Education & Support for Pregnancy & New Parents
Prenatal Education, Breastfeeding Support, Doula Support
Cultivating Trust in Birth. Supporting Informed Choices.
Birth Options Consultations & Preconception Counseling | Group Childbirth Education/Private Childbirth Education Instruction | Labor Doula Support | Postpartum Doula Support | Breastfeeding Education | Lactation Counseling | Blessingway Ceremonies-An Alternative to the Baby Shower | Referrals to Mother-Friendly Childbirth Professionals
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SERVICES OFFERED FOR EXPECTANT PARENTS
Birth Options Consultations & Preconception Counseling
Learn about your options for childbirth. Topics include:
- The Place of Birth – Hospital, Birth Center or At Home & Advantages and Disadvantages of each;
- The Type of Provider – Physician or Midwife;
- Insurance Options;
- Referrals to Midwives, Physicans, Doulas and more…
Childbirth Education Classes (Group and Private)
Cultivate trust in birth, increase confidence for normal childbearing. Make informed choices based on knowledge of all options and alternatives. Learn to cope with labor, learn support techniques for birth partners. We teach about normal, physiological childbirth and appropriate evidence-based interventions. We offer both Group Classes and Private Instruction.
Group Childbirth Preparation Classes – 4 Week Series
Our original series Empowered Birth Choices are designed for pregnant women and their birth partners and families. Topics include:
- Class One: Understanding Birth
- Class Two: Coping with Labor
- Class Three: Options for Birth
- Class Four: Postpartum, Breastfeeding & The Newborn
Private Childbirth Preparation Instruction
Lessons are taught in the comfort and intimacy of your own home, suited to your educational needs and budget. Instructor comes to you and transforms your livingroom into a childbirth classroom. Areas served include all of of Los Angeles County.
Prenatal & Labor Doula Support
Labor doulas can help you cope with labor, make informed choices, and have emotional support during the labor process. Studies show that the presence of a skilled labor assistant can decrease need for pain medication, cesarean section, medical interventions, shorten labor, and increase success of breastfeeding. Also labor support can decrease postpartum depression and increase attachment and bonding between mother and infant. They may even decrease risk for preterm labor. Our community-based doula program provides free labor support services for low-income women. Call us for details. Click here to view our team of Los Angeles Doulas
Postpartum doulas mother-the-mother after the birth, providing emotional support and physical care of mother and newborn, and preparing meals and instructing mother and father in newborn care. Hourly, daily, weekly and monthly rates available.
Breastfeeding Education Classes
Breastfeeding education classes will describe the benefits of breastfeeding, how the breasts make milk, how to position baby at the breast, ways to calm and soothe fussy babies, safe co-sleeping, the attachment approach to parenting, pumping and storage of breastmilk, and how to deal with common problems of lactation such as sore nipples, low milk supply, engorgement, etc. Individual and Group Classes available.
Lactation counseling is available in hospital, in-home, or by phone. Services offered by Certified Lactation Educator or Breastfeeding Peer Counselor, with referrals available to Board-Certified Lactation Consultants and Physicians for more complex issues. Issues addressed include sore nipples, low milk supply, engorgement, inverted nipples, etc.
Blessingway Ceremonies – An Alternative to the Baby Shower
A Blessingway is a special ceremony given to a pregnant woman or new mother by her circle of friends and family to celebrate, nurture and support her. Based on a Navajo Rite of Passage ritual, it is given by the pregnant woman’s community of friends and family to support and honor her during this very special time in her life. An alternative to the conventional baby shower, a Blessingway celebrates pregnancy, birth and motherhood and can be customized to each family’s religion or spiritual orientation. It can be used as a powerful healing ceremony and/or a celebration of new life. We will handle all details of your special day, including coordinating music, food, flowers, decorations, invitations, and we will lead the ceremony.
Referrals to Mother-Friendly and Baby-Friendly Professional Services
We can refer you to our network of mother- and baby-friendly perinatal professionals who promote family-centered, wholistic, evidence-based maternity care services for families planning to give birth in the Hospital, Birth Center, or At Home. These include:
- Certified Nurse-Midwives offering Hospital Birth
- Midwives Offering Home and Birth Center Services
- Prenatal & Labor Doulas & Monitrices
- Postpartum Doulas
- Childbirth Educators
- Lactation Specialists
- Complimentary Medicine Practitioners (Hypnobirthing, Prenatal Yoga Instructors, Placenta Incapsulation Specialists, etc.)
Hospitals where we have provided labor support services for our clients include:
- Good Samaritan Hospital – Downtown LA
- Cedars Sinai Medical Center – West LA
- St. John’s – Santa Monica
- Santa Monica Hospital – Santa Monica
- Glendale Adventist – Glendale
- Huntington Hospital – Pasadena
- St. Josephs – Burbank
- Holy Cross Hospital – Mission Hills
- Little Company of Mary – Torrance
- Kaiser Permanente – Sunset, West LA, Baldwin Park, Woodland Hills
- San Antonio Hospital – San Dimas
- St. Lukes – Pasadena (now closed)
- Citrus Valley Hospital, Queen of the Valley – Covina
…….Plus Freestanding Birth Centers and Private Homes (for Planned Homebirth)
OFFERING MOTHER-FRIENDLY CHILDBIRTH SERVICES
The Association for Wholistic Maternal and Newborn Health provides wholistic birth support and education for childbirth, breastfeeding and immediate postpartum period. Education is based on The Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative (MFCI), developed by the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS). The Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative was developed in 1996 and is the first consensus document on maternity care in the U.S., developed by leading associations and individuals who have concern for mothers and newborns. Ratifiers included Lamaze international, The Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, International Childbirth Education Association, Midwives Alliance of North America, The American College of Nurse-Midwives and others. These ten evidence-based steps are aimed to improve birth outcomes and quality of care for mothers and newborns. The validity of the 10 steps was published in a systemic review of the literature and was published in 2007 in the peer-reviewed Journal of Perinatal Education. Download the Evidence Basis.
Download PowerPoint PDF:
THE TEN STEPS OF THE MOTHER-FRIENDLY CHILDBIRTH INITIATIVE
Principles of the Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative on which our Work is Based
We believe the philosophical cornerstones of mother-friendly care to be as follows:
Normalcy of the Birthing Process
- Birth is a normal, natural, and healthy process.
- Women and babies have the inherent wisdom necessary for birth.
- Babies are aware, sensitive human beings at the time of birth, and should be acknowledged and treated as such.
- Breastfeeding provides the optimum nourishment for newborns and infants.
- Birth can safely take place in hospitals, birth centers, and homes.
- The midwifery model of care, which supports and protects the normal birth process, is the most appropriate for the majority of women during pregnancy and birth.
- A woman’s confidence and ability to give birth and to care for her baby are enhanced or diminished by every person who gives her care, and by the environment in which she gives birth.
- A mother and baby are distinct yet interdependent during pregnancy, birth, and infancy. Their interconnected–ness is vital and must be respected.
- Pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period are milestone events in the continuum of life. These experiences profoundly affect women, babies, fathers, and families, and have important and long-lasting effects on society.
- Every woman should have the opportunity to:
- Have a healthy and joyous birth experience for herself and her family, regardless of her age or circumstances;
- Give birth as she wishes in an environment in which she feels nurtured and secure, and her emotional well-being, privacy, and personal preferences are respected;
- Have access to the full range of options for pregnancy, birth, and nurturing her baby, and to accurate information on all available birthing sites, caregivers, and practices;
- Receive accurate and up-to-date information about the benefits and risks of all procedures, drugs, and tests suggested for use during pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period, with the rights to informed consent and informed refusal;
- Receive support for making informed choices about what is best for her and her baby based on her individual values and beliefs.
Do No Harm
- Interventions should not be applied routinely during pregnancy, birth, or the postpartum period. Many standard medical tests, procedures, technologies, and drugs carry risks to both mother and baby, and should be avoided in the absence of specific scientific indications for their use.
- If complications arise during pregnancy, birth, or the postpartum period, medical treatments should be evidence-based.
- Each caregiver is responsible for the quality of care she or he provides.
- Maternity care practice should be based not on the needs of the caregiver or provider, but solely on the needs of the mother and child.
- Each hospital and birth center is responsible for the periodic review and evaluation, according to current scientific evidence, of the effectiveness, risks, and rates of use of its medical procedures for mothers and babies.
- Society, through both its government and the public health establishment, is responsible for ensuring access to maternity services for all women, and for monitoring the quality of those services.
- Individuals are ultimately responsible for making informed choices about the health care they and their babies receive.
To register for classes and services, contact:
Carla Michael, Manager of Community Programs
Phone: (626) 388-2191 (ext. 3)