Childbirth Education

Hospital and Birth Center Births: 

There is no way to predict how your birth will unfold, nor is there a single method that can appropriately prepare you. Using the most recent evidence and a combination of discussion, video, and practice we will explore a variety of techniques that support optimal physiological childbirth. You will learn the range of normal for each stage of labor, establish reasonable expectations for your birth and postpartum experience, and leave prepared to make informed decisions about your care. Beyond being more prepared for the “main event” this class will support your transition into parenthood. We will go beyond the basics of newborn care to develop a modern framework for responding to your newborn’s needs. 

In this small group class you will connect with other parents-to-be, while covering:

  • anatomy and physiology of late pregnancy and birth 
  • stages and phases of labor 
  • when and how to get to the hospital 
  • what to pack in your “go bag”
  • coping measures and positions  
  • benefits, risks, and alternatives to common medical interventions and induction
  • postpartum healing
  • breastfeeding basics: how to get a good latch, avoid pain, find support
  • tips for parenting a newborn: soothing, sleeping, babywearing, diapering, bathing

Home Birth Class:

This class was specifically designed to help you prepare for childbirth at home. Using the most recent evidence and a combination of discussion, video, and hands-on practice we will explore a variety of techniques that maximize your chances for a healthy home birth. You will learn the physiology of birth and progression of labor, gain skills to strengthen communication and build trust with your partner, and leave prepared to set up your home for birth. We will also discuss common reasons for hospital transfer in the birth or immediate postpartum period. Beyond being more prepared for the “main event” this class will support your transition into parenthood. We will go beyond the basics of newborn care to develop a modern framework for responding to your newborn’s needs.

Our small group class you will connect with other parents-to-be, while covering:

  • anatomy and physiology of late pregnancy and birth
  • stages and phases of labor
  • coping techniques including positions, massage, and vocalization
  • how to prepare your home for birth
  • hospital transfers
  • postpartum healing

Private Classes

Schedule a private childbirth education class in the comfort of your own home! If you're interested in the community of a small-group class with the convenience of a private session I encourage you to invite more couples to join your class. The cost of a private class is $350 per couple.  If others are interested in joining you will receive a $75 discount per couple. 

Upcoming Group Classes

Childbirth Preparation for parents planning Hospital or Birthing Center Births

  • October 15th, 11:00am-05:00pm
  • November 12th, 11:00am - 5:00pm
  • December 10th, 11:00am - 5:00pm 

Childbirth Preparation for parents planning Home Births

  • contact Ashley directly 

* All classes are held at FigTree Childbirth, 420 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn $325 per couple

Testimonials

Truly, we cannot yell loudly enough from the rooftops how happy we were to be students in Ashley’s childbirth class. At a time in our pregnancy when information was being thrown at us from all directions, her class gave us perspective, context, and a framework we loved. It’s no exaggeration to say that Ashley gave us the gift of an incredible, personalized, relaxed, fun, and thoughtful class. She was tremendously well informed; shared a ton of great knowledge while somehow making it very easy to digest without it ever feeling overwhelming; was knowledgeable about, responsive to, and welcoming of our many questions (whether basic or complex); and had a ton of great teaching materials and handouts to help us understand, make sense of, and think through the experiences ahead of us and the decision points we might face. All the while, we felt a strong ownership over, and a great confidence about, our upcoming birth. In short, she was the ideal thought partner for us to learn about childbirth and develop our own agenda for it. That Ashley’s class offered all this is reason enough to recommend it to everyone we know. But, on top of all of this, and perhaps most importantly, Ashley empowered us. It seemed evident to us that Ashley’s perspective is well informed by her work as a birth and postpartum doula. We had a hospital birth with our OB, and Ashley was absolutely supportive of these choices. Still, in a knowledgeable and helpful way, she offered a respectful skepticism of the over-medicalization of birth. In practical terms, this meant that while we felt confident in her knowledge about the science of birth—and she was able to answer our myriad questions about it—she also reminded us of the ways in which the pathway to a successful birth are already encoded in women’s (and babies’) bodies and supportive communities; she contextualized modern obstetrical practice, which dates back several decades, within a longer history of how childbirth was practiced before it moved into hospitals and became male-dominated; she taught us how to identify and seek out helpful medical assistance but distinguish it from unnecessary medical interventions; she explained why many women seek to avoid medication (like epidurals) altogether and why doctors prefer those medications; and she helped us chart a path that felt right for us. Together, the context, knowledge, and empowerment we gained from Ashley’s class were invaluable as we considered the remaining few weeks of our pregnancy and developed a plan for our birth we felt great about. We recommend Ashley and her class highly and without reservation. -R.S. & R.R. (Birth 8/2015)
"For context, my labor lasted about 25 hours after my water broke and about 10 hours after active labor began, and I received no pain medications. My husband and many nurses were impressed by how calm and in control I was throughout the process. In my opinion, this had a lot to do with Ashleys class! My husband and I felt confident, and used many of the techniques taught by Ashley during the class. Particularly helpful were the positions using the exercise ball and the scarf hip squeeze trick. Even some of the pro-natural nurses at the hospital had never seen that one before! My husband and I both felt that we knew what to expect, and had an idea how we were going to handle each stage of labor. The class itself was relaxed and engaging. We were able to ask any and all questions on a wide variety of topics. We practiced positions, massages, and noises so that when the time came, each coping mechanism felt more natural. I was able to progress through labor by adding different coping mechanisms as the situation changed. We put together a clear birthing plan based on Ashley's explanations and recommendations, and were able to follow it to a T. I feel that my birth experience was a positive one that progressed how I wanted it to thanks to Ashley's class."  - Patty (Birth 11/2015)
Ashley's class was chock filled with information but presented in a way that felt like a warm, caring friend was giving it to you, so you never felt overwhelmed. She allowed me and my husband to see birth as a natural process and not something to fear.  And she talked about taking the time to heal afterbirth which I thought was wonderful for all the expectant mothers in the class to hear. I am in confident in my upcoming birth, with much thanks to Ashley - (Amanda, Birth 8/2016)