"Like many first-time fathers, I didn't really know what to expect from a birth class. I imagined it would be an extension of the books I had read. A ton of information thrown at you. Lots of notes. A cram session for the most important test of your life. However, now standing on the other side of it all, here's the thing I've come to realize: birth (and the ensuing transition to fatherhood) is anything but an intellectual pursuit. It's probably the most basic, primitive, animalistic process that humans can experience. So the typical idea of a class doesn't really apply. The most helpful preparation isn't about filling your brain with facts and techniques and guidelines, but rather, learning to tap into the old parts of the brain--the instinctual, emotional core. Unfortunately, many men don't often fully appreciate the emotional journey of birth. We focus solely on the rational, practical process of going from A to B--of just getting through it. And while a basic foundation of knowledge and techniques are certainly covered, this class is really more about building confidence in yourself and in your relationship. It's about becoming strong enough to be able to let go. That might sound a little vague or silly now, but trust me, it's everything. And you can't get it from a book or some trendy birthing method. You have to put in the work--both with your partner and yourself. This is where having a great guide is crucial. Britta is an incredibly well-educated and effective teacher who is great at communicating through interactivity and discussion rather than just lecturing. The group dynamic that developed was such a pleasant surprise. To be able to share your thoughts, concerns and goals with a group of peers who are going through the same thing is so incredibly valuable. I'm not always the most extroverted person, but I found myself opening up about a lot of things I hadn't even begun to consider previously. The conversations never felt forced or awkward, as Britta is excellent at making everyone feel at ease while also inspiring genuine, deep introspection. I cannot recommend this experience highly enough. It was more than just an education, it was the spark that I needed to begin the journey into fatherhood with confidence and insight. Thanks Britta!"
"Our time with Britta was some of the most amazing and important of my life. Britta is a wonderfully insightful, compassionate, funny, warm, no-nonsence teacher and guide.Simply put, Britta opened a path to Wendy's heart for me.She helped me truly and deeply connect to Wendy during her late pregnancy. During labor Britta's words of wisdom came to me time and again. Britta gave me practical tools to deal with the labor, the birth process, and all of the implications for our lives and our relationship going forward. She helped me draw upon my inner strength giving me confidence as we transitioned into parenthood.
We went back to Britta when pregnant with our second child. Again, the classes helped me become deeply connected to Wendy and fully vested in the pregnancy, labor and birth. Britta soothed my anxieties with clear, practical advice and great tools. I loved both of my experiences at Birthing From Within and would recommend Britta highly."
From a Midwife/Doula/Childbirth Educator/Parent
"As a midwife, doula, and childbirth educator, I cannot recommend your class enough to the couples I meet. Your devotion and passion about Birthing From Within shines in everything you teach. You are able to help couples work through fears and expectations, connect on a deep level, and enter their birthing experience with an open mind and heart. When my husband and I took your Birthing Again class it allowed us an opportunity to connect and focus our love on each other and the new baby. Giving birth is the most miraculous and amazing experience in a woman’s life. Britta, you spoke from a place in your heart that was full of understanding, experience, warmth and joy. You help couples prepare for the unknown challenges of labor and parenthood. I left your class ready to fully embrace labor. I felt centered and able to let go during the contractions to allow my primal self to birth. Thank you for empowering women!" Blessings,
Tracy Lough, Midwife
From a Parent and Yoga Teacher
"Britta helped me prepare for the birth of my son with skill, compassion and grace. I felt empowered and aware of my own process so that when the day came, I had tools to enter into the experience with courage and faith. Thank you!"
~Hala Khouri, MA E-RTY Somatic counselor,
yoga teacher, co-founder of Off the Mat Into the World®
From a Doula/Assistant
I recently had the privilege of observing Britta Bushnell's 2-day immersion. It was such a gift to be able to witness the journey of the pregnant couples in the class. Through the use of story, myth, ritual, masculine/feminine dynamics, and kinesthetic activities, Britta created the space for these couples to grow closer and more confident in their abilities to traverse the landscape of labor and parenthood together. They gained deep trust in themselves and in each other as the stories within them shifted. At first, they were fearful and uncertain. They were people with big questions - but without voices, people wanting to be "good", clean, quiet, passive. Through the discovery of their own inner strength and authenticity, they were initiated, then transformed into empowered warriors prepared to take on the challenges of the unknown together. The knowledge which was already inside them was activated, and it became outwardly apparent that the tools and lessons from the weekend were more than simply childbirth preparation, but life changing rites of passage.
Britta has synthesized a very unique and powerful approach to preparing couples for birth and beyond. She invites them to go deep within to find what they need for themselves, rather than simply telling them what they think they might need to know. This seems to be the essential "missing piece" in the birth world. Parents-to-be have so much information thrown at them from well-meaning friends, from doctors, television, and the internet. It is refreshing to see them have the opportunity to look at what's really going on internally, and then find wisdom there.
Today I had my first prenatal visit with a couple since taking Britta's workshop. What a difference it made in my ability, as a doula, to help prepare these parents for their birth! I felt I was able to witness their self-discovery and hold the space their process, not from a position of authority, but from a place of curiosity and compassion. It was wonderful to watch them confront fears and find equanimity on their own. I have been transformed as a support person through this work, and I am profoundly grateful to have had the opportunity to learn with Britta.
~ Mother, Alecia Moore (aka P!nk)
Childbirth Preparation Class participant
with her husband, Carey Hart, 2011
"Britta helped me to give birth like the Warrior Woman
I always hoped I'd be!"
~Mary Arden & Mark Gorman (and Bodhi, born 2009)
310-738-7390 Childbirth Classes in Topanga * Santa Monica * South Pasadena Embodica © 2013-2016 | All Rights Reserved
This might sound a little over the top…but taking Britta Bushnell’s “Birthing From Within” birthing class series not only prepared me completely for the act of giving birth, it completely changed my life. It really brought so many unexpected things out into the open. Her classes helped me to realize what kind of parent I want to be, what kind of partner I want to be and most importantly, what kind of person I want to be. This was something I never expected to find in a birthing class.
My pregnancy had been unexpected and I was basically terrified at the thought of giving birth. Britta helped me learn to be o.k. with the idea of the unexpected. Which is so extremely important, because in childbirth, the unexpected is the only thing you can be certain of!
The classes were also filled with loads of practical pain management techniques and advocacy advice. Britta helped to simplify the often-confusing myriad of choices and possibilities we are faced with as women, doing the most natural thing (giving birth), in a world that has become so unnatural.
But ultimately, the best thing about Britta’s classes, was that they greatly strengthened my relationship with my partner. She helped us to become so much more aware of what we were getting ourselves into and what we expected from each other. I’m happy to report that 4 years after the birth of our daughter we are still going strong. We just had our seventh anniversary
and guess what? We still like each other! I regularly think back to some of the lessons I learned from Britta and how they changed the way we communicated on such a deep level.
Britta, thank you so much for being my mentor! My daughter has no idea who you are, but she should thank her lucky stars that we found you. I know I sure do.
Rebecca A. Stout
From a Parent
"Although I'm not sure I'll ever be able to fully articulate how much it has meant to me, I just want to say a deeply grateful thank you for everything.
Jeff and I both feel as if we have been able to work on solidifying the foundation not only of our impending parenthood, but of our relationship as a couple. What an incredibly special experience for us.
Your class also allowed me to grow and process so much that is rapidly changing in my own life, and to embrace it instead of avoiding it. This last bit of time (I'm about 36 weeks) has been filled with moments of anxiety, joy, anticipation, excitement, and boredom, and it's been a welcome challenge to face it all using the tools your teaching has provided me.
Britta, you are an incredibly gifted and hard working teacher- you have such an unique way of allowing us to access the information using our own thoughts and analysis, and your intuitive sense of when to push and when to wait is truly special.
So, thank you thank you thank you for EVERYTHING. We are so lucky to have found you.
Class participant 2016
From a Doula/Birth Photographer/Childbirth Educator/Assistant
I have no idea what any of the couples who walked into your class wanted/hoped/dreamed for their upcoming births. Maybe all of them wanted epidurals, maybe all of them wanted unassisted home births. What I do know is that every single one of them walked away transformed. Not only that, but I felt that each one left with a deep sense and reverence for what birth is --that it is not always mystical unicorns and dancing rainbows --rather it is messy, at times ugly and hard--yet none of them backed down. They found that fierce part of themselves, that part that will be called on again and again for the rest of their lives as they parent their children. And that...watching them grab onto the fierceness, the push and pull of the ugly and the beautiful, that was what was magic.
Thank you for letting me be a part of this. You are truly gifted at what you do. xo
From a Parent and Childbirth Colleague
Britta’s Birthing From Within class not only empowered me as a strong birthing woman, but provided a fun, nurturing and honest forum in which my husband and I could share our fears and excitement. When I first walked into the class, I felt fairly prepared for birth, but little did I know how important learning and practicing the birthing coping methods would be for me and my birth. When the going got tough in labor, I went right to my “toolbox” that I had prepared in class and I already knew exactly which tool was best suited for me. I wasn’t flailing around wondering if I should focus, distract myself, scream, etc. – through exploration and practice with the ice exercises in class, I came to realize that moaning was my go-to coping mechanism and it worked like a charm. It made me feel like I had a little bit of control in a very uncontrollable situation. Birthing From Within not only empowered and celebrated me while on my journey to becoming a mother, everything we discussed and explored during class stuck with me and has had a deep impact on me as a woman and mother. I can honestly say that these classes changed my life and my life’s path and for that and Britta’s gentle, supportive, strong and insightful guidance, I am beyond grateful.
When I pictured a birthing class, every cliché from bad romantic comedies came to mind. I thought I would be clutching a pillow in a gymnasium with flickering fluorescent lights, while I breathed and watched slides of long-haired couples from the 70's. When I talked to friends, this is pretty much what they confirmed was their experience. They were bored and sat around breathing.
Britta's class is anything but this. I mean it could still be in a romantic comedy, but it would be the best part of the whole film. Or it would be the romantic comedy you wished you got to see once a year.
Britta is the college professor everyone loved to hear lecture, bringing an idiosyncratic combination of birthing techniques, pain coping mechanisms, and gender studies and mythology. But most importantly after her class we were totally prepared for labor and our son's birth. We had a great birth, and we owe that to Britta. She prepared us physically by actually making each partner hold ice and find ways to manage the physical pain it brought. She prepared us mentally by giving us tools for speaking with medical professionals. And she prepared us emotionally by helping us recognize our birth plan and develop the willingness to let go of it.
All that aside, my husband and I had so much fun. We spent two days at Britta's sun drenched studio in Topanga Canyon. We made friends whom we still keep in touch with, and we had a wonderful birth. Once we're crazy enough to have another kid, we will be back up the canyon in heartbeat.
If you want to have a lot of fun, learn about yourself, mythology, other couples, life, your partner, paint, dance, really be prepared for labor, a cesarean, a home or hospital birth—then take this class. I know this may sound really hippy-dippy. But it's true. I'm sarcastic and jaded and Britta's stuff cut all that down.
34 years old- mom, wife, costume designer... grew up inVermont, lived in NY/Brooklyn for 12 years - now live in Venice.