Informed Beginnings
Childbirth Education Classes

Our mission is to educate and empower mothers and partners by providing current, evidence-based information for the childbearing year. We teach positive, compassionate classes that strengthen confidence in the process of birth, while respecting the diverse needs and birth plans of our students.   – Informed Beginnings

Informed Beginnings Philosophy

Informed Beginnings is a national cooperative of childbirth educators, focused on providing current evidence-based information with an emphasis on informed decision making. 

Healthy Pregnancy Safe and healthy birth begins with a healthy pregnancy. Excellent nutrition, appropriate exercise, prenatal care and education, and avoidance of harmful substances and situations put a mother and baby in the best position to have a healthy labor and birth.

Healthy Childbirth For most mothers and babies, natural childbirth — unmedicated labor and birth with no unnecessary medical interventions — is the safest, healthiest way to give birth. Informed Beginnings encourages natural childbirth in a location of the mother’s choice while remaining sensitive to families whose needs and desires require more technologically assisted births.

Healthy 
Feeding Breastfeeding is the natural and normal mode of feeding infants. Research affirms that artificial feeding is a choice best reserved for situations of necessity. Most mothers and babies can have a successful, healthy, and rewarding breastfeeding experience when they have the proper education and support.

Healthy Families Informed Beginnings educators promote connected families and responsive parenting. We emphasize the importance of an active and loving support team in the pregnancy, birth, and postpartum period. This leads to bonding at birth that affects a family’s relationship for life.

Parental Responsibility The health and welfare of a child are the ultimate responsibility of his or her parents. Informed Beginnings encourages parents to take responsibility and advocate for the health of their child through education and informed decision making in all aspects of their child’s care. Parents should be educated on their options and take care in selecting their birth place and care provider. Parents should also be prepared for unexpected situations such as unplanned unattended childbirth, complications, and the need for medical intervention including Cesarean section.

Consumerism and Informed Decision Making Childbearing mothers are consumers of health care services and they have a right to make the best choices for their care based on complete and accurate evidence-based information. Informed Beginnings educators promote clear and respectful communication between mothers and birth partners; maternity care providers; labor support; and educators. Mothers and partners are taught to advocate for themselves and their babies in a manner that asserts their choices and respects their birth team.

Building Community Parents that have taken Informed Beginnings classes together have shared in an experience of learning, growing, and sharing that forms a unique bond between them. This builds local communities of supportive, like-minded families who are able to journey further together as their families grow. Informed Beginnings families are also part of a greater community, sharing resources and information in person and online.

6 Week Class Schedule

 

  • Week 1: Introduction, Why Natural Birth, Anatomy
  • Week 2: Nutrition and Exercise
  • Week 3: Birth Choices and Communication
  • Week 4: Stages of Labor, Positioning, Relaxation Techniques and Comfort Measures
  • Week 5: Variations and Complications, Interventions and Unexpected Situations
  • Week 6: Newborns and Postpartum Topics, BreastfeedingOptional addition: At Home Labor Rehearsal and Review

Classes will be offered by private instruction, on your schedule, with whatever time works for you. 6 weeks (unless otherwise noted), $250.

To sign up, contact me to schedule your private class series. A $50 dollar deposit is required to hold your space. Payment plans are available upon request. Gift certificates are available in any amount for doula services, childbirth education, and belly binding.

 

Why Bother Taking a Childbirth Education Class?

“I want an unmedicated birth. Why do I need to know about pain medication or cesarean birth?”
Birth is unpredictable. While unmedicated physiologic birth is what our bodies are designed to do, labor sometimes has twists and turns. It is so important to know all your options and choices beforehand to make informed decisions. Hospital transfers during home births can happen. Medical conditions can arise in the final days of pregnancy, potentially altering labor and birth plans. Oftentimes moms feel blindsided or like a failure if they use pain medication or have a cesarean birth because they did not know what to expect. Knowledge is power and helps dispel fear. With Informed Beginnings, you’ll be prepared no matter how the process unfolds.

“I’ll just read some books and watch videos on YouTube.”
While books are definitely helpful, they can’t demonstrate positions for labor and birth like an experienced instructor can. You can practice relaxation techniques in class you can’t find on YouTube. You can ask questions you may have between doctor visits and share frustrations, concerns or curiosities you might feel too embarrassed to ask friends or relatives. Plus you have the benefit of learning from a doula and childbirth educator who supports families and their diverse birth experiences as well as being a parent herself.

“My partner can’t make it to classes.”
I strongly encourage partner participation but understand if partners can not always attend due to work or personal responsibilities. I recommend bringing a support person like a friend or relative, one who can help support and practice with you during your pregnancy and will be a supportive presence in your baby’s life. With private instruction, it’s easier to schedule a time that works for you than try to work around what is offered at local hospitals.

“It’s not worth the money.”
While labor and birth are discussed in every class, there is also in-depth coverage of pregnancy comfort, wellness and breastfeeding, newborn care and postpartum topics. It’s like taking three classes in one. There is plenty of time to get to know your instructor, opportunities to have your questions answered, and practice techniques that can make a difference in your labor and birth experience. If payment in full is not possible by the 1st class, payment plans are available on request. Please don’t hesitate to contact me to discuss and arrange details.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the best time to take the class?
Generally, the 4th or 5th month of pregnancy is ideal to be able to take in all the information and practice the relaxation and comfort techniques. Contact me to discuss when you’d like to schedule private instruction on your schedule, during the best times that work for you.

Is this class for first time parents only?
Not at all! Pregnancy and birth experiences are so different from child to child. Circumstances and preferences can change. Medical conditions may dictate what labor and birth options are available. It is beneficial to go into the process knowing all your options to make the most informed decisions.

What if I am planning a VBAC or home birth? Is this class for me?
Definitely! The classes are supportive of home, hospital or birth center births as well as different providers. The videos shown in class will also reflect a variety of labor and birth options. The emphasis of the class is for families to make informed decisions for the birth experience they are given.

Can you attend my birth?
Depending on my schedule, I have limited availability to attend your birth as your doula. Students in class get a discount toward my doula services.

What do I bring to class?
Yourselves! All I need is an internet connection. A binder with handouts will be provided. I bring all the teaching tools to you.

I’m a doula and I’d like to attend your class series for certification. Is that possible?
Contact me to discuss details.

I need a refresher type class. Do you have other classes available? 
I offer an afternoon refresher class if you are a 2nd (or 3rd or 4th…) time parent who has already taken a comprehensive series in the past. Set for labor and delivery but want to be prepared for postpartum? I have an afternoon class about that too. Find all the details here.

Informed Beginnings allowed me to go into childbirth feeling very calm and well prepared. The class is well organized, taking you through each stage of labor and birth in detail, and discussing potential problems and decisions you may encounter along the way. I also really benefited from the relaxation techniques I learned in class. I felt very confident during my birth! – J.L.

Class referral
Informed Beginnings Childbirth Education Classes | Angie Helwich Doula Services

“If I don’t know my options, I don’t have any.” – Diana Korte