Knowing yourself (through mental and emotional birth preparation), as well as knowing the options and climate of birth in which you are a part. It is empowering women and couples to be flexible and make decisions in awareness. Women and couples who take childbirth education classes are more likely to feel empowered in their choices and satisfied in their birth experience. No one can answer all of the unknowns of birth, but taking this class can build confidence in the woman’s body and her innate wisdom in birthing and parenting. Partners also have a chance to discuss the pregnancy and learn ways to support their partner in labour and postpartum, and explore their own intuition and roles in parenting. We also spend time discussing resources to access for more information.
In addition, people who take prenatal classes have:
- increased confidence for labor and birth
- higher likelihood of breastfeeding
- improved communication between childbearing women and their maternity care providers
- decreased need for analgesic medication in labour
- increased satisfaction with birth (Chalmers & Kingston, 2009; Enkin et al., 2000).
Many classes focus strictly on knowledge acquisition around medical procedures and interventions, leaving questions unanswered and women and couples passive recipients of medical care instead of collaborators in a life-changing rite of passage. At Sage Mama we create birth art as a way to harness the intuitive brain and creatively engage fears, concerns and fantasies about labour, birth and parenting, with an emphasis on “finding your question”. We also utilize hands-on labour practice stations, try out diapering and carriers, and discuss navigating the medical system to build resources and gain confidence in decision-making. Of course, there is all of the usual good stuff too, like evidence-based information on labour, birth, newborn care and parenting, plus colourful and helpful handouts to help visualize various concepts, a small library of books to borrow and a great resource list for further exploration.
If possible, we also like to share delicious and healthy snacks and cups of tea (or kombucha!).
When you feel ready. The information is focussed heavily toward mental and emotional birth preparation, labour coping strategies, infant care, parenting, and life transitions, so people may find this more useful toward the end of the second trimester or beginning of the third trimester. At the same time, prenatal nutrition and physiological changes of pregnancy may be of more interest early on, and the other information will also serve them well in preparation for later in pregnancy. If you choose to take classes prenatally, it is a good idea to continue practising labour coping techniques so they are fresh in your mind and body when labour begins.
Both! The cost of classes is per couple, but if you want to attend alone, the material and exercises are still completely relevant. Further, if you wish bring another support person along, you are more than welcome. Many couples find that attending class together gives them a space in their busy lives to slow down, reflect about the upcoming birth and baby, and gives way to discussions that may not be easy to bring up. In addition, these topics are just the tip of the iceberg and may lead to much more research and sharing as the couple explores the choices and complexities of birthing and parenting.
Private Classes: 6 hours (2 x 3hrs for $300) or 12 hours (2×6 hr or 4 x 3 hrs for $550) of instruction and hands on techniques in the comfort of your own home. Includes resource list and access to small library of books.
Group Classes: gather 2 or 3 couples and I come to your home for 6 hours (2 x 3 hrs for $175/couple) or 12 hours (2×6 hrs or 4 x 3hrs for $300/couple)
Deposit is 50% of the cost of classes and due on booking. Balance is due at the start of the first class.
*barter may be possible, but at least half of the total must be paid in cash on booking.
To book, or for more information, please contact
Rebecca Cunningham Andre at: