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I strongly believe that every expectant family should educate themselves regarding the choices they have concerning pregnancy, labor, and birth. Therefore, my goals for childbirth preparation classes are to help you learn about the physical aspects of birth, learn pain management skills for labor, and become familiar with potential medical interventions and medical pain management so that you can make informed decisions for your birth.

Video of Shelley describing comfort measures for labor

 

I offer both private classes ($300 for three 2 hour sessions) and traditional group classes in either the hospital or community setting. Both formats offer a comprehensive course which will prepare you for the entire process of labor, delivery, recovery, postpartum, and newborn parenting:

“Our private lessons could not have come at a better time. We learned so much and feel so great about our upcoming birth. You are a wonderful teacher.”
— Roggie, mom to Laurel

Class Outline- Full Series $300

Overview of Normal Labor, including anatomy of birth, signs of labor, “true” vs “false” labor, normal stages of labor including physical and emotional signs and responses of the laboring woman.

Comfort Techniques/Natural Pain Management, including relaxation, breathwork, touch and massage, focal points, visualizations, and guided imagery, water therapy, positioning for comfort and progress, and the importance of creating a peaceful birth environment. Emphasis and practice focuses on the role of the support person, easing pain, and increasing confidence.

Medical Procedures and Interventions, including fetal monitoring, induction or augmentation of labor, pain medications, assisted delivery methods, and cesarean birth. Discussion emphasizes making choices for your own birth as a partnership with your medical provider.

Recovery and Postpartum, including the physical and emotional changes that occur in the 6 weeks that follow the birth of your baby. Discussion includes family and social adjustments during this transitional time, early parenting skills, basic breastfeeding and newborn information.

*Classes also include assistance in developing a birth plan, if desired, as well as a comprehensive “labor rehearsal.”

 

Specialty Classes:

Preparing to VBAC (available privately, at ObGyn North and St Davids Healthcare) 2.5 hour workshop to help couples prepare for Vaginal Birth After Cesarean. Ideal in the 2nd trimester, this class covers risks and benefits of both VBAC and Repeat Cesarean Birth. We review stages of labor, basic labor skills, and discuss physical ways to prepare for labor. Time is taken to process previous births, and to prepare emotionally for this upcoming birth. We discuss the “what if’s” if another cesarean becomes necessary, and how to make it a positive, family centered experience. We finish with “Best Odds for a Successful VBAC” reviewing all the things you can do to put yourself at best odds for a good birth experience. Suitable for those planning a hospital, birth center, or home birth. ($100 private/$50 Obgyn North/$50 St Davids)

Advanced Coping Skills/Labor Skills (available privately, at ObGyn North and St Davids Healthcare) 2.5 hour workshop which focuses exclusively on natural comfort measures to get through labor. In this hands on workshop, we’ll explore relaxation and breathwork for labor, creating an “oxytocin friendly” environment for your birth, using visualizations and focal points, hydrotherapy,  the role of the support person, positioning for progress and comfort, touch and massage, and common challenges in labor. This class is ideal for parents who have birthed before and just need a “review”, or for first time parents who want to give extra time and attention to natural coping skills. Suitable for those planning a hospital, birth center, or home birth. ($100 private/$50 ObGyn North/$60 St Davids)

Planned Cesarean Birth (available privately, or at St Davids Medical Center) 2 hour session designed to help parents who are planning a cesarean for medical reasons. This class covers what to expect from Pre-Op to the Operating Room,  to Recovery and Postpartum. We address what to expect from your hospital staff, as well as what a support person can do to make it a more family centered experience. We address common concerns such as type of anesthesia used, complications, breastfeeding, and recovery. Suitable for all couples, regardless if this is your first cesarean, or your 2nd or third, we can work towards a more joyful, peaceful birth experience. ($100 private/$40 St Davids)

Local Childbirth Classes are held at:

How does a doula really make a difference?
Results from different studies have all suggested that having a doula reduces the overall cesarean rate by 50%, Pitocin use by 40% and requests for epidurals by 60%. The use of a doula also showed a major reduction in the length of labor due to fewer stress hormones being produced in the laboring woman’s body.

The Doula Book © 2002; Klaus, Marshall, Klaus and Kennell.