In celebration of our 4,000th Facebook “like,” Birth Boot Camp is giving away a free copy of our new and incredible DVD, Breastfeeding: the Ultimate MRE. This two disk DVD set is so full of information, you will want to watch it again and again.
Breastfeeding: the Ultimate MRE (Meal Ready to Eat), is over three hours of breastfeeding information. From getting the proper latch, to storing your pumped milk at work, to information about normal infant sleep cycles, you will be armed with the knowledge you need to have a successful and joyful breastfeeding relationship.Read more
The backbone of Birth Boot Camp lies in our amazing instructors. Our natural birth instructors can now be found from coast to coast and more are training all the time. We love working with these wonderful women and watching them change lives through education. Today we are featuring an interview with one of our earliest trainees about what being a Birth Boot Camp Instructor means to her. (And if you can’t find an instructor close enough to you for a live, our online natural birth classes are available virtually anywhere around the world.)
What got you interested in becoming a natural childbirth educator?
During our first pregnancy we went through 10 weeks of live natural childbirth classes by Birth Boot Camp founder, Donna Ryan. She gave me and my husband accurate, up to date information. We were able to take what we had learned and decide what was best for our pregnancy and baby. We have been married for 8 years and have had three fabulous home births! These experiences inspired me to help make natural childbirth education available for everyone, because it brought reassurance and confidence for some of the most meaningful moments of my life.
There are lots of different birth educator training programs out there. Why did you choose Birth Boot Camp?
I was impressed with Birth Boot Camp materials! They have created an outstanding teacher curriculum, Student Field Manual, and extensive breastfeeding DVD built on a foundation of truth and excellence. Students benefit from the treasury of information that reflect cutting edge statistics and the very best in natural childbirth education.
What most impressed you about the Birth Boot Camp training?
During instructor training I was most impressed with the way that the Birth Boot Camp Advisory Board was determined to serve us and wanted to see us succeed! The marketing training has help me beyond what I could have imagined. I love team teaching as it gave us hands on experience in the art of communicating natural birth knowledge and content to prepare us for teaching live classes. (Part of every training is an opportunity for the instructors to teach to the group.)
How is teaching your own classes going for you? What do you enjoy most about it?
It has been very rewarding teaching live classes and it’s going really well! I started teaching live classes almost immediately after certification, about a month later. Many couples have gone through my classes already.
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 occupations range from Balloon Artist to Police Officer and everything in between. They have had births in hospitals, birth centers and at home. Several dads told me at the end of the first or second class night something like, “I thought this was going to be boring, but it turns out you make it fun and I actually look forward to class each week.” Students have made friendships that lasted beyond class and I enjoy keeping up with my students as we formed great friendships as well. One of my amazing moms said, “Our Birth Boot Camp classes really helped me achieve such a redeeming childbirth experience in-contrast with my first three births.”
We would love it if you would share (with permission) with us your favorite student birth experience so far.
Student Birth Story: Baby Axle’s Birth Story (Attachment written by my student, given with permission and pictures with permission as well!)
To close, tell us how you see natural childbirth education changing lives and birth in the world.
Women everywhere are becoming more aware that they have choices when it comes to having their babies. Mothers often choose to deliver naturally because they have been educated and embrace the idea that giving birth is a normal, beautiful, and physiological process.
Rachel Johnson is a Birth Boot Camp instructor in Fort Worth, Texas. She is due to have her third baby at home any day. She took her first childbirth class from Birth Boot Camp founder Donna Ryan. As a passionate teacher, she has guided many couples on their journey to a joyful, natural birth experience.
For more information about her Fort Worth natural birth classes click here.
One of our goals at Birth Boot Camp is to train couples in natural birth.This tender birth story from one of our former students exemplifies everything we hope for our couples.You will see a father go from scoffing the idea of natural birth and frightened of birth videos to being an amazing and integral part of a family birth experience.
This is truly what we seek to do as a company- improve the birth experience for the mother, her partner, and their baby.
Enjoy this amazing birth story!
It was just about a year ago when we found out that we were pregnant.I’d been a little too anxious with the first pregnancy test and despite assuring results up to 5 days sooner; the test still came back negative. A week later when Mother Nature still had not run her course, I tried again.POSITIVE!
For reasons I don’t even completely know, I’ve always desired to have an un-medicated childbirth.Granted, that wasn’t a conversation that really came up in our dating days, so when I told my husband this after we received the pregnancy news, he was a little unsupportive.Okay, he might have even scoffed and said, ‘yeah, we’ll see how you feel when the time comes.’Thankfully, I was with my mother-in-law at the time and she does a wonderful job trying to help me understand my husband.She explained that his only up-front experience with childbirth had not been a very positive experience.My husband has an adorable 6 year-old son (whom I love with my whole heart) from a previous relationship.They were young and unprepared.The mom is tiny and my (step) son’s head is rather large.All of that resulted in a lot of pain and eventually a C-section.This is what my husband had in his mind.
After explaining my desires a little bit more and reading a book that got us both on the same page, my husband jumped on the un-medicated band wagon with me!We enrolled in a local Birth Boot Camp (instructed by none other than Donna herself!) so that we could both be educated.Friday evenings were one of our favorite times.It was great having time to be so intentional about understanding the birthing process.What we both found most useful was the emphasis on the husband’s active role throughout the pregnancy, labor, delivery, and beyond.
What my husband found most uncomfortable was the birthing videos.Seriously, he’d turn away, cover his face, catch glimpses of the video and be totally disgusted.Uh….he was supposed to be my #1 support during the delivery; how were we going to make sure this happened?!As classes went on, the whole birthing process became a little less…disgusting…to him.However, to this day, he still will say he found the videos revolting.Bless his heart.However, having been exposed to un-medicated births via those videos let him know a little bit more about what to expect on D-Day (Delivery day).
When the day arrived (I would say finally but she came a few days early despite me being convinced she would come late – so perhaps unexpectedly arrived would be more accurate), we were as ready as we were going to be.My husband had his affirmations written down for me, lots of lyrics and scripture saved, and an entire playlist put together for during labor.I think we got through a few songs before she came much quicker than anticipated!My husband was my #1 support that day as I had hoped he would be.He was calm, encouraging, supportive and calm.Did I mention calm?When meeting my husband, calm probably wouldn’t be one of the words used to describe him.Yet, thanks to a lot of prayer, the classes and conversation (and, yes, even the videos), he knew what I needed that day to have a positive birthing experience.It was an incredible day all together.
I had a friend there with us taking pictures of the whole experience.When talking to her a few days later, she told me the first thing she told her husband after watching our daughter’s birth was that she was super impressed (and even a little shocked) with how well my husband responded throughout the process.Even my midwife commended him for his support.While he might not have been the one to catch our daughter, he did manage to peak and even caught a glimpse of Kadence coming into the world – with her arm raised high by her head.Really, Kadence?!But to think he might have missed that if not for everything we had learned ahead of time.I’m so incredibly thankful for our experience and how prepared we felt going into all of it.My husband was so enthralled with how alert our daughter was immediately upon entering the world.Really, he’s just enthralled with her in general.I’m so thankful for Donna, Birth Boot Camp, our fellow Birth Boot Campers and the healthy arrival of our tiny newest addition.We couldn’t have asked for anything more; we are incredibly blessed.
While Birth Boot Camp began with a mission to take childbirth education to more people through online classes, we have been honored to see incredible growth in our live classes. Women with a passion for birth, from all around the country, have signed up for our instructor training workshops. Now, just about a year into this business, we have instructors across the country and trainings beginning to span from coast to coast!
Let’s hear what these fabulous new instructors have to say about the comprehensive trainings that Birth Boot Camp organizes.
“It (the workshop) has been invaluable in giving me the hands on prep I needed. I love having a village to help us.” Maggie
Included in the price of your training are all the materials you will need to get started as a childbirth educator. Each new instructor receives an Instructor Manual, Instructor Handbook, Field Guide (student workbook), all of the Birth Boot Camp birth videos (you don’t have to find or buy your own) and supplemental videos for teaching specific subjects.
The only thing you will be required to buy when you start a class are workbook kits for your students. Not only that, Birth Boot Camp has developed detailed lesson plans and game ideas that you can use when teaching your own class.
“The materials and all of the ideas given are so helpful and useful. I can’t wait to get started.”
One of the most important aspects of training is the opportunity that each instructor has to practice teaching to the entire group. Everyone is assigned a topic and we meet together to listen and learn from each other. Not only is this a wonderful time to practice and get used to teaching in a group setting, there are also some incredible ideas shared by these amazing instructors.
“I thought the teaching part would be scary but I ended up loving it during training. It was fun and so helpful!”
“I feel much more prepared to teach and more confident.” Beth
“I loved practice teaching!” Beth
And with that, we would like to introduce you to our newest crop of trained, natural birth instructors! You can find all of our instructors, from coast to coast, on our Find a Live Class page.
One thing that is very important to us at Birth Boot Camp is supporting and encouraging the midwifery model of care. We are honored to have a very experienced and insightful midwife, Melody Morrow, CPM, as a member of our Advisory Board. Why is Melody so excited about Birth Boot Camp? She has seen the classes improve outcomes for her clients. Here are a few of her words. Thank you, Melody, for your support!
Birth Boot Camp childbirth education has had an incredible impact on my midwifery practice. As a midwife, I have found that the midwifery clientele has shifted recently and become more mainstream. Women are now choosing midwifery care that haven’t necessarily researched and taken responsibility for their choices in birth. Some just want to try a waterbirth because it looked cool on television. What this means for me as a midwife is that if I take these clients, I have to make sure they are properly educated before the birth. If they don’t receive that education, I will likely be spending many, many more hours with them in pre-labor, labor and possibly a traumatic transport to the hospital.
I began to require that all my primips (first time moms) and women birthing outside the hospital for the first time take a childbirth class. While something was better than nothing, I didn’t necessarily notice a significant difference in outcomes for my clients who took a short class (4-6 weeks). However, I did notice that clients who took a longer Birth Boot Camp class did often have very different outcomes. Women were less fearful and more determined. They participated in their care and were making informed choices. Dads were providing excellent, confident support throughout pregnancy and, noticeably, in labor. Moms who would have otherwise had epidurals or C-sections, were having unmedicated births.
I believe Birth Boot Camp will enhance and support your work as a midwife because:
1. It promotes and affirms the midwifery model of care. The Birth Boot Camp curriculum is based on the Mother Friendly Childbirth Initiative. What they teach aligns perfectly with how I practice.
2. It gives parents 10 weeks of intentional education. This enables parents to make appropriate decisions for their care and increases their ownership of responsibility. In short, more families “own” their birth choices. Education lasts approximately 18-24 hours, so they simply have time to learn what they need.
3. The live classes promote peer support, encouragement and determination. Think of these couples meeting for 10 solid weeks to learn about birth with like-minded people and a dedicated teacher who has done it before. They are supported and positive about their birth and having more of their emotional needs met.
4. Someone else, besides you, is encouraging the same things you want them to hear. Good nutrition, exercise, positioning, and much more are all things they are learning about OUTSIDE of your visits, not just during them. My clients are more likely to be intentional in caring for themselves when they are given directed information, statistics, etc. and discussing these things with their partner and other birth workers.
5. Dads become more confident, involved and less fearful. A confident and involved dad really helps with mom’s well-being. Many clients will become even more passionate and appreciative of the choices they are making, even if they don’t have their desired outcome.
6. It is contemporary. The films are current and interesting. The topics concerning birth and interventions are up-to-date. In class, they discuss babywearing, cloth diapering, chiropractic care, doulas, Spinning Babies™, and other things that we want our clients to know about, but may not have time to fully teach them. Their class will connect them to resources that I might not be able to.
7. It forces couples to stop and focus on their pregnancy in this fast paced world. Couples connect with their pregnancy and with each other. They discuss issues and they come to an understanding. They appreciate their baby and the experience together. I wish every couple did this!
8. Knowledge is power. This means less confused, fearful phone calls and false labor runs for you.
In short, when my couples access the kind of quality childbirth education provided by Birth Boot Camp they have a better birth experience, my job is easier, and if things don’t go as they planned, they are comforted in knowing that they did all they could. This kind of childbirth education truly makes a difference.
Melody Morrow, CPM, LM, BBCI loves babies and birth. Since 1998 she has attended over 1,100 births and assisted in the training of over 70 midwifery students. She is passionate about preventative, respectful care for mothers, babies, and their families. Melody works in Texas at Edenway Birth Center as the administrator and senior consulting midwife. She is enthusiastic about her calling and loves to help empower families as they become informed and educated about their choices during their maternity and birth experiences.