Welcome! The following documents, websites, and resources are for you and your partner to utilize as you prepare for your birth and begin caring for your new baby.

Class Reflection Guide

For those of you taking my Childbirth Prep Class, this reflection guide is a great way to go deeper into the material we cover in class, and it serves as a way to help you apply things to your own lives and circumstances. I encourage you to work through it as we go through the class, taking each week to move through the questions that apply to the information that was covered.

I also highly recommend checking out these two "spectrums" worksheets. Do this individually, then discuss: Where do you fall? Do you align or have differences? Do your feelings about birth, medicine, etc line up with your provider's/birth places? 

1. Groopman Spectrums  

2. Birth Values

Baby Medications

Vitamin K

Eye Ointment

Birth Preferences (Birth Plans)

Birth Preference Documents: These documents are a way to communicate with your care providers about your goals and preferences but are not meant to be a replacement for open communication with members of your care team. Even if you're planning to birth at home or at a birthing center, it is a good idea to create a birth preferences document; it is always good to be prepared in the event of an unforeseen complication and transfer. 

A few great articles about birth preferences documents: Article 1 Article 2

It is important to know your beliefs about birth and medical intervention when forming a birth plan and when talking with your provider about your desires. Here are some great tools for you and your partner to identify your values and goals around birth.  Groopman Spectrums  Birth Values 

Example Birth Preference Documents: Multiple Samples  Sample 1 Sample 2  Sample 3  Multiple Samples  Planned Cesarean

Birth Preferences Card Sort. This is an activity where you can print out cards with various birth preferences on one side and their alternatives on the other(ie labor without pain medications vs get an epidural). Print them out, and then sort them based on your ideal birth. Then practice flipping over the cards- what if you had to have an induction, pitocin, cesarean birth, etc. Discuss this with your partner. If these cards don't fit your preferences/options, make your own!

Birth Stories and Videos

After watching/listening/reading, take some time to reflect on these stories: What if your labor unfolded in a similar way? How might you feel? How might you cope? Partners, what are some support techniques that you could use?

Podcast: The Birth Hour  This is a favorite of mine, lots of stories told by women with a wide variety of experiences. Seriously, this is one of the BEST ways to prepare for labor. 

Cesarean Birth Story (Family Centered)

Birth Video This is a beautiful video that shows how supportive and loving a partner can be during labor and birth, as well as showing a beautiful, natural, hospital delivery

Another Beautiful Birth Video  This video shows a water birth and loving, supportive, partner

VBAC Hospital Birth, great images of partner and doula giving support

Home Birth- shows good images of different stages of labor

Dancing in Labor :) proves that you can still move around while attached to an IV

This website has more great videos, including one that shows an unmedicated induction 

Birth with an Epidural: This video does a good job explaining epidurals and showing one mom's journey from getting her epidural through pushing, delivery, and postpartum. 

Epidural Birth Video: This gives a great example of provider directed pushing

Beautiful Epidural Birth

Evidence Based Birth YouTube Channel- great short videos on a variety of important topics

Cesarean Birth

VBAC : A great resource for women who are planning to have a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC)

Cesarean Birth: This document has some great suggestions for ways to approach and prepare for a planned cesarean

Childbirth Connection: A great overview of cesarean birth- the facts, and your options

Cesarean Birth Video (does show image/video of the OR, but not the incision, etc)

Cesarean Scar Tissue- how to massage your scar to prevent pain and complications in the future

Microbiome Seeding- article about evidence and video

Delayed Cord Clamping

delayed cord clamping (video by Penny Simpkin)

Epidurals

Birth with an Epidural: This video does a good job explaining epidurals and showing one mom's journey from getting her epidural through pushing, delivery, and postpartum. 

Epidural Birth Video: A short, sweet, video of a mom delivering in the hospital with an epidural

Penny Simkin YouTube Channel: These are some great, short, videos, on a variety of topics, including epidurals (video 1 video 2)

Positions in Labor with an Epidural: Just because you have an epidural doesn't mean that you can't benefit from frequent position changes!

Epidural Pros/Cons 

Evidence and Tips for Using a Peanut Ball

General Resources (Good, Evidence Based Information)

Evidence Based Birth This website is focused on birth and does a great job explaining the evidence for and against common interventions such as antibiotics in labor, induction, and newborn medications

Childbirth Connection This is another website that does a great job at breaking down the most recent research for those who are interested in learning more about evidence-based care.

Kelly Mom This website covers an extensive number of topics and provides clear, straightforward, and evidence-based information, along with links for those wanting to investigate a topic further. (mostly breastfeeding related)

Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn This website contains a variety of PDFs on pregnancy, birth, and postpartum related topics. It has comparison charts for things such as medications in labor, has birth plan crafting tools, and lots of tools for preparing for childbirth with your partner.

Lamaze Check out their blog for some great articles on a variety of common questions and concerns, and their video section for some great evidence based information that's easy to understand

Group B Strep

Evidence for/against antibiotics for GBS

Induction

Induction (General Overview, Resources)

Going Past Your Due Date (evidence)

Induction for Big Baby (evidence)

Induction if your water breaks (evidence)

Evidence for Natural Methods of Induction

Evidence on Induction for Gestation Diabetes

Informed Decision Making

Informed Consent: When presented with recommendations or suggestions for interventions by your care provider, use these questions to better obtain information about the procedure and your options.

Worksheet for Deciding about Interventions: a really handy tool!

Mindfulness

App: Mind the Bump (pregnancy specific) 

App: Insight Timer  (just a general meditation app)

If you have The Mindfulness App, there is a pregnancy section that's done by Nancy Bardacke (not free, but I've heard good things about it)

Book: Mindful Birthing by Nancy Bardacke (I think you can also purchase audio recordings by Nancy)

I have also heard great things about Rachel Yellin's audio relaxation program

Optimal Fetal Positioning

Belly Mapping

Spinning Babies: A great resource with tons of information about how the way that you align and use your body in pregnancy can affect the position of your baby and your labor! I really like their videos- Daily Essentials and the Parent Class. 

The Miles Circuit- a great resource for ideally making space and encouraging a baby into an optimal position

Pain Management (Non Pharmacologic)

Non Pharmacologic Comfort Measures: Includes some great drawings of various labor positions

 Penny Simpkin Video: coping in labor

Support Methods: This is list of common support methods that are often used in labor. Though the list is far from exhaustive, it may be a helpful way to generate self reflection and conversation about what methods of support you may find helpful in labor.

Birth Affirmations Read through these positive affirmations. Do any in particular resonate with you? Affirmations are a powerful tool towards re-framing the "pain" of birth into something that is safe, meaningful, and positive.

Positions in Labor: Here are a few examples of positions that can be helpful in labor and birth

Gate Control Theory of Pain Control

Taking Charge Routine

Pain Relief (Pharmacologic) 

ACOG practice bulletin on pain management in labor

Pain Management Options (Overview) : including both pharmacologic and non pharmacologic approaches.  

Perineal Massage

Perineal Massage By Partner (video- animation)

Self Perineal Massage (video, animation)

Perineal Massage (instruction sheet)

Perineal Massage- Evidence

Rebozo Techniques

Video 1 A variety of techniques

Video 2 A variety of techniques

Double Hip Squeeze with Rebozo

 Self/Partner Reflection

What do you believe about birth?  Groopman Spectrums  Birth Values Beliefs about Birth

Pain Medication Preference Scale: Review this scale and its descriptions of a variety of different preferences and approaches to pain medications. Determine where you fall on this scale, and have your partner identify where he/she would like you to fall on this scale. Then discuss! This is something that we can also discuss further in our prenatal groups.

Understanding Your Coping Style: Reflecting on how to cope with pain, anxiety, and stress in your life can be a helpful tool in identifying coping strategies that may be helpful during labor.

Fear Identification Worksheet- really helpful tool to identify and work through fears that could come up in labor

Scenarios: One of the beauties and mysteries of birth is how unpredictable it can be at times. Even with the best preparation, difficulties, road blocks, and complications can arise. These scenarios are great ways to generate practice how you (and your partner) might approach a variety of common circumstances.

Birth Preferences Card Sort. This is an activity where you can print out cards with various birth preferences on one side and their alternatives on the other(ie labor without pain medications vs get an epidural). Print them out, and then sort them based on your ideal birth. Then practice flipping over the cards- what if you had to have an induction, pitocin, cesarean birth, etc. Discuss this with your partner. If these cards don't fit your preferences/options, make your own!

Stages of Labor

Holistic Stages of Labor

Cliff Notes for Partners- The quick and dirty on labor support, FYI Early labor is now 0-6cm, not 0-4

(Additional) Videos

Vaginal Childbirth Video: This animation does a great job demonstrating cervical change and baby's cardinal movements during vaginal delivery. (not an actual birth video, just an animation of the process)

Penny Simkin YouTube Channel: These are some great, short, videos, on a variety of topics, including epidurals (video 1 video 2) ,