The purpose of childbirth preparation is to prepare the mother to give birth-in-awareness, not to achieve a specific birth outcome
– Pam England
Several fundamental differences make the BIRTHING FROM WITHIN ™ approach more than just another childbirth education method. This holistic approach to childbirth education was pioneered by Pam England who wrote the book by the same name. It is designed to be a complete childbirth mentoring class as well as a complementary class to any traditional childbirth education class.
All BIRTHING FROM WITHIN™ mentors believe in the philosophies and assumptions that are the cornerstones of this process. Some of the philosophies include the belief that childbirth is a profound rite of passage, not a medical event even when medical care is part of the birth.
The purpose of childbirth preparation is to prepare birthing people to give birth-in-awareness, not to achieve a specific birth outcome because pregnancy and birth outcome are influenced by a variety of factors, and cannot be controlled by planning. What can be done is to prepare beforehand how to be able to cope with the unwished for or the unforeseen and how to do the next best thing.
In order to help parents activate their coping resources, it is critical for childbirth classes to acknowledge that unexpected, unwelcome events may happen during labour. It is also fundamental that parents receive support for any birth option which might be right for them (whether it is drugs, technology, home birth, waterbirth or bottle- feeding).
Pain is an inevitable part of childbirth, yet much can be done to ease suffering. Many proven pain-coping techniques are taught in order for parents to develop a pain coping mindset before labour begins. Pain coping techniques work best when integrated into daily life, rather than “dusted off” for labour therefore parents practice and master the techniques so when the need arises in labour they are comfortable and confident in using them.
Partners help best as birth guardians or loving father or co-parents, not as coaches; they also need support and they have a class specially designed just for them so that they can get the information they need. This class is also important for life partners and other birth attendants or doulas.
For parents, pregnancy, birth, and postpartum is a time of continuous learning and adjustment; holistic support and education should be available throughout that period. Many topics aim at fleshing the pre-natal education so that childbirth preparation becomes also parent preparation.
You can read more about BFW on the website of the creator Pam England and her philosophy of Mindful Awareness during birth.
I have partnered up with [m]otherboard to bring new and exciting content to the already juicy information I share in my childbirth classes. All the information is evidence based, diverse and presented with trauma informed language. In addition to birth education, [m]otherboard also offers a fantastic app to help parents create their visual birth preference board as they learn about the topics covered. Together we can go through each topic and once the parents have decided what their choice is, it is added to their board and this can then be emailed or shown directly from the app to their care providers.
Content includes parent handouts, educational videos, vividly interesting and colourful slideshows. The images used are beautiful and artfully done by the creator Amy Haderer. Each image helps to teach parents about pregnancy, labour, birth and postpartum. They are accurate and really helpful in engaging parents to learn and acquire new information in a visually pleasing and factual manner.
I am truly excited to offer my usual in depth content with this new tool and the beauty is that I can use this on the go, when with clients in meetings, during labour to explain something better or virtually if we cannot get together in person.
Classes for parents
These are usually attended by couples and/or single parents to be, and this allows for some powerful issues to be dealt with in a nurturing and open environment. The group setting gives participants the option of sitting back a bit if it gets too intense and also listening to the similar and unexpected dreams and fears of others. The normal courses that I offer is either a weekday evening class or a Weekend morning class for 6 consecutive weeks. The course is a hands on class that works through the key points found in the BFW philosophy as well as many of the art and creative exercises that are used to draw out your own subconscious wisdom.
Role-playing and many other techniques are used to search hidden issues and prepare to handle the unexpected. There are some thought provoking videos with birth choices and labour drugs that are discussed.
There is also a session specifically designed for birth partners as they are intimately part of the birth and need to have their own individual fears and worries addressed. This fathers and birth partners group class is a wonderful opportunity for them to get practical information and support for the upcoming event.
Typical information that is covered includes topics such as:
How to Birth in Awareness
Basics of Pregnancy, Labour and Birth Physiology
Exploration through Birth Art
Coping and Accepting with Unwished for Surprises
Challenging Cultural Assumptions and Finding your own Way
Caesarean Awareness and Preparation
Information about Interventions and Medicated Pain Relief Options
How to Get Information from Professionals and Give Informed Consent
Father, Partner or Birth Companion Support Skills
Bonding, Feeding and Caring for Your New-born Baby
Postpartum Planning, Adapting and Healing
Nurturing Yourselves as a Family
Range of classes that are offered:
A typical BFW childbirth class is 6 sessions 2 hours long, and the sessions are divided into three parts: a multi-sensory activity, building a pain-coping mindset through BFW pain-coping practices and practical information. Classes do vary as content is mostly determined by parents’ individual needs and differences.
The cost of the weekly group classes is 500€ and includes:
– 6 week group classes – 2 hours a week for 6 weeks
The cost of the weekly private classes is 700€ and includes:
– 6 week private couple classes – 2 hours a week for 6 weeks
The cost of the weekend group intensive classes is 800€ and includes:
– Weekend group intensive – 6 hours a day for 2 days or 4 hours a day for 3 days
The cost of the weekend private couple intensive classes is 1000€ and includes:
– Private classes – one couple only with times by arrangement
Mentoring for new mothers and parents
One on one mentoring is available in any of the following:
-Birthing From Within workshop topics
-How to feed your baby
The cost of one on one mentoring is 100€ at your home or a location of your choice
Individual topic workshops
I do a number of topics from the BFW menu as short workshops. These are ideal for pregnant women as well as doulas, nurses and midwives who want to get up to speed with some of the new and powerful ways of assisting pregnant women.
-Birth art – a means of exploring fears and worries
-Birthing again – for the more experienced mothers that want a refresher or a taste of something different
-Birth tiger safari – confronting your fears and finding ways to cope
-Birth in our culture – where are you coming from
-Birth stories – healing your birth trauma
-Walking the sacred path – rich interactive process using a labyrinth to understand labour, birth and beyond
-Pain coping practices – Building a pain coping mindset for birth and life
-Sacred women circle – honouring what our bodies have done and are about to do.
The cost of single topic workshops is 100€ and includes:
– Single topic chosen from above – 2-3 hours for a group or individual