At my initial doula training, another doula told me about Evidence Based Birth®: Rebecca Dekker, a nurse with her PhD, reads all of the academic studies about common birth practices and synthesizes them in a way that's accessible for the general public. She hosts a podcasts and writes articles on everything from natural induction methods to Group B Strep. Along the way, she often highlights the fact that many common, undesirable practices in hospitals (like restricting eating and drinking during labor and inducing for a suspected "big baby") aren't necessarily supported by the research evidence.
I was quickly hooked on the Evidence Based Birth® Podcast. Much of the research felt validating, because I'd had a difficult first birth many interventions that I now saw as unnecessary. My second birth, in which I more carefully opted for a select few interventions that matched my birth circumstances, had felt entirely different. And I liked knowing the research was on my side.
More than just knowing that research was on "my side," though, listening to the Evidence Based Birth® (EBB for short!) podcast continually affirmed a theory I was formulating: that when parents are informed about best practices for pregnancy and birth and make truly informed decisions, they feel whole and often empowered by their births, even when they take unexpected twists and turns.
When Rebecca Dekker announced that Evidence Based Birth® was going to be hosting an in-person conference, I knew I wanted to be there. And when she send a call for workshop proposals to her birth professionals email list, I got brave and submitted a proposal. I was ecstatic when I heard back that my workshop, titled "Birth Words: Choosing Our Language to Positively Impact the Birth Space" was accepted as part of the conference! In this workshop, I drew on my background in applied linguistics and meshed it with my love of birth and created a memorable one-hour workshop for birth professionals about how to be intentional about using our words to make the birth experience the best it can be. (If you're interested in learning more about my work at the intersection of birth and linguistics, check out my podcast, Birth Words--you can find it on most major podcast platforms--and my website. You can even listen to the episode where I interviewed Rebecca Dekker on Birth Words!)
Attending and presenting at the Evidence Based Birth® website was inspiring. I went out to dinner with Rebecca Dekker and the other conference presenters, she signed my copy of her book, Babies Are Not Pizzas (yes, this signed copy is the very one available in my lending library!), and I learned from many other wise birth workers.
After the conference, I was firmly committed to my future goal of becoming an Evidence Based Birth® instructor. Since becoming a birth doula, I had planned to tack on being a childbirth educator--my college degrees are, after all, in education! And EBB instructors are able to teach not just childbirth classes, but also workshops for birth professionals and birthing parents (more on that below!)
It took a few years for the timing to line up, but in fall of 2022, I finally applied to be an Evidence Based Birth® instructor. The application is rigorous and a bit nerve-wracking, requiring four letters of recommendation and thoughtful answers to many questions about teaching experience, commitment to evidence based care, commitment to birthing and social justice, and more.
I was relieved and overjoyed when I received my acceptance email last October. I worked diligently on the training throughout the end of 2022 and early 2023, and finished my training in mid-January! I'm now currently offering two different Evidence Based Birth® classes for expectant parents: the multi-week, comprehensive Evidence Based Birth® Childbirth Class, and the power-packed one-hour Savvy Birth 101.
So, now that I'm an Evidence Based Birth® instructor, what classes will I be teaching? I'm so glad you asked. ;)
Evidence Based Birth® Childbirth Class
The Evidence Based Birth® Childbirth Class is a comprehensive birth class in which you'll learn everything from the stages of labor, to your birthing rights and how to advocate for evidence-based care, to comfort measures, to lactation basics and newborn care. This class can be taught either fully online or with a hybrid model, where the first and last class are held in person. Either way, it consists of 4-6 (depending on length) meetings of everyone in the class, plus some videos you'll watch on your own in between classes. To start, I'll be offering the hybrid model, though I may open entirely virtual options in the future! Check out my current offerings here!
Whether you're preparing to give birth at home, a birth center, in the hospital, or need help deciding, this class will confidently prepare you for birth. You can also read more about the Evidence Based Birth® Childbirth Class on the Evidence Based Birth website.
Savvy Birth Workshop for Parents
Unlike the Evidence Based Birth® Childbirth Class, The Savvy Birth workshop for parents is not a comprehensive childbirth class. Rather than a multi-week series of classes, it's a one-night-three hour class focused on giving you the skills you need to communicate with your care provider to get evidence-based, family-centered care.
As EBB describes it, "The Savvy Birth Workshop for parents was developed by Evidence Based Birth® to give you and your partner the confidence and know-how you need to have a more positive, empowering experience in the birthing room." In the Savvy Birth Workshop, you'll learn what evidence-based care is, discuss local birth options and their pros and cons, learn communication skills for discussing your preferences with your care team, learn how to have optimal support from your labor team, and learn about your legal rights in birth. I don't currently have a Savvy Birth Workshop scheduled, but I plan to in the future, so check back here! And I AM currently offering the one-hour, condensed version of this workshop: Savvy Birth 101! Keep reading for details on that!
Savvy Birth 101 for Parents
Like the Savvy Birth Workshop for Parents, Savvy Birth 101 is not a comprehensive birth class. We won't be learning about the stages of labor, how to push your baby out, or how to stay comfortable during labor (remember, you'll want to go to the Evidence Based Birth® Childbirth Class for that!) We will be packing that hour full of info on how you can advocate for evidence-based care (and what that even means!) in a way that builds bridges, not walls. I'm teaching a Savvy Birth 101 workshop on March 29 with Brielle Bernards (The Calming Doula). Check out the details here!
The last resource I'm able to offer parents as an EBB Instructor is private coaching. If you'd like a one-on-one session with me about how to best get evidence-based care, what your birthing rights are, how to build a great birth team, and more, please reach out on my Contact page, or send me an email (email@example.com) or a text (385-309-0167).
I'm thrilled to be offering this content to Utah! Which class are you most excited about?
Hi, I'm Sara. I'm a childbirth educator and birth + postpartum doula serving Utah county. I'm a twin mom (plus one!), natural VBACer, and birth lover!