Birth Preparation Classes

Orange County birth class dad kissing baby

Are you...

  • feeling overwhelmed by all the information (and conflicting advice) about birth out there?
  • wanting to learn ways to connect with your partner in birth?
  • wondering how you'll cope with labor?
  • interested in ways to bring your self into the birth process? 

Consider a class with us!

We offer a different approach to childbirth education. We are Birthing From Within mentors, and we teach birth classes from that perspective. Our classes involve information about labor, birth, and preparing for the postpartum period - the things you'd normally expect. We also work on practical tools for coping with pain, intensity, and unexpected or unwished for events during labor.

In addition to the many benefits of conventional childbirth preparation classes, our goal is to help you discover and cultivate internal resources already within you that will help you meet the challenges birth and parenthood can bring. No matter what type of birth you're planning - or if you don't have a plan at all - our classes are a time for you to ask questions, explore your feelings around birth, and prepare to meet your little one.


Rates

1 private session: $125
2 private sessions: $240
3 private sessions: $350

Classes are 2-3 hours each and we come to your home for your convenience.


Our private birth preparation classes are designed for YOU!

Sometimes classes involve cuddling on the couch! We love working with clients in such an intimate setting.

Sometimes classes involve cuddling on the couch! We love working with clients in such an intimate setting.

We know you probably have a hundred questions about birth and life with a newborn... we're here to help you find answers!

In a private childbirth class, you'll have the opportunity to engage with us in an intimate setting - your own home! With just you and your partner (or anyone else you'd like to include), we'll be able to chart the course of your class together, ensuring that your needs are met.

If you have any special circumstances or concerns, we can help you sort out your options. We are passionate about meeting parents where they are in preparation to welcome a new baby. While we will have a loose plan for our class sessions, we are always willing to take a detour to make sure that you have the information, tools, and support you need.

For partners: We're here for you! We want to help you prepare for the birth of your new baby, and we understand that you probably have questions and concerns too. We encourage partners to participate in childbirth classes whenever possible so both members of a couple have a chance to practice together, ask questions, and take another step with one another on the way to meeting their baby.


What our clients say

"Megan and Marlee were excellent discussion facilitators! I remember several times thinking that the follow-up questions they asked were so insightful and revealing. It was a great time to spend together with my husband. We had not spent that kind of kid-free time together for months. I feel more united and focused on this great endeavor, and also more understanding of his feelings. I also appreciated the coping exercises. They helped refine what I think will work for me in labor and what won't work so well. I feel much more comfortable and ready to go!"

- Lindsay


"Megan and Marlee were warm and welcoming, fostered a great discussion experience, responded well to questions, and served as excellent guides and facilitators without being heavyhanded or too prescriptive. Truly, I was impressed. I appreciated their warm, encouraging approach. We were already on board with the Birthing From Within perspective, but this served as a very good refresher. My wife remains confident and optimistic about the process, and I remain somewhat trepidatious, but I know that this class and further personal preparation are key components for being as prepared and capable as I can be. Being able to participate together helps us to feel like a team, and to know that no one ever has to go through this stuff alone."

- Neal


Frequently Asked Questions

What will be covered in class?

Orange County birth classes parents meeting baby

A lot of this depends on YOU! First and foremost, we will address your pressing questions. Once we've done that, we can move on to other topics and tools to help you prepare to welcome your little one. How much we cover also depends on the length of class you choose, of course.

Class topics can include:

  • Choosing a birth place and care team that are right for your family
  • How to tell when labor is beginning
  • Coping tools and practices
  • Procedures that may take place during labor, birth, and the immediate postpartum period
  • Options for baby care immediately following birth
  • The physiological birth process (stages of labor)
  • Positions that can help with labor pain and progress
  • Epidurals and other options for medical pain relief in birth
  • Exploring cesarean birth options
  • Communicating effectively with your care team
  • What you need to know about writing a birth plan
  • Breastfeeding preparation
  • Tips for post-birth recovery and bonding with your little one

What is a Birthing From Within class like?

Birthing From Within takes its inspiration from the book of the same name written by Pam England and published in 1998. It has evolved as a teaching method to include a focus on coping with the intensity of birth and early parenthood. We find that parents who prepare for birth with a Birthing From Within birth class tend to feel more ready to meet challenges as they come. 

Birthing From Within focuses on birth not as a medical event, but as a rite of passage for parents. We find that there are very few places in our culture for expecting parents to experience processes of self-discovery. Our classes provide a place to ask questions and learn about the physical process of birth. In addition, parents will explore the emotional journey of birth and early parenting. We encourage self-compassion and listening to your intuitive inner voice, and teach methods of coping with intensity of all kinds. 

Birthing From Within is not a "natural birth" class per se, although some of our clients are planning home births or hospital births without pain medication. Rather than working toward a specific birth outcome as some classes do, we instead focus on creating realistic expectations for labor, birth, and life with a new baby. Parents who have the chance to do this kind of preparation often find that they are less likely to attach their self-worth to any particular birth outcome, which reduces chances of trauma.

The coping techniques we practice in class are not just useful during labor and birth. Many parents put them to use if they are having feeding challenges, if they find it difficult to endure their baby's cries (especially in the nighttime hours!), and in so many other experiences that parenthood can bring.

Our goal is for you to be able to apply techniques from class to other areas of your life. Birthing From Within is more than birth preparation: it is life preparation!

In a Birthing From Within class, you can expect:

  • pain coping practices
  • labor support skills practice
  • learning about the physical process of birth
  • placing birth in a cultural context through storytelling
  • art processes to involve both the right and left hemispheres of the brain
  • bonding practices to bring parents closer to each other and closer to baby

What is Birthing From Within all about?

To help you get a better idea of the Birthing From Within perspective, here are the guiding principles behind Birthing From Within

  • Childbirth is a profound rite of passage, not a medical event (even when medical care is part of the birth).
  • The essence of childbirth preparation is self-discovery, not assimilating obstetric information. The teacher (mentor) is "midwife" to the parents' discovery process, not the expert from whom wisdom flows.
  • Childbirth preparation is a continually evolving process (for parents and teachers), not a static structure of techniques and knowledge.
  • Parents' individual needs and differences help determine class content.
  • Active, creative self-expression is critical to childbirth preparation.
  • The purpose of childbirth preparation is to prepare mothers to give birth-in-awareness, not to achieve a specific birth outcome.
  • Pregnancy and birth outcome are influenced by a variety of factors, but can't be controlled by planning.
  • In order to help parents mobilize their coping resources, it is critical for childbirth classes to acknowledge that unexpected, unwelcome events may happen during labor.
  • Parents deserve support for any birth option which might be right for them (whether it be drugs, cesarean, home birth, or bottle-feeding).
  • Pain is an inevitable part of childbirth, yet much can be done to ease suffering.
  • Pain-coping practices work best when integrated into daily life, rather than "dusted off" for labor.
  • Fathers and birth partners help best as birth guardians or loving partners, not as coaches; they also need support.
  • For parents, pregnancy, birth, and postpartum is a time of continuous learning and adjustment; holistic support and education should be available throughout that period.
  • Childbirth preparation is also parent preparation.

Do you offer group childbirth classes?

Not right now. Currently we offer private childbirth education classes in our clients' homes. This allows us the flexibility to schedule classes more conveniently and accommodate individual needs and concerns. 

If you would prefer a group class, contact us and we would be happy to provide referrals to local childbirth educators currently offering group series.