Private Birth Classes + Consults
We recommend our group childbirth class for most people. That eight-week series is an amazing way to connect with like-minded families, and our students learn so much from each other. But sometimes, for whatever reason, you just need a little personal attention.
How can we help?
We offer a special birth options session, along with private childbirth classes and a refresher series for experienced parents. There's even a little something special here just for grandparents. Don't see what you need on this list? Let's work together to create something that's just right for you.
Birth Options Consult.
We're always happy to answer a few quick questions by email, but if you want the full scoop on all of your birth options in Southwest Michigan, this one-hour consult is for you. Sit down with Jessica English in our office and share your heart's desire for this birth. She'll listen deeply, explain the local birth culture, and help you figure out the options you'd like to explore. You'll benefit from her years of experience working with hundreds of families and every hospital and provider in our community. $75
Natural Childbirth Class - Private Series
This three-class session hits the highlights of our eight-week series. We'll spend time in our Kalamazoo office reviewing stages of labor, comfort measures, positions, advocacy, the role of the birth partner, unexpected situations, and more. Each class is two hours long (we suggest scheduling two hours and 15 minutes, to give us a little flexibility), for a total of six+ hours of private childbirth classes, customized to your needs. Want to meet in your home? We can do that for an extra fee. $360/series
Ready for baby #2 or more? This private class is ideal for families who have already had an unmedicated birth, or who have take a full series of our natural birth class with an earlier baby. (If you don't meet those criteria, your best bet is to take our full, eight-week series or the three-class private series mentioned above.) We'll talk about your last birth and how things are typically different with subsequent births. Families often like to review stages of labor, comfort measures, positions, and unexpected situations. This is a great chance to spend some time together focusing on this new baby, and preparing for your birth. We offer two refresher options:
One two-hour refresher class: $140
Two-class refresher series: $240
If you had a cesarean birth last time and you're planning a VBAC in Kalamazoo this time around, we'd love to help. During this two-hour session, we'll review the circumstances that led to your cesarean and strategize the best way to maximize your chances of a successful VBAC. You'll learn about what to expect for a VBAC (in the hospital or at home), and also how you can prepare for a more positive cesarean experience if that's needed. $120/family
Planned Cesarean Consult
Are you having a cesarean birth? We can teach you about all of your options (yes, there are options with a cesarean). Spend two hours with Jessica talking about how to have a mother-friendly, baby-friendly cesarean. We'll cover tips for both the parent giving birth and the partner to help make it a great birth. $120/family
Grandma, Gigi, Oma, Nana... Send them all our way! This is a special one- or two-hour consult to help *your* mom get ready to support your birth and fourth trimester. We'll explore all the ways birth has changed, how grandmas can be most helpful during birth and the postpartum time, as well as special ways they can bond with the baby. If you're a grandma and want to pour your all into this experience, or if you're a pregnant parent who knows you want your mom there but you'd like her to be a little more prepared, this private class is a perfect match. Open to grandpas too, of course! The grandparent or the birthing family can pay for this session. We can make the magic happen in one hour if you only want to talk about either birth or the fourth trimester, or plan on two hours to cover both important topics.
One-hour session: $75
Two hours: $120
"My husband Franz was deployed during our first birth, so when it came time for our second baby, we really wanted a chance for him to be educated, and I wanted a refresher. Our older daughter Leanna was going to be at the birth too, so she came to our classes as well. Jessica really helped me remember all of the stages of labor, plus a lot of tips on what to expect with a second baby. That helped me get the midwife there on time, or she might have missed the birth! Thanks to everything we learned in our private classes, Franz knew exactly what to do with counterpressure and vocalizing with me, and he was definitely very present. He even remembered all the right things to say. And even though she slept through most of the birth, when Leanna woke up she knew that everything was normal and she was just comfortable and excited to cut the cord. The class really helped us all a lot."
Kira Griggs, with Franz and baby Flora
"As first-time parents, we really wanted some extra guidance. It’s our nature to really dive into the deep stuff, especially for something as intense as giving birth. We were happy to find Birth Kalamazoo when we were looking for a doula. As it happened, they had another twins family who was due around the same time, so Jessica offered us a semi-private twins class. We loved it! Jessica presented all the information in a way that was easy to absorb, and it never felt daunting or overwhelming. I have a much better grasp now of how things might go, and I really liked the reinforcement that we have options. I didn’t think much about that before, because with twins you can start to feel like a lab rat, and as first-timers we really didn’t know much. I feel so much more prepared and confident about the path ahead. I really recommend the depth of this class, it was tailored just to us and it felt very personal."
Clara Carr, expecting twins
Meet your instructor, Jessica English.
Hey, I'm Jessica English. I've been teaching childbirth classes in Kalamazoo for almost 15 years. It's my passion and my life's work. I love teaching group classes, but there's also something really special about the chance to connect one-on-one with families who need private childbirth education.
If you'd like to know more about my background, I started off teaching Bradley Method classes in Kalamazoo. A few years in, I realized that Bradley wasn't quite the right match for me. I wanted to expand my classes outside the Bradley Method philosophy and soften some of the hard edges of their program. So back in 2008, I transferred my certification to Lamaze International and wrote my own curriculum in keeping with the Lamaze Healthy Birth Practices (which are amazing, by the way, and no funny breathing patterns either).
Here's a little more about me:
- Lamaze-certified childbirth educator
- Lamaze program director and trainer, which means I train nurses and doulas to become childbirth educators too
- Hired by hospitals around the state to train nurses in labor support skills
- One of fewer than 60 DONA International advanced certified birth doulas in the world
- Birth doula trainer for DONA International
- Certified postpartum doula with DONA International
- Frequent speaker at conferences for doulas, childbirth educators and nurses.
This is me, teaching my group childbirth class. I wish I could remember what they said that had me cracking up!
I've learned so much about our community, and how to stack your deck to prepare for a great birth. Please reach out if I can help you with a private class or a birth consult. I'd love to connect in person and help you get ready for this little one.