MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information
CHILDBIRTH CLASSES: ARE THEY NECESSARY?
WHAT ARE CHILDBIRTH CLASSES?
Pregnancy is such an exciting time and with the changes that accompany pregnancy also come a lot of questions. We often rely on family and friends for answers to our questions, but are they always accurate? Since each pregnancy and birth are once in a lifetime events, it is so important that your information be factual and based on research rather than personal accounts. Unless you are fortunate to have a midwife that will be open, available, and able to answer any and all of your questions any time you may have them and prepare you for your birthing experience with books, videos, and other educational materials, then you should consider taking a childbirth preparation class. (Some homebirth midwives do include informal childbirth preparation in with their prenatal visits. This is one of the reasons your prenatal visit may take an hour or more each time she comes to see you in your home.)
Childbirth classes (whether formal or informal) are designed to provide factual answers to your questions. The classes should give you a complete understanding of the process of birth and techniques that will help you through that process. Childbirth education is far more than learning to relax and breathe through contractions. When you understand the birthing process then you are better able to work with your body and not against it.
IS A CHILDBIRTH EDUCATION COURSE REALLY NECESSARY?
Some people wonder whether taking a formal childbirth education course is really necessary. And of course, obviously it is not. Women have been giving birth for thousands of years without childbirth preparation courses. After all, if they can do it so can you! You do not HAVE to take a childbirth preparation course in order to have a baby. Your body already knows what to do. All you have to do is listen to it and allow it to do it's job.
However, childbirth courses became popular because they filled a real need for most expectant mothers and their support people as they began to reclaim their right to take an active part in their birth experiences and demanded a change in their care from their health care providers. It used to be that birth was much more a part of the community and a generational family event than it is in most places today. Babies were born at home in most cases with help from a local midwives and occasionally a physician or other health care provider, doing home visits and entire family care from birth, throughout life, until death. Unfortunately for women, physicians found that they do more births, save more time if they did not have to do home visits by moving the birthing mothers into a clinic or hospital setting, and thus make more money in the process.
Starting in the early to mid-20th century, most women were taken to the hospital, whisked away from her husband, her family and support system, and gave birth knocked-out and strapped-down. After a few generations of this kind of birthing experience and the consistent medically promoted childbirth-fear-pain-danger hype that was used to keep bringing women into hospitals, even though hospitals were NOT the safest places to birth healthy babies, women lost faith in their bodies and their ability to birth without drugs or medical intervention.
Most people today have never seen a baby born, or even a woman in strong labor. Most people today have little or no idea how labor and birth really happens. And the vastly distorted "labor" and "birth" that is shown on television and in movies (most of which is high-risk or has some tragic twist in order to make it dramatic) is not the kind of positive and ordinary birth scene that should happen 95 percent of the time to most women. Yet this tends to be what many people expect and visualize in their minds, if they even dare to visualize it at all.
The modern-day medically managed obstetric care promoted by our fear-based medical community only help to feed the already present society's fear of the "birth experience unknowns." Because the fear is emphasized, this helps to keep the medical community employed and making money off of the community in which it is supposed to serve while the pharmaceutical companies rake in millions to billions of dollars every year off of the drugs used during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. It also promotes the gross overuse and abuse of technology, medications, and the use certain medical procedures that were only designed to help a small select portion of the pregnant and birthing population. Most people forget that, like any other business, the medical community must show a profit. Expensive equipment must be paid for, so overuse, even when it is not needed, is justified by the accounting department. And, for the medical practitioners doing 25 percent or higher cesareans in their practices, they need to pay for that summer house in the Hamptons or that new Jaguar sitting in the hospital garage.
A good childbirth education course can help normalize our visions and expectations of birth, reducing the unknown fears to something much more manageable in our minds. It also allows us to become well-informed consumers of health care services by giving us information about our options and skills for making decisions. It can help women re-establish connection with their bodies and help them to trust in their ability to birth their babies. This is VERY important!
In today's medical care field, there are so many choices about tests, procedures, medications, etc. The medicalization of birth has made the process a maze of decision-making that is intimidating and often frightening to the average person. Good consumer health information is important in helping us make those choices. It is hard enough to make these choices during the 9 months of pregnancy, but it is MUCH harder to make them while under pressure during labor, while dealing with birthing fears, and while dealing with pain. A good childbirth education course helps couples develop stress management techniques to deal with fears and pain and decision pressures, as well as a good grounding in the risks and benefits of various obstetric choices. A good course will help to empower women and their partners so they may be able to stand up for the choices they want and be able to decline the choices they do not want from the medical community. This is how change happens in medical care. As the consumer, you hold the key to change. As a business, the medical community must change to sell their "goods" to the consumer.
Some moms ask whether they can just read about it in books and practice on their own. And the answer is that of course you can do that, and that works perfectly well for some women, especially those who have straight-forward uncomplicated births, with no overshadowing birthing fears or issues. But other women may find that "book learning" deserts them during the stress of labor, and that reading about managing labor pain does not adequately prepare them for actually doing it! And if any kind of complication arises during their labor, these women are usually ill-prepared intellectually or emotionally for the kinds of decisions they will need to make. It is these women that should seek out a good childbirth educational program to help them prepare for the birth.
Childbirth education is not strictly necessary since the knowledge of how to give birth already exists inside your body. As women become more attuned, once again, to their bodies they will be able to become aware of this inner knowledge for their births and then be able to offer wisdom, support, and knowledge to their sisters and daughters. However, because:
- Most people still have little personal knowledge or positive experience with birth...
- People's internal "vision" of birth has been so distorted by the media...
- Birth has become so medicalized and there are so many tricky decisions to be made...
- People's own emotional issues can interfere with their ability to birth freely, and...
- Intellectual "book learning" tends to desert some women in the middle of transitional intensities...
Most people will find childbirth preparation classes useful and helpful!
CHOOSING A CHILDBIRTH PREPARATION CLASS
There are many different types of childbirth education classes that you can attend. Which one that may be best for you depends on your personal birth philosophy and desires. Each style of childbirth education has various pros and cons associated with it and the opinions of the instructor and the organization will greatly influence the amount and type of information you will receive. Not all childbirth classes are created equally and can vary greatly in information and approach to childbirth. Whichever method or style that you choose should cover these items:
- Prevention of problems in pregnancy, labor, and birth.
- Early attention to nutrition and exercise.
- Careful attention to the emotional aspects of pregnancy, birth, and parenthood.
- Respecting the natural process of birth as much as possible.
- Avoiding interventions whenever possible.
- Breastfeeding as the most optimal choice for the health of the baby and the mother.
As a homebirth midwife and a mother of five children, two of which were born at home, I strongly favor natural childbirth, if at all possible, for all birthing mothers. It is better for both the mother and her baby. But I also know there are those occasional times when certain interventions become necessary and are justified. I also firmly believe that parents must make true informed choices about these interventions and that a full-disclosure informed consent is not practiced by many health care providers in our medical system. Unfortunately, many of the established childbirth education programs do not prepare parents to become fully informed and assertive healthcare consumers. Many classes promote parents to comply with their health care provider's decisions without question. Many of the childbirth education programs also do not adequately prepare parents for some of the decisions, choices, and challenges they face. In particular, these childbirth classes do not adequately educate and prepare parents for coping with labor without medications, or the difficult decisions about medical interventions used during birth, or the right to refuse any medication, intervention, or procedure. Instead they seem to gloss over the hazards of labor medications and interventions and sometimes actually promote their use to the parents, even if they are not needed. This type of education results in the vast overuse, and possibly abuse, of medications and intervention procedures by both the parents and her health care provider. These type of childbirth programs need to change their approach from pain-fear-medication to one of pain-coping skills and non-medication, along with well-informed decision making skills for the parents to use if and when these issues arise thus emphasizing natural childbirth. The use of medication or other medical interventions can be helpful in certain situations as long as the parents are fully informed about their options, risks, and benefits.
Few childbirth programs adequately prepare parents emotionally for pregnancy or birth either. Most programs emphasize the technical aspects of birth only and do very little in exploring feelings, fears and concerns, or birthing desires of the individual birthing mother and her partner.
I also fully believe in the importance of breastfeeding for the health of the baby and the mother, yet not enough is done in most childbirth education classes to promote and adequately prepare the mother and her partner for breastfeeding. In some instances, they seem to do just the opposite by supplying information about formulas and bottle feeding.
Parents need much more information about being effective health care consumers, practice of relaxation and coping strategies for labor, exploration of priorities and feelings about birth, and information and support for breastfeeding than most childbirth education programs offer. The importance of individual choice should be emphasized since each person's situation and needs are different, and birthing choices must be individual, not "one size fits all", which we all know is not true. Parents should be encouraged to carefully research all options, to fully explore their own feelings about birth, and to become an informed consumer, and then choose the situation that is best for them. All of these factors will influence the type of class that will be most effective for you, the consumer.
Different women have different priorities and beliefs about birth. Some deeply want a natural birth, some strongly desire lots of labor drugs, and some really want or believe a natural birth is better but are not sure they can handle it. Important questions to consider when choosing childbirth education and healthcare include how much you want to be involved in your prenatal care, how many tests you want or do not want, how involved you want to be in decisions about the birth, how important it is to you to avoid an episiotomy or c-section (and why), how you feel about the use of pain medications, what kind of experience you hope birth will be, etc. Imagine yourself giving birth to your baby in the most ideal way possible...what do you see? The image you see in your mind will tell you a lot about what kind of birth you want (or what you must work on in order to get the kind of birth you want).
For example, some women strongly desire an epidural as soon as I get to the hospital parking lot. These women would be best served by an obstetrician and a traditional hospital childbirth education class. Some women do not want any intervention at all and feel very strongly that natural childbirth is the healthiest possible option. These women would probably best be served by a midwife and a Bradley, Birth Works, Hypnobirthing, or Informed Homebirth childbirth class. Some women have had difficult previous births (either vaginal or by cesarean) and want further information and help in preparing for a better birth. These women, especially those seeking a VBAC, would probably be best served by a Birth Works or other similar class. Some women have particular fears that they are having trouble working through; these women would probably be best served by a Birth Works, Birthing From Within, or HypnoBirthing class. Most women, of course, tend to fall somewhere in between these scenarios. The degree of their feelings about birth will dictate the best course for them.
Some excellent books for exploring your feelings about birth include:
- Creating a Joyful Birth Experience by Lucia Capacchione and Sandra Bardsley
- Birthing From Within by Pam England and Rob Horowitz
- Pregnant Feelings by Rahima Baldwin
- An Easier Childbirth by Gayle Peterson
- Transformation Through Birth by Claudia Panuthos
If you have had a previous birth (especially one that was difficult or less than you desired):
- Rebounding from Childbirth: Toward Emotional Recovery by Lynn Madsen - This is excellent for women grieving and healing past births.
- Ended Beginnings by Claudia Panuthos, Cathy Romeo - If you have a history of miscarriage, infertility or other loss, this book can be very healing, appropriate for resolving issues from previous childbirth experiences, and issues of pregnancy loss.
- Open Season: A Survival Guide For Natural Childbirth & VBAC in the 90s by Nancy Wainer Cohen - For women considering vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) or those trying to avoid a cesarean.
- Silent Knife: Cesarean Prevention & Vaginal Birth After Cesarean, VBAC by Nancy Wainer Cohen, Lois J. Estner - For women considering vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) or those trying to avoid a cesarean.
If you are interested in learning more about choices and "informed" decision making for your pregnancy and birthing care:
- The Thinking Woman's Guide To A Better Birth by Henci Goer, Rhonda Wheeler - Necessary reading to make informed choices.
- Heart & Hands: A Midwife's Guide To Pregnancy & Birth by Elizabeth Davis, Suzanne Arms, Linda Harrison - Subtitled A Midwife's Guide to Pregnancy and Birth, is not just for midwives. It is an excellent and thorough resource for parents-to-be who are thinking about delivering their child with a midwife, or who are concerned about the medical establishment's over-control of birth.
- Birth As An American Rite of Passage by Robbie E. Davis-Floyd - Why do so many American women allow themselves to become enmeshed in the standardized routines of technocratic childbirth routines that can be insensitive, unnecessary, and even unhealthy? And why, in spite of the natural childbirth movement, has hospital birth become even more intensely technologized? Robbie Davis-Floyd argues that these obstetrical procedures are rituals that reflect a cultural belief in the superiority of science over nature. Her interviews with 100 mothers and many health care professionals reveal in detail both the trauma and the satisfaction women derive from childbirth. She also calls for greater cultural and medical tolerance of the alternative beliefs of women who choose to birth at home.
- Immaculate Deception II: Myth, Magic & Birth by Suzanne Arms - Immaculate Deception (I and II) opens eyes to the realities of childbirth. It is not by nature a dangerous process - an illness that modern medicine has only recently learned to deal with adequately. It is, however, a physically and emotionally demanding process for which our culture does not adequately prepare women, much like menstruation, breastfeeding, and menopause. Hospitals are not "safe" places to give birth. Women who are uneducated about and unprepared for childbirth are placing their lives and their children's lives in the hands of chance, luck, and fallible professionals. No place is a "safe" place to give birth for these women.
- Obstetric Myths Versus Research Realities: A Guide to the Medical Literature by Henci Goer, Don Creevy - Anyone working to improve the childbearing experience and help women avoid unnecessary intervention has encountered numerous "obstetric myths" or "old doctors' tales." And while the evidence in the medical literature may be solidly, often unequivocally, against whatever "the doctor said," without access to that evidence, the pregnant woman is quite reasonably going to follow her doctor. This book is an attempt to make the medical literature on a variety of key obstetric issues accessible to people who lack the time, expertise, access, or proximity to a medical library to research concerns on their own. This compact, accurate, yet understandable reference is designed for people without medical training and organized for easy access.
- Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin - From the amazing birthing tales to care of the newborn, Spiritual Midwifery is still one of the best books an expectant mother could own. Includes resources for doulas, childbirth educators, birth centers, and other organizations and alliances dedicated to improving maternity care at home and in hospitals.
Taking time to explore your feelings about birth may seem difficult or time-consuming, but it really can make a difference in creating a more positive birth experience, and in finding the right provider and childbirth education program for YOU.
EMOTIONAL PREPARATION FOR BIRTH
Obtaining emotional preparation for childbirth is especially important. Women having intense body issues, such as larger women, women with eating disorders, and women with emotional scars from various life experiences will find that these issues can interfere with having a good birthing experience.
Large women, for instance, have an extremely high rate of c-sections, some of which is because of physician prejudice or overly-interventive treatment, some of which is due to their somewhat higher rate of pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes, and some of which is probably due to unresolved emotional baggage that some of women may have.
Women who are sexual and domestic abuse survivors have even greater amounts of emotional baggage. Many may have post traumatic issues that must be dealed with by their midwife or health care provider regarding their bodies, their sexuality, and their general outlook on the birthing experience.
Many women who found themselves with a negative birthing experience the first time around (either through an unexpected cesarean or other interventive and/or emotionally upsetting experience, such as having a baby with birth defects or injuries caused by inept caregiver, or a stillborn or neonatal death, or other traumatic experiences) may also carry serious scars from the experience. Serious self-esteem issues require a great deal of emotional preparation for birth.
However, our past and our "emotional risk factors" does NOT have to mean huge rates of intervention and childbirth problems. Proactively dealing with body trust issues, grieving past losses, and expressing and resolving pregnancy fears can be extremely helpful in helping us to have a more positive and empowering birth experience. But it is up to each woman to reach for the healing instead of just being passive observers of the process.
The transition into motherhood is one of life's great emotional passages. It is one of life's greatest opportunities for healing and transforming past emotional baggage into powerful life lessons that can be learned from. Do not let body issues and past emotional baggage derail your birthing experience; do your emotional homework and spiritual house-cleaning before birth and your child will thank you for it! Emotionally challenged women can and DO have beautiful birthing experiences, but some find their experiences less than gentle instead, often because they have not done enough emotional preparation or selected the wrong childbirth providers. Learn from the mistakes of others and take time to emotionally heal and prepare for birth as needed! Be sure to find a childbirth preparation course that can offer tools that can help you to work through the healing process.
Of course, most women do not enter pregnancy and birth knowing clearly what they want and need, and usually are not informed health consumers in the beginning. They often need to take time out to clarify their value systems so that they can choose care that is most appropriate for them.
The first step in this is reading up on childbirth issues and carefully discussing your thoughts and concerns with your partner. Taking an excellent childbirth education class is also a VERY important step in this direction. It can help you clarify your feelings and priorities about birth, help deal with your worries, help expand your technical knowledge of birth issues, and help develop important questions to ask about common interventions. A good childbirth preparation class can help you find the way YOU want to birth, and provide help and support for you as you work towards that goal.
Below are descriptions of a few of the many childbirth educations programs you can choose from, and the relative strengths and weaknesses of each, or you may find a childbirth instructor that has developed specialized courses for special circumstances (such as a VBAC Preparation Class for women planning on having a vaginal birth after a cesarean and need to specific information for her to work through her issues about the previous birth experience).
CHOOSING AN INSTRUCTOR
Choosing an Educator is important and you need to take the time to inquire about the qualifications and/or the scope of her class course. Although many childbirth educators go through an intensive training course and demonstrate competency in teaching and in childbirth in a certain method or approach to birth, not all are associated or affiliated with an established childbirth method. These are Independent Childbirth Instructors. Many of the Independent Instructors had started out being affiliated with a certain approach, but found that the method did not quite fit them and their birthing views as well as the type of students they were teaching. This does not make them any better or any worse than a certified childbirth educator. Just different. (Like choosing between a certified nurse midwife for hospital birth and a direct-entry midwife for a homebirth. Both are very good at what they do, but they approach birth and the way they do their jobs in different ways.) After all, someone had to originally branch away and create each of the various methods currently available at some point in time. New methods and approaches to childbirth education are being created every year allowing more choices for consumers. Being an eclectic childbirth educator can have it's advantages. Taking the best ideas from the various methods and combining them with their own creativity, experiences, and views about birth can make it more interesting and fulfilling for the students. However, if you feel it is necessary, do not be afraid to ask for references or to see past course evaluations. Many homebirth midwives offer informal childbirth education to their clients, usually included in with the prenatal visits and possibly in with her fees for your care.
When choosing a class, determine whether the class is consumer oriented or provider oriented. Consumer oriented classes tend to encourage you, the consumer, to take an active role in choosing the options you desire for your birth. These are preferred for homebirth or natural birthing choices. Provider oriented classes tend to inform you as to the care and procedures you can expect from the hospital and your doctor during childbirth, with little emphasis on alternatives. This is fine if you are looking for a technically managed birth experience with lots of interventions.
Private or Group Class choices may be available. Once you choose the childbirth educator, then you should determine whether to have private instruction or be part of a group class.
Private instruction allows for more flexibility and individualization. Classes are arranged around your schedule and greatly benefit those who are not able to attend the weekly group classes. Moreover, private classes can benefit those who may have apprehensions about being involved in group activities. Also, private classes allow you to ask personal questions that you otherwise may not ask in a group setting. Some private classes are taught in the comfort of your home. This especially benefits those women on bed rest. Private classes may or may not cost a little more, but if so, it may be worth the difference. This method is more common for homebirth and special circumstance clients.
Group classes greatly benefit those who prefer to meet other women or couples who are also pregnant. Group discussions on issues related to childbirth are common and often times invigorating. Many hospitals offer group classes so you can become familiar with the policies and procedures of the hospital in which you plan to deliver. This affords you the opportunity to know what options you have and what you can expect during your stay. Since the class members have similar due dates, you may even see them in the hospital after you deliver. These friendships can last long after the birth of your baby. This method is most often used for hospital or birthing center clients.
There are a variety of childbirth classes available to you. The most common is the basic childbirth preparation course consisting of at least 12 hours of instruction. There may also weekend courses that can help those on a busy schedule. The refresher course benefits those who have previously given birth and the teen course is especially designed to address the needs of pregnant teenagers. Some childbirth educators also offer hourly consultation for those who have questions to ask but do not necessarily want a structured course. This, however, is not usually advised for first-time moms or teenagers. Take the time to review the contents of each course to determine which course is best suited for you. Take time to talk to the instructor before taking the class to see if her personal views and approaches to childbirth will mesh with your own.
Childbirth classes should be designed to give you information about all aspects of pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum. The topics should include: nutrition, anatomy, exercise, emotional and physical aspects of pregnancy, breathing, relaxation, comfort measures, pain management during labor and birth, the stages and phases of birth, medications and interventions, cesarean birth, postpartum adjustment, breastfeeding, and newborn care. Upon completion of the course, you should have a complete understanding of the process of birth and how the options you choose in labor can effect the outcome of your birth experience.
Childbirth classes are usually taken in your last trimester. Ideally they should be completed about three weeks prior to your expected due date. If classes are taken too early, you may find that you forget some of the information given in class. You must be the judge as to when you feel comfortable taking the classes.
Childbirth educators who are trained and certified by an accredited organization have demonstrated teaching competency in teaching that method of childbirth education. Whether your instructor is certified or not by an organization, you should find out her personal approach to childbirth, her background in the birthing field and what her passions and weaknesses may be, and what kind of experiences she has had involving childbirth. Above all, the childbirth educator should have a passion for teaching about birth. I found when I was teaching homebirth/natural childbirth classes that I learned a great deal from my students and that this helped me to constantly redesign and expand my lesson plans to include issues that they had concerns about. It was a learning experience for me as well as the students.
Remember that birth is a life-altering experience. You will carry memories of your children's births with you for the rest of your life. One step in the journey toward a joyous and rewarding birth is being prepared. Childbirth education may be one of those steps.
SOME ASSORTED CHILDBIRTH EDUCATION ORGANIZATIONS
Academy of Certified Birth Educators (ACBE):
ACBE provides both childbirth education certification and DONA approved doula training workshops.
2001 E. Prairie Circle, Suite I
Olathe, KS 66061
American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth:
The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth, 12 week classes (usually).
Click Here for info about class content. The American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth offers certification for childbirth educators. Dr. Robert A. Bradley, founder, was instrumental in bringing the husband into the labor and delivery room for birth. He developed a method (named after him) which emphasized natural childbirth through education, proper nutrition, and active participation from the husband. The Bradley Method encourages relaxation and natural breathing and the inward focus of the laboring woman. In Dr. Bradley's experience, by using his method, medications can be avoided 95 percent of the time.
American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth
Sherman Oaks, CA 91413-5224
ALACE - Association of Labor Assistants & Childbirth Educators:
Non-profit, educational organization formed in 1995 by Rahima Baldwin and combine aspects of Informed Homebirth and Informed Birth and Parenting. As the name indicates, ALACE offers certifications for childbirth educators and labor assistants (doulas). With a goal to empower women to make the best choices in order to have a wonderful birth experience. ALACE emphasizes the psychological perspectives and mind-body influences on birth. Furthermore, ALACE examines the sociological and anthropological influences our culture has on birthing women today.
Cambridge, MA 02139
ASPO / Lamaze International (Non-Profit):
American Society of Psychoprophylaxis in Obstetrics by Marjorie Karmel and Elizabeth Bing after Ms.Karmel had Dr. Lamaze for an obstetrician. The mission of Lamaze International is to promote, support, and protect normal birth through education and advocacy. Lamaze International believes that women who are fully informed, confident, and supported will want normal birth. It believes that caregivers should respect the birth process and not intervene without compelling medical indication. Lamaze offers childbirth education and advanced skills workshops for Labor Support Specialist. Teen Support Specialist and Breastfeeding Support Specialist. Lamaze has two publications available.
2025 M Street, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20036-3309
Birthing From Within:
Begun by Pam England and based on the book, Birthing From Within. Birthing From Within mentors (teachers) believe that childbirth is a profound rite of passage, not a medical event (even when medical care is part of the birth). Birthing from Within has mentors or teachers to teach their method.
Albuquerque, NM 87106
Birth Works (Non-Profit):
Childbirth Education and teacher certification program based on the belief that the knowledge to give birth already exists within every woman. Classes are designed to help women gain confidence, trust and faith in their bodies, and to help birth companions become aware of the ways they can make labor safer and more comfortable. Cathy Daub, RPT and president of Birth Works, designed and taught childbirth classes in 1981 and developed these into a teacher training program by 1988.
Birth Works Inc.
P.O. Box 2045
Medford, NJ 08055
For New England Area:
New England Area Instructors
CAPPA- Childbirth And Postpartum Professionals Association:
Providing information to new and expectant parents on childbirth classes, labor doulas and postpartum doulas. Cappa was founded in 1998 by Donna Johnson and Tracy Peters, to offer a myriad of certification options for perinatal professionals. CAPPA is the only organization with a 5 tier certification - childbirth educators, antepartum doulas, labor doulas, postpartum doulas and lactation educators. CAPPA also provides a free conference to members each year. They introduced and advanced training in 2002 - the Teen Educator Advanced Certification Program. CAPPA believes that women should be encouraged to trust their bodies in birth and be given the tools to achieve a natural birth, if that is what they desire. CAPPA emphasizes the importance of informed choices for birth.
Lawrenceville, GA 30049
Childbirth Education Association (CEA):
Lamaze-based classes, also cesarean workshops, VBAC.
P.O. Box 1609
Springfield, VA 22003
Childbirth Without Pain Education Association:
20134 Snowden Street
Detroit, MI 48235
Council of Childbirth Education Specialists, Inc.:
The CCES Certification is designed for nurses and other licensed professional health care providers, and focuses on the psycho-biology of birth to improve the state of health and promote wellness in body, mind, and spirit.
Contact: email: unknown
Williamsburg, VA 23187-2000
Council of Childbirth Educators:
Birth Educators Special Training (B*E*S*T*)
The Birth Educators Special Training (B.E.S.T.) Course is designed for health care providers and educators who want childbirth education certification through that builds on existing knowledge and provides an opportunity to establish a program based on principles of adult education.
8910 West 62nd Terrace
Shawnee Mission, Kansas 66201
DONA - Doulas of North America:
Begun in 1992 by Marshall Klaus MD, Phyllis Klaus, John Kennell MD, Penny Simkin and Annie Kennedy, DONA provides birth and postpartum doula training. DONA is an international association of doulas who are trained to provide the highest quality emotional, physical, and educational supports to women and their families during childbirth and postpartum.
Jasper, Indiana 47547
Family Life and Maternity Education (FLPME):
A unique method of relaxed, natural childbirth, enhanced by hypnosis techniques, providing the missing link, that allows women to call upon their natural instincts to bring about a safer, easier, more comfortable birthing in the way that most mirrors nature. Begun by Marie Mongan, M.Ed, M.Hy, of Concord N.H. and based on the book Hypnobirthing - A Celebration of Life. Emphasis is placed on both pregnancy and childbirth as well as on Hypnobirthing.
Marie F. Mongan, Director
146 Sheep Davis Road
Pembroke, New Hampshire 03275
June 1-September 15
Epsom, NH 03234
September 15-June 1
10738 W. Citrus Grove
Avondale, AZ 85323
Informed Homebirth - Informed Birth & Parenting (IH/IBP):
Referrals to childbirth educators and labor assistants.
P.O. Box 3675
Ann Arbor, MI 48106
International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA) (Non-Profit):
ICEA is a professional organization that supports educators, parents and healthcare providers who believe in knowledge and freedom of choice in family-centered maternity and newborn care. Quality resources, certification, continuing education. Also has great catalog of pregnancy, birth and lactation books. ICEA has been active since the early 1970s and adopted the motto "Freedom of Choice Based on Knowledge of Alternatives." ICEA offers certifications in childbirth education and postnatal education as well as doula certification and perinatal fitness certification. ICEA offers a comprehensive bookstore and publication.
Minneapolis, MN 55420
Prenatal Parenting is based on Dr. Fred Wirth's book, Prenatal Parenting and is dedicated to helping pregnant families be healthy during their pregnancy. Whether you are a parent-to-be, grandparent-to-be or waiting to adopt a child, the advice aids in preparing you to become an educated parent before the baby arrives.
1055 Westlake Drive, 3rd Floor
Berwyn, PA 19312
Prepared Childbirth Educators, Inc.:
This program builds upon an existing knowledge base and provides nursing professionals with continuing education by offering certification courses in childbirth education, labor doula skills, and lactation education.
219 Central Avenue
Hatboro, PA 19040
Read Natural Childbirth Foundation:
Based on Grantly Dick-Read's book "Childbirth without Fear"
P.O. Box 150956
San Rafael, CA 94915
The Childbirth Institute:
"At Home" Childbirth Education Video Series.
Video series for couples who are unable to attend traditional childbirth classes. Includes two video tapes, each containing three half hour childbirth education classes, a 70 page student manual, a set of coaches cards, relaxation / visualization cassette or CD, and email with our certified childbirth educators.
Contact: Paula C.Doughman
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: Types of Childbirth Classes
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: The Instinct of Birth
Childbirth Graphics: Childbirth Education Supplies
Cascade Childbirth Education & Midwifery Supplies
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information Index
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information & Survival Tips
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PRENATAL VITAMIN & MINERAL SUPPLEMENT PRODUCTS
HerbsPro: Prenatal One Multivitamin, Rainbow Light, 30 Tabs (35472)
HerbsPro: RAW Prenatal, Garden of Life Vitamin Code, 30 Caps (94343)
HerbsPro: Brainstrong Prenatal Multivitamin Plus DHA, I-Health Inc, 30 Tabs & 30 Liquid Gels (98775)
HerbsPro: DHA Smart Essential & Prenatal One Combo Pack, Rainbow Light, 30 / 30 Softgels, (70166)
HerbsPro: Perfect Prenatal, New Chapter, 48 Tabs (91394)
HerbsPro: Early Promise Prenatal Gentle Multiple With Iron, Bluebonnet Nutrition, 60 Caplets (100474)
HerbsPro: Prenatal Nutrients, Solgar, 60 Tabs (36705)
HerbsPro: Prenatal DHA, Spectrum Essentials, 60 Softgels (74684)
HerbsPro: Complete Prenatal System, Rainbow Light, 60 Tabs (18700)
HerbsPro: Prenatal Formula, Thompson Nutritional Products, 60 Tabs (35684)
HerbsPro: Prenatal Vitamin, Bellybar, 60 Chewables (82459)
HerbsPro: Prenatal Gummies, Nutrition Now, 75 Chews (93666)
HerbsPro: Prenatal One Multivitamin, Rainbow Light, 90 Tabs (35473)
HerbsPro: Prenatal Petite Multivitamin/Multimineral, Rainbow Light, 90 Mini Tabs (81432)
HerbsPro: Prenatal Multiple, Natures Life, 90 Caps (90424)
HerbsPro: Prental Omega Mom, Country Life, 90 Softgels (79103)
HerbsPro: Prenatal Multiple, Natures Life, 90 Caps (90424)
HerbsPro: Prenatal Gels Plus DHA, Now Foods, 90 Softgels (109010)
HerbsPro: Prenatal Multivitamin, Deva Vegan Vitamins, 90 Tabs (73134)
HerbsPro: Perfect Prenatal, New Chapter, 96 Tabs (91395)
HerbsPro: Raw Prenatal, Garden of Life Vitamin Cod, 90 Caps (82120)
HerbsPro: Prenatal Vitamin & Mineral, Sundown Naturals, 100 Tabs (102711)
HerbsPro: Prenatal Vitamin & Mineral, Sundown Naturals, 100 Tabs (102711)
HerbsPro: Prenatal Formula, Natures Bounty, 100 Tabs (100092)
HerbsPro: Early Promise Prenatal Gentle DHA, Bluebonnet Nutrition, 100 mg, 60 Softgels (100477)
HerbsPro: Completia Prenatal, Natures Way, 120 Tabs (34467)
HerbsPro: Prenatal Organic Multivitamin, Rainbow Light, 120 Caps (81685)
HerbsPro: Doctors Choice Prenatal Formula, Enzymatic Therapy, 120 Tabs (12788)
HerbsPro: Prenatal Nutrients, Solgar, 120 Tabs (36703)
HerbsPro: Early Promise Prenatal Gentle Multiple With Iron, Bluebonnet Nutrition, 120 Caplets (100475)
HerbsPro: Prenatal One Multivitamin, Rainbow Light, 150 Tabs (62769)
HerbsPro: Prenatal Petite Multivitamin, Rainbow Light, 180 Tabs (80563)
HerbsPro: Complete Prenatal System, Rainbow Light, 180 Tabs (18698)
HerbsPro: RAW Prenatal, Garden of Life Vitamin Code, 180 VCaps (94344)
HerbsPro: Prenatal Multiple, Natures Life, 180 Caps (90426)
HerbsPro: Completia Prenatal, Natures Way, 180 Tabs (34468)
HerbsPro: Prenatal Formula, Natures Way, 180 Caps (18047)
HerbsPro: Prenatal Multiple, Natures Life, 180 Caps (90426)
HerbsPro: Prenatal Gels Plus DHA, Now Foods, 180 Softgels (109011)
HerbsPro: Perfect Prenatal, New Chapter, 192 Tabs (91396)
HerbsPro: Completia Prenatal, Natures Way, 240 Tabs (34469)
HerbsPro: Prenatal Nutrients, Solgar, 240 Tabs (36704)
HerbsPro: Perfect Prenatal Trimester, New Chapter, 270 Tabs (91397)
HerbsPro: Complete Prenatal System, Rainbow Light, 360 Tabs (18699)
HerbsPro: Early Promise Prenatal Gentle DHA, Bluebonnet Nutrition, 200 mg, 30 Softgels (100474)
HerbsPro: Early Promise Prenatal Gentle DHA, Bluebonnet Nutrition, 200 mg, 60 Softgels (100479)
HerbsPro: Prenatal DHA, Child Life Essentials, 500 mg, 30 Softgels (92591)
HerbsPro: Wholemega Prenatal, New Chapter, 500 mg, 90 Softgels (82357)
HerbsPro: Prenatal DHA, Nordic Naturals, 500 mg, 90 Caps (92068)
HerbsPro: Prenatal DHA, Nordic Naturals, 500 mg, 180 Caps (92071)
HerbsPro: Prenatal DHA, Nordic Naturals, 1000 mg, 60 Caps (92087)
HerbsPro: Prenatal Plus DHA Complete, Buried Treasure Products, 16 fl. oz. (50992)
Kalyx: Prenatal Precious Gems Gummy Multivitamin, Rainbow Light, 30 (3 count) Packets: K
Kalyx: Prenatal Formula Multi, Thompson Nutritional, 60 Tabs: K
Kalyx: Prenatal Gummy Vitamins for Adults, Nutrition Now, 75 count: K
Kalyx: Prenatal One Multivitamin, Rainbow Light, 90 Tabs: K
Kalyx: Prenatal 35-Plus Multivitamin, Rainbow Light, 90 Caps: HF
Kalyx: Vegan Prenatal Multivitamin & Mineral, Deva Vegan Vitamins, 90 Tab: HF
Kalyx: Prenatal Superior Multivitamin, FoodScience Labs, 120 Tabs: K
Kalyx: Prenatal One Multivitamin, Rainbow Light, 150 Tab: HF
Kalyx: Prenatal Multi, Natures Way, 180 Caps: HF
Kalyx: Prenatal Petite Multivitamin & Mineral, Rainbow Light, Food Based, 180 Mini-Tabs: K
Kalyx: Complete Prenatal System, Rainbow Light, 360 Tabs: HF
Kalyx: Complete Prenatal System, Rainbow Light, 360 Tabs: K
Nutrition Basics: Multimineral Supplement Information Nutrition Basics: Multivitamin Supplement Information
AROMATHERAPY: ESSENTIAL OILS DESCRIPTIONS & USES
Allspice Leaf Oil Angelica Oil Anise Oil Baobab Oil Basil Oil Bay Laurel Oil Bay Oil Benzoin Oil Bergamot Oil Black Pepper Oil Chamomile (German) Oil Cajuput Oil Calamus Oil Camphor (White) Oil Caraway Oil Cardamom Oil Carrot Seed Oil Catnip Oil Cedarwood Oil Chamomile Oil Cinnamon Oil Citronella Oil Clary-Sage Oil Clove Oil Coriander Oil Cypress Oil Dill Oil Eucalyptus Oil Fennel Oil Fir Needle Oil Frankincense Oil Geranium Oil German Chamomile Oil Ginger Oil Grapefruit Oil Helichrysum Oil Hyssop Oil Iris-Root Oil Jasmine Oil Juniper Oil Labdanum Oil Lavender Oil Lemon-Balm Oil Lemongrass Oil Lemon Oil Lime Oil Longleaf-Pine Oil Mandarin Oil Marjoram Oil Mimosa Oil Myrrh Oil Myrtle Oil Neroli Oil Niaouli Oil Nutmeg Oil Orange Oil Oregano Oil Palmarosa Oil Patchouli Oil Peppermint Oil Peru-Balsam Oil Petitgrain Oil Pine-Long Leaf Oil Pine-Needle Oil Pine-Swiss Oil Rosemary Oil Rose Oil Rosewood Oil Sage Oil Sandalwood Oil Savory Oil Spearmint Oil Spikenard Oil Swiss-Pine Oil Tangerine Oil Tea-Tree Oil Thyme Oil Vanilla Oil Verbena Oil Vetiver Oil Violet Oil White-Camphor Oil Yarrow Oil Ylang-Ylang Oil Aromatherapy
Healing Baths For Colds
Using Essential Oils
AROMATHERAPY: HERBAL & CARRIER OILS DESCRIPTIONS & USES
Almond, Sweet Oil Apricot Kernel Oil Argan Oil Arnica Oil Avocado Oil Baobab Oil Black Cumin Oil Black Currant Oil Black Seed Oil Borage Seed Oil Calendula Oil Camelina Oil Castor Oil Coconut Oil Comfrey Oil Evening Primrose Oil Flaxseed Oil Grapeseed Oil Hazelnut Oil Hemp Seed Oil Jojoba Oil Kukui Nut Oil Macadamia Nut Oil Meadowfoam Seed Oil Mullein Oil Neem Oil Olive Oil Palm Oil Plantain Oil Plum Kernel Oil Poke Root Oil Pomegranate Seed Oil Pumpkin Seed Oil Rosehip Seed Oil Safflower Oil Sea Buckthorn Oil Sesame Seed Oil Shea Nut Oil Soybean Oil St. Johns Wort Oil Sunflower Oil Tamanu Oil Vitamin E Oil Wheat Germ Oil
HELPFUL RELATED MOONDRAGON NUTRITION BASICS LINKS
MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Amino Acids Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Enzymes Information MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Herbs Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Homeopathics Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Hydrosols Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Minerals Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Mineral Introduction MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary & Cosmetic Supplements Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary Supplements Introduction MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Specialty Supplements MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Introduction
NUTRITION BASICS ARTICLES
MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: 4 Basic Nutrients MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Foods That Contain Additives & Artificial Ingredients MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Is Aspartame A Safe Sugar Substitute? MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Guidelines For Selecting & Preparing Foods MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Destroy MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Heal MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: The Micronutrients: Vitamins & Minerals MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Overcooking Your Foods MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Phytochemicals MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Increase Your Consumption of Raw Produce MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Limit Your Use of Salt MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Use Proper Cooking Utensils MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Choosing The Best Water & Types of Water
RELATED MOONDRAGON HEALTH LINKS & INFORMATION
MoonDragon's Nutrition Information Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Therapy Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Analysis Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Diet Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Recipe Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Therapy: Preparing Produce for Juicing MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Additives Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Safety Links MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Index MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Articles MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Back Pain MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Labor & Birth MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Blending Chart MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Essential Oil Details MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Links MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Miscarriage MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Post Partum MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Childbearing MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Problems in Pregnancy & Birthing MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #1 MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #2 MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Tips MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Uses MoonDragon's Alternative Health Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health Information Overview MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Touch & Movement Therapies Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy: Touch & Movement: Aromatherapy MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Touch & Movement - Massage Therapy MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Therapeutic Massage MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 1 MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 2 MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Nutrition Basics Index MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy Index MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Massage Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Hydrotherapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Pain Control Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Relaxation Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Steam Inhalation Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy - Herbal Oils Index
MOONDRAGON'S MERCHANT VENDORS & PRODUCTS
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MOONDRAGON'S REALM - WEBSITE DIRECTORY
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