When I started this birth work journey as a doula, I knew I’d become a childbirth educator someday, too. I was just waiting to find the right fit with a training organization and a philosophy, something that I could invest in 100%. After observing a Birthing from Within® class, I knew I’d found my home. I am so delighted to have found this beautiful philosophy and to be able to share it with expectant parents here by mentoring Salt Lake childbirth classes. For anyone considering taking childbirth preparation classes, here are some reasons that I chose Birthing from Within. It’s impossible to tell you all the reasons in one blog post because it means so much to me. It’s too big for a blog post. This is just one outer petal on a flower that blooms so richly and true that I plan to spend a lifetime studying it.
1. Mentor Relationships
This is one of the first things you learn when you decide to offer these classes: you are a mentor, not a teacher. As a mentor, I do not lecture or fill your heads with a mountain of facts that you are likely to forget, and that aren’t likely to affect your birth in a meaningful way. I work with you to discover what you already understand, to explain processes and procedures, and, most importantly, to help guide you to an awareness of what you need to know about yourself in order to birth in awareness. I am your mentor, your guide. And you aren’t a student or a client–you are a parent getting ready to meet your child. Will we talk about cervical dilation and practice pain-coping techniques? Absolutely. But we do so much more than that, too.
2. No Guarantees or Promises
Now, this might seem like a reason not to like Birthing from Within. After all, there are classes that promise a pain-free birth. But that’s not something anyone can promise or guarantee and the experience of pain and intense sensations in birth is not a failing. Birth involves tremendous life energy that will challenge you and push you to your limits and humble you. And it will change you, often in unspeakably beautiful ways. It can be hard and glorious, impossible and yet somehow possible, all at the same time. It’s never the same, woman to woman, birth to birth. So, no, I can’t promise you a pain-free birth. But I will work with you to prepare you to meet birth in the moment and to honor it as the rite of passage that it is. How you work through birth is not something anyone can teach you, but I will do my best to guide you to that knowledge and give you some pointers and ideas along the way.
In Birthing from Within, we focus on the process of preparing for birth and the postpartum period. It’s personalized and can be deeply meaningful. We work to meet whatever birth brings our way and to be able to respond to these unknowable shifts and turns in awareness and with self-love. You can birth from within in a birth tub, with an epidural, during a Cesarean birth, or in a hospital bed. The processes we explore and the topics we discuss in class are for any and every expectant parent.
4. Birth Art
Sometimes, in order to tap into our emotions and feelings, we have to get out of our normal thought process and enter the right side of our brains. This is where birth art comes in. Using artistic processes, we connect with ideas that our logical mind might usual censor and we often see things we hadn’t really recognized before. It’s a thoughtful and intuitive process and can tell us things about ourselves that might have been hidden, even from ourselves. Nothing scary–just ideas, judgments, notions, perceptions. And it’s a fun change from our usual concept of learning as something we do by listening to someone else or reading a book.
Honestly, that’s just the very very beginning, but I had to start somewhere. I’ll share more, I promise. There is so much richness in Birthing from Within, not only for expectant parents but for the mentor as well. The principles I am studying as a mentor have changed my life and I know they will affect my doula work, my parenting, my relationships, and my path through life.