Why should I take an independent childbirth class?
We've seen a lot of second- and third-time parents in our course. After a few classes they're usually pretty surprised, asking, "Why didn't they teach us this stuff before?" "The Best of Natural Birth" goes in-depth on natural childbirth techniques, with reinforcement and training on how to use them. Jessica works for you, so there are no restrictions on the information she can share. We focus on helping you know all of your options—and there are always options!
What's unique about 'The Best of Natural Birth'?
This course doesn't teach a 'method.' It teaches parents and support people a wide range of options and encourages them to do exactly what works for their labor. Jessica isn't bound by the curriculum of a particular brand, but instead incorporates the most useful tools from many knowledgeable sources. Her approach is compatible with techniques like hypnobirth, but you also have many other techniques and tools so you're not limited or stuck if one particular approach turns out to not work for your labor.
What on earth are we going to talk about for eight weeks? Is there really that much to learn about birth?
The short answer is yes! Over eight weeks you'll learn a wide range of techniques and philosophies, with input from new parents and a variety of other experts. It takes some time for most people to shift their cultural perceptions about birth, and deep understanding is built over time. Jessica is sometimes asked to teach a weekend crash course, but honestly, that approach just doesn't give most families enough time to process and absorb all that they need to know for a healthy, natural birth. Eight weeks gives new parents the time and space needed to learn the basics and come out feeling confident about the birth journey that lies ahead.
What happens outside of class?
You can take away as much from this course as you'd like to invest. Jessica is available for e-mail and phone consultations throughout the 8-week series, and afterward. Many of her students invite her or another Birth Kalamazoo doula to support them during their births. Your class will have a private Facebook group set up so that you can ask each other questions, share your birth story and post photos of your baby! Many classes continue their connection after the eight-week series ends, with reunions and playgroups.
When should I take the class?
It is usually best to take the class that ends closest to your due date, so the information will be fresh in your mind when you birth. There are exceptions, of course, so please ask if you're not sure! Occasionally, a student will have their baby before the series ends, in which case they often bring their baby in to the last class to share their birth story with their classmates. Keep in mind that most first-time moms birth around 41 weeks. If there's a big gap between when class ends and your due date, Jessica can suggest some extra reading to do after the course to keep the momentum and positive energy rolling. If you find our information late in your pregnancy, or if you are not available on the offered class nights, please ask about the possibility of a private class.
Is it worth the investment of time and money?
We get one chance to take our birth journeys. It's an experience that will stay with you for your entire life. If there's anything that's worth an investment of energy and finances, it's birth and our babies. If you are the kind of person who likes to go into a new experience feeling open but prepared, this course is probably a good match. Finances, however, should never keep someone from taking 'The Best of Natural Birth.' We offer gift certificates so that grandparents, aunts and uncles, or others who love you can help pay for part (or all) of the class. Through our Fund for All, we also offer scholarships for families who are WIC-eligible.
I have some questions, where do I learn more?
Jessica is pretty passionate about "talking birth," so feel free to contact her anytime. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at (269) 598-1488.
“My experience of natural childbirth was amazing—hard, but amazing! While I was pregnant my husband and I took Jessica’s class. It was so informative, we learned so much. I would recommend her class to anyone that is pregnant, even if they are not planning on a natural birth. All the valuable information about dealing with the pain helped so much. All I wanted was for Owen to be safe and unmedicated. To be able to feel all the things you are suppose to feel was very empowering. My body told me when to push and how hard. That adrenaline you get when your little one is brought into the world was the best part.” - Jennifer, mom to Owen, born at Bronson Hospital