Birthing Naturally: Partner Supported Childbirth Class

Birthing Naturally classes provide childbirth prep instruction that is thorough, objective and non-judgmental. The information presented is founded upon evidence-based research and enables families to feel empowered to make informed decisions about their care. The instructor presents the material in an organized, clear and thorough manner. Lori is entertaining and humorous, attentive, and sincerely cares for the health and well being of all students.

Students will learn practical tools and techniques that help minimize discomfort, encourage a smooth progression of labor, and methods to reduce the anxiety and/or fear that often accompanies labor and birth. Partners will learn how to actively support the expectant person during pregnancy, through the various phases/stages of labor, birth, and the postpartum period. At the end of each class, students will practice a different relaxation technique that focuses on the physical, mental, and emotional types of relaxation.

Our course includes 8-weeks of instruction, a Birthing Naturally Study Guide, birthing videos, and other helpful resources.

For a detailed description of what is covered each week, please see below…

Class size is limited so that students receive the personal attention needed when preparing for the birth of their baby. We recommend scheduling class to end by the 35th-37th week of gestation. Advance registration is required. Please feel free to contact us at any time if you have any additional questions or concerns.

Instructor: Lori Ismail CLD

Schedule: 8-week series

*We meet every Sunday or Monday for 8 consecutive weeks 


Sundays: July 21 – September 15 (skip 9/1)

Mondays: July 22 – September 16 (skip 9/2)

Sundays: September 29 – November 17

Mondays: September 30 – November 18

Time: 6:30pm – 9:00pm


The Nesting Spot for Birth & Beyond
650 North Winchester Blvd Ste 3
San Jose, CA 95128
‭(669) 342-4992‬
Click here to register (Sundays)

Blossom Birth & Family
Oshman Family JCC
3921 Fabian Way
Palo Alto CA 94303
(650) 321-2326
Click here to register (Mondays)

Price: $549

*Class fee includes the expectant person and birth partner
*There is an additional $25 materials fee payable directly to the instructor on the first night of class

To register for virtual classes held in a synchronous format (via Zoom), please click the button below

Detailed description of what is covered each week…

Class 1: Introduction To Birthing Naturally
This introductory class allows students time to get to know the instructor and other classmates. Students will learn how to stay healthy and low risk during pregnancy. We will discuss the importance of regular exercise and the importance of practicing various relaxation techniques that can be used to cope through the laboring process. We will also discuss other pain coping tools and methods to avoid unnecessary pain during labor.

Class 2: First Stage Labor
Students will learn the 3 phases of 1st stage labor, the physiological and emotional response to each phase, and the physical characteristics of what to expect during the latent, active, and transitional period. Participants will learn how to time contractions and distinguish the meaning of the length and frequency in order to identify what phase of labor they are in. Students will learn to identify female reproductive anatomy and how it relates to the birthing process. Various terminologies including cervical dilation, effacement, and station will be defined and clearly explained. We will discuss the indications of ‘true-labor’ vs ‘false-labor,’ learn methods to naturally stimulate or expedite labor, learn natural pain coping techniques, and recognize the time frame of when to make the transfer to the hospital or birth-center (for those delivering outside of the home).

Class 3: Comfort Measures / First Stage Labor Rehearsal
As the previous class examines the ‘theory’ of first stage labor, this class provides the ‘practical’ application by means of a first stage labor rehearsal. Birthing persons and their partners will learn various comfort measure techniques and learn how and when these techniques are best used. We will learn how to breathe during the different phases of labor and how to identify and remedy hyperventilation. Students will practice various positions and movements used to encourage the progression of labor and result in ideal fetal positioning. Partners will learn how to best support the expectant person through the application of massage, counter pressure, verbal encouragement, support, and guidance.

Class 4: Second Stage Labor
Second stage labor (aka the pushing stage) is a time of empowerment and active participation. Students will learn about the physiological processes of 2nd and 3rd stage labor, understand the process of fetal descent through the pelvis, how to encourage ideal fetal positioning, and learn how one can best support the perineum to avoid tears. Birthing persons, with the support of their partners, will actively practice various pushing positions such as squatting, hands & knees, side lying, and the use of a birth stool. Various breathing techniques and pushing styles will also be covered. Individuals are encouraged to discover what position, breathing technique, and pushing style works best for them.

Class 5: Evidence Based Care
An ‘evidence-based’ approach to prenatal, labor, and postpartum care is one where parents are encouraged to make informed decisions based on the most current and relevant scientific research available. Students will learn how specific medications and medical interventions are administered, their effects, benefits, risks, and alternative possibilities. We will provide an extensive explanation of the various types of pain management options (e.g. Epidural, Spinal, CSE, Fentanyl, N2O) and induction methods that are currently available in hospital settings. Students are encouraged to feel empowered and responsible for the decisions they will choose to make regarding their labor and birth and to recognize that there are always two sides to every issue. The topics covered in this class are approached in an objective and non-judgmental format.

Class 6: Variations & Unexpected Situations / Cesareans
As the percentage of cesarean sections in the U.S. rises, well above the optimal rate, it is important to acknowledge this reality and consider ways to prepare oneself physically, mentally, and emotionally in the event a surgical delivery is anticipated. The purpose of this class is to increase an awareness of what medical indications necessitate the need for surgery, understand the prepping and surgical procedures involved, and learn how to encourage and expedite recovery after surgery and during the postpartum period. Practical tools and techniques that may help reduce the possibility of surgery, such as methods to encourage proper rotation of a breech presentation, will be covered. Students will identify what questions to ask their care-provider and learn what alternatives are available as it applies to surgery.

Class 7: Preferences In Childbirth
Writing out a personal ‘birth plan’ (commonly referred to as a Birthing Preferences or Wish List) allows one’s care provider to understand and respect an individuals hopes and wishes regarding their labor and birth. We will offer tips and suggestions in how to word, format and develop your preferences in such a way as to retain the enthusiastic support of your birth team. Once students have evaluated their priorities, they will be able to express themselves, keep a positive attitude and be able to emphasize their wishes in a manner that is both open and flexible. Newborn procedures that are preformed immediately postpartum will also be addressed.

Class 8: Postpartum Preparation
This segment will introduce the various prenatal, labor, postpartum, and infant care supplies that may be used to enhance comfort and recovery. We will discuss breastfeeding anatomy & physiology, positioning, how to promote a proper latch, and the use of certain supplies that may encourage a gentle and efficient breastfeeding experience. We will also discuss what to expect of a newborn baby and learn about newborn tests and conditions (such as PKU and the different types and treatments of Jaundice).

Refund/Cancellation Policy:

A refund can be made only if completed at least two weeks prior to the start date of the class in which you are enrolled.  This is due to our commitment to small class sizes and because our staff commits to each class based on a minimum enrollment being met.  Last minute cancellations or no-shows would leave empty spots other families could have taken.

We are sorry, but we cannot pro-rate the cost of a series if you must miss one or more session(s). However, we do our best to accommodate busy schedules and unexpected life circumstances. If for any reason you need to miss a class or two, let your instructor know and she will arrange a make-up class for any missed sessions. Otherwise, our fee remains the same due to small class sizes, class supplies, use of the room, registration, and overhead.