—Amy & Jeff Gingerich, parents to Poppy
Empowered Birth is an original seven-week, Lamaze-inspired curriculum created by Angela Garvin. Empowered Birth classes help parents navigate the journey of labor and birth by providing them with tools they need to make their own decisions. Parents come to class not to memorize and assimilate obstetric information, but to learn how to become active participants in the labor and birth process. Birth is a mystery and no one can tell parents in advance what it will look like and what challenges they may face. In class, parents will learn how to ask questions and make informed decisions. Along the way, moms will build confidence in the natural birth process and partners will build their confidence as they learn to support mom through labor and birth.
Empowered Birth is not a method; women are individuals and as such, will give birth their own way, on their own terms. The goal is to teach moms and partners a wide range of options, encouraging them to draw from a "toolbox" of comfort measures and coping techniques to use during labor. Empowered Birth classes do not focus on a specific outcome, but focus on empowering parents to navigate their labor and birth journey by trusting in the process, asking questions, building their confidence and relying on a toolbox of comfort measures.
An empowered birth can be (but is not limited to!) a birth at home with midwives, a natural birth in the hospital with an obstetrician, or a cesarean section after laboring at home or in the hospital. While all of these birth experiences are unique, they do have something in common. Mom and her partner were active participants in the birth process—trusting mom's body to birth her baby, asking questions along the way and accepting medical intervention if necessary or appropriate, as suggested by their trusted birth team. An empowered birth happens when parents are active, informed and confident participants in the process of labor and birth.
The class fee is $175 and includes materials and guidebook. To register for an Empowered Birth class, click the registration button at the top of the page. You will be directed to TicketLeap, where you will choose your class date and pay a $50 deposit to hold your space. If you would like to pay your deposit via cash or check, please contact me. Your balance of $125 is due on your first day of class.
Classes tend to fill 2-3 weeks before the start date, so please do not delay your registration. Class size is limited to 8-12 couples. Classes are held at Clark Memorial Hospital, Rainbow Blossom in the Highlands, and Walden school. Read the course outline to learn more about the agenda and discussion topics for each class.
Second+ Time Around
Second+ Time Around is for couples who have given birth at least once before. It's a very different format than the first timer, multi-week series, because as experts in your own birth experiences, you tend to know exactly what kind of information you are looking for in the class. This workshop includes time to process your last birth(s), hopes & wishes for this baby's birth, stages of labor review, labor scenarios, comfort measures, and preparing siblings for the new baby. During the workshop there’s always time for discussion and questions. When you register for the class you’ll receive a questionnaire about your previous birth that will help me understand your needs and wishes for the workshop, and the responses help me to plan for activities and discussion topics. All birth plans are welcome in this workshop, whether your preferences are natural birth, considering medication or planning for medication. Families who are planning for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) are welcome into this workshop!
The fine print: Second+ Time Around is an appropriate birth preparation course when *both* parents have previously attended the birth of their baby. If mom has given birth previously, but dad has not attended a birth, then an Empowered Birth class series is recommended. I find that couples get the most out of this workshop if they have had a baby within the last 5 years. If you’re interested in a natural childbirth this time around, we will talk about the mechanics of birth and comfort measures, but the workshop is not intended to be natural birth preparation as we will discuss other topics as well. Questions about your circumstances? Feel free to contact me to chat.
This class is for parents who are in their second or third trimester. I recommend taking the workshop during the third trimester if at all possible.
- Your feelings about your current pregnancy
- Processing your last birth: what went well, what you would do differently
- Priorities, hopes and wishes for your new baby’s birth
- Stages of labor review; how they can differ for experienced mothers
- Labor basics: 6 ways to progress, hormones, pain theories
- Comfort measures for labor
- Postpartum mood disorders
- Preparing siblings for the new baby
- Preparing to become a family of 4: logistics, expectations & transitions
Second+ Time Around is held quarterly at Clark Memorial Hospital. Please click on the registration link for times and dates.
Empowered Pregnancy, a free class for mothers in their first and second trimesters (up to 20 weeks), and their partners
Congratulations! Finding out that you’re pregnant is exciting but can also feel overwhelming! I’ll provide you with the resources you need for your best pregnancy, birth and postpartum experience. We’ll talk about what to expect as your pregnancy progresses, and how to cope with the physical and emotional changes. Have questions about birth options, doulas or hospitals? Bring your questions—knowledge is power!
Couples who attend the class receive a resource packet of information on nutrition, exercise, emotional health during pregnancy, and Louisville birth options.
- Self care for a healthy pregnancy: nutrition and exercise
- Common pregnancy discomforts and solutions
- Emotional changes during pregnancy
- Prenatal care tests & procedures
- Planning ahead: what do you really need for baby?
- Building confidence and easing fears & worries about birth
- Louisville/Southern Indiana area resources for new & expectant parents