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Last fall, cofounder of Alpha, Annie Reeder, wrote a series on the blog that answered the Who? What? When? Where? Why? Of Childbirth Classes. Here’s a 2 second recap: Are you pregnant? You should take a childbirth class.
If you are reading our blog, you may be considering taking an Alpha class. Here’s where I come in. I want to begin where Annie left off (good timing on your part) and walk you through an Alpha class. No one likes walking into a room of unknowns, so allow me to make some introductions.
You may have had other introductions to Alpha by a friend, or perhaps a co-worker, who has taken a class and loved it (if so, hooray…we need help in spreading the word out into the big world!), but many of you may have just stumbled into finding Alpha on the web or picked up some information at a local shop, office or church. If that’s the case, then welcome to Alpha! Let me invite you to take a peek and check out a class…
Arriving to class, we may be walking into a birth center, church, yoga studio, or even an instructor’s home. Alpha classes are taught in many places, but regardless of the physical location, we strive to make the environment comfortable, casual and welcoming. We never want you to feel like you’ve come to a sterile, boring classroom. This isn’t school, it’s community. Because of that, seating is typically arranged in a circle where everyone can learn from each other, laugh and share experiences without feeling like they are back in high school. We strive to make our classes a place where no one feels like they need to raise their hand to speak or ask for a hall pass to use the bathroom! Here, you can feel welcome to grab a snack, jump into the conversation or just listen and absorb if jumping in isn’t your thing.
You’ll meet your Alpha instructor as well as others in your class. People who chose Alpha are from all different backgrounds and traditions but one of the most unique things about our classes is that there’s freedom in knowing that we all share a hope in Jesus Christ and can openly talk about seeing God’s fingerprints all over birth.
I can tell you for sure that your instructor is happy to be with you. Alpha instructors share a passion for birth, as well as for seeing God, our creator, in the entire birth process. Just like the students, Alpha instructors vary in their backgrounds. Most have been involved in the birth community for some time, teaching childbirth education or working as a doula. All have become certified Alpha instructors. Each instructor has her own unique faith journey and where it intersected with childbirth.
The first class together you’ll spend some time casually getting to know each other and then open with a brief prayer (no worries, they won’t ask you to lead!). You’ll walk through the class materials, Alpha workbook and what topics will be covered each week. Each time we meet, we strive to present information, engage in discussion and then allow each couple to bring this new knowledge back home with them to make their own personal decisions bathed in prayer. Every week we give you work to complete at home which includes exploring the bible, as well as diving deeper into birth topics. This is for you and it’s your choice in how you use it. We will never call you out and put you on the spot to “check” if you’ve kept up with reading or homework.
In an Alpha class, we strive to provide you with the most current and relevant research in fetal maternal ( baby and mom) health and evidence-based practices, as well as share the collective wisdom of generations of families bringing children into the world. We don’t advocate one particular way to give birth or teach a certain “method”. Your Alpha instructor will never give you a guilt trip if you chose to use medical pain relief or have a cesarean. Her goal is to serve you well and help be a guide along the journey into parenthood.
You’ve now made it through the hardest part of joining any new community…the introductions! Next time we meet in a class face-to-face just consider us old friends and jump in. No first-time awkwardness needed. Can’t wait to see you soon!