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Episode 43 Sneak Peak: Course Overview & Welcome

sneak peak May 23, 2022

Here's another sneak peak from the Comprehensive Brave Journey Birth Preparation Course! This is the course overview & welcome video, where I describe the philosophy of the course, and give a little bit of an overview of what we cover. In the course we focus on building knowledge about birth, building wisdom about birth, and practicing labor coping strategies (labor positions, visualizations, meditations, etc.).

Lastly, I remind course participants that there is no one right way to birth. There's no one right way to do this. There's no one right way to walk through a completely transformative experience. And I remind you to walk through the preparation process with a sense of curiosity and compassion and bravery as you step into this journey that is in front of you!

Full Transcript:


Hello, and welcome to the brave journey birth preparation program. I am so, so glad that you are here. I'm Cara Lee. I use the pronouns she/ her. I'm a mother of two school-aged kids. I'm a birth doula, a childbirth educator, and I have a background in leading social change organizations.

I first wanted to take a moment before you dive into all the modules and lessons of this program to give you a warm welcome. And to tell you a little bit about the philosophy that this program follows. So by now, you may have been aware that many medical care providers, birth workers, and humans who have birthed babies have a philosophy around birth.

And I want to be really, really blunt about mine because it could also be categorized as a bias. So it's important for you to know where I'm coming from as we work through this program. So I believe that birth is a normal physiological biological process. And that often, [00:01:00] birth is best left undisturbed, but sometimes people need help when they're birthing. And interventions, I warmly welcome interventions when they are mindfully engaged.

So this is why as we work through the interventions lessons, I will give you what I hope to be a balanced representation of each intervention, because the common birth interventions in our modern medical world have both benefits and risks.

Every single one of them have a benefit. And they have a risk. And births are full of surprises. And as you meet these surprises and as you weigh whether or not interventions are the wisest choice for you, you're aware of their benefits and their risks, that's it.

So my philosophy, my bias, is that birth is a normal physiological process that is often best left undisturbed. And sometimes people need help. And when they need help, interventions can absolutely be the wisest and the most compassionate choice, but they must be a mindfully thought through choice, not just an [00:02:00] assumption. So that's my bias. That's my philosophy towards labor, towards birth.

Now, as we work through this program, you'll notice I talk a lot about labor is both physical and mental and emotional and hormonal. Labor is so much more than just physical in terms of body. It's also mind, it's emotion, it's a mind game. Sometimes it takes mental fortitude to be able to work through, with bravery and courage, the brave journey, the birth journey that comes to you.

So what I hope to evoke and and share with you is that when you're walking through your birth journey, you can walk through it with a sense of curiosity, compassion for yourself, and bravery and courage to meet each twist and turn each surprise that your birth brings to you to meet it with courage and to take the next right step, make the next right choice.

And move through with mindfulness and compassion for yourself, whether that is the [00:03:00] compassionate wise use of interventions, medical interventions, in our modern medical context. Or not.

So that's a little bit about that approach in this course, we will talk through building your birth team, building your knowledge, building your wisdom, knowledge, and wisdom are different things. And practicing pain coping practices.

So much of this we're just talking about birth, but you have a few opportunities to practice positions for labor. To get up out of your chair, off your couch or off the floor, or wherever you're learning and working through these videos to get up and to work through these positions, to find them in your body. To work through the pain coping practices, to hold the ice in your hand, and to feel what it feels like when pain starts to build with ice in your hand, and then practice these pain coping practices and see what happens, see how they impact you.

So I highly invite you not, we're not just thinking about it, try to find some experiential learning. It's also why we draw the labyrinth and we trace the labyrinth to try to understand what labor [00:04:00] actually feels like after we spend a lot of time thinking about it and theorizing about the linear model of labor, which is super important to understand. And that's why we cover it in depth, but it's not the only thing to understand about birth. Labyrinth the model, the labyrinth model that is some wisdom. It comes from Birthing From Within, and Pam England, and my teachers, and now I share it with you. That is the shared wisdom of birth that can come to you in conjunction with this knowledge and both are essential.

Now a few logistics, please take this course with your birth partner. Your birth partner is anybody who is going to be supporting you at your birth it may be your romantic partner, it may be the parent of the baby. It may be somebody who's a best friend. Who's going to be there for you, maybe a family member. But ensure that whoever is going to be there supporting you at your birth. That they attend this course with you, so that you have an opportunity to practice the pain coping practices together, to learn together, to practice the positions together. And I've got tips for birth partners sprinkled in throughout all of the lessons.

Another logistical [00:05:00] suggestion, please have a pen and a piece of paper handy to jot down things that really resonate with you. So we're going to go through a lot of information. I break it down into 10 to 15 minute lessons to try to make it digestible and understandable, but there's still going to be a lot coming at you.

We try to, I try to be very, very efficient with these lessons. So please have a pen and paper handy, jot some things down, and then if you specifically need supplies like the ice, or a pen and paper when we're drawing and tracing a labyrinth, I will warn you at the beginning of that lesson. So you can pause the video and go grab your supplies, but just generally, please be prepared to take notes.

Also, there are handouts for you. Some handouts are meant to be interacted with so definitely check out the handouts. And be prepared to either print and write on them or edit them on your computer, or however you prefer to work with materials like this.

And then a disclaimer, I am not a medical care provider. All throughout these lessons, the underlying assumption is that you are receiving regular medical care from a [00:06:00] qualified medical care provider: a midwife, a doctor, or your obstetrician, or your general practice doctor, but that you are receiving prenatal medical care in conjunction with these preparation pieces that I can share with you here, which are those bits of wisdom and knowledge that should be in collaboration with your medical care that you are receiving.

And lastly, I'll say it again. My approach to birth is there is no one right way to birth. There's no one right way to do this. There's no one right way to walk through a completely transformative experience. So let's walk through this process with a sense of curiosity and compassion and bravery as you step into this journey that is in front of you. I look forward to seeing you in the lessons. Let's get started.



Download "10 Questions to Ask Your Doctor or Midwife"

Aside from the way your body and your baby's body are built - your choice of medical care provider and birth facility will have the biggest impact on your birth experience. Use these ten questions to ensure your OB or Midwife is exactly who you want helping you birth your baby. Begin building a respectful & collaborative relationship with your medical provider.

Access your free resource

Download PDF "Birth Partner Cheat Sheet for Labor Support".

Use these tips to disrupt tension in labor. Your partner can use this cheat sheet to remind themselves how to support you.

As a Doula these are the things I find myself suggesting or saying most often at a labor!

This is the perfect starting point for a partner with little experience supporting a birthing person in labor. Grab the Labor Tips Birth Partner Cheat Sheet, and begin your brave journey. 

Access your free resource