Why should I take an independent childbirth education course?

I’ve heard expecting mothers and the people around them make a number of different statements about why they don’t think they need childbirth classes.  As a birth doula, childbirth educator, and mother of five, I’d like to address some of these statements.

Women have been doing this forever.  I’ll just know what to do. 

I have this image of a time long ago, when we all lived in villages and women had babies in their homes, without a lot of ceremony.  Maybe you have an image like this in your mind too.  In this view of the history of women, taking a childbirth class seems like a waste of time and money.  But women who lived in these times witnessed the realities of birth – not the dramatic recreations we see on tv, or even the sweet snippets of peaceful waterbirths we can find on youtube.  Young girls witnessed their mothers, aunts, neighbors, cousins, and sisters labor and give birth.  They may have seen mothers and infants die in the process.  They probably saw women who seemed to cope well with the challenges of labor, and women who struggled and suffered.  They may or may not have been able to identify what factors made the difference between coping and suffering.

Many women today have never witnessed a birth, except made-for-tv-dramatizations.  The stories we hear tend to revolve around doctors and hospital procedures and sometimes, horror stories.  The process of birth is the same for us today as it was for those village women who birthed in the distant past, but our view of birth is very different – mostly because we barely have a view of it at all! Childbirth education provides a clear framework for understanding what is happening in the mother’s body – the physiological, hormonal, and emotional changes that mark the progression from the first contractions to birth.  This understanding helps a mother and her partner translate the physical experience of labor into a journey with mile markers, provisions (tools and skills), and warning signs.  Everybody wants a map when they’re traveling a new road!

My hospital or doctor’s office provides a childbirth class for free (or at a very low cost).  Why would I pay to take an independent childbirth education course?

Childbirth classes offered by hospitals and doctor’s offices tend to be orientation sessions for what you should expect from your care provider and what they will expect from you.  But a good independent childbirth education course typically spans  8 to 16 hours of instruction, covers “normal” birth, variations on “normal”, the benefits, risks, and alternatives to common medical interventions, coping techniques, various positions for labor, laboring with an epidural, and what happens in the event of a c-section.  It will also help you prepare for breastfeeding, caring for a newborn, and transitioning to your new role as a parent.  A great independent childbirth education course is interactive, engaging, and approaches learning from a number of different angles in order to reach parents with the teaching style they are most responsive to.  Childbirth education empowers you to be an informed consumer of the care offered by your doctor or midwife, hospital or birth center.

My doctor or midwife (or doula) will be there to tell me what is happening and what I need to do.

Ina May Gaskin has said this, describing childbirth, “Don’t think of it as pain, think of it as an interesting sensation that requires all of your attention.”  Birth is an experience that calls upon every physical, emotional, and spiritual resource you possess.  Strength, endurance, patience, commitment, love, passion, and courage.  The last thing you’ll want to be doing during labor is getting a lesson on effacement, meconium, how long this will last, and why your legs are shaking.   Find a great independent childbirth education course in your community today!

What a Doula Does

Your doctor or midwife is primarily concerned with you and your baby’s physical well-being, just as they should be.  But birth is more than blood pressure checks and centimeters of dilation, more than contractions and monitors. Research shows that the continuous support of a trained birth doula significantly affects birth outcomes (see graphic above). 

Just how does a doula have such a profound impact?  What a doula does –

Birth is physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally consuming for you and your partner.  It is a whole-body, whole-person event, and there are more than physical needs to be addressed!  In fact, the mind-body connection is perhaps more present in birth than in any other time or event of life.  The more secure, respected, cared-for, and connected you feel, the more you are able to relax into allowing your body to birth as it is made to do.  It is my goal to ensure that you and your partner are well prepared, informed, and supported.  As your doula, I provide comfort measures, massage, encouragement, information, suggestions for position changes, and a continuous, calming, and reassuring presence throughout your labor.  

One of the challenges of labor and birth is navigating the unfamiliar and sometimes uncomfortable environment of the hospital or birth center. In the intensity of labor, you may find it difficult to know just how things are supposed to be, and what the right decisions are.  I will help you understand your options, and fully support the decisions you make.   While it is not my role to speak for you, I can help you clarify your needs and wishes so you can communicate them clearly.  Perhaps most comforting, I am the one member of the care team that doesn’t leave to check on another mama, or to come back when you’re closer to birthing your baby.  There are no shift changes for doulas.  See Packages for more information.

 

 

InsightDoula Home

Birth Doula, Eugene, Lane County
I was recently honored to be a Cover Mom for MOM Magazine!

Birth is a journey to the interior.  It is a place where you reach into your deepest well of strength and courage, faith, and hope. The story of your birth becomes the backdrop for a new understanding of yourself, and for your relationship with your baby.   Whether in a hospital, birth center, or at home, as your Birth Doula, I am here to help you make that journey from a foundation of support, trust, and connection

 

 

If a doula were a drugYour prenatal visits will explore your needs and wishes, and you and your partner will practice skills for coping with labor.   Over time, a rapport develops.  I become a trusted resource, a steadying hand. Then, throughout your labor, I provide information as well as continuous physical and emotional support for YOUR plans, and YOUR needs.

WHY IT MATTERS

Research shows that you will most likely remember your birth experiences even well after your children are grown.   The quality of care and support you receive will affect whether you remember those experiences in a positive or negative light.

But the quality of your memories is not the only reason having a doula makes a difference in your birth.  Check out the “What a Doula Does” page for statistics on how having a doula influences birth outcomes.

 

Hi, my name is Tiffany Grantom and I am InsightDoula!  I serve families in the Eugene, Springfield, Junction City, Harrisburg, Veneta, and Coburg areas of Lane County, Oregon.

Childbirth Classes

The six-week Birth Informed Childbirth Class is comprehensive, engaging, evidence-based preparation for labor, birth, and early parenting.  Using a wide variety of teaching methods and activities, the aim is to help you and your partner to identify your needs and desires, and empower you to make informed decisions.

Your childbirth classes will provide:

  • Knowledge about the physiological and hormonal dance of birth
  • Interactive exploration of coping skills, from breathing and visualizations, to labor positions, to massage and comfort measures
  • Evidence-based information about medical interventions, along with benefits, risks, and alternatives
  • Exploration of the connection you and your partner have with each other, and with your baby

This is a class that keeps you involved!  You will walk away with a solid understanding of the birth process, and the necessary tools and information to work through your birth, however it may unfold.

See the Packages page for options and pricing.  Childbirth class, Eugene location.  Registration Form:  Class Registration

2017 Classes:

Thursday evenings, 6:30-8:30pm.

February 2 – March 9

March 23 – April 27

May 18 – June 22

September 7 – October 19

November 2 – December 13 (no class Thanksgiving week)

New Location!  Thank you to Dr. Beth Washak at Eugene Family Chiropractic for hosting our class!