This month, on behalf of DTI’s childbirth educator community, we’re delighted to introduce you to Mac Brydum, a doula and educator offering birth & postpartum services and childbirth classes in the Denver area. You can find Mac at www.thatdoulaguy.com and on Facebook @ www.facebook.com/ThatDoulaGuy. To grab a spot in his upcoming childbirth class, click here!
Tell us about your work (family life included) so far this year. How has your childbirth educator training influenced your path?
2018 has been an exciting year, primarily because I became a childbirth educator this year! The knowledge I gained through DTI’s childbirth educator training equipped me to teach to a broad range of clients, which is reflective of the births I attend as a doula as well. Becoming a childbirth educator has strengthened the type of support I am able to offer my doula clients prenatally. Families who have taken my childbirth ed class have ended up hiring me as their doula as well, which is just lovely!
What would you say are the trends in birth education in your area?
Birth education in my area (Denver, CO) tends to be very siloed based on where people are planning to birth. Most of the birth centers require that their patients take their classes. And hospitals offer their own classes, which some families take and others skip entirely. There are a few options for independent classes, and I’m hoping to see more families choosing that route, since the classes I (and most other independent educators) offer have a more well-rounded view of labor, birth, and parenting.
Top 3 reasons to take a childbirth class:
1. You’ll learn something new. I guarantee it!
2. You’ll build confidence about the journey ahead.
3. You’ll know your options in birth and postpartum.
What’s special about the classes you teach? How do you set them apart?
The classes I teach are especially inclusive to LGBTQ+ families. When a queer family is planning to welcome their new baby, they don’t want to be in a class that might overlook the extensive journey they’ve been on to get to that point, or discount the unique roles each parent will play. I am vigilant about using gender-neutral pronouns, involving the non-gestational parent, and talking about the complexity of family-building and what’s to come after baby is born. My classes are usually a mixture of all types of families, which adds to the richness of the group! When folks of varying identities and backgrounds can build community with other people going through the same life event (childbirth and raising a baby), beautiful connections happen.
What do you love most about teaching?
I love being able to see the evolution of a pregnant person or couple from fear, trepidation, and overwhelm at the beginning of a class to confidence and excitement by the end of the class. My goal is to provide families with the information they need to be their own advocates during birth, answer the detailed questions most folks have about birth, and encourage them to build a solid support team.
Describe your classroom. What’s your favorite way to set up your space?
I prefer a space that is cozy (but not crowded), comfortable, and feels homey. I find that a semi-circle with a variety of seating options (floor cushions, chairs, birth balls) for participants to choose from works best. Because I teach in a weekend intensive format, folks need to get up and move around throughout the day, so I use a variety of teaching tools for different learning styles and incorporate movement and activities so no one gets bored!
Tell us something about you that has nothing to do with birth!
I am a huge animal lover, and have a menagerie of pets – 2 dogs, 1 cat, and 4 chickens!