Featured Childbirth Educator: Molly Escobar in the San Francisco Bay Area

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: childbirth education is a key piece of the birthing puzzle. In the spirit of increasing awareness of truly inclusive education, we’ll be featuring some of the DTI EDU certified educators.

san francisco childbirth educatorMeet Molly Escobar, a DTI doula and birth educator in the San Francisco Bay area. Molly’s goal is to bridge the gap between birth support and childbirth education. She offers the packaged deal: education, birth support, and access to her own creation, the B.A.B.E. Portal, an online community space where clients can discover their own confidence, regardless of birth beliefs. As an LGBTQ advocate, Molly provides support with zero judgment and is proud to guide all families through the prenatal, labor and postnatal stages.

Tell us about your work (family life included) so far this year. How did the DTI childbirth educator training influence your path?
I come from a large Hispanic and Irish family (talk about roots, eh)? I live in the stunning Marin County with my beautiful life partner, Bridget Ryan of BRA streetwear (www.brastreetwear.com) and together we have two fur babies (a 3 lb. chihuahua and a 15 lb. tabby cat). Bridget and I share an entrepreneurial soul and love spending time creating and celebrating each other’s worth and creativity. We dream often of our future babies and what birth will be like for our family and we plan to continue to create and feed each other’s soul as a team!

In January of this year I launched The Birthing and Beyond Education (B.A.B.E.) Course, which includes a workbook and access to the B.A.B.E. online portal. We all know Google can be terrifying, so having a safe, interactive space and clickable resources is convenient for the modern family. Not to mention going paperless is much better for our Mama Earth! The B.A.B.E. Portal is a password protected online collection of evidence-based resources to support all things birth. It is a supportive web-based community where you can explore local perks, live chat with a doula, research, connect with others, and most importantly, discover your confidence.

Before launching, completing the DTI EDU training was absolutely unlike anything I had ever experienced. The structure of the course forever changed my career. The material was evidence based. We were able to digest the lessons and then come together as a group to express and go over all that we had learned. I chose DTI to train with because of the way they so effortlessly brought community to the information at hand. Yes, I was in “class” per se, but I also felt vulnerable and comfortable enough to learn. This was HUGE for me and my vision of teaching. DTI taught me that it is possible to bring knowledge to a group of people all while embracing personal opinions, culture, birth justice etc. and I in turn wanted to give that to my students. DTI provides community for those they work with and I am certain that is why I have felt comfortable enough to find MY voice in the birth world. I am absolutely teaching DTI’s curriculum, while also incorporating my own personal twist, working hand-in-hand with the B.A.B.E. portal.

What would you say are the trends in birth education in your area?
I am very fortunate. The Bay area is a progressive place. I come across lots of parents who are eager to learn, which makes the process that much better, you know? Community is HUGE here and that is such a special aspect of the birth world.

What’s special about the classes you teach? How do you set them apart?
I believe in positive birth experiences, whatever that may be for each client. I offer four different series variations, including a virtual option, making it a convenient and comfortable learning experience for everybody. B.A.B.E. does not strictly focus on “unmedicated birth” but provides a range of options and information so each family can discover their own preferences.

My teaching style is unique in the way I step out of the box when it comes to delivering the information. I personally tend to get distracted sitting in a classroom for 3 hours at a time but if you told me I could wear sweats and be cozy on my couch for 3 hours while I learned about birth and the options I had, I would be really excited! I also respect those who thrive in classroom settings though! I love that about people. I offer two different in-classroom series. One that is a 4 week long course (once a week) and one that is a weekend intensive (so a two day intensive class) which tends to be very popular. I also offer private classes, which is kind of the perfect combination of vibes. Lastly, I offer a partner workshop where we really dive into the birth partner role, which is so fun! We cover comfort measures and affirmations and talk about what it feels like on the partner’s side of things. Every family who takes a B.A.B.E. course with me gets access to the B.A.B.E. portal also (explained above), so continued research, education and tools in discovering and becoming confident in your journey is right at your fingertips at all times.

What prompted your decision to train as a childbirth educator?
It was about two weeks after I finished my doula training with DTI in Berkeley. I was up at 3AM creating a PowerPoint about comfort measures. I knew this wasn’t the best idea considering I had somewhere to be at 8:30 AM. My alarm went off at 6:45 and before I knew it, I was brushing my teeth and totally posing and practicing how I would deliver my presentation in front of the bathroom mirror. It just clicked. I was so passionate about this new world. It was so healing for me and I couldn’t shut up about it. So I jumped right in and hit the ground running! I instantly registered and ended up finishing both the doula and CBE trainings about 3 weeks apart! It was a blast and one of the most important things I’ve ever done in my career!

What do you love most about birth work?
I love watching families be born. I love supporting families as they develop into their own selves. It’s incredible watching partners come in feeling like they know nothing about labor and delivery and leaving feeling like being a birth partner has been their job for years! I love watching mamas find their inner lioness and it totally gives me goosebumps when the partnership just clicks for a birth team.

Give us your top 3 reasons to take a childbirth education class.
So that you can spend time really getting to know your options surrounding birth in an organized manner with your birth team.
So that your partner has a safe space to ask questions and gain confidence in their role.
So that you can embrace community and find strength in that community as you learn and develop your voice.

Describe your classroom. What’s your favorite way to set up your space?
My space varies depending on where I’m teaching but I always bring a few staples with me for ambiance. I always pack my essential oils, fresh flowers and my new quartz bowls collection. I also bring the hardcopy of the B.A.B.E. course workbook! I do prefer a green classroom, so I suggest that everyone bring their favorite device (smart phone, tablet, laptop) to follow along. Their e-book has been delivered when they register for their course.

Tell us something about you that has nothing to do with birth!
Oh, how fun! Hmm, well instantly 3 things come to mind. Number one: I am an Aries with a Virgo moon and a Libra rising (Google it!) Number two: Before I fell in love with birth, I fell in love with life and became a certified funeral arranger. And number three: I’ve never, not once even had a bite of a hamburger, like ever.

Wow! So what pulled you into the birth world?
So it was during my time as a memorial specialist here in the Bay Area that I discovered I was a “natural” at holding space for people’s vulnerability. The things I learned in the funeral industry, I absolutely tap into at every birth I attend. Death and birth are actually very similar in so many ways (but that is a whole different blog entry lol). What I love most about being a certified funeral arranger is that I’m able to apply that to my doula practice as a full-spectrum doula. I’m confident in my colliding worlds, per se, but back to birth… What (or who) originally pulled me to the birth world was my own mother. My mom battled pancreatic cancer for 3 years before passing away in 2015. In those last 3 years together we really dove into her story and her life as “mom” but also as “woman” and I was in awe. That is something I recommend to everyone: who was your mom before she was mom. As a woman, my mom and I felt so similar and being a mom was by far her favorite part of womanhood, so here I am. I honor my mom in my work, it keeps us close. It keeps us alive. Woah, what a trip huh?

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