Childbirth classes in Buda, TX
Birth Boot Camp has the most incredible childbirth educators. These women seriously change lives for the better on a regular basis. At our most recent childbirth educator training, we welcomed Michelle who will be teaching childbirth classes in Buda, TX.
Michelle is passionate, fun, and so excited to help you have an amazing birth! She is reaching out to so many people and spreading her joy to the world. We feel lucky to have her!
Check her out-
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.
My name is Michelle and I am the proud mama to three amazing homeschooled kiddos that keep me on my toes and always in prayer.
My mom had me at a hospital but then had my brother and sister at home. I do not remember my brother’s birth and I was a teenager for my sister’s so my birth experience was that it was awkward and something that my mom did at home because she was weird. I did not really tell anyone about it because teenagers are odd and secretive and do not like to be pointed out as strange.
I also said I would never have a home birth because â€œthat is what hippies didâ€ and I was not a hippie. (I also said I would never homeschool so my never does not seem to hold much water!)
My step-mom told me about her home birth experiences when I got married and my husband and I started trying for our baby. I also heard the horror story from my brother and his wife’s birth and decided I did not really like the idea of a hospital anymore. I asked my mom about her home births again and she talked about them so calm and cooly that it just sounded like a much better experience than I had been hearing from other births.
The biggest change for us was when we did finally get pregnant. And twice we miscarried. These two losses were very different but each time we went to the hospital, we were subjected to their â€œstandard protocolâ€. At one point, the sonographer told my husband he could not come with me to get an ultrasound, as they wheeled me down the hall, I heard my husband say â€œWhere is my wife? either I go with her, or I take her home.” The staff reluctantly let him come but it felt like we were not that important to them.
He became my hero at that moment and I realized that he would have my back no matter how or where we choose to give birth. So I told him I wanted to interview midwives for home births because if my mom and step-mom could do it, so could I. Our first interview became our first appointment because the midwife wanted to take care of us right away and my husband said he trusted me with her.
My first daughter was born after 22 hours of total labor, a very long transition and an exhausted mom! My midwife said over and over how amazing my husband was and that she did not need to do anything because we worked so well together. I credit taking childbirth classes with that, otherwise we would have not known how to labor together or how to relax.
My daughter was born with a velamentous cord insertion, which is a variation of vasa previa, which can be dangerous and deadly if the bag of water is artificially broken. After my midwife checked the placenta she told me â€œthis is why I never break the water.” I have no doubt being in a different birthplace with a different provider would have not had a great outcome and from that moment on, my birth place of choice was home, where I felt safe and relaxed.
My second and third babies were born at home with the same midwives but these two were shorter, quicker labors that ended up in water birth.
My midwife said â€œYou make labor look easy,â€ which is a great compliment because it does not feel easy- it feels like hard work.
After having such a great experience, I really wanted other women to have great births too, but I realized that the â€œnormâ€ was for women to not get educated, go through the standard protocol and just be happy to have a healthy baby. It made me sad that I had an amazing experience with birth and my friends just gave birth and then gave a bottle because â€œbaby never latched, they didn’t make enough milk, baby was allergic etc.” These moms were proud of their babies, but the birth experience was something they glazed over.
What first got you interested in the realm of birth?
After having my babies, everyone wanted to know WHY I choose home birth and that opens up everyone to their scary birth stories to counteract my positive ones. It gets frustrating after awhile hearing everyone talk about birth like it is this big scary thing for everyone to fear and for so many moms to tell each other â€Girl! get those drugs!â€ Or joking that they could not feel their legs like it was a good thing.
I also was working for my midwives at the time as their bookkeeper so I became more aware of the midwifery model of care and how a midwife looks at a pregnant mom versus how modern medicine views pregnancy. I knew I would not be a midwife, but I felt like there was something in the birth community that I could do, so I started by telling my stories with no shame! Yes, I had a home birth, yes they were born in the water, yes my husband caught our girls and no, I did not have to leave my house and yes, I breastfeed only.
I always tried to encourage mothers to educate themselves and learn because if you don’t know what bloody show is, then how are you going to know what the stages of labor look like? It was frustrating at first to hear moms say they don’t need to take a labor class because they trust their doctor and then to hear their doctor was not on call anyway and they had a c-section that I stopped telling people about birth for awhile.
But then, I was encouraged by one of my friends that choose a birth center and she had an amazing birth and was so excited to tell people about it. She thanked me for telling her she could do it and sharing my experience with her.
I then had a friend that had a natural hospital birth and I gave her all my books to read and she was very proud of what she was able to accomplish. I realized that there WERE couples out there that wanted to have a great birth after all.
What are your particular passions concerning birth?
I am very passionate about doing your own research and picking what works for you. So many of my friends were calling me when they were in labor saying â€œI have contractions and blood, is that normal?â€ But when I asked if they took a birth class, they told me they didn’t have the time. These moms ended up with c-sections or a ton of interventions and breastfeeding issues because they were not educated in their labors and were trying to walk through contractions because that’s what they do on TV.
I also love boobies! I am an advocate for breastfeeding and it makes me sad that in our country, our babies are fed formula more than breastmilk. It is not natural, it is not cheap and the overall health cost should be weighed. I feel that our culture needs to encourage breastfeeding more and normalize it so moms don’t ask â€œAre you breastfeeding?â€ it should be assumed that you give birth, your breasts make milk and you feed your baby just like God made us to do.
There are lots of different birth educator training programs out there. Why did you choose Birth Boot Camp?
I had been praying for a few years about becoming a childbirth teacher, but I did not want to teach the class that I took because I felt like I had to apologize for the old material, so I put that idea on hold until I was on a mom blog and found Birth Boot Camp. I was shocked that it covered SO MUCH more information than the other class did and more than the classes that are standard 6 hour classes.
I was really impressed with the information on breastfeeding because it goes hand in hand with educating yourself on your birth and your baby and your body. I also was never exposed to chiropractic in my other classes or even through my midwives and had to seek out care myself because of sciatic nerve pain. The fact that Birth Boot Camp encouraged every mom to develop a relationship with a Webster Chiropractor is huge.
The bonus is that the material and information is all very updated. I would give a warning when I would let friend borrow my other class material that they were going to see â€œ1970’s naked â€œhippiesâ€ and that honestly turned people off to those other classes.
When I decided to become a Birth Boot Camp Instructor, I looked at the website and bios of the other instructors and really felt like I would be joining a community of like-minded women that really believe that dads are important in birth and that couples truly can have an amazing birth. My husband of course, was impressed that we also received business training because to him, that was the legit point that this was not some shady company that I randomly found online.
Oh – and Kefir, I may have danced a little when I saw kombucha and kefir in the nutrition class because ferments are awesome and all mamas should learn what they are and make some for their families.
Tell us a little about your Birth Boot Camp training experience. Where did you train? What did you like about it?
I went to training in Dallas and was so nervous because I felt like I would be the least qualified person there; all I did was have 3 natural births. The information we had to read and research before hand really prepared me, but I will be honest, I was afraid I was going fail the exam for some reason. (Probably because the requirements and the training we had to do was very rigorous, I felt like I was back in college!)
The instruction at training however, was so hands on and every class was explained in detail and we got to take turns teaching each other just as if it was a mock class. With each hour there, I felt more excited and encouraged to return to my city and bring what I learned to the couples there.
The parts of training that really stuck out to me were the times that it was brought up about couples â€œworking things outâ€ because just like the midwifery model of care, it is more than just contractions and dilation- but these are real people we are teaching, with real emotions and concerns and we have to be sensitive to those concerns and allow them to be themselves in a safe place. If their class is safe, they will want to have a birth environment that is safe as well and it is our job to show them how to do that.
I realized at class that I was qualified to do what I had been doing for 8 years anyway: encourage women to think about their births in depth and prepare themselves for it and talking about birth and breastfeeding as awesome- not scary.
And of course, I did pass the exam.
How is teaching your own classes going for you? What do you enjoy most about it?
I am really enjoying teaching classes because you see the personality of the couples unfold in class. The first class starts off with nervous tension and the class talks a very little, which is why the talking cards are awesome. By the 4th class, they are really thinking out loud and you can see the wheels turning in their brains as they talk to each other about what they are learning and what they are thinking.
I enjoy the interaction of our teaching tools because it gives them each the chance to apply what they are learning and they see that much of birth is a logical process and the interventions often do not fit into that logical process.
I love whenever I see a mom or dad start using â€œair quotesâ€ when talking about an intervention or something their doctor has said to them, because it shows they are thinking for themselves and that they are not buying it.
In what ways did the Birth Boot Camp teacher training help prepare you for teaching birth classes in Buda, TX?
Teacher training was hands on, so I was able to see how to present the information, not just what to present. It was also wonderful to have other instructors there that had been teaching for awhile so they were able to share with us how they approach different situations and what worked and what did not work.
Since we literally went through each class and talk about it, we also got to share different research and life experiences that gave us more information to take home and share because each mom in the room had a different birth story. I honestly do not see how women get certified to teach classes just taking a quick online study. I really think it is important to know how your childbirth teacher was trained because her training comes out in the classes and if there is nothing hands on, your class probably won’t be either.
Tell us a little about your students. How do you believe childbirth education in Buda is having a positive impact on them?
I love how different each grouping of couples can be in the same class- I have had a couple that is very analytical and type- A. They want their birth plan organized A-Z and want to know what happens next. It has been good to see them loosen up and realize that they can’t control everything. They have been able to really see the questions they have not thought about while they focused too much on the things they can’t control, like how long labor will be.
For them, it has been positive to see them realize that there are variations in labor but that does not mean it is an abnormality. They have had a long journey and went through rounds of IVF to get pregnant, so for them, they are done with the interventions that got them pregnant and they want to have a baby with no medical assistance. They have a doula which is a great thing and they are open to try everything that is suggested for them to try.
I have another student that is a single mom who is very calm and just take what comes. She more or less just thinks she can have a natural birth because why not? For her, it has been good to see that she will need the support of her friend that is there and for her to be ok asking for support and not trying to do it all herself. She is way more laid back so this class has been good for her to see that there will be parts of labor that are hard.
To close, tell us how you see natural childbirth education having a positive impact? Why does this work matter to you?
I think that natural childbirth education will have a positive impact in the world because women are not broken. Yes, there are some people and times when medical intervention is a blessing, but we can’t use that paint brush on the whole world.
As more and more couples learn that they can do this and that birth is not something to be afraid of, but to grow through- more and more parents will be prepared for parenthood; for those late night nursing sessions and co-sleeping questions and feeding and to continue to make decisions for the care of their children based on evidence and mother’s intuition.
Couples that learn to trust themselves and work together during birth also trust themselves to work together to raise their children. I believe as more mothers choose natural birth, more will choose to breastfeed as well and that will impact the future generations of kids that are sicker than they were 30 years agoâ€¦but that is a whole other conversation!
What do you in the beginning lays the foundation and birth is the preparation for parenthood, which is not easy.
Where can we find you teaching natural birth classes?
I currently teach group childbirth classes at Zoi Acupuncture in downtown Buda TX, which is a short drive for the couples in South Austin, Kyle and San Marcos.