Birth Classes in Fort Worth, Texas
Today we are excited to introduce Kelli Besancon, one of our Texas childbirth educators. Kelli is a mother of three, a childbirth educator, doula, and a physical therapist. She is so talented and brings so much to each of her students. We are grateful to have her as part of Birth Boot Camp! Kelli teaches birth classes and offers physical therapy services in Fort Worth, Texas
Introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your birth experiences.
I have three beautiful children with three very different birth stories! While I was pregnant with my first baby, I thought I wanted to "try" for a natural birth. I thought I could just say no to the epidural and that was that. However, after being in labor for three days with almost no cervical change, I was confused and frustrated.
I agreed to an epidural, AROM (artificial rupture of membranes), and pitocin because I didn't know what else to do, and a few hours later it was discovered that my son was breech. Of course. About an hour later my son was delivered via cesarean.
From the moment my OB told me I was having cesarean with my first baby, I knew that I was going to do things differently the next time. I spent the next year educating myself about pregnancy, natural birth, and VBACs. When I got pregnant again, I hired a doula and found an OB who is extremely supportive of natural birth and is known as one of the best VBAC providers in our state. With their support and trust in my body, I went on to have an unmedicated VBAC!
I knew I didn't want to go back to the hospital to give birth a third time. During the labor of my second baby, I had been so relaxed and comfortable at home, but the transition to the hospital was difficult even though I didn't arrive there until I was 8cm.
So for my third baby, I decided to look into home birth and my husband and I ultimately decided that home birth was what made us most comfortable.
My daughter was born at home, in the water and in the caul! The calming presence of my midwives, doula, husband, mom, and sister made it such a beautiful birth. I absolutely loved my home birth and am thankful I have been able to experience birth that way!
What first got you interested in birth work?
Throughout my three vastly different pregnancies and birth experiences, I learned the importance of education, carefully choosing my support team and environment, and participating in the birth community in my area.
For several years, I helped friends prepare for labor and even attended a few births of friends and family. And mostly I gave out a lot of (probably unsolicited) advice! Haha! Last year, after my 3rd baby was born and I was desiring to be home more with my young children rather than working 2-3 days per week as a physical therapist, I realized that birth work was the perfect mix of my passion, sharing what I've learned with others, and being able to be present for my family.
Do you have any particular passions concerning birth?
As a VBAC mom myself, I love walking with moms through their own VBAC journeys. There are unique emotions that go along with preparing for a VBAC and I think that having the support of someone who's been there can be very helpful.
However, overall, my passion is just to help our culture move towards a place where women feel empowered to make educated decisions about their birth and birth is respected as sacred event in a family rather than just a medical intervention that must take place to have a baby.
Why did you choose Birth Boot Camp as your certifying organization?
The more I learned about Birth Boot Camp, the more I realized it is 100% in line with what I believe about childbirth education and supporting families during this unique time in life. At the time, I didn't know much more about it than that I agreed with the curriculum and respected the depth of information and evidence based approach.
As a physical therapist, I like to know what the evidence says! However, now being part of the Birth Boot Camp community for a year, I am SO glad I chose to certify with them. It's a supportive, respectful, professional organization that is ever striving to improve and reach more families with the trust that it's possible to have an amazing birth!
Tell us a little about your Birth Boot Camp training experience- what did you like about it, where was it, who was your trainer?
I loved my Birth Boot Camp training and wish I could do it every year!! I trained in Dallas/Fort Worth with Donna Ryan and Sarah Clark. The week was full of encouragement, laughing, learning about how best to deliver the material, and building relationships with the trainers as well as the other women going through training. It made me excited to be a Birth Boot Camp instructor and I felt very prepared to begin teaching natural birth classes in Fort Worth, Texas.
Tell us about your birth classes in Fort Worth, Texas.
My classes have been so fun and rewarding! I'm teaching my 5th and 6th series' right now (I currently have 2 classes running in 2 different locations) and it just doesn't get old. I think the phrase my students hear me say most is "This is one of my favorite classes to teach!" because I really love every class.
My favorite part about teaching is building relationships with my students. I am invested in them and am here to support them as much as I can. I feel like I'm doing a good job when my students can open up to me and discuss their fears and concerns and we can walk through those together.
How did your training help prepare you for teaching?
Of course my training helped me to be prepared to teach the material itself. But, honestly, I was confident in the bulk of the material (thanks to my background and the excellent preparation that we had to do prior to coming to training week).
The part of the training that I felt was most helpful was the information on how to successfully network and market our classes. Getting your name out there is vital to building a successful business and Birth Boot Camp does a great job of preparing us and supporting us for this aspect of teaching classes.
If applicable, tell us about your students and how classes are helping them.
My students have had nothing but positive things to say about how Birth Boot Camp classes have impacted their birth experience. My classes have consisted of couples in many different situations: first time parents, unplanned pregnancies, third time parents planning their first natural birth, VBACs, single parents, couples who have struggled with infertility, and everything in between.
They have all expressed to me following their births that they feel like taking a Birth Boot Camp class was one of the best decisions they made during pregnancy.
One of my favorite stories is a dad who was initially extremely skeptical of natural birth. He and his wife were preparing for their third baby after previously having two medicated births.
This dad was confident he would not be able to see his wife in that much pain and actually didn't even attend the first two classes because he had no plans to be involved in the birth. I was also their doula and when I went to do their postpartum visit, I probably spent at least 30 minutes listening to him rave about how amazing natural birth is!
He couldn't believe that more people don't choose to experience natural birth and wanted to know how we could change the birth culture in our area so more people could experience birth like he did. (He did end up being there for the birth, by the way!)
Birth Boot Camp completely changed his beliefs about birth and not only did he get to experience the beautiful birth of his son, he has become a birth advocate! I didn't see that coming at all. But I am so proud of him and the way that quality education can truly be life-changing. I love that about Birth Boot Camp!!
How can we find you, Kelli?
You can find my website at- www.nidobirth.com
Or on Facebook at- https://www.facebook.com/nidobirth
Or email me at- firstname.lastname@example.org