What is "natural childbirth"?

It means different things for different people, but for the sake of this class it means arming your brain with knowledge, so that the groundwork is laid for you to let go and have the most instinctual birth possible on your big day. Sometimes interventions to the natural process are necessary or helpful. It is "natural" to use those options when appropriate. However, most of the time birth can unfold on its own. Usually, birth is not a medical event; it is a physiological function for which our bodies have been beautifully designed. 

I think I may want an epidural. Should I take your class?

Well, I think you should! You will learn about how an epidural works and tips for progressing more effectively once it has been administered. You will learn about the benefits and unintended consequences so you can make this decision thoughtfully. You will learn tips for managing labor sensations before the epidural has been administered, if you can't get it in time or if it doesn't work. You will learn about skin to skin after your baby has been born, postpartum  and baby care. All of these things should help you have your optimum birth experience, with or without an epidural.

I've already had a baby. Should I take group or private classes?

I would love to have you in the series if that works for you. It's a great way to make sure you focus on this next birth in the midst of parenting and other life craziness! It's also a great way to spend time with your partner before the new addition arrives. Other considerations: How did your first birth go? Did you take an in depth birth class the first time? Was it helpful? If you feel you'd like to be more prepared this time so that you can have a better experience and you are able to arrange childcare for your older child or children, the 6 week series is your most comprehensive option. If you had a c-section the first time and are trying for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) this series will be extremely helpful. However, if you've had an in depth birth class you may only need or want a refresher class. For parents who are just too busy to take the series or find it difficult to arrange for childcare, I offer comprehensive private classes tailored to fit your needs and built around your schedule. Contact me for details.

I don't have a partner to attend class with me. Can I still benefit from this class?

Yes. The fact of the matter is, no one but you can birth your baby. You will be doing most of the work. It's great to have a birth partner for that extra support, but if you are doing this on your own I can help you find other means of support. If you have a partner, it's ideal for him or her to come to each class with you. But if the partner cannot attend due to scheduling conflicts we can work out a time for us to have a mini private class and get everyone up to speed. 

My hospital offers a birth class and it's really cheap. Should I just take that?

If you would like to take your hospital's birth class in order to orient yourself with the environment and learn more about hospital procedure and protocols, I think that's great. You will probably get some great tips. But if you want to really maximize the chances of having a great birth experience, a private birth class is highly recommended instead of or in addition to the hospital class. We can have frank discussions and examinations of research that often don't occur in the hospital. And we get more time together to delve into many topics since hospital classes tend to be shorter and built to accommodate a very broad audience of people that may or may not share your birth philosophies. This class will put you at the center of your own birth experience every step of the way. 

When should I take this class?

Plan to end the series by around 36 weeks of pregnancy.  That said, most first time birthers actually go over their 40 week due dates so you can always choose to gamble. In terms of when you should start the series, it's up to you and what works best for your schedule.  When you start earlier you have more time to incorporate the nutritional and fitness information, to read and study, and to get more clear about your birth priorities and examine whether you need to make any big changes in your plans. I will load you up on resources to help you "keep your head in the game" leading up to birth. When you start later, the advantage is having the information more fresh in your mind right before your birth and postpartum period. 

I notice you offer both group or private classes. Which is better?

If you can fit the 6 week class into your schedule, I highly recommend that option, especially if this is your first baby. Attending for 6 weeks means your learning and confidence continues to grow between classes, so that by the end you have a clear idea of how you'd like to approach your birth. Also, it's great to meet other expectant parents and learn from each other's questions. That said, private classes can be great too, and in most cases I come and teach in the comfort of your own home. Having me all to yourselves means the class can be tailored to fit your needs exactly. I ask you detailed questions before we meet and then create a class specifically for you. 

Does the series include breastfeeding and infant care?

Throughout the series I will sprinkle in breastfeeding and tips for baby care, and in the 6th class we will go  deeper into both of those topics along with preparing for your postpartum. However, a comprehensive breastfeeding class and possibly a baby care class/infant CPR are recommended in addition to what I will be covering. Contact me if you need suggestions for where to find this education. 

What is your method?

I am certified through CAPPA (The Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association). We have an "approach", not a method. I chose this because it allows me to take the best of all the information and methods out there and share it with you. I am constantly learning and looking at the latest research so I can create classes that are engaging and relevant. I have learned from the Bradley method, Hypnobirthing, Lamaze, Spinning Babies, Evidence-based Birth, certified doulas, nurses, midwives, doctors, and researchers. In class I share all of that with you.

Can I contact you outside of class?

Absolutely. In fact, I hope you do. Before, during, and after your classes. I've even had moms contact me during labor- I love that:) Also if you take my series you will receive weekly informative e-mails. Every time I answer a question for someone else, I get to delve further into topics that I am endlessly interested in. This is my passion. Helping parents with birth and the newborn/postpartum period brings me great joy.

Why did you name your business "Blue Heron Birth Education"?

When I was thirteen my mom was very pregnant with my youngest sister, Annie. I came home from school one day and saw a majestic stork perched atop our roof! I was old enough to know storks don't bring babies, but still: it felt like some sort of wonderful omen. As you may have guessed, my mother later told me the bird was actually a blue heron. I've never forgotten how magical it felt to see such a wild creature up there on the roof of my childhood home.

Since then, I've always loved blue herons. I see one and instantly feel alive, centered, and connected to nature. Very much the way I hope all mothers can feel as they birth their babies.