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.
"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
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)
"Ashley Brichter's birth class was excellent. It was very informative, inspiring, well researched and really put my partner and me at ease. The visuals and presentation were great and she also created an environment that was lighthearted and helped us with our anxiety while hearing from other couples. I especially enjoyed learning about different birth positions, experiencing hands on massage & learning interesting birth statistics. Ashley emphasized the importance of feeling safe and secure with our providers : Doctors, midwives, doulas and supporting friends and partners. I felt more informed and empowered after our group session. I highly recommend her class." Leina