Instructor Spotlight

At Birth Boot Camp, we believe that the education our instructors receive will help make them teachers who can change birth, impact couples, and improve the world. We strive to give our instructors the best childbirth educator instruction out there. We are so proud of them and the impact they are making. We are excited to share some of their thoughts with you.

Hannah Reasoner

Fort Worth, Texas


What got you interested in becoming a natural childbirth educator?

I believe in natural birth and believe education is a huge part of helping families achieve this.

There are lots of different birth educator training programs out there. Why did you choose Birth Boot Camp?

Birth Boot Camp offers a lot the information I was looking to share on breastfeeding and attachment parenting. The detailed information and education that couples are provided with on how to have a successful and satisfying birth was key to my decision to teach BBC.

What most impressed you about the Birth Boot Camp training?

The pre-training reading and study requirements.

How is teaching your own classes going for you? What do you enjoy most about it?

Teaching has its joys and its challenges. I enjoy seeing the light bulb moments and being challenged by my students to know and learn more.

In what ways did the Birth Boot Camp teacher training help prepare you for teaching actual classes?

I enjoyed the mock teaching topic. It was helpful to see others present and gain ideas. It also helped calm my nerves as a teacher about to start a class.

Tell us a little about your students. Can you see how having a comprehensive natural childbirth education is positively impacting their birth experiences?

My students love class. Since June, I have had 20 couples come through class. Four hospital birth, five home and eleven birth center births. All have given birth and when I hear from them, they are all eager for the reunion and to share their birth stories with their fellow classmates. I can definitely see how the classes have helped my students prepare for birth, especially the emotional aspect. Watching the birth videos has been helpful for them as they prepare as well.

We would love it if you would share with us your favorite student birth experience so far.

One of my couples from my first class was having their second baby. Her first labor was 56 hours before she transferred from the birth center to the hospital for maternal exhaustion. She had an epidural. Her mother had been sitting at the end of the bed she was laboring in at the birth center. Each time a contraction came on, her mother would grip the arms of the rocking chair. The tension in the room was obvious, as she felt like a watched pot. During Birth Boot Camp, she discovered that having her mother come to the 2nd birth was not a good idea. She hired a doula and prepared for a home birth. When labor came on late one night, she sent her husband for last minute necessities and she labored alone and was happy. Her midwife arrived 30 minutes before the baby was born. Doula and birth photographer missed her short, 4 hour labor. She was very happy with what class had taught them and that they had chosen the birth support team that they did this time around.

To close, tell us how you see natural childbirth education changing lives and birth in the world.

The more that women have natural births in a variety of settings, the more stories that can be told to provide inspiration, hope, and encouragement for others who desire to do the same. I believe that a lot of women feel empowered when they hear stories and think “if she can do it, then so can I!”

Common Swelling in Pregnancy

Some minor swelling in pregnancy is not uncommon for women, especially in the final trimester. Any swelling should be discussed with your care provider as it can, in rare instances, indicate a bigger problem. Typical swelling, however, can be relieved with a few simple tips.

  • Exercise~ Light exercise like walking, swimming or yoga can help with blood flow and relieve the swelling in the feet so common in the end of pregnancy. Though it may be difficult to muster the energy to get outside or get up and be active, it can really be worth it for the relief it brings.
  • Healthy eating~ Eating a balanced diet that includes healthy protein, leafy greens, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and which avoids any processed foods or sugars can also alleviate excessive swelling. In fact, when your diet is this healthy, it is often fine to salt your food to taste since you will be avoiding overly salted processed foods.
  • Pelvic rocking~ Many women find that the simple exercise known as pelvic rocking can help with better circulation while pregnant. Ask your childbirth educator how to do this exercise properly. She can train both you and your partner in good technique.

With care, effort and proper education, even the common complaints of pregnancy can be eased.

Protein rich snacks

Healthy, protein rich snacks are a pregnant woman’s BEST friend!

Dear Mother,

Why a live training?

We are so happy at the interest people have shown in becoming a Birth Boot Camp Instructor!  We have had people travel from all over the country to attend our instructor training workshops in Dallas/Fort Worth.  Often, we are asked why we don’t do “online instructor training.”

We are a company specializing in natural birth classes accessible online, so the request makes sense.  Birth Boot Camp will always teach live instructor trainings and there is good reason for that.  Let us tell you why.

The Birth Boot Camp instructor training workshops are unique in many ways.

They aren’t put on by one or two people, they are run by members of our board with various skills and responsibilities within the company.  Donna Ryan (our founder) and Sarah Clark do the bulk of the teacher training that concerns HOW you TEACH a class.  Donna and Sarah are both experienced natural birth instructors with very different teaching styles.  Their relationship with one another along with their different teaching styles compliment each other and show that all different personalities can be effective teachers.

April Francom spends time explaining all of the administrative details that are required when joining our team as an instructor. This includes how to access and utilize all of the resources that we offer.  She helps guide all of our applicants through the certification process and helps them with re-certification each year, as well.

We are very proud to offer our instructors training and support in marketing their new business. Shannon Blackwell is a marketing professional specializing in non-profit and small business marketing.  She gives our instructors information and keys to making their business a success.  Shannon’s experience and knowledge help all of our instructors hit the ground running as they build their own childbirth business.

One of the favorite aspects of our training is that every future instructor has the opportunity to actually teach. We all take a moment to teach and evaluate each other.  This isn’t scary- it is helpful!  Training is a safe place to get your feet wet and get recommendations from other experienced teachers.  There is no way we could do this part of training online.

At some point during the weekend, each instructor has a professional head shot taken for our website and their own, personal use. It is a little thing, but we love the professional polish that these incredible pictures give our instructors.

Last, but not least, each instructor is required to pass a written exam before becoming certified.

Could we create an online, virtual training? Yes, but that would lesson the program that we are offering.  We want to meet our instructors. We want them to meet us.  We want to shake your hand, look you in the eye and have a personal connection with every single person who calls themselves a Birth Boot Camp Instructor.  That might sound funny coming from an childbirth method with an online component, but it is the truth.  One of the reasons we are so busy training instructors is so that MORE families in MORE places have access to live and in-person childbirth education that is up-to-date and comprehensive.  It simply can’t be found everywhere.

So, if you are curious about why you should bother flying or driving a long distance for childbirth educator training, those are a few of the reasons.  We would love to meet you and have you join our team.  Did we mention?  Our first California training is going to be held this September in San Clemente!

Allow Your Baby to Choose His Own Birthday

Here at Birth Boot Camp we educate couples about the risks of induction and encourage allowing our babies to choose their own birthdays.

Is it safe to have sex while pregnant?

Pregnancy is a magical time. It is also a time of worry and concern for many families. We naturally want to do what is best for our baby and not endanger them in any way.

Many people wonder if it is safe to make love during pregnancy. Of course, you should always consult your care provider if you have specific problems or questions. But, in general, sex during pregnancy is perfectly safe.

In fact, there can be many benefits of sex during pregnancy.

As a transitional time of life, keeping the intimacy in your marriage alive is both healthy and important for both of the partners. Also, sex during pregnancy can be very stress free for many couples. They don’t have to worry about trying to get pregnant or trying to avoid getting pregnant.

There are also known benefits to sex during pregnancy. Semen is a natural prostaglandan (cervical ripener) and some midwives report that their clients who are sexually active during pregnancy are less likely to go overdue. In fact, many women report that they start labor after making love. Sex with orgasm causes an oxytocin release that can kick start an overdue baby.

Despite the ability of sex to start labor, unless you have a history of preterm labor, sex is still perfectly safe throughout pregnancy. Your body will know when it is time.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from Birth Boot Camp!

As we look back on 2012, we saw an exciting year of growth and have much to be grateful for.  Birth Boot Camp launched in March of 2012 under the direction of our founder, Donna Ryan, and our Advisory Board.  We started offering the first, full series of professionally filmed, streaming online childbirth education classes.  Our online and in-person classes have now been taken all over the country, and even in other countries.

{click photo to view interactive map}

In June, we did our first training for childbirth educators in Dallas, Texas.  We had a wonderful group of birth professionals that included a midwife, some doulas, a massage therapist and an amazing lactation consultant.  We had a great time and learned a lot.


This summer, Donna met with Gail Tully of Spinning Babies.  We are honored to have Gail’s Belly Mapping represented in our Field Manual (student workbook).





September brought another instructor training workshop and added teachers all over the Dallas/Ft. Worth area along with a few in Oklahoma.

Our company was featured on the Bring Birth Home website, the Australian based website Natural Childbirth World, and on Natural Parenting Tips .

We are so grateful for all the people who have reached out and helped us share the news of Birth Boot Camp with the world!

Another fabulous instructor training workshop was held in November. New instructors were sent all over the country; to Washington, Utah, Oregon, California, Oklahoma and more locations in Texas.  It was so much fun and incredibly flattering to see all those women put their faith in us and take the leap with Birth Boot Camp.

We have had over 150 students take our live and online classes in 2012 (21 different states and 6 countries!) and we know that 2013 will be even better!  Three instructor training workshops are scheduled and filling up quickly.

Thank you all who have been involved in this first fabulous year at Birth Boot Camp. We are honored to be a growing force for good in the birth world.  We look forward to serving you for many more years to come.