Birth Works Class Outline

The following is a brief outline of the 8 week Birth Works Childbirth Preparation Class. A more detailed curriculum outline is in the Birth Works Manual.

The first two classes are very successful in opening up the heart and establishing a close feeling among all those present. Couples immediately learn from these classes that Birth Works is very different from other Childbirth Education Programs. It is here that they can begin to have more trust and faith in their body knowledge that already knows how to give birth. They realize that learning will be enhanced through their participation in discussions and in sharing experiences all led by a trained and experienced Birth Works facilitator. Pelvic bodywork is introduced at the beginning of each class from one through nine. Birth films, music, small group work, and experiential exercises are interspersed throughout the classes making them a place of laughter, joy, learning, and a feeling of what it is like to be in a safe place.

First Class

Feelings, Breath Awareness, Relaxation, Philosophies of Childbirth Identifying feelings, expectations, fears and concerns about birth

Birth Works philosophies and concept of Educare: Serves as a basic introduction to the course and gives others an opportunity to know more about our beliefs of birth in our culture today.

Second Class

Directed breathing, Toning, Pelvic Bodywork, Nutrition, Exercise

Role of good nutrition, exercises, a discussion of upright positions in labor and ibrth, guidelines for indications for a cesarean and uterine dependability.

Third Class

Pelvic Bodywork, Medical Procedures, Human Values in Birth, Place of Birth and Birth Team

Discussion of common diagnostic and labor interventions in terms of the risk-benefit ratio and alternatives to routine use of interventions. Accepting responsibility and taking an active role in birth. Understanding how physicians are trained and the legal pressures that confront everyone. Finding a balance, using interventions only when the benefits outweigh the risks, and most importantly, gain confidence in our ability to birth. The importance of doulas, labor companions, choosing a birth place that feels safe and a birth team that shares a woman’s philosophy of birth. Understanding how the practice of human values improves decision-making and leads to a more positive birth experience.

Fourth Class

Pelvic Bodywork, Identifying and practicing good positions for labor, Obstetrical Analgesia and Anesthesia

Personal and cultural belief systems about pain. The concept of healthy pain. Types of medical pain relief, the risks/benefit ratio and alternatives, birth sounds. Comfort measures for birth.

Fifth Class

Pelvic Bodywork, Belief Systems

Identifying belief systems and attitudes about birth and learning how to change those not conducive to positive birthing. Tools for strengthening positive beliefs about oneself and birth will be explained and practiced.

Sixth Class

Pelvic Bodywork, Grieving and Healing

Discussion of childbearing losses and grieving, followed by grieving exercises and healing visualization. This class is very powerful in demonstrating the influence of our mind and emotions on our physical bodies. Once we are aware of these influences, we can begin to make changes, if desired. When the mind is relaxed, the body will follow. This class takes great strides towards facilitating more normal and natural birth.

Seventh Class

Pelvic Bodywork, Labor and Birth

Labor process and review of comfort measures, working with contractions, labor sounds, conscious birthing, birth visualization, the physiology of birth and role of hormones.

Eighth Class

Postpartum and Breastfeeding

Postpartum care of mother and baby, breastfeeding, parenting, possible visit of parents with newborn baby, closing activity.

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