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am a "stay-at-home" mama of two children. My daughter turned
ten this summer, and my son turned seven. We're busy doing the typical
activities: school, dance lessons, violin lessons, Sunday School, getting
out on the lake, trips to the beach, library, etc. In addition to parenting,
homeschooling, and volunteering, I love to read, to garden and to cook,
and to spend time outdoors with my family. I also teach English at a local
Adult Education program.
the time I was in labor, I knew that my husband and I were informed about
my choices for care and prepared to work with my body the best ways we
could. But I also knew that I had really no idea what was going to happen.
here if you'd like to read more about my children's birth stories.
YOUR BABY classes are
centered in a deep belief in a woman's ability to give birth
birth can be an empowering, transforming experience in a woman's life
birth is an essentially safe process for baby and mother. This philosophy
also inspires confidence and joy in the birth process and in your new
lives as parents.
Women have been giving birth for thousands of years. Our bodies are powerfully and amazingly prepared for giving birth. Although many important kinds of technology are available when we need them, childbirth remains an essentially natural event. In our society, however, we are often disconnected from birth as a normal part of life. The "horror stories" so many people like to tell pregnant women don't help either! Sometimes it's hard to sort through these stories for useful information, to determine what choices we might actually have for the birth of our babies. That's why BIRTHING YOUR BABY classes work to help parents explore and understand the range of their choices for pregnancy, birth, and postpartum life.
I began teaching childbirth education classes in the summer of 2003. I have taught many group classes since then, as well as many private classes. I did my training with the ALACE (Association of Labor Assistants and Childbirth Educators) childbirth education certification program. ALACE has recently transitioned to the International Birth & Wellness Project. I have also attended the "Level One Mentor Training" with Birthing from Within in 2004. I continue to do extensive reading and belong to several online discussion groups to stay current in the birthing field.
From November 2007 through May 2008, I taught prenatal classes at the Maine Children's Home Teen Parenting School to fill in for an instructor who was ill. This was an amazing experience - I learned a lot, got to try out some new ideas, and helped some new moms off to a good start.
I've also been attending "webinars" - online seminars. Lamaze has offered two interesting ones in the past few months, "Starting Conversations for Change" and "Innovative Teaching Techniques." Mothering hosted "Cosleeping: Featuring James McKenna, Paul Fleiss, and API Founders".
I was a high school English teacher before I resigned to stay home with my daughter. In addition to extensive teaching experience, I have a Master's Degree in Education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. No matter what I'm teaching, it has always been important to me that students are active and thinking for themselves. I believe discovery through reflection, discussion and hands-on practice are the most important elements of learning. My skills as an educator have enabled me to craft a childbirth education curriculum that highlights the most important information in an accessible and dynamic way.
From the ALACE website: "Only recently in the long story of humanity has the linkage of knowledge and reassurance between generations of birthing women been broken. Pregnant women today often find themselves without ties to female relatives who can reliably teach them what to expect from childbearing. Birth has often come to resemble a mechanized, medical emergency. It is no wonder that many first-time mothers' images of birth are filled with fear and pain.
childbirth educators and labor assistants/birth doulas can do a great
deal to provide pregnant women with information and practical alternatives
so that they may give birth with confidence, strength and joy. Laboring
women who feel confident and supported are much more likely to achieve
satisfying outcomes than are women without such support." To learn
more about ALACE, visit their website at www.alace.org.