• How is Mindful Birthing different than other childbirth education courses?

There are many childbirth education frameworks and each one has its unique approach. Generally, they cover information about pregnancy and birth, breastfeeding and newborn care. While this is important, the main emphasis is on the information being disseminated, or there is a “method” that is believed to help you achieve a particular outcome. But information is only one aspect of knowing. We value information and evidenced-based care, but we feel that no amount of information “prepares” you for birth. What helps you navigate the labyrinth of birth is inner resources, being with sensation, and learning embodiment tools. We birth with our bodies, not our intellectual minds, and learning to work with the mind to support the body is what sets Mindful Birthing apart. Mindful Birthing is a childbirth education course and mindfulness training in one.  The time and financial commitment reflect this more extensive training. Students gain skills in class that support them beyond birth and parenting, for the highs, the lows, and everything in between that is a part of human life.

  • Will you go over the information I need for childbirth or is this only a meditation class?

Mindful Birthing covers the fundamentals of labor and delivery that will give you an understanding of physiological birth, but we do not spend in-depth time on interventions or going through every possible scenario that could arise (that would be impossible!). Instead, we focus on using mindfulness as a tool to become more comfortable with the uncertainty that surrounds your birth (and every birth!).  Every class includes labor and birth content, and every class includes mindfulness practice to cultivate presence and moment-by-moment awareness to help you deal with what may arise in your actual birth.  

  • What is covered in the curriculum?

The class includes the physiology of childbirth from a mind/body perspective, practices for working with pain, positions for labor and birth, partner support skills, the social and emotional needs of a newborn, and breastfeeding, all within the context of mindfulness practice. 

  • Is this class only for people who want an unmedicated birth?

Since 85% to 90% of births are normal, the focus of the MBCP program is on normal, physiologic childbirth rather than all the possible difficulties or problems that could arise.  The emphasis is on teaching and learning mindfulness skills for managing the experiences of pregnancy, childbirth, and early parenting, whatever they might be. That being said, mindfulness is big enough to hold anything and everything, such as a high-risk pregnancy or a possible scheduled Cesarean birth.

  • When is the best time for me to take this class?

Many expectant parents begin this class in the third trimester, as they begin to focus on birth.  However, you are more than welcome to take the class at any time during your pregnancy, as mindfulness practice is valuable throughout and you can never start too soon! 

  • Do I need to have experience with meditation in order to take this class?

No formal or informal experience with meditation is needed to take the class.  

  • Can I take Mindful Birthing AND a traditional childbirth education course? 

Of course! Expectant parents may choose to take an additional labor support class or a class offered at their intended birth location to become more aware of policies and procedures that are commonly used.  

  • Does this class require a time commitment outside of class?

Yes! Mindfulness practice is experiential education. It requires participation. To help you see how mindfulness practice works and benefits your own life we ask that everyone taking the class commit to a formal mindfulness practice (with weekly guided meditations) for (roughly) 30 minutes / day, 6 days / week, while in the class. It is hard to see the benefits of mindfulness practice without regular practice, so the commitment supports all of us. Also, we recognize that everyone taking the class is human, so therefore, practice will not always happen exactly as planned. Dealing with things not going according to plan is a practice in itself!

  • Do I have to be a first time parent to take this class?

Not at all. This class is great for both beginning and experienced parents. The majority of people taking any childbirth education class are first time parents, but this is a class that is particularly useful for experienced parents as well.  Mindful Birthing can be a wonderful class to take with your partner once you already have a child / children, because it gives you a shared language that you can integrate into your experience of parenting. It’s also wonderful for people who may be looking to have a different experience this time than the last time they gave birth. 

  • What do I do if I have to miss class?

This class is a commitment (not unlike parenting!), and although we ask that everyone plans to be there for all classes, we understand that things happen and sometimes people have to miss class.  If it’s a class or two you’ll need to miss, just let us know and you will have access to missed material.