Why should I take a Birth Boot Camp (BBC) class?
In my class you’ll connect with other expectant couples, recognize and address fears, give your partner a chance to join in, gain confidence from knowledge, and practice what you learn. You’ll also receive professionally printed, quality materials to reference throughout pregnancy.
“Women have been giving birth since the beginning of time. Why do we need a class to prepare us for something our body naturally does? Many dads have this question! Unfortunately, many of our ideas about birth come from the media, which rarely presents birth in a positive or even enjoyable manner. With each passing year, we become more comfortable with a rising cesarean rate. When a couple is trying to avoid interventions, medication, and a cesarean, it is crucial that they know their options and how to help themselves in the throes of labor. Birth Boot Camp gives you those tools and wants you to have fun along the way. Childbirth education is actually really good for the relationship and many couples report that they never felt closer than when they were taking a childbirth class.” – via Birth Boot Camp FAQ
What’s the difference between Birth Boot Camp classes and traditional hospital-based classes?
Traditional hospital classes focus on what they expect from you and what you should expect from them. They’re more an explanation of hospital policies and “what we do here” than of the variations of natural labor. They will mention the types of interventions normally given but it’s unlikely they will discuss risks versus benefits or how to avoid unwanted interventions. They’re also known for teaching specific, almost rigid breathing techniques as a viable coping method for labor, but in fact it’s recommended by natural birth experts that normal breathing patterns are most helpful.
A variety of experts have contributed to BBC’s program, including CNMs, CPMs, a Webster-certified chiropractor, professional doulas, a massage therapist, a renowned lactation consultant, a personal trainer/health coach, and other childbirth educators.
BBC curriculum was created using the Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative as a guide. BBC’s philosophy and approach aims to prevent unnecessary interventions that often lead to avoidable cesarean birth.
What exactly is an “amazing birth”?
It’s difficult to define what makes a birth amazing since it really is subjective. What we’ve found, however, is certain preparatory efforts lead to healthier, safer, more positive outcomes that have families describing their births as “Amazing!” Are you armed with knowledge? Supported by community? Empowered to make informed decisions? Equipped to practice healthy habits throughout pregnancy? Ready to strike a headspace balance between determination and flexibility? Then you’re well on your way to an amazing birth!
Will taking this class guarantee I’ll get my perfect birth?
The expectant parent who knows she has filled her brain with as much academia as possible, and thus immune to any surprises because she’s “done everything right,” is in a similar boat as the one who blindly accepts decisions made by a care provider on her behalf, because she “couldn’t do anything right” (a wise notion inspired by Dr. Sears).
Thankfully, BBC’s program is so much more than two-dimensional facts and figures to memorize; plus we train parents in spotting the red flags that often foreshadow disagreeable consequences. Thoughtful preparation leads to a better birth outcome because, rather than magically controlling the uncontrollable, it enables you to better cope with the realities of your birth even if they aren’t what you predicted. You’ll be well-equipped to admire the happenings of your unique birth if you’re knowledgeable about the limitless possible versions of birth, and open enough to embrace the story that’s written for you.
That said, most couples who register for BBC classes intend on birthing naturally, so it’s safe to assume part of the “ideal” with our students is minimal intervention. You’ll be pleased to know students who complete the Birth Boot Camp 10-Week Series have excellent success in achieving this goal.
When should I start taking the classes?
The ideal time to begin the 10-week series is around 25 weeks of pregnancy. Though 20-26 weeks is the best time for most to get started, I believe it’s still incredibly valuable at other stages too. If you’re past 28 weeks and have concerns about finishing the 10-week series, message me to discuss options. If you desire education sooner in pregnancy, you may wish to request the Early Pregnancy class. The best time to take the Refresher course is 34-38 weeks of pregnancy. Please message me to discuss timing for other classes.
Are you certified to teach these classes?
Yes! I’m a dual certified Houston Birth Boot Camp Instructor and Doula.
What is the cost?
The class descriptions page lists tuition per class.
All classes require a non-refundable deposit paid upon signing up (amount varies depending on the class). This reserves your spot in class and goes toward purchasing your workbook/supplies. The balance is due by the first class. No refunds are given after the balance is paid. Students who sign up after the registration deadline will pay a $20 additional fee to cover expedited postage for their class materials.
Private classes within my service range incur a one-time travel fee: $50 for a one-day class, $75 for the Hospital Series or Out-of-Hospital Series, and $100 for the Comprehensive Series.
Cash, PayPal, Venmo, and checks are accepted. If choosing PayPal, a small additional percentage is required to cover fees applied by the app. Don’t hesitate to inquire about payment plans or alternate payment options.
Students who choose doula services with their BBC live class can enjoy a $50 discount on their tuition, included in the Lighthouse Package. A coupon is also provided to registrants of the Early Pregnancy Class. For all classes, I’m pleased to offer a discount to student, military, first responder, teen, and QPOC families in need. Please inquire for discount specifics.
Are these classes for gestational (pregnant) parents only?
BBC classes are designed with couples in mind. However, if you’re a gestational parent who does not have a partner for any reason, you’re welcome to bring your primary labor support person. A partner isn’t required to attend class; some classes work just as well for solo parents.
How do I know which class is right for me?
This depends on how far along you are in pregnancy, the foundation of birth comprehension between you and your partner, and personal learning habits. Do you thrive when you’re kept accountable, or is that unnecessary? Do you learn best in the comfort of your home? With group interaction and connection? Do you prefer one-on-one time with an instructor?
Who is ideally suited to the live classes?
Live classes are the gold standard of childbirth education for anyone with the ability to get involved. Are you excited about the prospect of like-minded community and personalized instruction? Do you learn best when motivated by accountability and hands-on practice? Keep in mind, a group setting for birth preparation is especially appropriate as the majority of people will give birth in the presence of attendants. Enrolling in a live class (instructor-only or group) is a great way to dip your toes in the water and grow fully comfortable with all things birth, well before the big day.
When, where, and how often do classes meet?
Check the class schedule for group classes. Private classes take place in your home.
What if I can’t attend live classes in my area or don’t see a class that fits my schedule?
No problem! You have several other wonderful options. You can request a private class with me. If your heart is set on a group class, check out the schedules of other Houston BBC instructors. You may also opt for the online or hybrid classes if you cannot attend an in-person class.
Do you offer private classes?
Yes! If you prefer one-on-one education versus a group setting, simply contact me with your availability so we can set up a private class, which your partner (if applicable) is encouraged to attend as well. Private classes incur a one-time travel fee (see above for cost details).
Can I attend class even if I don’t have a partner?
Yes! If you don’t feel comfortable bringing your baby’s father or if he’s unable to attend, you’re welcome to bring another birth supporter if you choose. I highly encourage the attendance of your primary labor partner, whether that be your baby’s father or other partner, or a supportive close friend/relative. We do focus on teaching you and your labor partner how to work together to achieve an amazing birth. However, if you wish to attend by yourself this is not a problem as you will still benefit greatly from the curriculum.
What if I miss a live class?
You will have the opportunity to take several make-up classes online should you miss a live class.
What should I bring to class?
All you need is your workbook! Dress comfortably as we will be practicing some exercises. You are welcome to bring snacks and drinks for yourself, and something to sit on such as a pillow, yoga mat, or birth ball, if you feel led to do so.
Is there homework?!
Yes, but it’ll be fun, productive, and easy — promise! And you won’t be graded! But you just might get a sweet surprise in the form of a participation prize or two…
ONLINE & HYBRID CLASSES
In what situations are the online classes especially useful?
Maybe your schedule can’t accommodate any of the local live classes, or distance is a precluding factor. Perhaps you learn best in solitude, or at your own pace in the comfort of your home. If you have a communicable illness, physical disability, are on bedrest or need to stay home for any reason, online is a fantastic option.
Which classes are offered online?
- Birth Boot Camp 10 Week Series
- Birth Center & Home Birth Class
- Hospital Birth Class
- Homecoming: Life With a New Recruit
- Food & Fitness: A Program For The Childbearing Year
- Comfort Measures Class
- Breastfeeding: The Ultimate MRE
What does a hybrid class include?
You get your online classes PLUS:
- Registration set up for you
- Weekly real-time virtual support via Zoom chat (go over key points, share resources, supplemental activities, discuss what you’ve learned & answer questions between classes)
- Weekly emails with additional tips
- “Class in a Bag” goodies in your mailbox
- Access to closed Facebook & Marco Polo groups for virtual connection with your classmates (for group classes)
How does a hybrid class work?
You register as usual via the contact form linked below (or make a request via email to YourLaborNeighbor@gmail.com). I will set up your account for you, and “Class in a Bag” goodies and printed workbook will be mailed to you (unless you opt for the digital version). You watch the online class whenever works for you, and I will host our weekly video chat via Zoom at a mutually convenient time.
How much do online/hybrid classes cost?
How do I sign up for the online classes?
It’s easy! If you just want the online classes without added hybrid value, simply visit the link below to register and pay. If you prefer a hybrid class, use the contact form to request the class and I’ll set everything up for you!