Serving Washington D.C., & Maryland (Baltimore city & co., Montgomery co.) and surrounding areas, with Professional Birth Support Services
E: | P: 410.433.1103

Mindful Birth & Beyond Childbirth Education Playshops

Kairos Holistic Healing Arts Birth Support Services

Is pleased to announce our new

Mindful Birth and Beyond Childbirth Education Playshops

We invite you to join us in preparing for and developing the skills which will allow you to realize a gentle, peaceful, joyful birth, and transition into parenthood and the life of a new family, with our Mindful Birth and Beyond Childbirth Education Playshops.

What Mindful Birth and Beyond offers:

* Learn all the nuts and bolts of anatomy, physiology, stages of labor and birth, and everything generally taught in all conventional childbirth education classes, as well as mind/body techniques which will serve to alleviate fear and anxiety, and build confidence in your ability to have a calm, joyful, peaceful birth.

*How to be the artist, painting the very air of your birth, letting go of fear and anxiety during labor, and manifesting a beautiful birth experience, no matter how your labor unfolds

*How to create and embody a calm, confident, present moment focus and intention for your birth, with the ability to get your over thinking mind out of the way, deeply relax, let go of fears or anxiety, and surrender to the beauty of the birth process, allowing your body to do the work of labor.

*How to “get up offa that thing”, as James Brown would say, and what it means to have an “active labor”

*Learn how to reach into your deep, feminine well of wisdom and strength, to focus inner resources, so you are able to work with pain in labor, rather than fearing it, or feeling a need to escape.

* Assistance in developing a partnership of compassion, connectedness, and mindful, present moment awareness, with skills which will enhance your ability to work together, giving you a language and tools to cultivate and share, leading you to the realization of a gentle, peaceful birth, and transition into parenthood and beyond.

*Equip the father/partner to be able to participate in the birth of their child with full presence, and an arsenal of concrete skills and comfort measures to support the laboring mother, eliminating chances that he will feel helpless or not know what to do during labor.

*Impart an understanding of a holistic mind/body connection and how learning to work with the mind will give greater confidence, courage, and the ability to create optimal physical conditions for labor to progress easily and smoothly, toward a gentle peaceful birth.

*Learn comfort measures, labor positioning, massage techniques, acupressure, hydrotherapy, awareness, grounding, mindfulness meditation, and pain management techniques, as well a tool kit full of doula tips and tricks, which your instructor has learned and cultivated over 17 years as a birth doula

*How to rise to a challenge and work with unforeseen circumstances or complications

*Impart a fully informed understanding of pain mechanisms and the subjective nature and qualities of the pain experience, so you can make well informed decisions about how you wish to approach pain management in labor.

*Learn what is mindfulness, and how it can be of benefit, physiologically, emotionally, and mentally during labor.

*Learn and practice guided mindfulness meditation and mindful awareness techniques, (as present moment, body/mind, breath awareness, relaxation, grounding, pain management, and thought control techniques), and as a life skill which will enhance pregnancy, labor, birth, parenting, and everyday life.

*Develop the ability to remain grounded in present moment experience, and not follow or fuel anxious or fearful thoughts.

*Cultivate and embrace a life skill that will not only serve as a means of taking charge of and working with the mind, thoughts, anxiety, challenges, stress, and pain during labor. The cultivation and practice of mindfulness meditation will also continue to serve well beyond the day of your birth, as it assists you to be better, more mindfully awake and aware partners and parents, responding to each other and to your children with greater presence, patience, kindness, compassion, and ability to revel in each moment of family life.

*Utilize a variety of learning techniques to enhance the assimilation of new materials, creating neural pathways in the brain that allow for easy future retrieval and use.

*Take part in listening to lecture, watching films, listening to music, doing expressive arts projects, practicing guided mindfulness meditation, interactive role play, comfort measures and labor positioning practice, cultivate new friendships within a supportive community of expectant parents, consider an assortment of teaching stories, poetry, and helpful concepts that may be new to you, share, laugh, and have fun.

Why “playshops” you might wonder? We know that the work of labor and new motherhood is ahead, so for now, we prefer to learn about and ready ourselves for birth in a joyous atmosphere, to support one another, laugh together, and even let go, and play. Playshops seemed the better choice of terms.

The importance of conscious, mindful conception, pregnancy and birth

Conscious, mindful conception, pregnancy, and birth is so important to our baby’s healthy development through his/her entire lifespan. Our female body is the very ground into which our baby is implanted, the soil that nourishes him, and the vessel which protects and cradles him as he grows and develops. Everything we do, think, and feel has an impact on our child’s developing body, organ systems, and brain. During pregnancy, we and our baby are not two separate individuals, but rather joined, united in body, mind, and spirit, as one. Everything that we experience, our baby experiences too, in the form of hormones and chemical messengers released in our system. The way we care for ourselves during pregnancy greatly impacts our developing baby. A poor diet can predispose our baby to eating disorders, excessive weight gain, diabetes, and poor health later in life. If we are constantly stressed, with barely a minute to breathe or rest, it will bathe our baby’s developing brain in stress hormones, alerting him to prepare for an unsafe or dangerous world ahead, which affects his immune system, his brain and central nervous system, and even his temperament and ability to deal with stress throughout life.

The way we prepare for our birth, and the quality of our birth experience has an impact on our developing child.
Taking time to slow down and care for yourself during pregnancy is a choice to take good care of your baby too. Choosing to spend less time stressed out about work, or your never ending to-do list, and instead nurturing and nourishing the environment your baby is being formed in, and preparing for the gentle welcoming birth that will bring your baby peacefully into your arms, and your life, is of utmost importance, as it is the initial mold that shapes his life.

Is Health Mom, Healthy Baby All That Matters?

I am sure we have all heard it said that as long as we end up with a physically healthy mother and a physically healthy baby, everything is alright. Birth though, is more than just a physical act leading to a final moment when a baby pops out. During your labor all your needs must be met, not only your physical needs, but your emotional and psychosocial needs too. Educating yourself, and thinking about what those needs are is a very important step toward ensuring their fulfillment, and a satisfying birth experience. The quality of your birth has a huge impact on your ability to bond with, breastfeed, and mother your baby. A challenging, frightening, intervention laden, or traumatic birth experience can cause a woman to see herself as a failure, while a positive experience will help her to feel strong, confident, and capable of caring for and mothering her baby. Your birth has an impact on the relationship between you and your husband/partner, and upon the healthy beginning to the life of your new family as well. By extension, the healthy, supported, and loving births of mother, father/partner, baby, and new family has an impact and bearing upon the health of our society, the sustainable and peaceful world we wish for our children and our grandchildren to grow up in, and one day inherit and become capable stewards of. The positive benefits of a loving, gentle, peaceful pregnancy and birth last a lifetime, and as a stone thrown into a pond, ripple into every area of human endeavor, health, and social functioning, for babies, and for both of their parents.

I believe a woman’s perspective, intention, and focus are very important in childbirth preparation.
An unclear or ambiguous intention, and fearful or anxious focus and perspective, can lead to birth complications, unwanted interventions, and possibly a negative birth experience and outcome. Mindful Birth and Beyond Childbirth Education Playshops seek to direct your focus toward the joys and miracle of birth, helping to create a positive, present moment perspective, allowing you to turn off your anxious mind, and surrender to what your glorious female body already knows how to do. Mindful Birth classes will instill an understanding, belief, and faith in your own body’s ability to bring your child safely and successfully forth into life, and teach you how to stay grounded in present moment awareness, relaxation, and peace, allowing you to revel in every moment of the miracle of your baby’s birth.

American society does an injustice to women, teaching them to fear birth.

Our society is so set on sensationalism, fear, and negativity when it comes to birth. Expectant parents are bombarded with marketing telling them all the myriad ways they are inadequate, or will fail at parenting, in order to guilt them into buying their products. Television shows and movies depict birth as a terrible experience with laboring women screaming out of control, and dads running in circles with no clue how to help, and then there are the naysayers who seem to pop up around every corner, always ready with a new birth horror story they just have to tell you about. Is it any wonder American women are afraid of birth? Add to that list the increasing medicalization of birth, defensive medicine practices, lack of fully informed consent, and the cloud of unknowns looming over the heads of all first time mothers, and you have a very effective prescription for anxiety and fear, which can set you up to have a challenging and unsatisfying birth experience.

The way to achieve a gentle birth, is to surrender, not control or resist.
Some would have you believe that in order to combat all this, and to have the birth you want, you need to recreate yourself as a staunch, birth warrior maiden. (There is a difference between helping to educate you to be able to ask questions and make informed decisions, and outfitting you with armor and cudgel, and putting you on high alert, ready to enter the fray.) This focus causes an expectant mother to feel the need to enter her birth to do battle, and to control every aspect of her birth, lest the “bad medical people” try to make unwanted changes without her consent. It causes her to feel the need to remain hypervigilant so she can watch and manage every aspect of her labor, and every person who enters the room, making sure they are doing things exactly as she wants them to. It has her creating rigid, inflexible, birth plans that leave no room for change, or for birth to unfold as it naturally needs to, and it steals away her peace and ability to relax and surrender to the process. This tends to keep her in a hyper aroused, fight or flight state, which causes her body to produce adrenalines and corticosteroids which negate her body’s production of oxytocin, the hormone that causes contractions. The result is often slowed, stalled, prolonged, more painful, and even completely stopped labor, and the need for interventions.

As a birth doula with seventeen years experience, and around 1000 births under my belt, I believe this perspective is all wrong.
The focus needs to be more on the miracle, love, and joy of the birth of your baby. We don’t need to be birth warrior maidens to have a satisfying, peaceful, and gentle birth. We need to educate ourselves, set our positive birth intention, and practice techniques that will help us to quiet our anxious mind and its fearful stories, so we can get our head out of the way, and let our body do what it already knows how to do.

Why is Mindful Birth and Beyond Childbirth Education Playshops offered as an 8 part series of classes?
I hear parents saying all the time, that they don’t have time to take a childbirth education series of classes. It saddens me to hear this, and I always question why expectant parents are willing to put more time into the purchase of a new car, or kitchen counter tops, or some household remodeling job, than they are willing to put into preparation for the one and only birth of their precious baby. In the sixteen years that I have been a birth doula, I have watched childbirth classes change and dwindle from twelve weeks, to eight weeks, to six weeks, to four weeks, to weekend intensive classes, one day intensive classes, and now there are impersonal, two hour online classes available. How can anyone learn all they need to know to give birth to, breastfeed, and care for their newborn baby in only two hours? The changes in length of childbirth classes has also meant that the information offered has been greatly watered down and decreased, so as to fit into a just so time slot. This has also translated into expectant parents being much less prepared for their birth. Sadly I see this lack of birth preparation resulting in fear, anxiety, and even negative birth experiences, when labor becomes challenging and mothers don’t know what to do to help themselves, and fathers don’t know how to support them.

Preparation for childbirth conveys information, education, and a set of skills never before encountered, or used in quite the same way as they will be used in childbirth.
New skills, coping techniques, focus, and habits cannot be learned or formed in a one or two day weekend intensive childbirth education class. For new information to be learned, assimilated, committed to memory, and made available for later access when labor begins, multiple classes, repetition, and practice are needed. This allows new dendritic connections and neuronal pathways to be formed in the brain. Attending a series of classes offering a variety of teaching methods and modalities, helps to form new habit patterns of mindful responses to scenarios that will be encountered during childbirth. Multiple classes also provide opportunity to build and be part of a supportive community of expectant parents. This community can be an important, helpful, and supportive resource to draw from as you navigate the transition into your new roles as mother, father, and family.

Mindful Birth and Beyond Childbirth Education Playshops –
2016 Fall/Winter class schedule

October 2016:

Session 1:
Class 1: Saturday – October 1, 11 am – 2 pm
Class 2: Wednesday – October 5, 5 pm – 8 pm
Class 3: Sunday – October 9, 11 am – 2 pm
Class 4: Wednesday – October 12, 5pm – 8 pm
Class 5: Wednesday – October 19, 5pm – 8 pm
Class 6: Saturday – October 22, 11 am – 2 pm
Class 7: Wednesday – October 26, 5 pm – 8 pm
Class 8: Sunday – October 30, 11 am – 2 pm

Session 2:
Class 1: Saturday – October 1, 4pm – 7 pm
Class 2: Tuesday – October 4, 5pm – 8 pm
Class 3: Sunday – October 9, 4 pm – 7 pm
Class 4: Tuesday – October 11, 5pm – 8 –m
Class 5: Tuesday – October 18, 5 pm – 8 pm
Class 6: Sunday – October 22, 4 pm – 7 pm
Class 7: Teusday – October 25, 5 pm – 8 pm
Class 8: Sunday – October 30, 4pm – 7 pm
November 2016:

Session 1:
Class 1: Saturday – November 5, 11 am – 2 pm
Class 2: Tuesday – November 8, 5 pm – 8 pm
Class 3: Sunday – November 13, 11 am – 2pm
Class 4: Tuesday – November 15, 5 pm – 8 pm
Class 5: Saturday – November 19, 11 am – 2 pm
Class 6: Tuesday – November 22, 5 pm – 8 pm
Class 7: Sunday – November 27, 11 am – 2 pm
Class 8: Tuesday – November 29, 5 pm – 8 pm

Session 2:
Class 1: Saturday – November 5, 4pm – 7 pm
Class 2: Wednesday – November 9, 5 pm – 8 pm
Class 3: Sunday – November 13, 4 pm – 7 pm
Class 4: Wednesday – November 16, 5 pm – 8 pm
Class 5: Saturday – November 19, 4 pm – 7 pm
Class 6: Wednesday – November 23, 5 pm – 8 pm
Class 7: Sunday – November 27, 4 pm – 7 pm
Class 8: Wednesday – November 30, 5 pm – 8 pm

December 2016

Session 1:
Class 1: Saturday – December 3, 11 am – 2 pm
Class 2: Tuesday – December 6, 5 pm – 8 pm
Class 3: Sunday – December 11, 11 am – 2 pm
Class 4: Tuesday – December 13, 5 pm – 8 pm
Class 5: Sunday – December 18, 11 am – 2 pm
Class 6: Tuesday – December 20, 5 pm – 8 pm
Class 7: Tuesday – December 27, 5 pm – 8 pm
Class 8: Friday – December 30, 5 pm – 8 pm

Session 2:
Class 1: Saturday – December 3, 4 pm – 7 pm
Class 2: Wednesday – December 7, 5 pm – 8 pm
Class 3: Sunday – December 11, 4 pm – 7 pm
Class 4: Wednesday – December 14, 5 pm – 8 pm
Class 5: Sunday – December 18, 4 pm – 7 pm
Class 6: Wednesday – December 21, 5 pm – 8 pm
Class 7: Wednesday – December 28, 5 pm – 8 pm
Class 8: Friday – January 6, 5 pm – 8 pm

January 2017
Session 1:

Class 1: Tuesday – January 3, 5 pm – 8 pm
Class 2: Saturday – January 7, 11 am – 2 pm
Class 3: Tuesday – January 10, 5 pm – 8 pm
Class 4: Sunday – January 15, 11 am – 2 pm
Class 5: Tuesday – January 17, 5 pm – 8 pm
Class 6: Saturday – January 21, 11 am – 2 pm
Class 7: Tuesday – January 24, 5 pm – 8 pm
Class 8: Sunday – January 29, 11 am – 2 pm

Session 2:
Class 1: Wednesday – January 4, 5 pm – 8 pm
Class 2: Saturday – January 7, 4 pm – 7 pm
Class 3: Wednesday – January 11, 5 pm – 8 pm
Class 4: Sunday – January 15, 4 pm – 7 pm
Class 5: Wednesday – January 18, 5 pm – 8 pm
Class 6: Saturday – January 21, 4 pm – 7 pm
Class 7: Wednesday – January 25, 5 pm – 8 pm
Class 8: Sunday – January 29, 4 pm – 7 pm

Register for classes by calling us at 410-433-1103.
We recommend that you sign up for a class to begin in the first month of your third trimester. This will give you time to become thoroughly educated and to practice and prepare for labor and birth.

The cost for the full 8 session course of Mindful Birth and Beyond Childbirth Education Playshops is $250.00 per couple. When you register you will also be given a list of art supplies which you will need to purchase for each class.

We are happy to provide you with a receipt, as most insurance companies will reimburse you for the cost of your childbirth education class.