Childbirth Education in Topeka, Kansas
We are so excited to introduce you to one of our beloved instructors and instructor trainers, Janine Heincker. Headquartered in Topeka, Kansas, Janine’s love for her work and all those she works with just flows out of her. You will feel blessed that you came in contact with her on your birthing journey.
First, could you introduce yourself? Tell us a little bit about your own birth experiences and how they influenced your desire to teach birth classes.
Hi! I’m Janine, wife to one, mom to five. We live on a mini urban homestead in the capital city of Kansas. True to my redhead genes, I am a determined, passionate and sometimes stubborn dreamer in life. I always say, you birth how you live, so there lies the best descriptions of my birth experiences.
It all began when I had a couple traumatic losses which led me into a fear-based practitioner’s care. My first birth was a scary mess, for lack of better words. I was determined to have the natural birth of my dreams but had no idea of the amount of prep needed to accomplish this and come out in one piece.
It was a classic example of what not to do.
I went looking for help to heal from the losses so I could be less fearful in this birth. I took a class but didn’t take what I learned to heart. I was clueless about doulas. Though my childbirth educator volunteered to be there at the end of my labor, I really should have hired a doula to walk along with me as my husband and I were deer in the headlights.
I thought the midwives could read my wishlist-filled mind. I was very wrong and left alone in labor. I ate my feelings throughout pregnancy and my body paid for it as I was in constant pain. I didn’t move enough and never slept well. I was skeptical of chiropractic care and what little sleep I did get in the last trimester, happened in the recliner; not a great way to get baby in an optimal position. I suffered through back labor for three days in spite of the narcotics I received. I ended up feeling trapped and panicky as I pushed my baby out forcefully and fearfully. Ugh.
Needless to say, it ended poorly.
What first got you interested in the realm of birth?
As part of processing my trauma, I became passionate and just knew there had to be a way to birth with joy and I was determined to share it with everyone. I became a natural childbirth educator and doula, to change the world, but found that birth changed me.
I went on to have another semi-traumatic birth but I soaked up education and had a doula and a photographer which met all my needs and that made all the difference! I learned a lot about myself and birth and owned my choices from then on. The 3rd and 4th birth were intensely short and sweet; just what I needed. Oh! and my most recent birth, my 5th, was amazing! It was beyond perfect for myself, my husband, and my family!
What are your particular passions concerning birth?
My first awesome birth (my third) was what led me to believe that all mother-babies and families can have an amazing birth they want to remember! It doesn’t matter as much what happens to a mother in labor; unmedicated or not; it matters how she feels about it and how others treat her. If we take birth and beyond prep seriously, we will focus on strength and awareness in mind, body, and spirit. Eating in awareness while choosing real foods and treats without guilt is so freeing. Moving for strength and flexibility will prepare our body. Opening, releasing, and loving your mind through all the information and choices will prepare you to birth peacefully. Those areas of expansion, will make whatever birth you have one that you want to remember.
There are lots of different birth educator training programs out there. Why did you choose Birth Boot Camp?
After teaching and supporting expectant couples for several years and seeing some births go smoothly where mothers felt confident and supported and families felt loved and respected and other births being a stressful and traumatic struggle where the mother was pushed around and the family felt helpless under the cascade of scary interventions, I started to feel like I was out-growing my certifying program and I went looking for a change.
I chose Birth Boot Camp after picking the founder’s brain about my passions: nutrition, movement, and relaxation. She exceeded my expectations when sharing how modern, evidence-based, and family-oriented the curriculum was.
I was sold and signed up the next week.
And the support, I can’t begin to say how much support there is. It’s truly like joining a big happy family. Birth Boot Camp Management and Instructors lift each other up.
Tell us a little about your Birth Boot Camp training experience. Where did you train? What did you like about it?
From the first time I saw the required reading list (several books I hadn’t read), I was eager to soak it all up. I loved my training in Dallas! I broke my foot the month before so my whole family came with me. It was a struggle but the amount of love and support while I was there learning how to teach was phenomenal.
I appreciated the diversity of women who shared my passions. I was floored at how much sustainability was built into the training. The business training was unprecedented and I can’t say enough good things about the materials, teaching tools, polished videos, and security I felt in the organization overall. It was a great bonding experience!
How is teaching your own classes going for you? What do you enjoy most about it?
FABULOUS! I’m all about quality not quantity as I find my place in the birth world here in Topeka Kansas. Due to my classroom setting and personal needs, I teach small classes where everyone becomes very connected and receptive of each other.
The students really enjoy the classes and many of them recommend me to their friends, family and various practitioners. I enjoy seeing the â€œaha!â€ moments when a student finds just the right path for them and I see the fear melt away and joy spreads over their whole being. It’s an honor to witness them growing.
In what ways did the Birth Boot Camp teacher training help prepare you for teaching actual classes?
Having been teaching for a while I wasn’t sure I would gain a lot of new info, but boy was a I mistaken. I learned so much practical information and teaching techniques that has helped me not only to be a better Instructor but made my job even easier. I felt so well prepared, I immediately started thinking about how I wanted to put these trainings on for Birth Boot Camp someday. (You can apply here to become a Birth Boot Camp instructor!)
Tell us a little about your students. How do you believe childbirth education is having a positive impact on them?
I have heard more than once that my Birth Boot Camp classes prepared them for life, not just birth.
I especially enjoy hearing from those partners who weren’t super interested or involved when they came to class (not because they didn’t want to but because they were scared) and left feeling ready to meet whatever birth choices and speeds bumps came their way. And the best is when reunions are full of families sharing their birth to remember stories proudly and partners say, â€œI can’t believe I thought the class was too expensive, long, unnecessary, etc. and now it’s priceless. I would have paid more, come to class longer, I will tell everyone they need to take your class, etc. That’s the awesome icing on my Birth Boot Camp Instructor cake!
To close, tell us how you see natural childbirth education having a positive impact? Why does this work matter to you?
Changing the world one pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding relationship at a time is an honor and responsibility I take very seriously and I think it shows. The students that take my class say that their births are awesome and their lives are better after taking a class and they want to tell everyone. Nothing better. That’s why this work matters to me!
Where can we find you?
I teach Birth Boot Camp birth classes in Topeka, KS and surrounding areas: Lawrence & Kansas City. You can find my website:
Read more about Janine and her sweet family and her work as a Birth Boot Camp Regional Trainer, here.