Loving Arms Childbirth Classes (and Refresher Classes)

We recommend that you take a class that ends anywhere between one week and 4 weeks before your due date.

We have classes on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday andThursday nights and some Saturday mornings.

Occasionally someone is due BEFORE the class ends but it often works out because many moms are overdue.  The first five classes prepare you for labor and delivery, the 6th is breastfeeding, the 7th is about postpartum and the last class is review material and a brief blessingway.

Please email if you have more questions.

Childbirth Preparation Series

During our eight week long class series, we cover all topics pertaining to childbirth education (process of labor to postpartum realities) but an important difference between our classes and others, isthe devotion to and time spent on labor support techniques.  In every class we practice breathing, sounding, positions, massage &  counter-pressure techniques, relaxation, visualization, verbal support, use of rebozos, acupressure, & more.

We prepare you to give birth in a hospital, birth center or at home.  You will have a deeper understanding of the value of a birth team, the role of the doula, how family members can participate, how to choose medication wisely when appropriate and will be able to understand the vast array of options and interventions available to birthing women.

We encourage each class of eight or fewer couples to get to know one another so that after the babies are born an instant support group is already born as well!

One entire class is devoted to breastfeeding and another to newborn care and the emotions and realities of the postpartum period.

As compared to other classes Loving Arms offers 20 hours of class time plus a reunion with all the babies when they’ve arrived.  Our classes are small and the comfortable living-room style setting is personal, intimate, and conducive to open learning and growth.  Each parent receives as much individual attention and continued support as they need.

Our approach is “eclectic” in that we use techniques from various “methods” (Bradley, Birthing from Within, Lamaze, etc.) that we as doulas have seen really work for laboring moms.  We’ve been doulas and educators for 16 years and have attended many births, so over the years we have used and discarded various approaches and continue to evolve as we go.

The class hits a sweet balance between “All hospitals are evil!” and “All home births are dangerous!” in that it encourages laboring with minimal intervention but isn’t afraid of science. You walk away feeling thoroughly educated in your options – and when you’re facing a process you can’t control, education is your best tool.

The fee for the course is $ 410 per couple (sliding scale available) and the classes are held at the the offices of East Bay Lactation Associates in Emeryville.

My spouse and I took the childbirth prep class with Annaleah as the instructor, for our child born in September of 2020. We were initially skeptical about whether or not it was worth it to do a class that would have to be entirely online (these were, still are, the COVID times) since childbirth is obviously a pretty bodily experience, but the class was GREAT. The team at Loving Arms has put a lot of thought into translating their course content into something that can still work online, which is no small feat. In addition to this, we now have a great group of friends with kids our same age we can turn to with questions. We have also continued to reach out to Janaki and Annaleah with questions even after our course was completed, and they’ve always been incredibly generous with their time. 10 out of 10 would take again!




Refresher Childbirth Class
Loving Arms Childbirth Services Refresher & VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) Childbirth Class

Four hour long interactive workshop taught by Certified Childbirth Instructors/ Doulas with a natural, holistic approach. The workshop emphasizes labor support techniques and tools for the mother and birth team.

Topics include:

  • ‘De-briefing’ the first labor/birth
  • Goals for the second (or third) birth
  • Overview of birth process the 2nd/3rd time
  • Breath work/sounding/staying in the moment
  • Massage, Visualizations, Rebozos, Positions, & more
  • How pushing is different the second time
  • Role of support team
  • Wise use of medications
  • Plans for older children during and after birth
  • Practice Practice Practice!!
  • VBAC guidelines and information
Planned Cesarean Class
Planned Cesarean Class

This workshop is for families anticipating a planned cesarean birth. Explore your feelings and learn how a cesarean birth can be a joyful birth experience!  If you have discovered that your baby is breech or there are placenta problems or other reasons necessitating an unexpected cesarean delivery please call us even at the last minute so we can help you prepare.

Topics include:

  • Your concerns and fears
  • Suggestions for transitioning into baby’s birth
  • Protocols and procedures
  • Options such as the mother viewing the baby as she/he is born, skin to skin contact and breastfeeding in the OR
  • Contributions of a birth team or doula
  • Ways to make the experience as fulfilling and comfortable as possible
  • Plans for breastfeeding and postpartum recovery
  • Simple stress reduction techniques for surgery preparation and for parenting
VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) Workshop
VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) Workshop

Our VBAC workshop is for pregnant couples who have had a cesarean birth and are considering a vaginal birth for the next baby.  Explore your options in a safe, non-judgmental atmosphere with childbirth educators/doulas who are experienced at working with all kinds of birth experiences.

Topics include:

    • Risks of both Cesarean and VBAC to mother and to baby
    • Advantages of vaginal birth to mother and baby
    • Feelings about both repeat cesarean and trial of labor
    • Emotional hurdles
    • Ways for birth team to provide  positive reinforcement and support

Workshop includes a refresher childbirth prep class . We will learn and practice coping techniques for labor,  discuss how to have the build your support system and develop strategies to maximize the chances of having a vaginal birth. Be empowered with education, practice and support!

Classes Offered By East Bay Lactation Consultants For Professionals
For Doulas and Midwives and other interested Health Care Professionals

East Bay Lactation Associates offers a 4 hr. workshop on helping your clients with getting off to a good start with breastfeeding.   Have you ever tried to help a mom with breastfeeding? Would you like to be more effective when helping mothers with breastfeeding? Do you know when to refer her for more help? Would you like to feel more confident in your ability to get mamas and babies off to the best start?

Topics include:

  • Building a robust milk supply
  • AAP guidelines regarding breastfeeding
  • Getting mother and baby comfortably latched
  • Breastfeeding rhythms
  • Assessing how breastfeeding is going
  • How to prevent/manage early challenges
  • Knowing when to refer to a Lactation Consultant
  • The doula’s role and how she can help.

Class Fee: $100

If you would like to sign up please visit and click the “Classes” link under the “Book Online” header.  Or, if you prefer, you may call us directly at (510) 525-1155.