Becoming a Mother
Birth is not a finish line. It’s a bridge.
A New Kind of Childbirth Class
Congratulations on your pregnancy! This is an exciting time full of hopeful preparation. If this is your first baby, you’ve been reading books and blogs about pregnancy and birth. You’re carefully considering what baby will really need. Or perhaps it’s not your first pregnancy, but you want to do things differently this time. Either way, you’re taking great care of yourself, getting prenatal care and, if you’ve found this website, you’re beginning to think about the birth.
You want a great birth. But did you know you can prepare for a great postpartum experience, too? Rather than being separate events, birth and new motherhood are two ends of a continuum. Not only has Nature designed this transition to be healthy and deeply satisfying, birth itself will teach you everything you need to know about becoming a mother. What I mean is this: the principles and practices that support you in birth will support you in motherhood.
In twelve lessons over twelve weeks, this telecourse, Becoming A Mother will introduce you to the principles and practices that are the Lessons of Birth. Classes will be informative, reflective and practical. The most relevant topics in birth and the postpartum period will be discussed, but you’ll be prompted to think and feel “beyond the topics,” to explore your thoughts, feelings, and the meaning you make of your experiences. You’ll learn and practice the tools that will help you through the most challenging moments of birth and motherhood – of life! The class environment will be encouraging, and your generous participation in it will create a community that will remain a source of inspiration and support well beyond the course.
Here are the Lessons:
- Love: Love’s chemical signature can lead you in birth and postpartum.
- Trust Your Body: Nature’s economy and design for birth and motherhood.
- You Can Do Hard Things: Building on your strengths and building up your feminine energy.
- Breathe & Relax: The foundations of ease in all things.
- The Well-Nourished Woman: Good self-care practices and overcoming resistance to doing them.
- Frame Your Experience Consciously: Affirmations, visualizations and questioning beliefs that work against you.
- You Need a Team – Part One, Your Partner: Cultivating a beneficial partnership.
- You Need a Team – Part Two, Care Providers: Choosing well and working co-operatively.
- You Are an Authority: Trusting what you know and developing intuition.
- Phases Pass and Make You Stronger: Merging with the energy of change.
- Sometimes You Need Help: Getting information and developing discernment.
- Celebrate! Course review and the power of celebration.
Questions first? Cool. Fire away!
How is this course different from other childbirth education courses, like Lamaze, HypnoBirthing, or Bradley?
Traditional birth preparation classes focus almost exclusively on the birth. Becoming A Mother focuses on your transition into motherhood, which includes the postpartum period as well as the birth.
This approach puts birth in context. When birth is the exclusive focus, it is unconsciously perceived as a finish line. This creates a lot of pressure to perform, with mothers judging themselves and one another on their birth choices and their birth experiences. It also inadvertently gives a great deal of authority to the medical professionals who oversee our births. This can cause mothers to doubt their own authority and ability. They question whether they’re qualified to take their babies home from the hospital or birth center!
Enlarging the focus to include the postpartum period does not diminish birth in any way. It right-sizes it. Birth is not a finish line. It’s a bridge. It is more than a means to an end. It’s more than an experience. It’s more than an achievement. It’s a rite of passage, with wisdom embedded in the experience to guide you in your next stage of life.
This is a telecourse. I thought childbirth courses were supposed to be in person, so you could get to know other expectant parents in your area.
I taught the traditional in-person model for seven years. It’s good, but it’s become outdated. Becoming A Mother is designed for the way we live and enjoy relationships now.
- First, this telecourse is in an interactive webinar format. That means that when you call in from your device, you’ll not only see slides that highlight discussion points, you’ll also see and hear all the people on the call (and have the option of turning off your camera and muting yourself).
- Second, we’ll have a secret Facebook group just for your course, where we can carry on the conversation between class meetings. In this way, you’ll give and receive support from the other participants and build friendships no matter where you live. After the baby is born, one of your classmates will always be awake and online when you need to celebrate or commiserate!
- Finally, this format offers freedom of time and location. You don’t have to clear your work or social schedules to make sure you and your partner both can come to all the classes, and you don’t have to travel. In fact, you can take the course with your best friend, who is due around the same time as you but lives four states away. Or your mom, who is coming for the birth but lives in a different city, can also drop in for a class or two. All you need is 90 minutes and an Internet or phone connection.
I am so excited about the opportunity Becoming A Mother offers for you to take the course with a friend that I’m offering a TWO-for-ONE deal: Book the course and your friend gets in FREE.
$599? That’s more than other childbirth courses. What gives?
Becoming A Mother is not like other courses. It’s childbirth education redesigned around what you really need to know and delivered in a modern format.
For your investment this course offers:
- Tuition for both you and your partner, with additional members of your birth team able to participate on individual calls;
- Two-for-one tuition: you pay and your friend gets in for free! (You can work out the payment details between yourselves);
- 12 x 90 min classes (18 hours) of instruction and coaching;
- Group video chat platform with slide presentation;
- All course materials and class recordings in a private online forum;
- A moderated secret Facebook group – for Q & A, celebration and community, 24/7;
- Time and location flexibility;
- A knowledgeable, professional and experienced guide (moi) who sees you as the heroine of your own journey;
- Life-enhancing course content you won’t find anywhere else.
Consider everything you’re buying now that you’ll use and then give away, never to think of again. Birth and your baby’s infancy aren’t in that “consumable” category. Mothers remember their births the rest of their lives. They may have hazier memories of their postpartum days, but their experiences then affect how they feel about themselves and their relationship with their baby. Your baby also experiences everything you feel, even after he or she is born. For those reasons and more, it just makes sense to invest in making this transition as healthy as it can be. The principles and practices you’ll learn in this course will support you in every aspect of your transition into motherhood. Though it isn’t possible to put a price on your experiences and their affect on the rest of your life, the cost of tuition reflects the value Becoming A Mother offers.
This course is called Becoming A Mother, but you say my partner should take the course, too?
Absolutely! To reiterate, your tuition covers the couple and other members of your birth team – a doula, a family member or friend – are welcome to call in to individual classes. I also offer a two-for-one incentive: book with a friend and only one of you pays the tuition for her and her birth team. The course will be held over phone and Skype, so even if you’re not physically together when classes meet, everyone can participate from wherever they are.
The focus is on you, the mother, because this transition changes you the most. But the principles and practices learned in this course will benefit your partner personally, too, as well as ensuring that he or she is the birth and parenting companion that you and your baby need.
Is there assigned reading and homework?
Yes, but this is adult education, so I won’t be checking up or giving grades! You may choose to read one or both of the following books, either before the course begins or concurrently:
- Buckley, Sarah J. Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering. 2009.
- Goer, Henci. The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Better Birth. 1999.
I also recommend anything by Ina May Gaskin, Sheila Kitzinger or Penny Simkin.
Homework assignments will help you to integrate the lessons reviewed and the insights gained in class.
Is this course only for people who want to give birth without an epidural?
Becoming A Mother is for open minds and willing hearts. If you are a woman who believes that giving birth without an epidural is just plain crazy, then this course probably isn’t for you. But if you are curious about the fuss and want to “try” for a natural birth, you’re just unsure you’ll be able to achieve that, then this course is indeed for you.
Scientific evidence shows that the following factors directly affect a woman’s experience of pain and her satisfaction with her birth: her confidence in herself; the support she receives from caregivers; the quality of her relationship with her caregivers; her involvement in decision-making, and her own high expectations. Those factors are what this course concerns itself with. When woman is well-supported and well-loved during her birth, she can do things she did not know were possible!
Do you have an opinion about giving out-of-hospital birth?
What matters most in a woman’s choice of birth place is how safe she feels there; how supported she is, and how much trusts herself. This course will prepare you to birth in any location because the focus here is on developing your resources: the inner resources of health in body, mind and spirit and the outer resources of the best teams to support you.
Here’s what others are saying about working with me and about this approach to childbirth education:
“Becoming a mother is one of the most important transitions of a woman’s life and I cannot imagine anyone I would rather have as a guide and mentor than Allison. Her compassion, gentle strength and hard-earned wisdom are exactly what I wish I had available to me when I was making the journey from pregnant to motherhood. I recommend Allison and her course wholeheartedly for any woman, any family, that wants to invite birth to be the amazing transformation it can and should be.”
– Nona Jordan, master certified coach and mother
“The first time I met Allison in the flesh she told me her birth story. It came pouring out of her like a waterfall. Allison was put on Planet Earth to heal mothers. This is what I knew from that moment forward. It was so evident in the way she gushed birth and life and healing and health. This class is a culmination of all that she has learned from her own story and how she has used that story to connect with other mothers. I am excited for her and for you to share in the bond that comes from this time of intimacy as you hold hands with others and welcome your child and yourselves into this new chapter called parenting.”
– Rebecca Mullen, master certified coach and mother
“Becoming a Mother is the revolutionary course I wish I could have taken when I was expecting my own children. Allison was put on this earth to work with women and their families, helping them to navigate their lives in a way that is authentic and meaningful. She will be in your corner, giving you all the advice, support, and resources that you could want during this important transition. Birth is the doorway to motherhood, and new moms need more than a good birth plan to cross that threshold. Becoming A Mother will help new mothers to care for themselves, and in turn, to provide the best care for their children. This course will present new information – lessons that you won’t find in your typical birth education class – because this course isn’t just about birth. It’s about your transformation.”
– Kimberly Mathis, youth counselor and mother
“I have experienced Allison’s abilities as a childbirth educator and life coach. Words cannot convey how much I value what she brought to me in each of these situations. Through her openness and compassion as a life coach, I was able to move forward confidently and see my life and desires more clearly. As a childbirth educator she gave me information I needed, yes, but something more as well. She brought to light ways that I could cultivate my journey during my pregnancy and childbirth that would enrich my experience as a mother. I consider my time with Allison as truly indispensable. I continue to use the skills I developed with her on a daily basis. They make a difference in my life.”
– Amy Lee, mother and home educator
Still want more information?
Here’s a peak at what we’ll cover in each of the twelve classes:
- Love. Did you know that the hormones of love, bonding and ecstasy that you experienced when you conceived your baby will also help you birth, breastfeed and bond with her? In this class, you’ll learn how love and its chemical messengers work for you throughout birth, the immediate postpartum period and beyond. You’ll develop practices that help you remain guided by love, and not derailed by its opposite, fear.
- Trust Your Body. Birth and motherhood as we know them today are often far from Nature’s design. You’ll learn what that design is and how it is trustworthy for the majority of healthy women and babies. You’ll discover that your body is trustworthy not only during pregnancy and birth, it is trustworthy at all times. Through the practice of the Body Compass, you’ll learn how to be guided by your body’s wisdom during birth and in motherhood.
- You Can Do Hard Things. Birth and postpartum are hard. So what? You’ve done hard things all your life. In this class you’ll look at your accomplishments and how they were achieved. We’ll discuss the two types of energy, masculine and feminine, and the role of each in pregnancy, birth and postpartum.
- Breathe & Relax. Breath is the gateway to relaxation, and relaxation facilitates everything. Consciously relaxing during stressful moments – whether that moment is a labor contraction, a crying baby or an upset spouse – is a game changer. You’ll experience different approaches to relaxing whatever the circumstance and establish a daily practice of breathing and relaxation to enjoy with your baby and your partner.
- The Well-Nourished Woman. You know what you should do, so what keeps you from doing it? We’ll discuss how to nourish yourself, body, spirit and mind, through play, nature, food, exercise, relaxation and visualization. You’ll harness the energy of play to help you maintain your essential self-care habits. You’ll develop a plan to get the help you’ll need for the first six-to-twelve weeks postpartum (and feel good about it).
- Frame Your Experience Consciously. What do we talk about when we talk about birth and babies? In this class you’ll become aware of the symbols – that is, the images and the language – of birth and motherhood and take charge of them for yourself. You’ll learn to frame your experience as you’re living it by using empowering language, affirmations and visualizations and questioning beliefs that work against you.
- You Need a Team, Part One: Your partner. Dads mean well but often at a loss as to how to help the mother. This class will give them clear, simple principles and practices to support moms in the ways they really need. Moms will learn how they, too, can support their partners as they learn to father. We’ll explore the changing landscape of your relationship, as you evolve from couple to parents, and you’ll learn compassionate, effective communication techniques, including how to ask for what you need.
- You Need a Team, Part Two: Care providers. The philosophy and practice style of your health care team has an enormous influence over your birth and postpartum period. This class will teach you how to choose, when to change (you can change), and how to develop co-operative relationships with your providers. We’ll also talk about doulas, who can help you with all of that and more!
- You Are an Authority. There are two types of information: objective information is accessed through observation and instruments; subjective is accessed through feelings and intuition. Doctors and other credentialed professionals may be experts in objective knowledge, but you are an authority, too. Only you have access to the embodied knowledge of feeling and intuition. You’ll learn techniques for developing your powers of intuition and observation.
- Phases Pass and Make You Stronger. The surges of labor and the phases of parenthood are similar: they can be painful in the moment but they are ushering in something greater. In this class you’ll learn what to expect from labor, birth and postpartum. In particular, you’ll learn to recognize when you are fighting the energy of change and how to merge with it instead, becoming stronger in the exchange.
- Sometimes You Need Help. In this class we’ll review some of the more common pathologies of pregnancy and interventions in labor and how to get the answers you need to make an informed choice as a patient.
- Celebrate! In the final class we will review and celebrate what you’ve learned during the course. We’ll look at how what you focus on expands, and how an attitude of celebration will serve you in birth and in your new life with baby.