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Santa Lucia Birth Center

Jennifer Everett, administrative director

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NEW TIMES When did you see the need to offer classes at the Santa Lucia Birth Center?

EVERETT I think that we tried to offer classes that are not really being offered anywhere else. Also, we wanted to give instructors a bigger place, a bigger voice.

 

NEW TIMES I saw that you are offering a class in Prenatal Yoga. How can yoga help an expecting mother?

EVERETT We have found that our moms that do yoga have a much easier time in labor. It’s a really good way to prepare your body for labor and birth. Women in this culture don’t have daily physical activities—we’re sitting at a desk, usually—but we need to be doing things to get our body ready for labor. We find that yoga is really great for that.

 

NEW TIMES What does a couple learn in a childbirth class?

EVERETT Our classes at the Birth Center are mostly geared towards educating them on the basics of labor and birth—the physiology, what’s actually happening in their body—so that they can work with their body, to help it along. It’s for moms to have an understanding of what they’re experiencing during labor, so that they’re not afraid. But it’s also for coaches, dads, or whomever they choose to have with them during their labor. That person can then support them, because they’re also knowledgeable. So we focus on relaxation techniques, basic physiology of labor and birth, but also touch upon breastfeeding, and those kind of things that happen the first few weeks after the baby is born, such as cloth diapering or how to wear them in a sling.

 

NEW TIMES You also offer a Sibling Prep Class. How important is it for siblings to know what’s going on during the birth of their new brother or sister?

EVERETT Again, what we encourage and what we find is that birth is a family event, a family experience, and that kids are not afraid of birth. It’s the adults in the room that have hang-ups about it. For kids, it can be a really exciting, fascinating event. But they do need to be prepared; they need to understand how the baby is going to get out of Mommy’s body. But once they have some basic knowledge and understanding of ways that they can help, it’s such a great experience for the whole family. There’s no sibling rivalry: It’s now “our” baby, the family baby—not just mommy’s baby.

 

Ed. note: Executive Editor Ryan Miller and his wife, Sarah, both lead classes at the center.

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