Attention is the most basic form of love. By paying attention we let ourselves be touched by life, and our hearts naturally become more open and engaged.Tara Brach, Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of the Buddha
This course is inclusive and open to everyone! We welcome families of all forms. While many first-time parents will find this course enormously helpful, second-time parents might be looking for something a little different from their last experience and are more than welcome to join.
MBCP is unique in its structure in that it focuses on developing mindfulness practices as a foundational tool for navigating pregnancy, birth, and parenting. Rather than relying on one philosophy or approach (Lamaze, Hypnobirthing, Bradley, Birthing from Within, etc), MBCP focuses more on mind-body relationship and how to cultivate inner awareness of the present moment. The course pairs well with any of the above mentioned techniques, but can also be used on its own. The skills you’ll learn in MBCP will support you long after the day your baby is born…they will also carry you through parenting as well.
While you’re welcome to do other childbirth classes in conjunction with MBCP, it isn’t really necessary. This is a comprehensive course that will cover all the basics included in traditional classes, including physiology of labor and birth, pain coping techniques, immediate postpartum care, and newborn feeding and care.
All participants are expected to commit to 30-45 minutes of daily mindfulness practice at least 6 days a week. Downloadable audio files of guided practice will be shared via a password-protected page. While it’s great to talk about mindfulness or read about it, you can only truly learn it through direct, embodied experience. Of course, we also understand that life is busy, so this is an ideal, not a rigid requirement. But participants all say that the more they made time for regular practice, the more they experienced the benefits of mindfulness.
We recognize that life is busy these days and it can be challenging to find the time for all the various events of our lives. That being said, you’ll get the most out of the series if you only miss 1 or 2 sessions. For some people, this could be the day-long retreat, although we highly recommend it! If you find that you’re going to be missing 3 or more sessions, you may find more value in the course by registering at another time.
People will typically start this class in their third trimester, starting around 28 weeks gestation. This maximizes the chance you’ll be able to attend all the sessions before your baby arrives. However, you’re welcome to register whenever you feel is best for you and your family. The mindfulness practices shared are helpful through all stages of pregnancy!
Nope, not necessarily! We welcome everyone, from the skeptic to the lifelong meditator. If you are one of those folks with an established practice, we’ll ask you to deepen your Beginner’s Mind and come with curiosity and willingness to try something new, rather than constantly comparing it to your experience with your more established practice. Many people find this a rich learning experience in letting go, trust, and acceptance.
Not at all. While we would argue that mindfulness skills are key for successful unmedicated birth, our course is designed to be adaptable to any birth plan…and we spend a lot of time talking about “birth plans” and how to cultivate flexibility with the concept of planning. Birth and parenting both are about the most unpredictable experiences imaginable, so we help you develop the skills and resilience to flow with whatever ends up happening during your birth.
While many people find it helpful to take this course with a partner or support person, it’s not required. If your partner isn’t interested or able to come, consider asking a close friend, family member, doula, or other trusted person who can witness and support you on this journey.
What if I’m adopting or using a gestational surrogate? Or, what if I am the gestational surrogate? Can I still attend?
Absolutely. While a good portion of the course is focused on coping with labor and its underlying physiology, parents who are adopting or using a surrogate are also experiencing the same emotional waves as their pregnant peers. Similarly, gestational surrogates will still have to experience the complex uncertainly or labor, even though they will not be actively parenting the baby they’re carrying. Anyone can benefit from the knowledge and skills shared in this course.
We also offer individualized private or small group sessions if you would prefer a personalized training. Contact us to discuss details.
Can birth workers attend even if we’re not pregnant? I’d love to learn more about this course to share skills with my clients.
Yes! We reserve a spot or two in each session as needed for any birth professionals in the community who would like to experience the full ten-session course. You’ll be expected to commit to the same level of home practice as your cohort-mates.
Observer/participants cannot use this course to start teaching MBCP on their own. The teacher training process is a rigorous, multi-year process that requires a deepening of one’s own personal mindfulness practice, including daily meditation and regular extended silent retreats.
That being said, we love sharing this work and would love for more doulas, midwives, therapists and counselors, lactation consultants, etc. to be familiar with MBCP and what it can offer for families.