This article is part four in a week long series of articles reviewing Birth Boot Camp, a complete natural childbirth program whose mission is to train couples in natural birth and breastfeeding through accessible, contemporary education. Start here: Birth Boot Camp Introduction
by Sarah @ MamaBirth
A: Birth Boot Camp core curriculum was created by Childbirth Educator Donna Ryan, who has taught classes for nearly a decade. Contributors that have made the program complete come from other educators, a personal trainer, CNMs, CPMs, doulas, a massage therapist, a lactation consultant, a Webster-certified chiropractor, and many other resources. It is a complete and accurate program for todays’ couples. Classes are professionally filmed and edited and include numerous families and birth professionals, sharing their stories and expertise for the classes. Each class runs anywhere from 1-2 hours.
Q: How do the Birth Boot Camp classes apply to women planning a home birth?
A: Donna, the founder of Birth Boot Camp, as well as many of the Birth Boot Camp instructors, have had both hospital and home births. Women have been giving birth since the beginning of time, mostly at home, until the last century. Regardless of where a family chooses to give birth, the process is the same. They need to understand that process. No one can do it for you! No matter how great a midwife or doula is, they can’t go through labor for the mom – which is exciting and terrifying all rolled into one! Classes teach both partners everything they need to know to have an unmedicated birth. The Birth Boot Camp classes specifically focuses on deep relaxation and staying low risk so that your home birth is as fabulous and healthy as possible.
These are the perfect classes for home birth moms because they prepare the mother and the father for the joys – and hard work – of labor and give both partners the confidence and tools they need for a joyful experience.
Sometimes intervention is necessary, even in a home birth. Understanding when and why that might be required is empowering for mom and dad. First, knowing what commonly happens in the hospital helps you feel comfortable in your choice to birth at home. And second, if you choose to or need to go to the hospital at any point, you are prepared for that environment too. Birth Boot Camp gives you the best of both worlds.
Q: Why the name Birth Boot Camp?
A: One of our main goals as a natural childbirth education company is to get the partner involved in the classes and in the birth process. We found that many classes out there cater only to the moms. We prepare BOTH the mom and the dad because we know from years of experience that a great birth experience involves a prepared mother AND a prepared father. A father-to-be isn’t afraid to put his hands on a Birth Boot Camp Field Manual or brochure. After that, the format and the knowledge in the classes will give him the confidence he needs and the assurance that he can do this.
Q: Should I take a live childbirth class or an online class?
A: You know yourself better than anyone. There is no accountability with online classes. Your online instructor cannot look you in the eye and ask how relaxation practice is going or if you are eating a balanced diet. Many people do fine with that and even prefer it that way. If your schedule is hectic, you may have a hard time getting into a live class. You may be 34 weeks into the pregnancy when you find Birth Boot Camp, and with online classes, you can still get the full course.
A live class is preferred for many couples. The community from a class environment is a wonderful way to feel supported on this journey. Your questions are answered immediately and then there is that accountability! Discuss with one another which form of learning will accommodate you best.
Q: When should I start classes?
A: Birth Boot Camp is a 10-week course with a comprehensive breastfeeding DVD included — essentially 11 classes. It is recommended to start classes in the last trimester and preferably not before 25 weeks. You want the information to be fresh in your mind come birth day! Feel free to reserve your spot early, however.
Q: Who should take Birth Boot Camp classes?
A: Birth Boot Camp is designed for couples wanting a natural birth and wishing to avoid interventions, drugs, or a cesarean – unless they become necessary, of course. Both partners will be prepared physically, mentally, and emotionally. Visit Class Descriptions for more details on what you can expect to be covered in class.
Q: Birth Boot Camp is a pretty new company. How do I know it is worth the
A: That is a great question. We realize that it is a commitment to take a birth class and often a financial strain. Here is a sampling of some of the things our clients have already said about us. We are so excited to have couples already having fabulous success with our classes!
“We love it so far! It’s been great for Tim, and we’ve learned great relaxation and massage techniques! I’m looking forward to tonight’s class !” – Courtney
“Just wanted to say that my husband and I are LOVING our Birth Boot Camp classes! Our instructor is so knowledgeable and passionate about the material and we love getting to spend time with other like- minded expecting couples! The Field Guide is STUFFED with priceless information. Today will be our third class and I already feel more prepared for this birth than I ever did for my first! Thank you!!” - Rachel
“We’re doing the online classes right now and they’re awesome! What a blessing to have found something so useful, informative, and convenient. I already feel so much more prepared and confident going into labor!”
And from birth professionals:
“One thing she (Birth Boot Camp instructor) said that really stuck with me is how they teach their moms that labor/birth can be fun/enjoyable experience. This is something I wish more people knew or could realize. Birth isn’t something to fear or run away from. It’s not just something to endure/get through so you can have a baby. It’s something to experience, embrace, and enjoy. Is it easy…NO! It is amazing…YES!!!” – Kathryn
“Just doula-ed another Birth Boot Camp educated couple. They were fabulously prepared and despite a challenging labor had a beautiful natural birth. Thank you for giving them the tools so that we could make yesterday happen!” – Doula Maria
Q: What sets Birth Boot Camp apart from other programs?
A: Birth Boot Camp was created with todays’ couples in mind. It is interactive, utilizing the internet and social media. The materials are relevant and up-to-date. No matter where you are in the world, as long as you have an internet connection, you have access to a complete course preparing you for a natural birth.
Q: What do I receive with my natural childbirth online class?
A: 130-pg Field Manual, breastfeeding DVD, 3 months access to the 10 week program, 10 weeks of supplemental links and materials that complement the information you learned in class, and relaxation downloads with most of the classes.
Q: I would love to teach Birth Boot Camp classes! How do I get involved?
A: We are busy training teachers every few months! You can check our website for upcoming workshops. The trainings are filling up quickly! The first step is to fill out the online application. Once you are accepted into the program, pay your deposit, and receive access to the Instructor website where you will begin your training.
Another option for getting involved with Birth Boot Camp is our affiliate program. This is especially wonderful for bloggers or birth professionals who want to recommend the classes to their readers or clients. You can find more information about that HERE. The affiliate program is an amazing way for us to reward those people who help promote our classes. It also works great for busy families who want to share great classes but don’t have time to teach.