understanding Birth
2. Labor of Love: Movement and Partner Support for Birth
3. Power and Pain: Working WITH the Sensations of Birth
4. Informed Choices: Interventions, Consent, Birth Plans
5. A Brave New World: Postpartum
6. A Baby! Now What!? : Newborn Care
7. The Nursling: Breastfeeding + Bonding
HOW TO CHOOSE A CLASS OR SERIES:
Women and their birth support can choose individual classes from those listed below, or can take the full 7-week comprehensive series package. Wherever possible, we recommend the full series as most supportive for families. Class fees cover both the birthing women and her birth partner/s.
Planning on an un-medicated birth? Planning on using epidural/pain medication? Classes are for all women — however they plan to birth. Information and exercises for those planning on an un-medicated birth AND those planning an epidural are provided in all classes. If you have a scheduled cesarean, please contact us for which classes would be supportive in preparing for your birth.
Birthing: Body, Breath, Heart & Mind: a Contemplative Workshop
Pregnancy, birth and parenting require a leap of faith into the unknown and the uncontrollable. How can we do this, but still remain grounded and safe? Join other couples as we explore the journey of birth and postpartum through experiential exercises, mindfulness practices and conceptual learning. Discover how turning to the wisdom of our bodies, hearts and minds can guide us in surrendering to the uncontrollable in birth, while remaining empowered in our choices and experience.
Mindfulness practices and experiential exercises help guide mother and birth partner toward a deep trust of the woman’s capability to birth, the birth partner’s capacity to support, the baby’s active participation in his/her arrival, and the woman and her family’s readiness to welcome a new baby. Conceptually, classes develop knowledge of the birth process, standard US birth practices and interventions, and an understanding of the family’s choices in childbirth and newborn care. Class discussions and resources support families in choosing providers, birthing locations, and labor and birth practices that are supportive of their individual belief systems and needs. Families are invited at 1-6 months postpartum for a class reunion.
For individual class details, please read descriptions below. Families who must miss a class during the scheduled series can make it up on another day or in a future series.
Series 1. Wednesdays 9/13, 9/20, 9/27, 10/4, 10/11, 10/18, 10/25
Series 2. Sundays 10/1, 10/8, 10/15, 10/21 (Sat), 10/29, 11/5, 11/12
Series 3. Wednesdays 11/15, 11/29, 12/6, 12/13, 12/20, 1/3, 1/10
Series 4. Sundays 12/3, 12/10, 12/17, 1/7, 1/14, 1/21, 1/28
7 Sundays 3-6pm or 7 Wednesdays 6-9pm*
$375**/couple ($45-$350 IBP)
*(check schedule for occasional day change).
**$350 with registration 30 days in advance of start date.
1. From In to Out: Understanding Birth
Traveling to the “land of birth” is like parachuting into an unknown universe. It can be the adventure of a lifetime, or can be overwhelming and frightening. Understanding how it all works is an important starting point to preparing for a positive, empowered experience.
Spend an afternoon or evening with other couples and learn how baby travels from inside to out. Discover the important role of the baby, the mother and the support person. Explore how emotions and thoughts shift and change through the process of birth, and how you can work together with, not against, the natural power of birth.
2. Labor of Love: Movement and Partner Support for Birth
Does squatting really open the pelvis wider than lying down? How on earth is a baby going to fit out of there? Don’t I have to lie on my back while I’m pushing the baby out? How can I use movement if I’ve had an epidural? What if I want to labor on hands and knees?
Come together with other expecting mothers and birth partners to discover answers to these questions and more. Together we will practice movements, postures and breath practices that support the labor and birth process. Learn why breath and movement help us cope with the sensations of birth, and how movement helps the body adapt to birth and the baby find his/her best way out. Discover how the birth partner’s physical support and hands-on techniques can help the mother throughout labor. And discover the powerful connection that is built between birth partners as they learn to breath and move together.
3. Power + Pain: Working WITH the Sensations of Birth
Whether the sensations of birth are called “rushes,” “waves,” “pressure,” or “pain,” few will argue that the sensations are immense and intense – and they must be, to move the baby out of the body. Learning to cope with this level of intensity asks woman to find deep power and belief in herself.
Using experiential exercises and group discussions, this workshop explores what it means work WITH intensity, instead of trying to push it away or change it. Discover how, by bringing your attention to yourself and your breath, you already have the tools needed to work with the powerful sensations of birth. Birth partners will learn how important they are to helping a woman find her endurance and strength through the birth process. This class is recommended to women planning the use of an epidural as well as women planning on birthing naturally. It is medically recommended for most women to labor without pain medication until they are in active labor. These methods will support a woman up until the point she is able to receive pain medications, or, if she so chooses, until she births without them.
4. Informed Choices: Interventions, Consent and Birth Plans
Birth is filled with contradictions. We cannot control it, but must learn to ride whatever waves it brings us. At the same time there are many opportunities to steer the course of our birth. Families often don’t realize the choices and rights they have, or how strongly these choices can impact their births, experience, and postpartum health.
Join other couples and explore the importance of making intentional choices in practitioner, birth location, and practitioner or hospital practices and procedures. Learn about building positive relationships with your medical team, and your legal right to informed consent or refusal of all procedures and interventions. Learn how to use this information to create a birth plan that represents what is important to you as a family, and which can be easily read and responded to by your medical team.
5. A Brave New World: Preparing for the Postpartum
As birth approaches, we tend to know much more about pregnancy and birth, than we do about what happens after our babies are born. Birth is a profound process, but it is also merely a doorway into a new world. What happens to mom’s body in the weeks and months after birth? How do our relationships change? How can we support ourselves and our partners / families through these changes? When and who do we call for help?
Spend an afternoon with your birth partner or family to engage in discussion and activities that can help you can make your adjustment into parenthood less stressful and more supportive of the new family. Simple but effective tools can help you know better what to expect, and create a effective support network in the 4-8 weeks after birth. Preparation and support can profoundly impact the mother and baby’s physical healing and adjustment, and the entire family’s emotional well-being during the precious and challenging postpartum time.
6. A Baby! Now whatt!? – Newborn Care
Our newborn can seem like a tiny, strange creature from another planet. She may not look or act the way we expected, and often seems a random mash-up of confusing wiggles, cries, jerks, staring, sleeping and suckling episodes. Who is this little person? And what, on earth, are we to do with him?
Join other families as we explore these amazing, sweet and strong (if confounding!) little beings. Learn that instead of being made up of random and impossible to understand behaviors, they are actually highly organized and communicative. As we begin to recognize the journey our newborn has made from inside to out and the ways she engages with the world, we discover how to more confidently and effectively respond to her needs. As we learn to respond to his needs, we discover a calmer, more settled baby, and a life that supports parents’ rest and well being, as well as baby’s.
7. The Nursling – Breastfeeding + Bonding
Most women are given strong messages about the importance of breastfeeding for her baby’s health. Some expect it to be a natural and easy process that just happens. Others have heard all kinds of horror stories about the difficulties that can occur. Others feel pressured to try, but uncomfortable and uneasy about the idea of it. Not many of us are told that it is a joint effort between us, our body and our baby, and that like any new skill, it can take time and effort to learn and succeed at.
Join us as we explore the wide range of experiences different mothers can have. Learn about the ways we can support the breastfeeding relationship and baby’s health beginning immediately after birth and in the first days and weeks. Explore both benefits and challenges to the newborn and the mother and how and where to reach out for additional help when it’s needed. Class will provide information on: skin-to-skin after birth, the breast-crawl, establishing breastfeeding, understanding the hormones of bonding, milk production and milk release, nursing positions, and breast health. Resources for support with pumping, latch issues, formula feeding and going back to work with be provided.
Over the course of five weeks, parents or caregivers are taught a full massage sequence to support the health of their baby, and to cultivate connection between parent and baby. Parents/caregivers will massage their own baby while the instructor demonstrates on a doll. There are many benefits of infant massage for the parents as well as the infants, including a measurable lowering of stress hormones!
Topics such as the benefits of infant massage, learning your baby’s cues, and understanding infant behavioral states are explored through group discussions. Special sequences and techniques to support babies with colic or digestive issues, and babies with special needs or sensitivities are also covered.
Cesarean Scar Rehabilitation Workshop
A workshop for women who have had c-cections, perineal tears or episiotomies. How our scars heal can have a vast impact on our health, including organ health, back health, and fertility. How we feel about our cesareans, episiotomies or perineal tears can have an impact on our connection to our bodies, our births, and our babies. During this workshop you will learn simple massage techniques to help your scar heal well and functionally, and will be gently guided to reconnecting to your body. Mothers six-weeks postpartum or less must obtain written clearance to attend from their OB/Midwife.