natural childbirth classes in St. Louis area - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 06-17-2009, 11:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi, I'm new to this website and having trouble manipulating the MANY posts! Just wondering if any of you experienced moms out there could give me an idea of some locations to take classes. I am interested in finding out more about the natural childbirth options in St. Louis. I have agreed to use an OB-Gyn because DH is quite fearful of the "underground" midwife movement here in St. Louis due to laws but I am very set on getting prepared for natural birth. Any good places to do classes? My OB delivers at St. John's and MoBap but I will probably deliver at St. Johns because my best friend is the director of the women's evaluation unit there and has promised me she will assign me a natural birth friendly nurse and make sure that I am being taken care of...
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#2 of 22 Old 06-17-2009, 01:02 PM
 
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My OB also delivers at MoBap, St. John's and St. Luke's. He was *very* specific that if I wanted a natural childbirth then I *needed* to be at MoBap. St. John's has their system - it's been in place for years. I just don't think I could trust that they would truly listen to me...plus I couldn't get over the cross on the wall. FWIW, I delivered at MoBap and didn't have one issue with the staff not listening to my requests - I was even a rock star for going without any pain medications. Go, me!

My husband and I took a Birth From Within knock-off class back in 2006 for our daughter's birth. I wouldn't recommend the class because of some issues with the instructor and her inability to separate her family time from her class time. BUT, that being said, the class really helped the old man and I come up with a plan and how to practice asserting ourselves, if necessary. Being on the same page (even though I *thought* we were pre-class) was just what we needed.

Good luck! I'm due in January, too (as is one other STL mama). Come join our DDC if you need a good time killer.

Angela
Chatty Girl - 3/2006, Lovey Boy - 1/2010, Delicious Baby Girl - 1/2012
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#3 of 22 Old 06-17-2009, 01:25 PM
 
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If your OB goes to MoBap, go there, not St. John's. Your friend isn't going to be able to guarantee you the room with a shower, or a NCB friendly nurse on the third shift change or help you avoid the nursery. At MoBap, most of the nurses Ive worked with have been NCB friendly, or at least, not undermining. At MoBap they are just used to NCB mamas which makes a huge difference.

Pretty much the only reason I see to St. John's is if you are extremely high-risk or working with Dr. Proffitt.

Also, there is a midwife now who is not underground at all. Dana Albillo is a legal CPM who even advertises. She is also an RN which lots of nervous DH's find reassuring.
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#4 of 22 Old 06-17-2009, 01:31 PM
 
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Greetings,
I delivered with a midwife last September here in STL (it's not as scary as it may first seem) and took a good childbirth prep class with Julie Guttman. Her website is: http://www.circleoflifedoulaservices.com/classes.htm. I had done plenty of reading on natural childbirth prep so some of the info was not new to me, but still very helpful. She incorporates advice for hospital and home births with an emphasis on how to assert yourself in the hospital and have as much freedom as is possible (given the staff you are assigned/your doctors philosophy etc) and techniques as labor progresses.

enjoying the lessons of life via my two beautiful teachers - my daughter and son

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#5 of 22 Old 06-17-2009, 02:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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just curious what a DDC is? I'm new to all of this!
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#6 of 22 Old 06-17-2009, 04:07 PM
 
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DDC = Due Date Club. There's a whole slew of us all due in January 2010.

Go to Pregnancy and Birth...in the I'm Pregnant forum there are folders for the monthly DDCs.

Angela
Chatty Girl - 3/2006, Lovey Boy - 1/2010, Delicious Baby Girl - 1/2012
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#7 of 22 Old 06-18-2009, 03:40 PM
 
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There are lots of Bradley instructors up there as well.

Happily Married to my : 11 yrs- Mama to wild-eyed monkey boy 7-04, fiery little girl 4-07, and the happy smiley baby that sleeps 11-09!
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#8 of 22 Old 06-22-2009, 01:18 PM
 
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I went to Bradley Classes with ShereKay Liberman in High Ridge, MO (near Fenton) and she was wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! I delivered my daughter at home naturally last November. You can find her at www.bradleybirth.com by searching for instructors in MO. Good Luck!

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#9 of 22 Old 07-09-2009, 02:42 PM
 
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I would like to second (or third? or fourth?) the advice to NOT go to St. John's. Avoid it if at all possible if NCB is your goal. I know too many personal stories and also am familiar with two doctors there who, while competent, are very set on protocols and inflexible. I would choose MoBap easily over St. John's if you have that option.
I was a doula a few months ago at Mo Bap and it was a really good experience. The nurses were very encouraging of the mom, kept visits to her room to a minimum and were so supportive of her laboring in whatever position for however long she chose. They even had new ideas for her and for me, I was really impressed. I have heard that Mo Bap may have a whirlpool for labor and possibly a delivery tub but have no firsthand knowledge of this.

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#10 of 22 Old 07-09-2009, 02:49 PM
 
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Yes I would say MoBap is a better choice for natural birth. We are going with a homebirth this time (due in January here too) but I have an awesome natural birth friendly OB for dual care and will go to MoBap if the need arises. My first was at St. Johns and it was really awful. I am curious about class options here too.
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#11 of 22 Old 07-09-2009, 02:59 PM
 
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Forgot to add, I'm doing the hypnobabies home study but my DH also wanted a class on childbirth and newborn care so we are signed up for a 4 week class with a DONA certified doula. I have not yet taken a class so I can't speak from personal experience yet, but I have heard good things. The schedule, prices, and class info are on this website:
http://www.birthnbabies.info/

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#12 of 22 Old 07-09-2009, 07:14 PM
 
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Not sure if this is *exactly* the kind of info you are looking for, but wherever you deliver, I highly recommend taking a prenatal yoga class. It was a HUGE part of my NCB and also really helped me throughout my pregnancy. I took it with both pregnancies from Maria Carella. http://www.mariacarella.com/
Good luck with everything!

Christina, proud mama of 2 strong, brilliant, creative, kind, beautiful girls from A to Z. Wife of 11 years to best friend and awesome papa, Brian. :::
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#13 of 22 Old 07-14-2009, 06:00 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newmama8 View Post
Greetings,
I delivered with a midwife last September here in STL (it's not as scary as it may first seem) and took a good childbirth prep class with Julie Guttman. Her website is: http://www.circleoflifedoulaservices.com/classes.htm. I had done plenty of reading on natural childbirth prep so some of the info was not new to me, but still very helpful. She incorporates advice for hospital and home births with an emphasis on how to assert yourself in the hospital and have as much freedom as is possible (given the staff you are assigned/your doctors philosophy etc) and techniques as labor progresses.
julie guttman is a fabulous st louis doula and has a wonderful class. i believe she teaches it on wednesday nights.

Heavily tattooed and Dready Mama to my girls. YES we are STILL NURSING! love to and
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#14 of 22 Old 08-17-2009, 09:14 PM
 
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I'm so happy to find this thread! I, too, am trying to choose a natural childbirth class. Right now I am torn between the Julie Guttman and Kim Amos classes. Both seem really great...the former is longer (6 weeks) and more expensive, the latter is only 4 and less expensive, but does cover newborn care. Anybody have experiences with either they would like to share?

On a side note, I'm new here and sorta freaking out reading about how many people are advising against St. Johns. I adore my OB and Midwife, but they practice there so it's where I'll have to deliver. I chose her because she is NB friendly, and my doula has worked with her before and loves her, but I worry that even with two advocates in the room, delivery at St. Johns could still be problematic...
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#15 of 22 Old 08-17-2009, 11:44 PM
 
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If prices of childbirth ed is a problem, mobap does offer a natural childbirth ed course and its much more reasonable. The material was written by a local student cnm and sounded wonderful.

i can speak nothing but good things about jamie's holistic childbirth course as well.

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#16 of 22 Old 08-18-2009, 01:36 AM
 
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Both MoBap and StJohns are pretty miserable for natural birth. I had a cesarean at MoBap....so may be a little biased against them!

A few years ago, both had the same cesarean rate---around 40%. Ask your friend what St. Johns is up to now?? Give MoBap a call and ask them too. I had 2 vbacs at st. mary's. Both times I had great nurses who talked me out of an epidural.

I think it is good that your friend will advocate for you at St. Johns. You can always ask for a different nurse. Be sure your doctor is on board for natural birth. That is very important, as well as a good doula.

Keep us posted!
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#17 of 22 Old 08-18-2009, 12:28 PM
 
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My DD was born at St. John's and I so regret choosing that hospital. DD was her birthmother's 7th birth and they just did not get that her body knew what to do. She also complained that St. John's did not have a "track". If you wanted to walk you had to go up and down halls in stead of in a circle.

Afterwards when she was being cleaned up one of the aids or nurses or whatever dumped a bucket of cold water on b-mom and them mumbled something about not being used to moms who could feel. There were so many babies in the nursery that the nurses has to swim through the baby beds to get to the one they wanted. (I will say though that they were very respectful of our adoption situation.)

I've had two tours of MoBap recently. The very first thing they told us on the tour was tell us your birth plan. They mentioned this several times. We're planning to take their natural childbirth class. I'll let you know how it goes. We also took one of their regular childbirth classes (since the NCB one ends so close to my due date) and I was really impressed. It was the 2 Saturday class and they didn't even mentioned epidurals until the end of the first day and that was because someone asked. When they did talk about interventions there was a lot of pros and cons reminding us to ask about other options.

MoBap has AquaDoula tubs for laboring but not for delivery. There's a shower in every room. If you do need a section they have operating rooms specifically for that on the floor. (All of L&D and the post partum rooms are close together at MoBap. At St. John's they are on different floors.) As long as everything is okay they'll do all the cleaning and testing of the baby right in your room. No wisking her away to an overflowing nursery.

I put my DH in charge of finding a childbirth class. I'm research girl so I was finding the information I needed but we wanted something more visual and structured for him. He had talked to a friend about Bradley classes and was enthused but the schedule didn't work for us. Is there any sort of website that lists the various other NCB classes? He was drawing a blank.
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#18 of 22 Old 08-18-2009, 08:50 PM
 
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Is there any sort of website that lists the various other NCB classes? He was drawing a blank.
There is Bradley, HypnoBirthing, HypnoBabies (also has a homestudy course), Lamaze, Birthing From Within, there are also other non-specific, out-of-hospital classes (Like Jamie's and Julie's) that teach natural childbirth.

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#19 of 22 Old 08-20-2009, 07:43 PM
 
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He knew to look for Bradley classes but not any other specific names other than Natural Childbirth.
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#20 of 22 Old 08-21-2009, 12:53 AM
 
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Originally Posted by stlgirl View Post
I'm so happy to find this thread! I, too, am trying to choose a natural childbirth class. Right now I am torn between the Julie Guttman and Kim Amos classes. Both seem really great...the former is longer (6 weeks) and more expensive, the latter is only 4 and less expensive, but does cover newborn care. Anybody have experiences with either they would like to share?

On a side note, I'm new here and sorta freaking out reading about how many people are advising against St. Johns. I adore my OB and Midwife, but they practice there so it's where I'll have to deliver. I chose her because she is NB friendly, and my doula has worked with her before and loves her, but I worry that even with two advocates in the room, delivery at St. Johns could still be problematic...
the plus with julie guttmans class is that once you finish you can audit it as much as you need until the birth happens-so you can get so much more out of it!

Heavily tattooed and Dready Mama to my girls. YES we are STILL NURSING! love to and
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#21 of 22 Old 09-23-2009, 11:50 AM
 
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I mentioned that I was taking the natural childbirth class at MoBap and would let you know how it went. I just have to say WOW. It was excellent. Obviously I don't know what other NCB classes are like though I have read a lot of natural childbirth material. I'm amazied at how different the two MoBap classes were like. I thought their standard class was surprisingly crunchy. The natural class used some of the same videos and powerpoint slides but what we mostly did was talk. My class asked lots of questions.

One of the best things was walking over to take the tour of L&D and the post-partum rooms. Now, I'd already been on two tours of MoBap but this time we were in an L&D room forever, working the lights, seeing how the bed worked, going through different labor positions in the very same kind of room I'll be in.

This particular instructor is moving away to do her midwifery practicum.

I felt like this class was evidence based enough to keep my science side happy and more than crunchy enough. There was a great deal of emphasis on the natural process of birth to help aliviate fears. Best of all she reinterated that we should ask questions and communicate our needs with the staff. I guess the proof will be in seeing how my baby's birth goes. I would not lump MoBap birth classes in with what seems like typical hospital classes which seem to be about what to do until the epidural starts.
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#22 of 22 Old 05-31-2012, 11:56 AM
 
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I have a question for AfricanQueen99... Who delivered your baby at MO Bap?

I am looking for a good doctor that will be supportive of natural birth and even be able to give me pointers as needed. I prefer a woman and I would like to deliver at Missouri Baptist. I would also like an African American doctor, but that is not at all mandatory. Do you or any one else have any suggestions?

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