by Jenny Everett King, Childbirth Educator and Certified Yoga Teacher
1. Independent Childbirth Educators work for you. We are not obligated to support anyone’s procedures, or to ensure that our material agrees with hospital policy. That means you get unbiased, research-based information, not someone else’s agenda.
2. We’re specialists. Independent Childbirth Educators specialize in birth, not medicine. Hospital classes are often taught by medical professionals with secondary training in birth education.
3. You get the tour anyway. Many people choose to take classes at the hospital where they plan to deliver, because the class includes a tour of the maternity ward. However, most hospitals offer these tours apart from a childbirth series as well.
4. We trust your body. The fact that you are pregnant is excellent evidence that your body works, and works well. You deserve to get your information from sources who recognize this simple fact.
5. We have a wide demographic of students. You won’t just get the perspective of parents who have chosen the same care provider, hospital, or birth method that you have. You will have the opportunity to hear about other choices and get information on options you may not have considered. Fellow expectant parents are a great resource!
6. We recognize birth as a whole-person experience. We discuss the emotional and spiritual aspects of pregnancy and childbirth, not just the physical process.
7. We understand natural medicine. We can give you unbiased, well-researched information that you may not get from a mainstream source, including facts about vaccines, attachment parenting, and natural solutions for common pregnancy and birth concerns. (Healing Hands Chiropractic Family Wellness Center has practitioners on-site who treat sciatica, heartburn, breech presentation, and post-dates pregnancy, among other things.)
8. We support conventional medicine when it’s used appropriately. We’ll tell you honestly about situations where there may be a need for it, and when it’s just part of the protocol. Most importantly, we’ll help you know the difference.
9. We know that birth is an experience you help create and not something that just happens. Independent Childbirth Educators give you the tools to make the decisions that are right for your birth, your family, and your baby. We don’t teach you our way, we help you determine your way.
10. We LIKE birth! Independent Childbirth Educators know that giving birth can truly be enjoyable. We didn’t get into this field for the paycheck; we got here because we recognize (and have often experienced) the inherent power, mystery, and beauty of giving birth. Birth is not some arduous, joyless trial to overcome, but a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for ecstasy and empowerment. Wouldn’t you prefer to learn about birth from someone who will teach you how you can enjoy it?