april__penny_dona_conference_2011.jpgThese classes are offered through Penny Simkin's office and the instructors are Penny Simkin, PT, Sharon Muza and April Bolding, PT.  April's classes are taught in her residence in West Seattle.  We recommend a class that ends 2-5 weeks before your due date.

To find out a complete schedule of these classes, fees and to sign up, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Penny's office or call (206) 325-1419.  If a class series is full, you can request to get on a waiting list or you can contact April for a private childbirth class.

Reading Materials: Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn; The Birth Partner; and many handouts 

Class 1

  • Introductions: Names and other information
  • Discussion: Long term impact of the birth experience on a woman and family
  • Decisions to make: Baby's doctor; Water birth; Choice of support team (family, friends, doula); infant feeding, etc.
  • Review of anatomy
  • The 3 Rs of coping with childbirth stress: Relaxation, Rhythm, and Ritual
  • Comfort Measures: Conditioning exercises: Relaxation; slow breathing

Class 2

  • The events of late pregnancy leading to birth: for mother, fetus, and placenta
  • Prematurity (the "unfinished pregnancy")
  • How to know when you're in labor: the signs to look for
  • What happens during labor: the stages of labor
  • Comfort Measures: More on relaxation (partner's role) and slow breathing; intro to light breathing for relaxation and for mastery.

Class 3

  • The emotions of labor, the emotional needs of the woman, and how the partner and others can meet her needs.
  • Prenatal perineal massage to reduce the chance of a tear at birth.
  • Comfort Measures: More on relaxation; massage; light breathing; positions and movements for labor; visualizations.

Class 4

  • Emotions of labor (continued)
  • Transfer to the hospital: reasons and what to expect
  • Medical interventions: induction of labor; electronic fetal monitoring; intravenous fluids and medications (epidural); vacuum extractor, forceps; cesarean delivery.
  • Setting priorities for care. Bottom line: Healthy Mother and Baby
  • Comfort Measures: Back labor techniques; techniques and positions for pushing

Class 5

  • Transfer to the hospital (cont.)
  • Postpartum adjustment
  • Comfort Measures: Review of all learned comfort measures and labor progress techniques

Class 6

  • Newborn care
  • Role play/rehearsal of all labor techniques in a simulated labor

Class 7

  • Breastfeeding taught by a lactation consultant

Reunion (Scheduled at least three weeks after all the babies are born)

  • Potluck meal
  • Birth stories
  • Group picture of all babies and families