My life started another trajectory 6 years ago. I found out a was pregnant and, as many other women do, started to think about pregnancy, labor and delivery as a first hand experience for the first time in my life. Always a student at heart, I had to learn more. At the advice of an also pregnant friend, I decided upon a 12 week intensive childbirth series for my husband and I to both take together to prepare us for that first hadn't experience that seemed so foreign and really filled me with more fear and uncertainty than I thought it should. I kept thinking - "Birth has happened since the beginning of time."
... BUT, that didn't make it less scary...
"The more I know, the better prepared I'll be." That felt better. And, I was right.
Not only was I better prepared but the experience of giving birth to my first son, transformed me. (I can guarantee you that this transformation does not only happen to me, but to every woman. See blog post below)!
How, it was how birth transformed that started me on the trajectory that places me here, today.
Yesterday, I got word that I passed the LAMAZE Childbirth Educator Exam. (Insert your WHOOP!!! WHOOP!!! here).
What does this mean, Cat?!
I'm glad you asked! This means that I am now certified to teach childbirth education to effectively promote the beauty of childbirth for all. Hopefully, releasing the fear and stigma of this normal process for every woman I have the honor of teaching.
No, not all women will walk away from my classes wanting the same thing in their birth. And, guess what, that's OKAY! There is NO RIGHT CHOICE in childbirth. The way I want to birth is not the same as my neighbors' views, my friends' views, or even my mother's views. BUT, now, as an LCCE, I can help to diminish the mystery, alleviate the fear, and bring on the empowerment for more women to have a safe and satisfying birth experience.
One that will transform them.
Now, as a LAMAZE Certified Childbirth Educator, an Evidence Based Birth® Instructor, and a Certified DONA Doula - I'm calling triple threat status to start knocking fear out of our birth culture.
So ready for 2018!
Demystifying Your Hospital Birth
Savvy Birth Workshops
The Village, South Jersey
Labor of Love
Path to Parenthood
Childbirth Education in your Own Home!
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What comes to mind when you hear
,Every time I teach, I start this small activity. Over time this activity has made me very aware of how women and their partners feel as we begin to discuss labor and the birth of their child. The unfiltered responses for what comes to mind when I say "birth," should bother you. They certainly bother me! It seems the first words that come to mind when I say "birth" are FEAR and MYSTERIOUS. How can we be describing childbirth with words like FEAR and MYSTERIOUS surfacing more often than EXCITEMENT and JOY, I'm thinking is about time for a perspective change. How about you?
And, my dear friend,
After all, I started my journey into motherhood with similar buzz words. I was anxious. I felt overwhelmed. I, just like many others, was fearful. Who could blame me though?! It seemed like everyone I knew had a story. Rephrasing --- everyone I knew had a BAD story. My mom “never progressed” and I was born via cesarean section. My grandmother couldn’t remember the birth of her two girls because they knocked her out for her labor. My mother in law, who gave birth to four children, unmedicated, said she felt not listened too, under supported, and rushed. Prior to my first birth, there was a point when I walked out of my childbirth education class because, as I told my husband, “what I just saw, that’s impossible.”
But then, a perspective change happened. That’s great, Cat... but HOW??!?!
My husband and I went back to our childbirth education class. We went back and allowed our fantastic, experienced instructor to teach about birth, explain to us what was normal, answer our questions and hear her answers to others’ questions. The experience of attending the class took our FEAR and turned into CONFIDENCE. The explanations and answers took the mystery and turned it into EMPOWERMENT. We learned all about what would happen within my body, both physically and mentally, and my husband learned how to support me while I would be in labor land. We also learned about the hospital we would give birth in and how to navigate what we be placed on me by policy.
Flash forward to today. I have had 3 hospital births of my own. After my first, I started my journey into the birth world and have worked locally as a doula in 10 different area hospitals. I became an Evidence Based Birth® Instructor, teaching parents how to be more SAVVY within their birth setting and I am a Parent Educator at a major area hospital, teaching childbirth education to parents-to-be. During whatever precious time these parents-to-be decide to spend with me, I try to change their perspective; to replace the FEAR and MYSTERY with EMPOWERED and SUPPORTED. Demystifying the Birth Experience. After our time together, the birthing person and partner leave with less anxiety, more empowerment, and a more in-depth idea of not only the birthing process, but how they will find comfort and how they will guarantee they feel supported and receive true family based care in the hospital.
I want to help change your perspective. I want to DEMYSTIFY birth for you. So, I created this class where we talk about the local hospital routines coupled with the birth process and support systems so that women and their partners feel prepared for their time laboring in hospital. We answer those questions running through your head like:
If you are birthing in a hospital, come join us for this not to be missed class!
photo credit Gingersnap Photography.
Cat is the founder of Birth Freely Birth Services. Her passion is empowering women through education and providing them with continuous labor support so they can have the birth they desire!