Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting

To parent consciously requires that we engage in an inner work on ourselves as well as in the outer work of nurturing and caring for our children.

Myla and Jon Kabat Zinn, Eveyday Blessings: the inner work of mindful parenting

MBCP is a ten-session comprehensive childbirth and parenting education class. Over a period of two months, families will explore:

  • Formal and informal mindfulness practices that strengthen your ability to be in the present moment even during periods of stress and fatigue
  • The physiology of labor and birth and how mindfulness practices integrated with physical and emotional support can be used to cope with labor pain
  • The basics of newborn feeding and how to support mindful feeding, be it breast or bottle
  • How to support optimal transition for the newborn through attentive awareness of newborn sleep/wake cycles
  • Gentle movement practices that can support comfort and mind/body integration throughout pregnancy and postpartum
  • Communication techniques to facilitate conversation about parenting hopes, fears, and goals with your partner 

Course Details

  • Nine weekly class sessions (27 hrs of face time)
  • Day-long silent retreat between weeks 6 and 7 (9am – 5pm)
  • Postpartum reunion gathering (to be scheduled by each cohort)
  • A copy of Mindful Birth: Training the Mind, Body, and Heart for Childbirth and Beyond, by Nancy Bardacke
  • Lifetime access to downloadable audio files of all the guided meditations
  • A digital course handbook
  • Free access to our weekly online Mindful Parenting Circle during the time you are enrolled in the course and 15% discount on any future Mindful Birth PDX purchases

The MBCP registration fee is still being determined, pending confirmation of class venue and retreat location, but expect it to be in the range of $350-$500 per couple.

What Exactly Is Mindfulness?

In a nutshell, it’s awareness, or intentional noticing of the sensations, thoughts, and emotions of the present moment…and this attending to the present is done in a spirit of non-judgement of the self and others. Pretty lofty stuff.

But when you take a moment to think about it, mindfulness is one of the best tools we have to engage in the lifelong journey of parenting. Parenting is nothing if not an unfolding of the unexpected and unpredictable. It requires an enormous amount of patience, trust, and acceptance.

Enrollment Details

  1. Review our website and FAQ to decide whether this might be the right childbirth and parenting class for you.
  2. Complete our online intake form
  3. Lena will contact you to schedule a phone interview, which is required prior to enrollment. During this 20 minute call, we will review course details, expected home practice (30-45 min/day, 6 days/wk), answer questions, and confirm that this course will be a good fit for your needs. We strongly encourage that pregnant individuals attend with a partner or support person but we welcome all participation, including single parents by choice.
  4. Once phone intake is complete, come back to our website to officially register and submit payment.

Note

We do not recommend MBCP for individuals with current severe depression, anxiety, or PTSD. While mindfulness practice can be very helpful in these situations, MBCP is not designed for those with acute mental health conditions. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, a Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy series may be a better option. Oregon Health & Science University is currently running a study for pregnant individuals with history of postpartum depression, or current depression during pregnancy. They have modified the MBCT curriculum for pregnancy.