Birth Boot Camp

Natural Childbirth Training

No Comments 31 August 2012

“You wouldn’t run a marathon without training, so you shouldn’t birth naturally without preparing or training.”

Like every over-used statement, the sentiment behind this saying has been lost. What does it really mean? What are the similarities between training for a marathon vs. preparing for natural birth? The more I thought about it, the more relation I found between physically and mentally training for a sport and natural childbirth.

First of all, let me address the nay-sayers.

Nearly every time I see the “birth is like a marathon” statement, there is usually at least one person in the crowd who feels offended. “Our bodies were made to give birth. We don’t have to train,” is a common comeback.

It’s true. Females bodies- human and animal alike – are designed to give birth to our young. This is how our species continues. But how we human beings differ from our mammal friends is our ability to completely relax and enter a deep meditative state during our births, the way a deer or cat might do, tucked away in a dense thicket.

That’s not to say there aren’t those out there who can have this kind of birth – I absolutely believe in pleasurable, pain-free birth. But I also think that experience is somewhat rare. Natural childbirth preparation is a proactive to having the kind of birth you want.

Labor can be long and arduous. 

Mental attitude, place of birth, diet and physical capacities – endurance level and strength – all play a major role in the length and intensity of our labors. A complete natural childbirth preparation course, including exercise, can greatly reduce the need for all kinds of interventions from pain relief, to oxygen, iv or in the case of home birth, transfer to hospital due to maternal fatigue.

Thinking of childbirth prep as “training” will help you.

A marathon runner knows that race day is not the most important – it’s all the days leading up to that day that really matter.

My step-father was a marathon runner. He trained year-round for once race, the Boston Marathon. In the lead up to that race, he’d begin by changing his habits. He would go to sleep earlier, drink more water, eat healthier and of course, he ran every day. Those runs started at 2 miles, working up slowly. Getting his head in the game. Eventually he’d run 15+ miles at a time, but only after his body could withstand it – he had to slowly build up the endurance and strength to run that long.

What if he had run the marathon without training? Could he have done it? I’m sure he could have, especially since he’d run it for more than ten consecutive years. But his time would have been terrible. He might have had to stop running to throw up. His muscles could have seized up. You see what I’m getting at, right?

Often a good, effective labor and birth depends on how much time and energy you put into preparing for it.

True natural childbirth preparation takes more than a one-day visit to the local hospital to sit in on a free class.

Think of your pregnancy as Labor Training. There are hills to climb. Squats to hold. How will you react in the throes of labor? Contractions might start and never stop, coming one after the other without a break at high intensity for a short period of time. Or your rushes might feel more like strong pressure, but make you extremely nauseous go on for 27 hours. What will you do if you’re faced with a labor you weren’t expecting? (Which is very likely to happen.)

My best advice to you is to attend an independent natural childbirth course.

Search for something local if you can, and if nothing is offered in your area, Birth Boot Camp is the next best thing. I highly recommend their 10 week natural childbirth online course. It comes with an awesome Field Manual and breastfeeding DVD.

If you are here reading this post, I know how important your pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum healing time is to you. Do yourself and your baby a favor and toss every notion that sitting around on your butt eating donuts during pregnancy is okay. It’s not. Re-train yourself to think of pregnancy as the best time in your life to become active – get physically and mentally fit for one of the biggest, most precious days of your life. You’ll thank yourself for it. I promise.

 

Birth Boot Camp

Birth Boot Camp: FAQ

1 Comment 30 August 2012

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

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Q: What is this company? Who created the materials?

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
money?

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.

 

Birth Boot Camp

Birth Boot Camp: Become a Birth Boot Camp Instructor

No Comments 29 August 2012

This blog post was written by the Birth Boot Camp Certification Team 

Birth Boot Camp is training women who have had an unmedicated birth and breastfed their baby for at least one year to become Birth Boot Camp Instructors.

Our certification program is like none other. A trainee needs to allow approximately 6-9 months to complete the requirements before coming to their chosen workshop.

Our workshop is very hands on, filled with teaching opportunities, learning marketing skills, and taking fellow trainees through relaxation exercises.

The workshop is the finale of the training program. When you leave the workshop, you will be ready to teach in your community. We literally provide everything you need to teach – your instructor manual, birth videos, optional supplemental teaching videos on various topics, and your own student Field Manual. All the games, current resources, links, etc. are all found on the Instructor website.

To apply, fill out this online application. Once you are accepted, pay the deposit for your desired workshop. This is important because not only will this reserve your spot, but you will receive partial access to the Instructor website where you will be able to download your Study Guide and begin your training.

Currently, all workshops are held in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. We plan to conduct workshops in selected U.S. cities beginning in 2014.

There is such a need for Birth Boot Camp at this time. We are all about natural birth, and we believe our natural childbirth program provides the best “road map” for families to get there. We are contemporary – utilizing the internet and social media to connect with families worldwide. We provide convenience through the online classes – students and Instructors alike are able to take advantage of this valuable resource.

If you have questions about Birth Boot Camp, we are more than happy to answer them. For more information, email contact@birthbootcamp.com.

Birth Boot Camp

Birth Boot Camp: The One & Only Complete Natural Childbirth Course Featured Online

1 Comment 28 August 2012

Birth Boot Camp is proud to be the only truly independent, full-length “real” childbirth class offered online.

I am a huge advocate of taking a natural, independent childbirth course during pregnancy.

Unfortunately, there aren’t as many classes as there are couples who would benefit from the information they provide. In some small towns across America, the only programs available are run through local hospitals, are usually free and run for just one day.

This just won’t do! So imagine my excitement when I learned of Birth Boot Camp, which features a complete 10 week natural childbirth program online. Birth Boot Camp also certifies instructors, which are slowly springing up around the country.

Online classes run 1-2 hours and are taught by childbirth educator and founder of Birth Boot Camp, Donna Ryan. Each class is professionally recorded and edited with clips from other birth professionals, alongside birth stories from dozens of couples. When you enroll in the online classes, you will receive a beautiful, full-color workbook called the Field Guide. It’s packed with additional information to accompany each class including several relaxation exercises, weekly Chow Charts, labor charts, an individualized kegel program, a very effective sample birth plan, and the list goes on!

Also included is a 2 disk Breastfeeding DVD – The Ultimate MRE (Meal Ready to Eat) – taught by Lactation Consultant Mellanie Sheppard, IBCLC, RLC.

“We LOVED the classes. They were perfect. When I was pregnant, we have a nice big jacuzzi bath tub we use to bath in together, and we would sometimes watch the videos during bath time. There was more than just one occasion where someone’s either story, or video would make us sob into each others arms from the shear beauty of everything. The videos gave us reassurance that we were not on some pilgrimage to pull off something no one had ever done before. It was great to hear that others had not only done it, but instinctually did it well. I’m very grateful our midwife recommended Birth Boot Camp for us to take.” ~Ashton

There are many reasons why couples choose online classes.

Online classes can be watched on your time schedule. Imagine that you just found Birth Boot Camp at 35 weeks! No problem. Maybe you live where no independent natural childbirth classes are taught. No problem.

A great way to use this course is to put the classes on your calendar and then “attend” class each week, just like you would if you were in a live class. Then, do the assignments, practice the relaxation and exercises, and eat well. It’s the “homework” that makes Birth Boot Camp such a great experience for couples. We bet you’ll even be a stronger couple as a result, ready to welcome your new recruit into your family.

“Classes have been awesome. I don’t want this to sound creepy, but I wish I could come out to Texas and give you a hug! I just love listening to you…and you even have my husband intrigued, asking when our next popcorn/movie night will be! :)
I’m due on June 15th… getting closer…. trying to be patient and relax as much as possible. I feel so prepared — I’m actually excited. I can hardly wait! Thanks for a great resource!” ~ Kiera

Natural childbirth preparation is important for every birth – be it your first or third. Visit Birth Boot Camp’s official website, BirthBootCamp.com, to learn more about taking an online class, find out whether an instructor lives near you, or discover how you can become a Birth Boot Camp Instructor.

Birth Boot Camp

Birth Boot Camp: A Complete Natural Childbirth Program

1 Comment 27 August 2012

Birth Boot Camp is a ten week natural childbirth program, “committed to training couples in natural childbirth through accessible, contemporary education.”

As someone who gave birth naturally, I whole-heartedly believe in our ability to have children without the use of medical intervention or assistance. (Medicine has it’s place – when necessary!) Natural birth is an incredible, confidence-building, sacred experience. I only wish more families had access to the evidence-based information that reveals why natural birth is so favorable both mentally and physically to mother and baby.

So I was more than excited to learn about Birth Boot Camp and it’s wide availability as a course offered both offline and online. When I was presented the opportunity to review this complete natural childbirth program on Bring Birth Home, I happily agreed.

Last week I spoke with Donna Ryan, President and founder of Birth Boot Camp. Listen to our recording below to learn about Donna’s births, how she got started as a natural childbirth educator and what makes Birth Boot Camp unlike any other program on the market for couples planning a natural childbirth. Also, hear Donna explain why her natural birth was so much more fulfilling than her medicated first birth, emotionally and physically, and why she recommends preparing for childbirth before each birth, even if it’s your 4th child!


Click this link to listen to the Birth Boot Camp interview with Donna Ryan

What’s Included in Birth Boot Camp, “Training Couples in Natural Childbirth”

  • 10 weeks of live instruction, or online video classes if a Birth Boot Camp Instructor is not available in your area. All online classes are taught by Donna Ryan which include interviews with past clients, birth stories and relaxation mp3s.
  • The Field Manual. This is a hard-copy guide that accompanies each class, offering homework, a Chow Chart to keep track of meals, and integral information from the beginning of pregnancy through the postpartum time.
  • Breastfeeding DVD, “Meal Ready to Eat,” including 2 discs full of information from the basics, what to eat as a nursing mother, stages of breastfeeding and much more.

This is the first post in a week long series dedicated to reviewing Birth Boot Camp

Post two: Birth Boot Camp: The One & Only Complete Natural Childbirth Program Online
Post three: Become a Birth Boot Camp Instructor
Post four: Birth Boot Camp FAQ
Post five: Natural Childbirth Training 

Birth Boot Camp, Home Birth Advocacy

Pleasant Surprises (aka: Why I’ve Been Re-Inspired to Pursue Birth Work)

3 Comments 23 August 2012

In June I wrote a post about reconnecting to past dreams and my slow release of birth advocacy to take up other passions. Many of you wrote me to wish me luck on new endeavors and thanked me for the work I’ve put in over the past two and a half years.

I got busy taking photos, started a personal blog and got off the computer during the day once and for all.

Then, something rather interesting happened.

Two emails came into my inbox that absolutely floored me. In an instant, I knew my time in birth work was far from over. I accepted the cosmic message with all my heart and started brainstorming fresh ideas about how I can make a difference during pregnancy, labor and birth for families worldwide, as well as on a local level.

Game-changing communications:

One email was an invitation to be a panelist after an upcoming presentation of Freedom for Birth, The Mother’s Revolution by One World Birth. Me? With all the natural childbirth experts in my area to choose from? I was surprised and honored to be asked. It made me realize how I am seen in my community, and proud of the work I’ve done to get here.

Email number two was a great offer to partner with Donna Ryan and her incredible board of directors of Birth Boot Camp, Training Couples in Natural Childbirth.

I was granted back office access and an exclusive interview with Donna. Without giving anything away about the course, let me just saw this: I am “wow” impressed with Birth Boot Camp and may become more involved in the future. Stay tuned for a full week of information about Birth Boot Camp next week – August 27th through the 31st.

And there’s more. Steve from YourBabyBooty emailed me the other day. I’m currently working on answering a preliminary questions for my first ever Skype interview.

Receiving these emails has been a pleasant surprise…and it all really feels right. I clearly see opportunity to continue my advocacy work in a way that doesn’t require that I have another baby. I can be inspired to action through helping other families considering home birth through childbirth education, interviews, reviews, etc.  (duh!) The moment when I slowed down, enlisted more contributors to Bring Birth Home and spent more time offline with my family, it all came together. Interesting.

Spending time and energy toward something so righteously important as birth has paid off in so many ways. I’m glad to be right here, right now, and looking forward to the future.


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