Mentoring vs. Educating in Childbirth Classes

photo of two cliffs signaling the gap between mentoring and educating in mondern childbirth classes.

When most people think of childbirth education they think of an educator or teacher at the front of the room teaching people about the events that might take place in their birth and what options are available to a family. When someone wants to teach Birthing From Within classes they do not go and learn about all of the things that can happen in birth, that of course comes with the territory of childbirth classes, but Birthing From Within trains Mentors, not educators. This is a very intentional. It is not just a different word to make a website splashy or set Birthing From Within apart from other classes. Training Mentors is at the heart of what Pam England founded the organization on over 30 years ago.

In every session a Mentor starts with a loose plan and specifically builds and shifts content and delivery methods based on the needs of the participants. This takes mental focus on behalf of the Mentor and the result is that each class feels alive. It also ensures that every class nurturing and inclusive.

Another benefit to this model is that each group has a totally unique experience to any prior group. Just like childbirth, the intention is set at the start and then flexibility, mindfulness, and information fill in the spaces to ensure that each family feels more ready, relaxed, and excited to do what needs to be done to birth their baby.

A Birthing From Within Mentor will set up the sessions in a relaxing environment where you can unhook from your to-do list, and savor tender moments during your pregnancy. Mentors understand that each family has unique needs and delivers expert facilitation and individualized care to ensure that your experience in class is interesting and thought provoking.

Birthing From Within Mentors will provide time and space to create an emotionally and physically supportive practice that you can use before, during, and after childbirth that will allow you to spend more time to savoring your experience and less time stressing out about what’s to come.

Mentoring is built into the fabric of a Birthing From Within class and what this means for expecting parents is that stepping foot into a Birthing From Within class is stepping into a doula role. Before a Mentor can educate, they must first listen and learn what is important to parents.

The benefit of Mentoring is that it models what is needed to improve the standard of care for childbearing families. Mentoring normalizes what Birthing From Within hopes to become the new standard of care for all families, that the history and desires of parents are the driving factor in maternal care.

About Amity Kramer

Amity Kramer has been helping families cultivate unconditional love since 2008. She is a Birthing From Within Mentor, Certified Gottman Educator, and founder of Thresholds. Amity leads soulful workshops for families in transition. She also is a practicing birth and postpartum doula which gives her a unique window into the joys and struggles of family life.

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