One-Day Childbirth Class, Ann Arbor, MI

Pregnant Woman

Taught by Deb Rhizal, RN, CD(DONA).

Meets Saturday from 9-5.

Every class includes a visit from new parents and their baby!

Connection with others is promoted through an invitation to a class reunion.

See Schedule for upcoming dates.

We recommend pairing this class with the half-day baby class. Discounts apply when registering for both classes. 

Preparation for Childbirth

Other parents have found this childbirth class extremely helpful. Click here to see what they have to say.

This childbirth class is a very practical “nuts and bolts” how-to class about helping labor to go well. The class is designed to help you clarify what a positive birth means for you and empower you to prepare for it.

The class equally serves pregnant women, and their partners/loved ones who want to support them meaningfully throughout the process. Class fee includes attendance for two people.

We focus on four areas of birth preparation:

  1. What to Expect: Learning what to expect from the full course of labor, emphasizing how to recognize when to go to the hospital or call your midwife, and how to take care of yourself  before that time. Specifics about local hospitals, such as what to expect during the triage process, is also covered.
  2. Helping Birth Go Well: Understanding how labor physiology works, and what specific things you can do to help your birth go well, decreasing the need for interventions.
  3. Pain Management: Becoming prepared for labor pain. This section will cover natural and medical pain managment. Extensive information about mind, body and spirit pain coping techniques is coverd. While the aim of the class is not to promote natural birth vs the use of epidurals, women wishing for an unmedicated birth will be fully served with comprehensive education about approaches for naturally managing the sensations of labor. These same techniques are useful for women who do want an epidural in order to work with the pain until their epidural is placed, and for preparing for the pain that is felt during the pushing phase for some women who have an epidural. Comfort measures partners/spouses/birth attendants can use to ease pain and offer support are covered. The class offers a wealth of techniques for laboring without pain medications while fully supporting women in their choice of pain control methods.
  4. Decision-Making: This section begins with a brief orientation to hospital procedures and common medical interventions. Emphasis of this section is on learning how to gather and understand information from your own doctor or midwife. The aim of this portion of class is to prepare you to make great decisions – for you – during your unique birth, rather then to make generalizations about the benefits or risks of any particular intervention.  You will be well prepared to work with your birth team (those supporting you through birth such as doctor, midwife, nurse, doula, family) to make informed, personal decisions throughout your birth.

The Condensed Childbirth Class also briefly covers physical postpartum recovery, including what to expect during the first two weeks, how to care for recovering mothers, and full recovery during the months after having a baby. Information for recovery from both vaginal and cesarean births is offered. Recovery is just one small aspect of all there is to know and prepare for postpartum. The postpartum/newborn/breastfeeding class offers much more holistic information. We highly recommend taking both classes.

Additional general class information available here.

Class will answer the following questions:

  • What is labor like?
  • What makes a positive birth experience?
  • What should you do in early labor?
  • When will you go to the hospital/birth center or know to call your midwife?
  • How can you cope with the strong intensity of contractions?
  • What can you do about pain in childbirth?  How do you support a laboring woman?
  • What tools promote great labor progress and help it go well?
  • How do you make decisions in the midst of labor?

More about the class: A letter from Deb (the creator of the classes)

As a birth doula I have provided continuous labor support, and witnessed the incredible work of birthing, with over 300 families. I developed this class because I was finding that many of my clients were coming out of birth classes well informed and full of knowledge, but unprepared for the experience of giving birth. I felt called to offer a class that taught women how to work with their bodies, partners how to be with and care for laboring women, and together to effectively work with their doctors/midwives/nurses to understand their options and make personal decisions.

I wanted to teach a practical class that really gave women an idea of what it is like to be in labor.  I wanted women to come away from class with a strong foundation for their choices based on research-informed information as well as  personal insights into themselves, and what they personally believe is most important.

Equally important I want loving partners to leave class prepared to support mom in countless ways.  I believe that loving partners have a strong desire to provide meaningful support, but unfortunately due to a lack of understanding of birth itself and what to do, they are sometimes left feeling helpless at births. Class will change that, empowering partners to provide every effective labor support.

The information presented in my classes is based on both medical and social research about the effects of birth and postpartum on women, health, family, parenting confidence, and wellbeing for your baby throughout life. I also provide exercises that help you take this knowledge, personalize it, and come away with insight about how you can best prepare for and work with labor, according to your own strengths and values.

Choosing a childbirth class is an important decision. I feel a great sense of responsibility when I consider the impact that my teaching may have in the lives of the families I serve. I welcome your questions as you decide on the best way to prepare for your birth and the transition that will take place after your baby is born. Visit the contact me page if you have further questions or register using the form provided.  Sincerely – Deb

Schedule of Upcoming Classes & Class Fees

Frequently Asked Questions

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