Childbirth Classes Referals

Any childbirth classes or childbirth preparation  that you guys recommend? Not the typical ones that afterwards you feel like you could have used your time better, lbut any resource that actually you were able to apply during your childbirth experience. Thank you!

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Hi! I offer bespoke one on one childbirth ed classes! Happy to chat about it more or answer any questions!

warmly,
Nika

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My spouse and I took a one-day class at Brilliant Births in Berkeley and thought it was great. It was interactive, useful, practical, and the time flew! If I'd had time, I would have wanted to do the longer courses, but that wasn't possible for us. The trickiest part is parking in the area (Fourth Street). But I thought the class was well worth it. 

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Highly recommend Trusting Your Journey with midwives Kaiayo Shatteen and Melissa Reyes. 
 

https://www.kindredsoul.net/childbirth-education-class.html

They center/primarily serve QTBIPOC and their classes tend to fill up quickly but they offer them throughout the year so it’s worth reaching out ahead of time to see when you might be able to get on the roster. I


t’s a small group, VERY informative and warm, community oriented, and they are generous with time and other resources like herbs, salves, tinctures and teas. Partners are welcome too. 

The class I attended was held over 4 Saturday mornings  in South Berkeley but I think they do week night courses too. Enjoy!

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Congratulations!

I used the “know your options” course from The Birth Hour and felt very informed and empowered going into child birth. It’s a series of short, digestible videos explaining all the steps and options (cesarean, unmedicated, epidural), plus a bit about the first 24 hours after and breastfeeding, should you choose to do that. 

I also followed @mommy.labornurse on Instagram and got some great check lists for what to pack in your go-bag and a birth plan!

The only additional thing I would suggest is taking an infant care class, if you can find one, and knowing who your resources are for breastfeeding, as well as when to seek help. 

It’s a big change, but so wonderful. 

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I took Rachel Yellin's 'Say Yes to Birth's course andi strongly recommend it. I employed her techniques for both births and loved that she had guided/recorded content I could also listen to throughout pregnancy.

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My husband and I took the childbirth ed class at Loving Arms and it was, hands down, the best thing we did to prepare for the birth of our son. The class was 8 weeks (although I believe they have since shortened it to 6 weeks with 2 optional add-on sessions) and each class was a couple hours so it's definitely a commitment but every single week we were blown away by how much we learned. Our class was co-taught by Janaki and Molly, who are exceptional teachers with years of experience as a doula (Janaki) and lactation consultant (Molly). I know they have other teachers too and friends of mine who have also taken the class with other teachers have raved about them. We came away from the class feeling prepared and confident and we carried those feelings with us into the birth experience and the early postpartum period. The best testament to the impact of the class is that there were 8 couples and we all had really different birth experiences (planned and unplanned C-sections, medicated and unmedicated births) and we all felt good about those experiences (we were able to share about them in a reunion get together when our babies were around 2 months). Everyone said that they felt like they knew what to expect and could advocate for what they wanted. That was for sure thanks to the class. Lastly, what I didn't expect when signing up for the class but was a huge bonus, was that I would also be connected with this really sweet group of other parents in the exact same stage as me. We had a WhatsApp group with all the moms and in those early days, it was such a huge help knowing I could send a message at 3 am and someone else would also be up nursing and would reply! One couple has become very close friends and our boys are only 1 week apart, which is so special. Clearly, I have a lot to say about this class because I know how much it helped us and helped others who took it!

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Not a traditional childbirth class per se but something that helped me prepare for childbirth a lot was going to a pelvic floor PT to learn how to push correctly (it's not kegels--in fact it's the opposite of kegels!), get an overall evaluation of my pelvic floor muscles/muscles in general and get exercise recommendations to improve my fitness during pregnancy and postpartum. I get the impression that pelvic floor PT is talked about a lot for postpartum and recovery, which is definitely useful, but I don't hear about it often talked about when preparing for childbirth (especially for mitigating or maybe even avoiding injury).

I started around my third trimester but I wish I started somewhat earlier to have a bit more time to prepare and reduce some of the strain I had as my body changed. When it was time for delivery I felt pretty prepared because I had been practicing for several weeks, so it wasn't like I was exhausted/laboring/stressed/AND trying to figure out this delivery thing all at the same time.

P.S. There are a lot of great pelvic floor PTs around who could help with this. Personally I saw Tia at Self-Care Physio who's great and who I've recommended to a couple friends!

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One other childbirth class I did and found helpful was the prenatal lactation classes at East Bay Lactation Associates. Molly is very knowledgeable and when we ran into issues early on we knew where to go and were able to book an appointment pretty quickly.

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We had a great experience with the hypnobirthing class at Brilliant Births. Husband and I both learned a lot of very practical and applicable things. (I had a home birth, but most people attending were hoping to low intervention hospital births)

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I don't have any current recommendations for specific providers, but based on my own experience I'd recommend checking out hypnobirthing to see if it resonates with you. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but I had great experiences with it and felt it really gave me the tools to relax and let my body do its thing. I still use the pain management and recovery practices I learned in hypnobirthing years later for other types of surgery and healthcare.

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Honestly, I think Pilates helped me more than any class I took. Pairing breath work with how your body moves was super helpful when trying to push a baby out. 

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Intrinsic Birth is incredible! Ottilia and Cody instantly made us feel so comfortable and at ease. I wanted to be very intentional and present during my birth and they helped me and my husband work on communication and advocacy strategies that ended up being so helpful for us, even when things didn’t go as we had hoped. Best of all though, their partner support strategies were awesome. My husband felt like he had all the tools and I felt so supported. We’re so grateful to them and would highly recommend. 

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I also highly recommend Intrinsic Birth! Cody and Ottilia are super knowledgeable, but we got so much more than just knowledge by working with them. They were so supportive, intuitive about my needs, and also had this incredible way of helping my partner and I connect around what we wanted for our birth experience. After working with them we honestly both felt so confident and ready. Our time working together was invaluable. They offer different packages and you can select the topics you want to cover, or do them all. The classes were private and scheduling was easy, and they came to our home, which was so nice and comfortable for me. Check them out intrinsicbirth.com.

https://www.berkeleyparentsnetwork.org/recommend/classes/childbirth

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Adding another reco for Loving Arms’s birth class. Molly was an amazing teacher!! We gave birth at Pacifica (a stand-alone birth center) and wanted something a bit more in-depth, and Loving Arms provided just that.