Something New In Birth Education- Birth Boot Camp

I knew after I had my first child that I wanted to be a natural birth teacher. I just KNEW it. Maybe that sounds silly, but I wanted it so badly. It was something I could do as a stay at home mother, and I loved learning about birth and I wanted to share with others how much joy it had brought to me.

The birth class I had taken was from Donna Ryan, you might know her as that crazy Banned From Baby Showers gal. She encouraged me and really has been my mentor through this whole process for years. Many times I have said that I want to be Donna when I grow up. (She is much older than me too, but that is another story.  I just had to throw that in there.  She is the same age as my husband.)

After my second child was born I set about trying to actually get certified to teach. I felt like I needed to have more than one natural birth before I could teach, like the first one might have been a fluke or something.

So when my second baby was 8 months old I left everybody for three days to attend a Bradley Method™ training in Phoenix Arizona.

My childbirth educator had been a Bradley ™ teacher and I had decided to be one too. I looked into lots of different ways to certify but settled on Bradley ™ in the end for a few reasons.

One reason was that it had been the class I took and it had worked for me. Another reason was that I was (and am) devoted to the natural process. Yes I know that birth can and does go haywire sometimes, but my particular philosophy about birth is that it should be as natural as possible as often as possible. I really think that women CAN do this birth thing naturally most of the time. That probably sounds unexceptional from me, but that philosophy, that COMMITMENT to the natural process is not found in all birth method classes. I wanted it and it existed in Bradley ™ .

But it was not perfect. No surprise, few things are.

So after years of teaching when my old friend and mentor, Donna, approached me about joining her in beginning a NEW childbirth education company, Birth Boot Camp Inc. I was both flattered and resistant.

My biggest concern really was, would I still get students? People in the birth community know that Bradley ™ is devoted to the natural process and midwives know that it prepares their couples well.

But when I came on board with Donna and her fabulous group of women I KNEW that I had to do this. Let me tell you why-

For one- this birth education method is as perfect as they come. I have been teaching for years now and I have had to adapt my classes to fit the needs of my couples. I have had to add in things that are more modern and applicable to my students. I have had to “update” the classes on my own. I have also felt the need to address things that are missing- like the role of emotions in labor or the need for movement or the process of induction and the skyrocketing c-section rate.

Even though the mechanics of birth stay the same, the POLITICS of birth are constantly shifting. Birth Boot Camp is updated and modern and it address topics that are simply NEEDED for any couple wanting to have a natural, vaginal birth.

Second, I met the team of women running this show. I simply know it will be successful. They are amazingly talented, work seamlessly together, and have the rarest combination of both organization and ideas that will inevitably make this venture great and successful.

What seemed like a leap of faith at first, now I know is a sure thing. Birth Boot Camp WILL be awesome. It already is, and it is just beginning.

Third, I know Donna. She is a fantastic leader. She has the unique ability to be both loved by those who work with her without sacrificing the need to be in charge and make decisions. One of the most passionate and principled people I have ever met, it is a pleasure to work with her and I am so grateful and humbled that she asked me to be a part of something so great.

And lastly, I NEEDED this too.

I am a mom, first and foremost. But I am also a woman and I have a desire, like I am sure many of you do, to be counted. I want to change the world for better. I want to do good in the lives of others. I want to be involved in the time of life that changes people forever: birth.

Birth Boot Camp has given me that opportunity. It lets me be a mother first, but also be more than that. It allows me to be a woman with talents who is a force for good in the world.

I feel that my life is so very blessed.

Have you ever gone for years just wondering what you were supposed to do and hoping that you would figure it out?

I have.

But now I know that this last little “bit” rounds it all out for me without sacrificing that which is most important to me.

Thanks for listening- I have never been good with good-byes or announcements.

If you are interested in becoming an Birth Boot Camp instructor, there is a training in Dallas this September.  If you are interested in taking a class you can find teachers on our website, and also options for people with no teacher available, (can you say “professionally filmed online classes”? No I am NOT kidding. We are providing ONLINE birth classes and they are amazing!)  Or, if you are a birth worker or midwife and are interested in learning more, you can contact us through this link.  
And of course, there is a Facebook page!

Joy on your journey! I am so excited to share part of mine with you-


Mama Love said…
THis sounds wonderful! I don't know if you are familiar but the military offers funding for spouses to further educate themselves. Child birth education is an area with very few options... Lamaze is the only one at the moment. If you go to the MYCAA wesbite there is an application you can fill out to "get approved" for this funding allowing all us military wives wanting to certify in natural childbirth education to pick YOU. :)
Mama Birth said…
Will let them know- Military mama are part of the reason we came up with this!
am said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Stephanie said…
This is exiting! I must say I was a bit disappointed in my Bradley experience. Perhaps foolishly, I expected the class to have everything I needed to get ready. I had no clue about the sky rocketing C-Section rates, and I ended up with one that I think I could have avoided. Though it did help me avoid any pain meds during all of the Pit labor. Maybe after I successfully VBAC I'll teach!
Mama Birth said…
Stephanie- we look forward to having you join us- you can check out the online classes if there isn't a teacher in your area-
Raquel~Marie said…
Most wouldnt ask a gardner to build a new roof, or a seamstress to build a car from scratch. Experience is a plus.
This sounds like a great class and as someone who is dreaming of becoming a CE, I'll definitely keep this class in mind. Please excuse my next comment, but I just wish it had a different name. Initially, it turned me off but after looking at the site, I see that's it's a really great curriculum.
You guys should be really proud. Good luck!!
Mama Birth said…
The name and theme is really aimed at involving fathers and not having it so feminine they aren't interested. Thank you for looking- it is a very good course-
That is actually a really good approach and I guess you're right, the lack of feminine energy in the name is why I was hesitant. Regardless, I think you all are on to something. Women need a solid birth education program. My personal experience is with hypnobirthing and though it worked, I was disappointed in the classes. I felt like I had to educate myself about birth and my options because all the class really did was teach you self hypnosis. IMO it was not comprehensive enough.
The Quinns said…
Re: am's comment
I've had a failed induction and two c-sections, would you really want me to teach you how to achieve a successful natural birth?? I sure wouldn't!

Congrats Mama Birth! Sounds like an awesome curriculum that meets the needs of women wanting natural birth in a medical world!
The Quinns said…
Re: am's comment
I've had a failed induction and two c-sections, would you really want me to teach you how to achieve a successful natural birth?? I sure wouldn't!

Congrats Mama Birth! Sounds like an awesome curriculum that meets the needs of women wanting natural birth in a medical world!
Anne Belk said…
I'm a Bradley teacher and am sad to see you and Donna Ryan leave Bradley, but I understand your reasoning. Looks like you have some great material and a great start to your new organization. I do wonder about the boot camp imagery. When I think of boot camp, the first thing that comes to mind is a drill sergeant yelling in my face, and that's about the least relaxing thing I can think of! But I see your point that it could get men more interested. Best of luck to you all - and here's to more healthy moms, more healthy babies, and more natural births!
Holly Scudero said…
I would LOVE it if you were able to get funding for military spouses to become certified! I just had my first baby two months ago (an all-natural home birth... see my story here:, and the more I read during my pregnancy, the more I determined that I wanted to eventually become a doula and a certified childbirth educator. I took the free birth class offered on base, and while it wasn't quite as dismal as I expected it to be, it was far from natural birth-friendly. My husband and I were the only people with a midwife (which our insurance didn't cover), the only people planning to use a birth center, the only people planning to go without drugs. I feel military families are desperately in need of other options when it comes to having babies. Someday I dream of being both a doula and a childbirth educator (hopefully certified through Birth Boot Camp) and being able to offer my services steeply discounted (or even free) to other women in military families.
Mama Birth said…
We are looking into the MYCAA option! And one of the reasons we are doing the video classes is because our founder was frequently contacted by military families wanting to do DVD courses because they were stationed overseas and had no birth class options-
Keep checking- We are aware!
Kimberly O. said…
I really wanted to take this training to become an instructor, but we live in Hawaii, and it's expensive to fly out to the mainland just for a class. :( But if it makes any difference, I really, really wanna do it.
Mama Birth said…
Kimberly- we plan on starting to travel as soon as possible. I imagine Hawaii may be a place fun to hit.....
Tracey Rose said…
I just interviewed Donna about Birth Boot Camp today and I have to say I am impressed with the program. Congrats on providing something so thorough in an online setting. This will help a lot of women :)