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Christina Kennedy childbirth educator in Maine

I am a "stay-at-home" mama of two children. My daughter turned ten this summer, and my son turned seven. We're busy doing the typical activities: school, dance lessons, violin lessons, Sunday School, getting out on the lake, trips to the beach, library, etc. In addition to parenting, homeschooling, and volunteering, I love to read, to garden and to cook, and to spend time outdoors with my family. I also teach English at a local Adult Education program.

I began considering the possibility of teaching childbirth education classes shortly after the birth of my daughter. I had used the nine months of pregnancy to read, discuss pregnancy and birth, and take a childbirth education class.
I wanted to understand the birth process… to prepare my body by eating well and exercising… to carefully choose a caregiver and prepare a birth "plan"… to practice comfort measures with my husband…

By the time I was in labor, I knew that my husband and I were informed about my choices for care and prepared to work with my body the best ways we could. But I also knew that I had really no idea what was going to happen.

Madelyn's birth was the most empowering, amazing experience I've ever had… but not because by force of will and planning I made it happen a certain way. The amazing, empowering part is that I was able to let go and work with my body to birth my baby, that she who had been dancing inside me for so long emerged from my body - her own little person!!

This is why I decided to teach birth classes: to accompany parents on their journey of preparation and information toward a safe and satisfying birth experience.

Click here if you'd like to read more about my children's birth stories.


MY PHILOSOPHY

BIRTHING YOUR BABY classes are centered in a deep belief in a woman's ability to give birth… that birth can be an empowering, transforming experience in a woman's life…that birth is an essentially safe process for baby and mother. This philosophy also inspires confidence and joy in the birth process and in your new lives as parents.

Women have been giving birth for thousands of years. Our bodies are powerfully and amazingly prepared for giving birth. Although many important kinds of technology are available when we need them, childbirth remains an essentially natural event. In our society, however, we are often disconnected from birth as a normal part of life. The "horror stories" so many people like to tell pregnant women don't help either! Sometimes it's hard to sort through these stories for useful information, to determine what choices we might actually have for the birth of our babies. That's why BIRTHING YOUR BABY classes work to help parents explore and understand the range of their choices for pregnancy, birth, and postpartum life.


MY TRAINING & QUALIFICATIONS

I began teaching childbirth education classes in the summer of 2003. I have taught many group classes since then, as well as many private classes. I did my training with the ALACE (Association of Labor Assistants and Childbirth Educators) childbirth education certification program. ALACE has recently transitioned to the International Birth & Wellness Project. I have also attended the "Level One Mentor Training" with Birthing from Within in 2004. I continue to do extensive reading and belong to several online discussion groups to stay current in the birthing field.

From November 2007 through May 2008, I taught prenatal classes at the Maine Children's Home Teen Parenting School to fill in for an instructor who was ill. This was an amazing experience - I learned a lot, got to try out some new ideas, and helped some new moms off to a good start.

I've also been attending "webinars" - online seminars. Lamaze has offered two interesting ones in the past few months, "Starting Conversations for Change" and "Innovative Teaching Techniques." Mothering hosted "Cosleeping: Featuring James McKenna, Paul Fleiss, and API Founders".

I was a high school English teacher before I resigned to stay home with my daughter. In addition to extensive teaching experience, I have a Master's Degree in Education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. No matter what I'm teaching, it has always been important to me that students are active and thinking for themselves. I believe discovery through reflection, discussion and hands-on practice are the most important elements of learning. My skills as an educator have enabled me to craft a childbirth education curriculum that highlights the most important information in an accessible and dynamic way.


MORE INFORMATION ABOUT
ALACE AND BIRTHING FROM WITHIN

From the ALACE website: "Only recently in the long story of humanity has the linkage of knowledge and reassurance between generations of birthing women been broken. Pregnant women today often find themselves without ties to female relatives who can reliably teach them what to expect from childbearing. Birth has often come to resemble a mechanized, medical emergency. It is no wonder that many first-time mothers' images of birth are filled with fear and pain.

Knowledgeable childbirth educators and labor assistants/birth doulas can do a great deal to provide pregnant women with information and practical alternatives so that they may give birth with confidence, strength and joy. Laboring women who feel confident and supported are much more likely to achieve satisfying outcomes than are women without such support." To learn more about ALACE, visit their website at www.alace.org.

From the Birthing From Within website: "Birthing From Within mentors (teachers) believe that childbirth is a profound rite of passage, not a medical event (even when medical care is part of the birth). We teach parents the power of birthing-in-awareness, even when their birth experience is not what they had anticipated. We create a safe, nurturing class environment which will invite parents to discover their personal strength and wisdom. We balance practical, useful information with introspective, multi-sensory experiences." To learn more about Birthing From Within, visit their website at www.birthingfromwithin.com.


For more information, contact Christina Kennedy at 512-2627
or by email at christina@birthingyourbaby.com.


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Christina Kennedy ~ Birthing Your Baby
Serving Central Maine
Lewiston ~ Auburn and Augusta ~ Waterville

 

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