CHILDBIRTH EDUCATION CLASSES
+ What philosophy / method of childbirth class do you teach?
Lisa Taylor is dual-certified as a teacher with both the Childbirth Education Association of Metropolitan New York (CEA/MNY) and with Lamaze International. Both are organizations that uphold birth as a normal process and seek to provide evidence-based information toward informed, pragmatic choices in childbirth and early parenting. Lisa’s classes are designed to help pregnant students recognize their innate abilities to cope successfully with the challenges of labor in any setting. Courses incorporate the best aspects of popular methods (e.g. Bradley, Lamaze, Hypnobirthing) and integrate insights from Lisa’s experience as a doula. Students explore a variety of pain-coping and labor-coping strategies in order to identify the ones most instinctive to each person. Classes prepare students for the variety of birth scenarios. Students will be prepared for a natural and unmedicated birth, but will also acquire knowledge on common interventions, pain medications, complications, and cesarean birth. Students learn how to know the difference between necessary and unnecessary medical interventions. Additionally, Birth Matters NYC classes include instruction on essential postpartum care, including breastfeeding and newborn care – all incorporating holistic/natural tips.
+ Does everyone need to take a childbirth class?
A good class prepares you for childbirth in several important ways that a book or video simply cannot match. Our culture often propagates the myth that childbirth is a medical emergency, rather than presenting positive views on this natural process. It is immensely helpful for expectant parents to seek out teaching that normalizes birth. By becoming well-informed and reframing existing personal perspectives on the birthing process, expectant parents can experience reduced fear and anxiety and will be more likely to have a positive birthing experience. Childbirth classes offer relevant information about local care providers and birth locations that books often miss entirely. In a class, expectant parents have the opportunity to process their feelings, express concerns, and ask questions. A classroom setting also provides an opportunity to develop community with other expectant parents – some of whom may become lifelong family friends.
+ Is childbirth class only for people planning a natural birth?
Childbirth class is for every pregnant parent and their labor support (limited to 2 individuals per family unless special permission is requested, and contingent upon capacity; an additional fee may apply). The objective is to help expectant parents establish appropriate expectations regarding the spectrum of possible scenarios in labor/birth and to equip them to make informed and intuitive choices along the way, whatever their goals.
+ Do partners come to all the classes?
Yes, labor support partners are encouraged to attend every class, if possible. Partners are an essential support for labor, breastfeeding, and newborn care, and will therefore benefit from each class. "Partner" can mean your significant other, a supportive family member or friend, or a doula.
+ What if one of us has to miss one or more classes?
If a partner has to miss one or more class, it's entirely possible to catch up, as students have online access to a PDF of the class slides. Sometimes a makeup class is also an option in another series (contingent upon capacity). Please contact Lisa to coordinate any anticipated absences, since partner presence is more important in certain classes in a series than others.
+ What is the difference between your class & the one at the hospital?
The quality of a childbirth class depends on two things: the effectiveness of the instructor and the scope of information provided. Hospital classes are often taught by nurses who might not have extensive childbirth education training. In addition, many hospital-based classes are large, often brief sessions geared toward preparing clients for the routines and procedures at a particular institution, and all too often teach students how to be a "good patient" (with a few exceptions). Birth Matters NYC classes, by contrast, are taught from the consumer-based perspective, are small (up to 14 individuals), cover an extensive array of pain-coping techniques and hands-on practice, and provide information on a wide range of issues, preparing expectant parents to make informed and intuitive choices in their labors. This leads to a more fulfilling and empowering birth experience. Because Lisa is an independent childbirth educator, she can offer more personalized teaching, local resources, and guidance than is available in most hospital birth classes. Also, many hospital courses do not include breastfeeding, newborn care, and postpartum care in their childbirth education class but offer those subjects a la carte. So, hospital classes can end up costing you more money in the end. Finally, many Birth Matters NYC students have mentioned how thankful they were to take the class in the welcoming, warm environment of Lisa's living room classroom (with couches, candles, food and drink...like a party!) rather than in a clinical, less comfortable space.
+ At what point during my pregnancy should I take a childbirth class?
While you can take a childbirth education class as early or late as you like in your pregnancy, most choose to take a class at some point in their third trimester so the information is fresh when labor/birth day comes. Aim to finish the series by no later than the 36th or 37th week of pregnancy. Some choose to take their series earlier, particularly if they want plenty of time to read and review the large amount of supplemental reading and resources Lisa provides for students.
+ Do you offer private instruction?
Group classes are highly recommended. However, if you are unable to schedule a group class, private coaching sessions are available on a limited basis. Birth Matters NYC offers in-home classes in NYC's 5 boroughs (travel fee applies) as well as in Lisa's welcoming, comfortable living room classroom in Astoria. Contact Lisa for info.
+ Will my health insurance pay for classes, or can I use pre-tax FSA funds to cover it?
Some health insurance may reimburse for childbirth classes; inquire with your provider. Or, if you or your partner has a flexible/health spending account (FSA/HSA), childbirth class should be a reimbursable expense (check your current benefits to confirm this). We are happy to provide you with a written receipt that can be submitted to your insurer upon request; please ask your insurer what details need to be provided (as policies vary) and then contact Lisa to request the necessary documentation once you have registered for class.
+ What is the best way to contact you?
The best way to reach Lisa is through this contact form.
LABOR SUPPORT DOULA
+ What is a doula?
A labor support (birth) doula accompanies individuals/couples in labor to help ensure a safe and satisfying birth experience. Lisa Taylor is a DONA International-certified birth doula, in addition to being a Certified Cooperative Childbirth Educator (CCCE) with CEA/MNY (Childbirth Education Association of Metropolitan New York) and a Lamaze International Certified Childbirth Educator (LCCE). She draws on her professional training, knowledge and experience to provide emotional support, physical comfort and, as needed, communication with medical staff to make sure that you have the information you need to make informed decisions as they arise in labor. A doula can provide reassurance and perspective to you and your partner, make suggestions for labor progress, and help with relaxation, massage, positioning and other techniques for comfort. Your doula works for you (and your partner, if applicable), not for your caregiver or hospital.
+ What is the benefit of a doula?
Statistical evidence shows that a doula’s presence during labor and delivery produces better birth outcomes:
- Reduced anxiety/depression
- Increased parenting confidence
- Reduced cesarean section rates
- Shorter labors
- Fewer pain medication requests
*Source: Study by Klaus and Kennell, 2002.
+ What is Birth Matters NYC’s philosophy about childbirth & supporting expectant parents through labor?
The doula's role is to support the laboring individual or couple unconditionally throughout pregnancy, labor and birth. A doula does not make decisions for her client or expect the client to give birth in any particular way. A doula should offer physical, emotional, and informational support no matter what is happening during the birth, without judgment.
+ What does the fee for a birth doula include?
See details here.
+ Will my insurance cover doula care?
You will need to contact your insurance carrier to see if they cover or reimburse for doula services. Lisa is happy to fill out any paperwork needed by your carrier for coverage and will provide you with an official receipt to submit upon request.