With information about pregnancy and childbirth so readily available online, in convenient apps for our smart phones, in books and from our family and friends, investing the money and time in taking a childbirth education class may not seem worth it. Let’s face it-- you can literally Google any question you have, ask for advice on forums and even sign up to get weekly updates on what to expect in various pregnancy apps. Also, our trusted OBs and midwives also can fill us in on anything else we may need, right?
While this is all true, we still believe taking a childbirth education class is well worth your time and money. Usually birth classes take place in a comfortable atmosphere, where you can join other couples that are going through the exact same experience and, most importantly, a couple hours are dedicated to just you, your baby and new family to be.
1. Build Confidence with Knowledge
Taking a childbirth education class equips you with the knowledge you need during pregnancy and birth, as well as some postpartum information. Rather than reading this information in a book, you are taught by a knowledgeable instructor and accompanied by other couples that are as eager as you are to learn. This set-up gives you the opportunity to learn more about certain topics that you may be more interested in or would like to know more about. It is also helpful to have other people surrounding you in the class because they may ask something you didn’t think to ask and can help support you and add to your learning experience. Birth classes also give you the ability to talk through your fears and establish realistic plans and wishes for your birth with guidance from your teacher and peers.
2. Bond with other moms & couples
Childbirth classes are excellent for getting to know other pregnant women and couples who are experiencing exactly what you are. In addition to learning from each other, you can also build lasting friendships and be there for one another during vulnerable times. You will likely be having your children very close to each other, too, so you will have friends to lean on after birth for support and your kids will have friends for play dates a little later on!
We all need a little encouragement once in a while, especially when we are getting ready for childbirth. Society has put a lot of fears in our minds when it comes to giving birth and many women go into labor with little or no encouragement from those around them. This isn’t because people don’t care or want to help, it’s because they don’t know enough about childbirth and the process to give the right guidance. Childbirth educators share stories about personal experiences and are able to provide you with advice, which also helps to build your confidence going into the birthing process.
4. Collect Resources
When taking a childbirth class, you may also stumble upon a lot of helpful resources you might not have without the class. You may decide that your current OB or midwife is not the right fit, or someone might recommend someone who seems more in line with your wishes. You may also learn about different hospitals and birth centers that you might not have known about otherwise. Another pregnant women in your class may know about an awesome prenatal yoga class, or a great place to get a massage to work out the kinks while you're carrying your baby. Or, someone might even clue you in on a helpful breastfeeding support group or class. This might also be how you find your pediatrician for your baby!
5. Make your birth the birth YOU want it to be!
Giving birth is a different experience for everyone, and it very well should be. Childbirth education classes help invoke a plan for couples to make their births what they want them to be, instead of “just another birth”. Whether that is planning your birth to a tee or establishing certain hopes and wishes for your birth, classes help empower you to make your own choices and allow you to be in control, rather than having others dictate it.
We also want to emphasize the importance of taking a good childbirth education class. By good we mean a class that is in-depth and that you’ve gotten recommendations about. Trisha Lawrie, certified Birthworks instructor, explains that so much of what we learn about birth and the attitudes that go with it are dependent upon who we encounter on our journey. “If you take a four-hour hospital class that focuses mainly on epidurals and what will happen during a c-section, it’s going to be quite different than spending six weeks with an instructor who believes deeply that birth is normal,” Trisha points out.
Birth can be a wonderful experience, and taking a good childbirth education class can help support you, your partner and baby that will soon be coming into the world. Taking the time and spending a little extra on a class is definitely worth it in the long run!
We offer Birthworks classes, taught by Trisha Lawrie, at The Womb Wellness Center. Visit our Childbirth Education Class page for our next class series!
Join us for our upcoming Women's Fertility Group at The Womb Wellness Center. This fertility support group will meet the first and third Thursday of each month for 12 weeks beginning August 4, 2016. Megan Davis and Tracie Zamiska will host our group, offering women a wide variety of practical self care tools to incorporate into their wellness routines to help reduce stress and optimize their health and wellness. This group is limited to 12 participants. Click HERE to reserve your space.
We would like to invite you to join us for our Open House to celebrate our new location and to check out our cozy new space. All are welcome. Bring your friends, family, kiddos and join us for a tour, food and refreshments, FREE Massage and Acupuncture, give aways, and good company. We are looking forward to seeing you, celebrating our three year anniversary, and our new office space.
The Womb Wellness Center OPEN HOUSE
Date: Sunday May 15th
Location: 6200 SOM Center Rd A-24
Solon, OH 44139
OPEN HOUSE EVENTS: Join us for one of our mini workshops in our new classroom space
10:15- 10:45 - Meet the Doulas: Learn about what a doula is, the benefits of hiring a doula for your birth or postpartum time, and get to know our unique birth and postpartum doulas. Come with questions for an open Q and A with our doula panel.
10:45-11:00 - Postpartum Belly Binding Demo: Learn about the benefits of using a Bengkung Belly bind postpartum and see how easy it is to wrap yourself postpartum.
11:00-11:15 - Faja Demo: Come learn how to use a traditional Mayan wrap to support your uterus and lower back for uterine ligament healing for women and also for uterine and lower back support during pregnancy.
11:15-11:30 - Infant massage mini class: We will be discussing how to read a babies body language and cues to know when the best time to massage your baby. You will also learn a wonderful massage technique to sooth an upset tummy.
11:30-11:45 - Benefits of Acupuncture: Have you always been curious about Acupuncture? Join us to learn about the benefits of acupuncture and see what a typical session entails.
11:45-12:00 - Thai Massage Demo: What is Thai Massage? Learn about our new service coming in May!
Anytime from 10:00-12:00:
-Enjoy a FREE Chair Massage
-Meet our Acupuncturist and receive a mini Auricular or Ear Acupuncture treatment.
-Meet our doulas and bodywork practitioners!
-Everyone who stops by our open house will be entered into a Raffle to win: a 60 minute massage gift certificate or a gift basket of our favorite products at the studio.
Please RSVP and let us know you will be stopping by our Open House May 15th. Walk-ins are welcome as well. Click the Schedule Now button, find the workshop tab and sign up for our Open House.
As a new mom, I found myself longing to be in community with other mothers. I wanted to talk to moms who were in a similar phase of life that I was having just given birth. I felt this strong emotional post-birth rawness, I was shocked with the process of postpartum healing, and I also wanted to talk about nursing, babies, sleep, and how much I was getting pooped on. As a first time mom, I had a ton of questions especially about breastfeeding. So I bundled up my newborn son and off I went to breastfeeding support group. Breastfeeding group was so much more for me than just going to ask questions. I ended up learning a wealth of women's wisdom about nursing from all the other women's questions and concerns, it was sometimes my excuse to shower that day, or not, and it was just nice to be in community with other new moms.
Breastfeeding group was helpful for me later on as well. I made it a point to get to a breastfeeding support group when I was gearing up to go back to work and I had a ton of questions about pumping and schedules, I visited when I began to introduce solids, and then again when I was beginning the process of weaning. Most support groups are lead by a breastfeeding councilor or certified lactation consultant and others are peer to peer groups.
There are a abundant amount of local lactation support groups for nursing women here in Cleveland! Check out our list below to see what group meets near you or that works best with your schedule. Also, if you are looking for private one on one lactation support we offer in home breastfeeding support services and classes at The Womb Wellness Center. You can learn more by clicking HERE or giving us a call at 828-231-6159 to schedule an appointment.
Breastfeeding support groups are helpful for:
Breastfeeding Support Groups in the Greater Cleveland Area
Mama Bird Breastfeeding and Mothering Group via Zoom
1st and 3rd Thursday’s 8-9pm
Register Here: https://www.mamabirdhendry.com/groups
Breastfeeding Medicine of Northeast Ohio
Prep+ Working Moms Breastfeeding Support Group: Meets the first Thursday of the month from 10:30-12:00pm at Senders Pediatics 2054 S Green Rd, South Euclid, Ohio 44121
Breastfeeding USA Westside Chapter
General Breastfeeding Meeting: Fourth Tuesday of every month at 7pm 15800 Detroit Avenue, Lakewood, OH 44107, Suite D
Nursing Toddlers and Preschoolers: First Friday of the Month 10:00-12:00 at the North Olmsted Library
27403 Lorain Rd, North Olmsted, Ohio 44070
La Leche League of Ohio
Meets the second Friday of the month 10-12:00pm at the Cleveland Heights Library 2345 Lee Rd Cleveland Heights, OH 44118
Cleveland Westside Suburbs
LLL of Lakewood meets twice a month: The second Wednesday at 10 a.m. and the third Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at rotating locations on the west side of Cleveland, OH
Once a month- date varies 10:00-12:00pm Morley Library 184 Phelps St, Painesville, Ohio 44077
1st Friday of the Month 10-12:00pm Geneva Public Library
2nd Thursday of the Month 10-12:00pm at the Middlefield Library 16167 E High St, Middlefield, Ohio 44062
Cleveland Clinic Breastfeeding Support Groups
Cleveland Clinic Independence Family Health Center
Auditorium A, Lower Level, Crown Center Building 5001 Rockside Road, Independence 44131 Phone: 216.986.4000 | Tues. 10 – 11:30 a.m.
Cleveland Clinic Solon Family Health Center
29800 Bainbridge Road, Solon, 44139, Fourth floor conference room Phone: 440.519.6800 | Weds. 3 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Cleveland Clinic Strongsville Family Health and Surgery Center
Strongsville Family Health Center, 16761 South Park Center, Strongsville 44136 , Community Room A
Phone: 440.878.2500 | Weds. 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Cleveland Clinic Willoughby Hills Family Health Center
2570 SOM Center Road, Willoughby Hills, 44094 Phone: 440.516.8312 | Thurs. 12:30 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Fairview Wellness Center, Room 205
3035 Wooster Rd., Rocky River, OH 44116
Mon., Tues., Weds., Fri. 1 to 3 p.m. | Thurs. 5 to 7 p.m.
Hillcrest Hospital, North Campus
Across from Hillcrest Hospital, West Entrance
Tues. & Fri. 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. | 1st & 3rd Weds. 6 to 7 p.m.
Lakewood Hospital Nursing Mom’s Chat
Lakewood United Methodist Church, 15700 Detroit Ave., Lakewood, 44107 Lakewood Family Room, Basement
Phone: 216.529.5018 | Weds. 9:30 to 11 a.m.
Medina Hospital Family Birthing Center (Second Floor)
1000 E. Washington St., Medina, OH 44256 Phone: 330.721.5090 | Thurs. 1 to 3 p.m.
TriPoint Medical Center: 7590 Auburn Road, Concord Twp., OH 44077 - TriPoint Physician Pavilion, Lubrizol Conference Room 2 Breastfeeding support group meets every Wednesday at 10:00 am the third Wednesday of the month at 6:00pm
UH Elyria Medical Center
630 East River Street Elyria, OH 44035 Support groups meets on Mondays and Fridays at 11:00am and Wednesdays at 6:00pm
St. John Medical Center: Breastfeeding support group meets on Wednesdays at 10:00 am in the Community Outreach Room 29000 Center Ridge Road Westlake,Ohio 44145
Do you want to learn more about the birth process, be in community with other women, find support and encouragement during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum time? I encourage you to attend a women's circle, birth group, gathering, or meeting as a way to educate and prepare yourself for your birth. Or you can even start your own!
There are a variety of free monthly meetings that are open to the public all around the Greater Cleveland area. These birth group meetings are open to women who are planning a hospital or home birth and those who are pregnant or postpartum (babies welcome!).
Northeast Ohio Birth Support Groups and Women's Circles that are supporting women throughout pregnancy, birth, and postpartum time.
About Birth Choices Educational Meetings- Hosted by Cleveland home birth midwife Pam Kolanz
When: Meets the third Monday of each month at 7pm
Location: Bainbridge Library 17222 Snyder Road Chagrin Falls, Ohio 44023
Circle of Life Birth Group- Hosted by Cleveland home birth midwife Rosie Messina
When: Meets the second Tuesday of the month at 7pm
Location: Circle of Life 15800 Detroit Ave Lakewood, OH 44177
Home Birth Options Monthly Meetings- Hosted by Cleveland home birth midwife Kimberly French
When: Every 4th Monday except Dec at 7:00pm
Location: Pilgrim Congregational Church 2592 West 14th Street, Cleveland Ohio 441137:00to 9:00 p.m.
ICAN(International Cesearean Awareness Network) of Greater Cleveland
When: Meets second Wednesday of each month at 7pm
Location: Brookyln Branch Library 4480 Ridge Rd Brooklyn, OH 44144
Mother Rising Birth Story Circle- Hosted by studio owners Shauna Rich and Danielle Breech
When: Meets the Fourth Tuesday of each month at 7pm
Location: Mother Rising 137 Main Street Chardon, OH 44024
Natural Childbirth Network of Lake County- Hosted by Jenna Hall
When: No regular meetings, check their Facebook page for upcoming events
Location: Lake County- Location varies
My yoga practice has been an integral part of my life for close to 15 years now. Naturally, when I was pregnant my practice provided me with an opportunity to quiet down and listen to my body, connect with my baby, and most of all help me prepare my body for my birth. Yoga helped to keep my mind sane and relieved the aches and pains from my growing belly. It was such a wonderful way to nourish my body and baby throughout my pregnancy. I often encourage my prenatal massage clients to find a local prenatal yoga class to learn various yoga poses to help relieve muscle tension between massages.
Many of the yoga breathing techniques can be used in labor as well. Just like you can go deep and find the strength to hold a pose you despise for over a minute in a yoga class you can use that same strength and determination to work through a contraction in labor. Similar to being in a yoga pose, during birth we are releasing and surrendering, using our breath, and our focus. You can do anything for a minute! Contractions come and go but you always get a break. Yoga is a wonderful self care tool to help guide you through your pregnancy and birth gracefully.
Here is a current list (as of Oct 2015) of yoga studios in Northeast Ohio that offer yoga classes to pregnant women. There are a variety of prenatal classes in the greater Cleveland area some are very slow and restorative and others are more invigorating but hopefully you will find a class that will help to quiet your mind, ease your aches, and leave you feeling stronger and more confident in your body.
Prental Yoga Thursdays at 5:30-6:45pm
Location: 12732 Larchmere Cleveland, OH 44120
Prenatal Yoga Sundays 4:00-5:00pm
Location: 7312 Center Street Mentor OH, 44060
Prenatal Yoga Thursdays 6:30-7:30pm and Saturdays 9:45am
Location: 524 E. Washington Street Chagrin Falls, Ohio 44022
Inner Bliss Yoga Studio
Pregnant Goddess Flow Tuesdays 6:15-7:30
Location: 29055 Clemens Road Westlake, Ohio 44145
Insight Learning and Wellness
Prenatal Yoga Wednesdays 6:00-7:00pm
Location: 25901 Emery Rd, 112 Warrensville, OH 44128
Prana Yoga and Dance
Prenatal Yoga Thursdays 8:15-9:15pm
Location: 7976 Broadview Rd, Broadview Heights, OH 44147
Prenatal Yoga Mondays 7:15-8:15, Wednesday 4:45-5:45, and Saturday 12:00-1:15pm
Location: 15602 Detroit Ave Lakewood, OH 44107
The Mandel Jewish Community Center
Prenatal Yoga Sundays at 11:35am
Prenatal Pilates Sundays 1:30-2:30pm
Location: 26001 S. Woodland Road Beachwood, OH 44122
Enjoy your prenatal yoga practice!
I was recently asked to fill out a Practitioner Fertility Questionnaire by a friend of mine, Emily Capuria. Emily owns Balance and Thrive and offers holistic health coaching and counseling. She has a passion for working with women before they conceive. I thought this would be helpful for many of you who are curious as to how Maya Abdominal Therapy can be helpful for enhancing your own fertility and to learn more about my approach to the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy.
A little bit about you…
I am a licensed massage therapist and certified birth doula. I own The Womb Wellness Center, a holistic massage and birth studio for women. I am passionate about supporting women as they prepare their bodies for conception and move through their childbearing years. My intention is to facilitate a place for women to come to relax, release, and to heal. To feel nourished and filled with energy so they can give to themselves and their families.
What is your experience in working with infertility? Any special interest or training?
About one third of my clients come to me for fertility massage and Maya Abdominal Therapy. I have studied fertility massage with Claire Marie Miller and The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy with Rosita Arvigo. Through these advanced bodywork courses I focus my massage sessions on supporting and enhancing women’s reproductive systems. I applaud women who are being proactive about their health preconception. As they care for and prepare their bodies for pregnancy they in turn create healthier babies. This is the ideal time for women to focus on healing and creating balance in their life.
How does Massage help with infertility?
The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy is a wonderful way to help optimize how your body functions. Maya Abdominal Therapy is based on the ancient Mayan Techniques of abdominal massage. This is an external, gentle manipulation that helps to reposition internal organs of the digestive and reproductive system. Repositioning organs, especially the uterus, helps to restore healthy and optimal blood flow, lymph, nerve, and energy flow within the body. This massage helps to support the bodies natural healing capacity to prevent disease and restore balance within the body.
How does the treatment protocol differ for endometriosis, PCOS, unexplained infertility, male factor, etc?
Maya Abdominal Therapy sessions are often similar for various diagnosis’s because we are helping to release restrictions and restore proper flow in the body. The massage focuses primarily on the belly, low back, sacrum, and hips. I follow my intuition and I may spend more time on various problem areas depending on what the particular client is experiencing that day. Ideas on ways to support their own daily self care will also vary from client to client.
In your experience, in what ways have you seen massage to be most beneficial? Is there a particular diagnosis that responds especially well?
I am amazed every day with the feedback from my clients. I wouldn’t say that there is one particular diagnosis that is more successful than another. I tend to think of the work more in helping to facilitate a space for women to tune in and listen to their bodies. When women take the time to pay attention to the messages of their bodies they are able to intuitively make shifts and changes to support what they need. I teach a self care massage to everyone so that they are able to nourish themselves and experience the benefits of this work daily. This in turn gives women the opportunity to be active participants in their healing. The clients who are incorporating the self care into their wellness routines tend to see lasting change within their bodies. Most clients will report a shift in their symptoms within one to two sessions.
What is your typical protocol/recommendation for someone who is undergoing fertility treatment?
Natural cycle with no medical intervention?
Medication with natural cycle?
Ideally, I would recommend that all women take at least three months where they are preventing pregnancy to prepare their body for conception. I recommend women experience the Maya massage twice a month during that time. It takes three months for the body to incorporate changes and to create a healthy ovum. This would also allow them to receive the work throughout their entire cycle not just during their fertile phase. The uterine ligaments can take 30 days to heal so this will help to encourage the uterine ligaments to heal, the body to cleanse and find balance. Again I would have to stress that the massage is a case by case process. There isn’t one answer for each women undergoing IVF or unexplained infertility. It is more about creating balance in the body, opening up the flow of the pelvis, and giving the body a chance to work in a more optimal way. There are times that we would need to make modifications to the massage or self care depending on what treatment path that women has chosen.
Are there additional referrals or recommendations that you make to support your protocol? Please list and explain why.
Yes, I often find myself referring clients to various health care providers and encouraging them to research self care tools to help support the work. Providers such as chiropractors, therapists, nutritionists, yoga classes, acupuncture etc can be very helpful and supportive to fertility massage. We also discuss various tools such as self care massage as well.
What do you think would be most helpful for fertility patients to know about Massage?
fertility in general?
Massage is a wonderful way to help reduce stress and tension in the body. When our muscles are tense or tight they can impede the structures around them. Our hormones travel through our blood in our arteries and veins. If, for example, our muscles are very tight or an organ is misplaced this can impact the flow of our circulation, in turn affecting the proper flow of our hormones. By creating balance and reducing restriction we can help the flow of the circulation, nerve, lymph and energy allowing the body to work better, thus improving our fertility.
What do you see as the missing piece for your clients when it comes to fertility treatment?
I hope that fertility clients are inspired to get curious as opposed to frustrated in their own unique journey. Learning to listen to the body and taking time to nourish themselves during this time an ongoing process for everyone. I am here to help clients release tension but it is their mission to find the missing piece. I can’t give that answer as it is within each person. It may be that repositioning the uterus is that one little piece to the puzzle that was missing for a particular women. It could be an emotional release or a subtle dietary change but ultimately I feel that it is the client who takes the action to follow her own inner guidance. The client is doing the healing, it is the women who is taking the time to support her body and optimize her fertility that takes her one step closer to meeting her baby.
You can learn more about Emily and Balance & Thrive at www.balancethrive.com
The Womb Wellness Center will have a booth (and our massage chair!) at the upcoming Chagrin Valley Community EXPO. The Chagrin Valley Chamber of Commerce is hosting a free event to highlight the local Chagrin Valley Chamber members and their businesses. By stopping by the EXPO and telling your friends about this event you are showing your support to your own local business community.
We invite you to join us, stop by our booth to say hello and receive a FREE 5 minute chair massage and enter to win a Womb Wellness Center gift certificate!
First of all, I can't even begin to put into words how excited I am about the upcoming Spinning Babies workshop in Cleveland. Eeeks! My inner birth nerd is totally geeking out. Gail Tully is doing amazing work for birthing mamas. She is know for being the "Spinning Babies" lady who teaches women how to create optimal fetal positioning. She teaches belly mapping so mothers can figure out the positions of their child in the womb. She has exercises to help women prepare their body for birth and to turn breech babies. She also has tools to help birth doulas or their care providers recognize labor signs of a mispositioned baby and what to do turn him or her in labor. Her website www.spinningbabies.com is for both expecting mothers and birth professionals and it has a wealth of information. Each time I visit her website I learn new tools for my massage and doula clients. I have passed along her website countless times to expecting mamas. I encourage you to explore her site or join me at her workshop!
The Spinning Babies workshop is on Thursday May 1st or Friday May 2nd from 8:30-5:30pm. You can visit her website to register http://spinningbabies.com/classes/calendar-of-events.
The Womb Wellness Center is hosting another Baby Clinic on Friday March 21st from 10:00-3:00pm. Nancy Weidner will be offering infant treatments. The recommended donation is $15-$30 for a session. Crainosacral therapy is a gentle effective massage modality that is helpful for infants and children as well as adults. If possible, it is recommended for infants to receive treatment soon after birth. This can help to aid in health and well being as well as to reduce the repercussions of a difficult birth.
Craniosacral Therapy for Infants Can Help:
-fussy, hard to sooth babies
-babies who seem uncomfortable in their bodies
-babies who have digestive or elimination difficulties
-babies who have a difficult time breastfeeding with latching, favoring one side or position
-babies who favor turning their heads to one side
-babies who seem overly sensitive
-babies who hate tummy time
(information from Carol Gray www.carolgray.com)
The Womb Blog
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