Childbirth Class FAQ - Kristina Duncan

Childbirth Class FAQ.

Why do I need a natural childbirth class?

I really do believe that in the case of childbirth, “nature knows best”. Childbirth is a natural process that women have been going through for generations, since the beginning of our species. If women were incapable of giving birth on their own, without intervention, our species would have gone extinct long ago. With the medicalization of birth have come many life saving medical techniques, technologies, and medications that have helped save the lives of many mothers and their babies, but also skyrocketing rates epidural use and cesarean surgeries. While I am definitely grateful for the medical establishment, it is obvious that most of these medical interventions are being used inappropriately and far too often. I feel it is important to realize that MOST births are not complicated, not emergencies. Women should be left alone to labor in the way that works best for their bodies and their babies. Natural birth is best for moms and for babies, as all medications and techniques carry side effects or risks for mom and baby, no matter how “safe” they tell you it is. Because our society has moved away from women supporting other women through their labors (as it was back in the old days), taking a quality childbirth preparation class is very important to learning how to manage pain during labor, and achieving the birth experience that you desire.


What topics do you cover in your classes?

Topics will include: optimal nutrition for pregnancy, strengthening exercises to prep for labor, pregnancy physiology, birth preferences, labor partner's role, labor stages, labor techniques and rehearsal, relaxation techniques, labor complications and variations, newborn care, breastfeeding, postpartum issues. Each class will also have time built in for communication, exercises, relaxation practice, Q&A, and birth videos.


I plan on having pain medication for my labor and birth. Can I still take your classes?

Absolutely! Even if you are planning on getting pain meds, you will still benefit from knowing what to expect during labor, all of your labor options, laboring techniques, and possible complications and interventions that are common so that you can labor for as long as possible without getting the meds -- this is best for mom and best for baby. I believe that having the birth experience that you desire  is the right of every birthing mom and her family.


When should I start the class?

Best time to start the full series is when you are between 5-6 months pregnant. Ideally, you’d want to finish the class with at least 2-4 weeks to go before your due date.


How long are classes?

Classes are held once a week for 2 hrs 15 min. The full series is 11 weeks with a follow up class meeting after the babies are born.


What should I bring to class?

You should bring 2 pillows and a yoga mat or blanket to sit on for relaxation practice. You should wear comfortable clothes. Feel free to bring water, snacks, or your dinner if needed!


Can my spouse/partner come?

I definitely encourage your spouse/partner to come to the classes. Your partner will play a very important role in supporting you throughout the labor and birth. There is specific time throughout the course devoted to developing coaching skills for your partner. We’ll work on communication with your partner, and partners also benefit from learning all of the information about what to expect in labor and labor complications. If your spouse/partner can't or doesn't wish to attend, please consider bringing someone else that you would like to support your during your labor, like a friend or family member.


Can my doula/other member of my birth team come?

If you would like your doula or other member of your birth team to attend the series, the cost is $75 per additional person for the series.


What happens if I need to miss a class?

If you miss a class, I will send you the class presentation and any videos, resources, or handouts that were used during the class so that you can stay caught up with the info. No refunds are given for any missed classes because I am unable to fill your spot when you miss a class.


If I start the series and then drop out, can I get a refund?

If you drop by the completion of the second class meeting, you can receive a partial refund (minus deposit and prorated fee for first 2 classes). No refunds will be given after the second class meeting, because I can no longer fill your spot in the series.


Why do your natural birth classes cost so much?

The course fee for the full series covers ~24hrs of course instructional time, time that I spend researching additional resources for any questions that come up in class, 24/7 access to ask me for questions via email, the Bradley Method® official workbook, additional handouts and web resources, and birth plan consulting. Think of this as an investment in your baby’s future! A natural birth gives your baby the best possible start to life. Learning the information you need to make informed choices about your labor, as well as relaxation and labor techniques to help manage pain and help labor progress are an integral part of your preparation for labor.


I want to prepare for a natural birth, but I didn’t find out in time to take the full series / my schedule is crazy and I can’t commit to the full 12 week series. Do you offer shorter courses?

I offer condensed 6 week courses as well as private courses (meaning, I come to your house) that cover the same basic content as the full series, with ~13 hours of instruction. The main difference is the amount of time available for practicing communication, exercises, relaxation techniques.

Condensed course offerings include:

-6 week condensed course: 2hr 15min class once a week for 6 weeks

-weekend intensive : 6.5 hrs per day for 2 days (can be in the same weekend or spread out)


What forms of payment do you accept?

I currently accept cash, check, or credit card. I offer interest free payment plans and sliding scale for couples in need. Please ask when you reserve your spot in the class.

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