A 6-week course focused on preparing parents for labor, birth, and postpartum.  Whether your birth takes place in a hospital, birth center, or home, my course provides you with the tools and education you need to work as a team with your partner for the best birth experience available to you. 

I will provide you with a student workbook that is yours to keep, as well as access to my lending library. Each class will include meditation and relaxation practice, as well as a communication exercise to foster your relationship as a couple preparing for parenthood.

The communication exercises will be led by  Brooke Rasmussen, a Gottman Trained Educator.  She will join us each week to lead communication and other exercises to help you foster your relationship and preserve intimacy as a couple (both of which change in the transition to Parenthood) and prepare you to bring baby into your family.

Wednesday August 17- Wednesday September 21, 2022

Where: Weeks 1, 4, and 6 are in my home in Alexandria. Weeks 2,3, and 5 are virtual.

Who: Moms with an EDD in October, November, or December

Cost: $350 per couple, including a $50 deposit upon registration to reserve your space and allow me to order student materials. I provide a receipt for insurance or FSA reimbursement.​ Scholarships and payment plans are available. 

Week 1: Exercise and Nutrition/Connection Through Knowing

  • Principles of optimal nutrition for the health of Mom and Baby
  • Exercises to aid Mom's comfort in pregnancy as well as to prepare for labor, birth, and postpartu​​m
  • Introduction to evidence based care
  • Communication: Love maps

Week 2: Informed Consent, Evidence Based Care, and the Role of the Partner

  • Define and discuss informed consent and evidence based care​
  • Discuss the benefits, risks, and any alternatives to routine procedures in maternal care
  • The role of your partner in preparation, labor, birth and parenting

Week 3: Anatomy and Hormones of Birth and Stages of Labor /Supporting Through Stress

  • Anatomy of mom and baby and the roles of the main birth hormones: Oxytocin, beta-endorphins, catecholamines, and prolactin
  • What are the stages of labor
  • Recognizing the emotional, behavioral, and physical signposts as labor progresses
  • Communication: Stress-reducing conversation

Week 4: Comfort Measures and Communicating With Your Birth Team/Power of Appreciating Your Partner​​

  • The role of movement, relaxation, support and nutrition in helping labor progress​
  • Practice comfort measures and positions
  • Discuss options for when labor takes an unexpected path
  • Role-play to practice effective, positive communication with your birth team
  • Communication: Fondness and Admiration

Week 5: Postpartum and Feeding Your Baby/Power of Responsiveness 

  • What to expect physically and emotionally in the postpartum period
    • Begin a postpartum plan to address issues such as rest, feeding, meals for Mom and Partner, and additional support
    • Information and resources for help with postpartum mood disorders
    • Sex 
  • Feeding Your Baby
    • Benefits of breastfeeding
    • Resources for bottle feeding
    • Early hours and weeks
    • Troubleshooting
  • Communication: Softened start-up and responding to bids

Week 6: Life With Your Newborn/Honoring Parents

  • First hours and days
  • Address concerns of eating, sleeping, and calming
    • Evidence-based information on infant sleep​
    • Responding to baby's cues
    • Evidence-based expectations for crying
    • Playing with and enjoying your baby
  • Communication: Role of fathers and mothers