It’s a good thing to research your childbirth and breastfeeding classes. Not all classes are the same and the one(s) you choose can make a big difference in your birth experience.
Most childbirth classes (our’s included) cover the process of birth, various medical considerations, procedures, signs of labor, when to go to the hospital and basic breastfeeding. But, beyond these foundational topics, classes can differ substantially in the amount of emphasis, and focus placed on various elements of birth and postpartum.
If you’re looking to get the most from your childbirth and breastfeeding prep classes (and you should), it is worthwhile to pay attention to the scope of what is being offered, as well as the approach of the facilitator and institution in which it is offered. You should know if the class will effectively address your questions, concerns and interests. BUT even more importantly, ask yourself if the approach and topics covered resonate with your natural proclivities, preferences, and vision for birth and parenthood.
Our classes are for you if…
1) You prefer natural childbirth, though you’re not opposed to pain medication, if needed.
- If this is the case, it’s important to consider a class that truly supports your preference by dedicating sufficient time to the exploration and practice of a full range of physical AND mental pain-coping strategies. This will give you the best preparation for a non-medicated birth. Half of our series is dedicated to these strategies. We also offer participants a free prenatal yoga class where you get further practice of techniques and information for birth.
2) You’re looking for a balanced, holistic, non-judgmental approach that covers what you need to know for all birth scenarios and the options for natural, medicated and surgical births.
3) You want to know what you can do NOW to help facilitate a more easeful birth experience. (Yes, there are many things you can do during pregnancy as a way of “investing” in your labor.)
4) You want to know how to bring a sense of celebration and even spirituality to your birth experience.
5) You want to know the important questions to ask in all birth scenarios, and how to advocate for yourself.
6) Your partner wants to know how to effectively support you (physically and emotionally) throughout the whole process, including before and after birth… not just in the hospital.
7) You’re searching for an empowering approach that will leave you (and your partner) feeling energized, confident, and ready for the birth journey.
8) You’re looking for information about how to best prepare for the postpartum weeks, which includes breastfeeding basics, but also the realities of postpartum life, what happens once you leave the hospital, and tips for settling in with your new family.
9) You’re seeking personalized guidance and advice. (Yes, we remain available to you for questions after you take the class(es.)
10) You are open to a yogic understanding of the body and concepts that help you utilize the energetics of birth to your best advantage.
11) A clinical, or hospital-based approach is not your cup of tea.
12) You are grappling with doubt, trepidation, anxiety or fear of birth. Let’s talk!
4 Unique Aspects of Our Approach
1. Childbirth Education Association (CEA/MNY)
For over 40 years, CEA has provided a holistic approach to birth. Classes are similar to Lamaze in basic content. However, we cover additional elements and perspectives that are not found in clinical or hospital-based settings. CEA uniquely stands out among childbirth preparation classes as an approach that was developed by women for women (a “missing link” in many established childbirth approaches). In 1972, a group of pioneering midwives, doulas, and birth advocates addressed this missing link by taking into account the profound importance of women’s innate body wisdom and how this guides the birth process. Therefore, this woman-centered perspective embodies the full recognition that each woman is unique, bringing her own strengths, preferences and life experiences to the labor room and the postpartum weeks. Our approach is not a one-size-fits-all method. Instead, we guide women and couples to identify, explore and effectively utilize personal strengths that will ultimately provide the most powerful coping strategies for labor. We also highlight consumer rights, birth options and informed decision-making in collaboration with medical providers.
2. Independent Perspective
We are not affiliated with any particular hospital, though we have provided hands-on labor support in numerous hospitals, birth centers and homes throughout the tri-state area and beyond. Because of this, we bring a wider perspective on the range of practice and are not restricted by a prescribed institutional, hospital or method-based curriculum. As such, we have latitude to cover additional topics, and to adjust as needed to address specific concerns and options for expecting couples regardless of where they will deliver.
3. A Yogic Approach
We are certified, registered prenatal yoga teachers (RPYTs), certified childbirth educators and trained birth and postpartum doulas. Our hands-on experience with labor and lactation support, as well as our expertise in prenatal yoga informs our perspective on mechanics of movement, positioning, alignment and propping that best facilitates birth. We provide guidance in effective movements, yogic breath, relaxation techniques and meditation to provide a practical and powerful context for birth. We have taught, trained and expanded Yoga for Labor & Delivery approach based on 14 years of participant feedback in this class, and include the techniques we have seen to consistently work the best in the labor room and beyond.
Your life and to-do list during pregnancy is complicated enough, so our classes can be arranged around your schedule. You choose when you want to take the classes AND the order that you attend. If you only wish to take one class, or would like to mix/match according to your interests and needs… let us know! We also provide privates as availability allows.