Occasionally I am asked why the series is 9 weeks. There are shorter series on the market for which you would pay the same or more. This series has everything you need, including breastfeeding, postpartum, and baby care, therefore you have continuity with the same class members, and frequent practice sessions throughout the series.

From the beginning, I realized that preparation for birth is like an athlete training for an event. Runners, for instance, know more than the physics of running. They also learn nutrition, muscle strengthening, relaxation, breathing, mental tools that help them finish the event, and banishing the 'what ifs' that can lead to anxiety. Couples need more than just a basic education, they need an in-depth series that will build their confidence in the birth process. I've asked my couples if they feel the series should be shortened and they quickly say, "No, don't leave anything out! It is such valuable information!"  Six of the classes cover everything you need to know about staying low risk, stages of labor, comfort measures, delivery and so much more. Three additional classes cover breastfeeding, postpartum, and baby care. 

Most women today don't give much thought to what type of birth they would like to have, nor do they know how to 'stack the deck' in their favor so their birth is more in line with what they desire. Education is key to learning all the possibilities.  Birth is not so much about method because each birth and every woman is unique. If women are truly educated about the process, they will know all their options and the risks/benefits. With this knowledge, women will make the best decisions for themselves in birth. Birth is unique and unpredictable, so flexibility is important as well. However, knowledge and choosing the right birth team will greatly increase the likelihood that your birth will be more in line with what you hope for.

Women will learn the importance of tapping into their instincts and to be free to experiment till they find what works. Once a woman selects the most fearless and empowering birth team, and learns the tools that will help her through labor, she will then labor her way. Couples will learn about the birth process, comfort measures, and creating the ambiance for birth that allows a woman to open up. Couples also learn the importance of the hormones in her internal medicine chest. 

The breastfeeding class is incredibly thorough, and the handouts for this class and the entire series will fill a binder that becomes a reference guide that you will refer to for many months to come. 

Though much is covered on normal birth, variations and complications that sometimes arise will also be discussed. The series encourages women to learn more about their chosen healthcare provider, and the procedures and protocols of their chosen birth place. Parents will learn how they can receive more individualized care. No matter where you deliver -- home, hospital, or birth center -- you WILL be prepared.

There can be so much fear surrounding birth, so expectant couples will greatly benefit from an up-to-date, well-rounded, and powerful education that teaches them to how make informed choices. Each birth is a mystery unfolding, and my goal is to show women how to surrender to this mystery using knowledge that many laboring parents are lacking today, and to see them tap into the strength that already lies within them. The end result is -- no matter what that journey ends up looking like, couples feel part of the decision-making process as they birth in their own unique way.

Kathy Killebrew CCCE, CAPPA
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