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Birthing From Within

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
Do any of you have any experience with the Birthing Within model of childbirth education and/or doula training course? What's the good and bad of it?
post #2 of 48
I am listening in! I read the book while I was pregnant this last go-round and it was tremendous! I found a way to attend a childbirth class and loved it (I also took Bradley -- what a difference!). My #1 choice for CBE and CLD would be with BFW, but there are no sessions anywhere close to me, and the cost is so incredibly high. I would love to hear others' ideas on this, as at the very least, I would like to incorporate the book into my own classes.
post #3 of 48
Do a quick search in this forum and you should find lots of previous discussions on BFW! I am currently enrolled in their program and am very happy with it. What are you looking to know? Do you have any specific questions? What information do you need to feel more informed about what BFW is or offers?

Sarah
post #4 of 48
Thread Starter 
Thanks I will do that search. I am currently signed up for the introduction to childbirth educator and doula workshop so I was just wondering if anyone had personal experience with it. I am fairly new to Birthing From Within and I really like it. I think it was made for me.
post #5 of 48
Kristi, are you going to the Intro workshop at The Farm in Tennessee?? If so, I will see you there!
post #6 of 48
Good for you for signing up, you must be excited! I loved my level one training, it really created some HUGE shifts in my opinion of birth, my perspectives and my own self perception. Be prepared to be open and embraced by a wonderful community of women! Birthing From Within is very special! Let me know how it goes for you, and if you have anything you'd like to ask please feel free to PM me!

Sarah
post #7 of 48
Thread Starter 
Yes, it is the one at The Farm. How cool is that?? Now I am even more excited.
post #8 of 48
That is so cool, Kristi!! Do you live in TN? If so, what's it like? I'll actually be flying in from Florida! Haven't been to TN in seven years, and even then I was only there for a marching band competition so I didn't get to see much of the place. This is so exciting!!

I do have a question for Sarah and any other BFW mentors...are the advanced retreats usually held about every six months? Are they always held in the western US, or do they sometimes host them over this way? The one in May is gonna be in California, so maybe (hopefully) the next one (November??) will be closer to home...

Either way, this is the start of an awesome journey!! I can't wait!!
post #9 of 48
Thread Starter 
No, I do not live in Tennessee. I live in Missouri. It is kind of woodsy both here and there. Not too different IMO. I can tell you that there isn't much of anything around The Farm except trees and fresh air. And some of the coolest people! You are going to have a great time. I had a baby on The Farm and try to return for visits when I can so this is like icing on the cake. Plus now I geet to meet you.
post #10 of 48
Hi everyone,
It's so great to see a thread mentioning the Farm workshop. I have been wanting to do this training for years. When I moved to the Farm last year I decided to invite BFW here so I could finally take it (without travelling). I am coordinating all the accommodations and it's been a lot of work, but I am so looking forward to meeting those of you that have signed up, and having this experience with you. I have already been thinking about where a mentor retreat could be in this area. It seems they are held in more retreat like environments. I sometimes work at a yoga training/retreat center called Grey Bear, and I'm thinking it could work. I would have a hard time getting to west coast. It seems Florida would have some suitable places as well.
Many Blessings,
Jennifer
post #11 of 48
I'm a midwife and wanted to get OUT of my head for my birth. And wanted something that was social with other couples and some couple time so that my partner and I could plan to be birthing as a team. I had always recommended BFW the book to my clients. The class was perfect for us, so I always specifically rec. it for birth professionals, to deal with fears and expectations, it is ideal. It has worked well for others too.
post #12 of 48
I'm so envious of those of you starting your BFW training. I've FINALLY decided BFW is for me.

Years ago I read the book and loved it! Unfortunately, there was no way I could afford to attend the intro seminar. My hubbie was in law school at the time and I had 6 little ones. So I "settled" for ALACE. I really enjoyed my labor assistant workshop with ALACE so I enrolled in their Childbirth Education program. Then life happened: cross country move, baby #7 arrives with complex congenital heart disease, 2 surgeries including one open-heart, baby #8 arrives.

Now I'm ready to get back into the birthy world. As stated in other threads, ALACE is having some issues with staffing and such. So I've decided that I'm actually going to go back to my "first love," BFW. Unfortunately, it will be about a year or so before I have the money saved up for an intro workshop
With 8 kiddos and massive student loans for law school, it's just not happening yet.

So, I'm eagerly watching you guys who are attending the Farm BFW workshop. Wish I could be there with you'll!

stephanie
post #13 of 48
You will be there with us in spirit, Stephanie!
post #14 of 48
Don't know if this is the right thread to start this conversation, but I'm going to try it anyway.

I have only read the BFW book, not taken any classes or anything. But I don't really like it. First of all, it is very hospital-oriented. Secondly, if I had read this book when I was pregnant for the first time, I think it would have discouraged me from a home birth if I was considering one. (Disclosure: I had a hospital birth the first time because I was afraid of pain and wanted to have the option of an epidural. I decided at 5 cm to get the epidural, but I dilated fully before the epidural got there, so I ended up w/ a drug-free birth after all.) There is a chart in the book that I hate, that says something like, "You may want a homebirth if... you are willing to deal with all the pain. You may want a hospital birth if... you want access to medications for pain control." Now, seriously, if those are my choices, I'll take the meds! Yes, even now, 2 natural births and midwifery schooling later, if I was having another one and my choices were just between pain and less pain, I'll take less pain. The book seems dishonest in this respect. The choice is more accurately presented if you say something like, "You may want a home birth if... you want more control over your environment, more responsibility for your birth, less chance of intervention and surgery, and believe in your body's ability to cope. You may want a hospital birth if... you want access to medications for pain relief, and are willing to deal with the constant threat of interventions, possible complications to you and your baby from drugs or interventions, hostility from staff, and a much higher chance of surgery and the accompanying pain of healing from major surgery or episiotomy." I mean, THAT'S what my choice boiled down to for my second birth. I would never (and when I say "I" I don't think I'm alone) say "yes!" to pain, and it seems that's what the book expects.

I know a lot of people are nuts about BFW but I can't get past this. Any input?
post #15 of 48

not a fan; care to convert me?

oopsy, double post!

AWWWW man! I just wasted my 1,000th post on a stupid double post!!!!!

I was totally going to have a "I'm a Senior Member now" thread!
post #16 of 48
Momileigh, I will admit that I haven't read the whole book yet. I only got it two days ago, lol. But I have liked their website for a long time, and from the website, I never got the hospital vibe.

The book, though, does seem to focus on hospital birthers...but I kinda think that's the point. How else can we educate the mainstream if we're only preaching to the choir, ya know? We have to realize that the majority of women in this country are giving birth in hospitals. More than half of them don't even realize that they have any other option! I think it's important to understand that these hospital-birthing women have the right to an incredible birth, too.

When I teach, I plan on starting the class with something along these lines:

"I'm not going to ask how many of you are birthing in the hospital and how many are birthing at home. I don't want to know. I don't want you to have to live up to any expectations. I will teach you about your hospital options, and I will teach you about your homebirth options. You may be 100% sure that you're having a homebirth, and for whatever reason end up in the hospital. You may be 100% sure of having a hospital birth, and half way through these classes decide to find yourself a midwife. You may even decide to go it alone with just your birth partner. The point is, I pass no judgment on how you choose to birth because it is just that: your choice. I will, however, educate you on the dangers of hospital birth, and teach you how to assert your rights to avoid these dangers. I will also teach you about the pros and cons of homebirth. Because I believe that your choice needs to be informed. After these classes are over, and after your baby's birth, we will be meeting one last time for a pot-luck "showing off baby" party where we can share birth stories, no matter how good or bad you feel about your particular experience. You will also be asked how or if you would do things differently if you had the chance to do it again. Sharing our personal stories, the good and the bad, is knowledge, and knowledge truly is power."

Something like that, anyway. Can you tell I've thought about this way too much? LOL...

Anyway, I'm going to try to convey, as best as I can, that as long as their choice is an informed one, they should feel free to birth wherever they want. I'm a huge supporter of unattended birth/freebirth/UC, and I feel so blessed that I have the right to choose to birth my baby unattended. I believe it is important for everyone to feel that way about their choice, as long as they know their options, have done their research, and are completely informed.

I don't even know if I'm making any sense here...it's too early!
post #17 of 48
I totally agree that women birthing in the hospital deserve a great birth as much as anyone else. They may need it more, because for whatever reason, they weren't confident (or healthy, or whatever) enough to choose home birth in the first place. I fit in the "not confident enough" category for my first birth. I honestly did not believe I was capable of handling natural childbirth. My mother told me when I was a little girl that anyone who tries to have a baby without drugs is just trying to be "cool," and it really hurts way too much to do it that way. Without my incredibly empowering hospital birth, I would not be who or where I am today.

The trouble isn't that the book is reaching out to hospital birthers as much as it seems to really focus on the hospital experience. Other birth books strike a better balance if you ask me. And when I teach classes, I come at it from this angle: "I am educating you about natural childbirth. You will learn that some environments are more conducive to natural birth than others, and how to make the best of whatever setting you choose to have your baby." I then go on to teach them info that should apply to birth regardless of where it takes place, with subtle and constant goading toward choosing the healthcare provider and environment that will be most conducive to a natural and satisfying birth.
post #18 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by feminine_earth View Post
"I'm not going to ask how many of you are birthing in the hospital and how many are birthing at home. I don't want to know. I don't want you to have to live up to any expectations. I will teach you about your hospital options, and I will teach you about your homebirth options. You may be 100% sure that you're having a homebirth, and for whatever reason end up in the hospital. You may be 100% sure of having a hospital birth, and half way through these classes decide to find yourself a midwife. You may even decide to go it alone with just your birth partner. The point is, I pass no judgment on how you choose to birth because it is just that: your choice. I will, however, educate you on the dangers of hospital birth, and teach you how to assert your rights to avoid these dangers. I will also teach you about the pros and cons of homebirth. Because I believe that your choice needs to be informed. After these classes are over, and after your baby's birth, we will be meeting one last time for a pot-luck "showing off baby" party where we can share birth stories, no matter how good or bad you feel about your particular experience. You will also be asked how or if you would do things differently if you had the chance to do it again. Sharing our personal stories, the good and the bad, is knowledge, and knowledge truly is power."

That's really beautiful, thanks for sharing
post #19 of 48
Just wanted to say I'm going to The Farm in April, too. Looking forward to seeing some of you there!
post #20 of 48
momileigh, like I said, I haven't finished the whole book yet, but I did just get done with the homebirth chapter. The author herself admits that she wasn't even gonna put a chapter on homebirth in the book, which kinda irked me a little. But I do still feel that the goal of the book is to teach women that they are birth goddesses who have the power to give birth naturally, but that sometimes things don't work out that way, and they can still have a great birth. We'll see how the workshop goes, and what the program focuses on, but even if it does seem more aimed at hospital birth, I can create my own curriculum to better suit the needs of the students in my (future) classes, ya know?

I just hope that homebirthers, who have read the book and also feel that it is catered toward hospital birth, don't dismiss the classes. That would suck. I'm hoping to have some homebirthers in my classes too (even though I live in a VERY mainstream area), and now I'm a little worried that the book may dissuade them from taking my classes. Darn it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by snugglebug14 View Post
That's really beautiful, thanks for sharing
Wow, thank you Kristen!

Annndddd...I see you are an herbalist! I am an aspiring student herbalist. I'm taking two correspondence courses, Susun Weed's ABC of Herbalism course and Heart of Herbs with Demetria Clark. Herbalism is a HUGE passion of mine, right on up there with childbirth!

Mamabeakley, see you there!!
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