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Birth Boot Camp Retreat, 2015

Supporting Arms, Birth Boot Camp Retreat, 2015

At Birth Boot Camp, we love educating couples through online and in-person childbirth classes. We also love watching our instructors and doulas grow in knowledge and education. Every three years (despite begging for more often) we have committed to hosting a Birth Boot Camp Retreat. A few months ago we held our first and it was…epic. With visiting speakers, authors, birth famous peeps, vendors, awesome swag, yummy food, and tons of photo ops, (did we even mention the henna!?) we had a fabulous time that we will always remember.

Here are a few highlights from that amazing event. Join us as an instructor or doula and we would LOVE to have you on our team. We are changing the world, one birth at a time!

Birth Boot Camp Retreat 2015

The theme of Birth Boot Camp retreat, 2015: Supporting Arms.

The theme for our first Birth Boot Camp retreat was “Supporting Arms.” There were two reasons for this. First, we had just launched our new doula program, and our doula handbook is called, “Supporting Arms.” (It’s beautiful and awesome, you should see it.) Also, as a group of women working to make birth better, we surround couples and each other with “supporting arms.” Just love this custom jewelry that one of our vendors made. Gasp!

Birth Boot Camp Retreat, 2015

Birth Boot Camp instructors and doulas gathered from around the country (and Canada!) to meet and learn from each other.

We began retreat with some getting-to-know-you games. We have instructors and doulas in over 30 states, and even a few in Canada. While we all chat and learn from each other via our private Facebook groups, it was so fun to meet in real life. Plus, those who had met before at trainings had an awesome time catching up!

Birth Boot Camp Retreat, 2015

Learning from Dr Adrienne Carmack, Urologist, about circumcision.

We love having fun, but continuing education is also important to us. We heard from many professionals, including Dr Adrienne Carmack, a Urologist and intactivist. We learned so much from her perspective so that we can better teach students about circumcision. She is also author of the book,  Reclaiming My Birth Rights: A Mother’s Wisdom Triumphs Over the Harmful Practices of Her Medical Profession.

Birth Boot Camp Retreat, 2015

Just can’t get enough of these beautiful Birth Boot Camp babies!

The thing about women who love birth- they just keep having gorgeous babies! Those eyes! Plus, this sweet baby was a vaginal birth after three cesareans (VBA3C)!

Birth Boot Camp Retreat, babies

Look at all these Birth Boot Camp babies!

We weren’t kidding about all the babies! It is an amazing thing to watch these women nurture their babies with love. There is lots of breastfeeding and babywearing going on!

Birth Boot Camp retreat, 2015

Birth Boot Camp bellies!

Of course, before you get babies, you have to have bellies. These were all our pregnant instructors showing off their bumps. Four of them have already had their babies! It’s a miracle every time.

Birth Boot Camp Retreat, 2015, Theresa Morris

We loved learning from Theresa Morris, PhD, about the cesarean epidemic.

We also got to learn from and chat with Dr Theresa Morris, author of Cut It Out, The C-Section Epidemic in America. She was an amazing speaker and we highly recommend her book. She taught us about why so many cesareans are happening and how we can help lower those rates through education and doulas.

Birth Boot Camp retreat, 2015, henna

Henna artistry: love.

We had an incredible henna artist that decorated us. So beautiful! So much fun.

Birth Boot Camp retreat, 2015

Learning how to teach with Lisa Van Gemert.

As a childbirth education company, teaching is an integral part of Birth Boot Camp. We want our instructors to be the best in the business so we took the opportunity to listen to Lisa Van Gemert, The Gifted Guru, teach us how to be better instructors. Her advice made us all better understand how to teach. As a bonus, she was incredible and funny!

Birth Boot Camp Retreat 2015

The incredible Pamela Jones, Physical Therapist, teaching our instructors and doulas.

An integral part of our childbirth education program is Kegels personalized for YOUR needs and your pelvic floor. We can thank the distinguished Pamela Jones for this program. We learned so much from her! A healthy pelvic floor is literally LIFE CHANGING.

Birth Boot Camp retreat 2015

Katie Dudley! The developer behind the Birth Boot Camp nutrition and exercise program.

Katie Dudley is the incredible force behind our nutrition and exercise program at Birth Boot Camp. So many women have been helped reach their optimal health through her program. Her words of wisdom are priceless and we are so grateful to have her on our team! Not to brag, but there isn’t a single childbirth program out there with a nutrition and exercise program as complete and awesome as hers.

Birth Boot Camp retreat, 2015

Left to right- Laurie McGowan (Canada), Melissa Kosloski (MN), Jillian Blakeman (TX), Kristen Spangler (IL), Elisha Adams (TX), Janine Heinecker (KS)

Look at these wonderful women! One of the best parts of retreat is meeting new friends and reconnecting with old ones. It may sound cheesy, but our love of birth brings all these different women together, from all across the country. Suddenly, everyone finds their tribe. It is a beautiful thing.

Birth Boot Camp Retreat 2015

Too much fun with this rowdy group of women!

We had a blast. Seriously. But somehow, Debbe Cannone from San Diego always managed to be in the middle of things. Love these ladies!

Birth Boot Camp Retreat, 2015

Our fearless leader, Donna Ryan.

There she is, the woman that brought us all together, Donna Ryan. Her passion for natural birth and her fearlessness in sharing this passion has literally touched the lives of thousands of families. Each and every one of us can make a difference in the world and help families have more positive birth experiences if we just speak up, even when it is scary. You CAN have an amazing birth!

Birth is one of life’s most powerful experiences and it never ceases to amaze us how it brings people together, changes lives, and touches the world. We are so grateful for all the women, babies, and families that let us be a part of their pregnancy and birth experience. Thank you!

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Maria Pokluda
7 years ago

The Retreat was truly an amazing time. I learned so much ad met women who are changing the world. I am proud to be a part of this organization!

Laurie McGowan, BBCI BBCD (Calgary, AB Canada)

The Retreat was the highlight of my year…and only nearly edged out my Birth Boot Camp DOULA training that happened right before it. Great information, time to really get to know others that love to teach a great program and great presenters. It was timely, well organized and even in the midst of tornado warnings, we all had fun and learned so much!

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