How To Choose The Right Childbirth Educator
Let’s start with this…
Our bodies are a force of nature. We have been creating and carrying humans to populate the earth for thousands of years. For centuries, we had no doctors, no Google, no checklists, and no textbooks to tell us what was happening or what to do—we just procreated and created cultures wherever we were. And although conception, pregnancy, and physiological birth is incredibly complex in some respects, it can be broken down and taught in such a simple, instinctive way.
Why aren’t we taught how amazing and powerful our bodies are?
Can we just give a moment’s pause to the miraculous cycle of events that have to come together to make babies? Our ability to create another human—from cells that come together at the right time, in the right part of our cycle, with the right nutrients and circumstances to support that life—is no small feat. And the same can be said for IVF and AI—the science comes together for conception and then our bodies take over the process.
How we give birth is amazing and it has always worked.
As a childbirth educator, I teach from the perspective that we are not broken and we are certainly not weak. We have genetic input from all of the ancestors who have come before us. Their lives, strengths, and abilities are written into our cellular code. We know how to birth. It is instinctual and it is an automated process.
If I drop you off on a desert island and come back in a few months, you will have had a baby. Once that baby is baked, labor will begin and your body will push your child out. Of course, this is a bare bones, simplified version.
I offered no tried-and-true tools for labor and birth. Nor have I incorporated the latest evidence-based science or mental health tips to help educate and addresses the issues that arise during your pregnancy. I haven’t shown you videos of how you and your partner can work together, become connected, and have a beautiful birth with your baby. But I can.
With solid birth education, we reclaim a process that wasn’t always feared.
Birth was a part of life that was supported within our villages and communities. There were strong medicine women and midwives who stayed beside us throughout our childbirth journey and only offered guidance when asked. They had no need to tell us what to do because they knew how strong we were; that our intuition would be our guide; that we already had everything we needed within us. And I know this, too.
Who has been there to remind us of our innate wisdom?
Sadly, our culture has moved away from community-based birth. We have not been at the bedsides of our sisters, friends, and neighbors as they’ve given birth. No longer do we witness low intervention labor tools in action or experience birth as a normal part of our everyday existence. Unfortunately, we have forgotten the power we possess within ourselves.
Our current culture depicts us as weak, dependent on a man made, commercial system to give birth—if you want to call it the Patriarchy, I am totally fine with naming the elephant in the room.
The truth is birth is a natural, automated process.
Mother Nature has not been wrong or defective for thousands of years. She has a pretty good track record. And we have a pretty good track record. You can do this alone—in fact, you’re already doing this alone. You’re growing a whole human (or humans) all by yourself and don’t even have to think about it. Give yourself some credit and honor this process. You are already enough. I need you to begin to trust that and feel it in your bones. Allow your intuition to be felt. You know this.
And all of this is why you need good childbirth education classes, even if you don’t want an unmedicated, natural birth. There will be choices to be made for your baby during the pregnancy and birth process no matter what kind of birth you are planning. You deserve to know all of the options available for you and your baby. If a choice that comes up in the birth room where you know that you need to ask for more information, that could make the difference between a calm and connected experience or one where you felt out of control. You are the final say in your healthcare choices. You do not have to turn over the power to anyone else to make decisions that will forever impact you and your baby. You don’t need a medical degree to understand what is happening in your body, you just need to take the time to learn.
As you can see, a thorough understanding of birth education cannot be taught by an educator or retained by you in a one-day class. And one 3-hour class is definitely not going to cut it, either. Even if you watch a ton of YouTube videos, there will be large gaps in your overall understanding because you and your baby have unique needs and are not like everybody else. You need and deserve personalized attention in your prenatal education because labor and birth are not a one-size-fits-all approach as the current birth culture would have you believe. That series of YouTube videos you watched will not be able to guide you to a better hospital in the next city over and that alone could have been what created the birth that you wanted. You need a human for personalized support.
Because your family is one-of-a-kind, you need the right prenatal birth education classes and birth educator for your unique needs.
Your investment of time and practice when it comes to preparation is going to pay off during your baby’s birth. And remember, this is your baby’s birth, not yours. It’s your labor but this is your baby’s birth. Your baby works with you in labor and is putting their trust in you to manage the outside process. They have the inside process handled.
As a childbirth educator, do I think I fit the needs of everyone? No. Should I be offended by that? Absolutely not. In fact, let me help you find the best educator for you. Only you know how you and your partner learn best. You know what your timeline is and if you have special circumstances or fears that you need to work around. Pick which prenatal education, childbirth method, or course that feels the best in your body—leaning in on that innate intuition you already have—and then choose the best childbirth educator who teaches that method.
Picking the right childbirth educator for you is key.
There is a lot that goes into childbirth classes and it’s not just about anatomy and how a baby comes out of your vagina! The right childbirth educator can make this education come alive for you and your partner to get you excited for labor and birth, or put you to sleep and leave you feeling less confident. Just like you researched which professors had the best reviews in college, your childbirth educator should be no different. Birth is a once in a lifetime experience. It is the first part of a journey with a person that will show you what true love feels like. You both deserve the very best start.
I put together a list of possible questions to ask the educators you are considering for your childbirth education. As you read through them, consider what feels the most important for you to know before deciding on the best fit. Most of these questions I have been asked many times over the years and I always welcome the challenging ones. That just means that the people in front of me are willing to do what it takes to connect to this birth experience and to their baby.
Remember to line up birth education EARLY in your pregnancy.
The educator who teaches your childbirth classes is usually connected to the best resources in your area and can really help you during your first and second trimesters as well. We want you to have a simple, calm pregnancy because that is better for everyone!
Childbirth educators choose this line of work because we want you to remember that you are already empowered with everything you need. You are strong and capable and your needs matter. Addressing and resolving your fears also matters. Maybe we can remind each other that it still takes a village of support. We are essentially the same now as we were thousands of years ago—we are here on earth growing babies, needing each other’s support for this timeless process.
Print off the list of questions here: Questions For An Educator (PDF)