Homebirth Preparation Classes

Homebirth-Focused CBE Class Registration for Received

Let’s get ready to Homebirth! This fun and exciting time takes, to say the least, a little bit of preparation –and we all know your partner really needs it! So come on through and we’ll get everyone up to speed so you feel prepared and empowered stepping into one of the biggest days of your life.

It’s no small feat, so come prepared to learn techniques and tools that will support you and your partner (if present) in labor, birth and those first weeks of parenting. We will use a host of modalities and try not to take ourselves too seriously, after all, don’t we want to welcome our little one in the spirit of joy and connection?

This class sets the intension of honoring your journey as a normal, physiological and emotional rite-of-passage and fosters the natural hormonal unfolding of labor and birth.

Come join us!

Note: While it is not required to have a partner for the class, it is encouraged. If there is not an obvious class partner for you, consider any planned support people for the birth including a friend, doula, or family member to join in on the fun.

Note 2: This series is designed to be followed by the Newborn Care Class. Please consider registering for the newborn prep class for an in-depth coverage of a newborn needs.

  • When: Saturdays and Sundays
  • Time: 9:00 am-12:00 pm
  • Where: Home Office, Oakland – off High Street
  • Series class count: 4 classes
  • Limited to 7 pairs
Class Series:
  • Spring Season
  • Summer Season
  • Fall Season
  • Winter Season

  • Content for the Class

    The Class is a Balance of:

    4a Content for the Class Before Image

        • Techniques pregnant people may use to cope with labor, indluding positioning and meditative techniques.
        • Tools and techniques for partners to support laboring people
        • Exposure to birth videos that are real, up-close and personal
        • Sharing variations of what labor may look like and the “stages of labor” one may experience
        • Sharing what changes are made in the body during labor, and how one can facilitate that process
        • Sharing what the baby goes through to be born, and how to help them get out!
        • Providing opportunities to set intensions for the birth
        • Provide opportunities to discover fears so they can be addressed

    4b Content for the Class After Image

          • Comparisons between the Obstetric Model of Care and the Midwifery Model of Care.
          • What happens if complications arise and transfer of care is necessary
          • Immediate postpartum needs and expectations (Note: for more in depth coverage of postpartum period, please consider signing up for that class)
          • Breastfeeding techniques and expectations
          • Expectations for newborn babies in first days of life: what their needs are, and how can we as parents support them. (Note: This is not a newborn preparation class. Please consider signing up for the newborn prep class for more in depth coverage of newborn care.)
          • and, of course, more!
          • Please Note: This is not a Newborn Care class and we do not cover that content in the Childbirth Prep class. The series is designed to be followed the Newborn Care Class – Please consider registering if you would like to learn more about babies.

Process for Registering for a HB Class

2 Process for Registering for a CBE Class

If you would like to reserve a space in the Homebirth-Focused Childbirth Education Class, please select the Register button, fill out the Class Registration form, and send the $150 non-refundable deposit made out the “Awakenings Birth Services” to the office.

IMPORTANT: Class registration closes two weeks before the start of the class.

You are welcome to pay the class fee in full at the time of registration, however the remaining fee is due in full by 2 weeks before the start of the class to maintain a spot in the class. Please pay before this time. At this time, if there is a waiting list, interested families will be given an opportunity to complete registration.

You are required to send in the questionnaires filled out by both you and your class partner (separately) before the start of the class. You are welcome to send it in during the registration process.

Fee for HB Class

Fee for CBE Class

The standard fee for the class is $300.

Awakenings is committed to accessibility, thus offers a sliding scale for planned homebirth clients in the community when needed. The fee is 8% of your Homebirth Midwifery Services Fee, no more than $300 but no less than $150. You are not required to take advantage of the sliding scale.

Early bird registration and payment complete 6 weeks before the start of the class will receive a $25 discount.

Requirements for Class

        1. Please be sure that you and your partner have done your best to read Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth before class has started.
        2. Please, both you and your partner, each complete the CBE Questionnaire.

In order to meet the individual needs of the participants, it will be very helpful to have some information in advance. This is for you and your class partner to fill out on your own, as you two have different needs and expectations. Please send it via snail mail, fax or email no later than one week before the start of the class. I hope these questions will also serve to stimulate your own thoughts and feelings about this truly amazing upcoming birth.

  • Please Note: This is not a Newborn Care class and we do not cover that content in the Homebirth Prep class. The series is designed to be followed the Newborn Care Class – Please consider registering if you would like to learn more about babies.


Individual Class Cancellations

Esther is on-call 24 hours a day to attend births and care for clients. In the event she need to be with a family, she will e-mail or text you as soon as she knows there will be a conflict. Please check your e-mail before coming to class, and make sure you and/or your partner’s (if applicable) phone numbers are on the registration form and are the best numbers to reach you at under this circumstance. You will be notified of the make up day class as soon as possible.

If you or your partner (if applicable) will be missing a class, it is encouraged that you: one, let me know; and two, (if it is your partner only) see if a friend or family member that you feel comfortable with or who may attend the birth, come in their stead.

Cancellation Policy

1. Cancellations made before two weeks of the start date will receive the fee back in full less the $150 non-refundable deposit. If the baby has been born before the start of class, you will receive the fee back in full less the non-refundable deposit.

2. IMPORTANT: Registration for the class closes two weeks before the start of the class. If at this time, there are not a minimum of 4 registered participants, the class may be cancelled and you will be notified. You will receive your fee back in full.

3. For no other reasons will funds be returned. Once class has begun, no refunds will be granted, even if the baby has been born before the end of the series.

Save the Date

If a class is cancelled due to birth, a request for your preferences about a make-up class will be sent to you. The make-up class will be the date that allows for the most number of attendees.

Classroom Details

Classes are located at Esther’s home off High Street in Oakland:
4547 San Carlos Ave, Oakland, CA 94601.

Doors will open at 8:45 am. Please allow ample time to find parking and get settled so that we can start on time. Parking can be tricky at times, you may need to park around the corner.

It is encouraged for you to eat dinner before class, but if you haven’t eaten before, please make sure you bring dinner and enough food and beverages to get through class. Beverage and a few snacks will be provided.

You, including partners, are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing as we will move around and sometimes find ourselves in positions that may be hindered or cause you to overheat by a pair of jeans.

Please bring a pen and paper to take notes.

There is an assortment of seating options, including a couch, a rocker, regular dining chairs, exercise balls, blankets and bolsters for sitting on the floor. If you have special seating needs, please let us know and/or bring what you need to sit on.


~Testimonials for Classes~
  • Esther’s Newborn preparation class was one of the most useful classes we took before becoming parents.  In spite of having read many books, and talking to many parents, Esther’s hands-on approach combined with her expertise and calm demeanor empowered us, and put us at (relative!) ease about what was to be the most substantial development of our adult lives.  My only wish was that we were able to utilize her midwifery services!  Thanks so much, Esther! –Jill, Shyam, and Baby Kai

  • It was an incredibly empowering birth experience and I am deeply thankful to my wonderful birth team of midwives, doula, and Erik for getting me through it. I can honestly say that having taken Esther's amazing home birth prep class, I was ever more prepared and confident in my ability to birth at home. –Elisa

  • Joey and I are chipping away at things we would like to have done before baby gets here and also reviewing the class hand outs you gave us and doing meditations. Reviewing the information seems really helpful. We know we will never be fully prepared, but it gives us lots to talk and think about and provides great guidelines. I especially appreciate the affirmations and preparation lists. Thank you for putting together such a thoughtful class! I wish I could watch those birth videos everyday until it is my turn to experience birth! I still think about the twin birth! What an amazing women!!! –Anna

  • We really, really enjoyed your class. It was always a highlight of our week. We left every Thursday night feeling very empowered, energized and that much more ready to meet our baby with open arms and open hearts. Thank you so much for that. –Kelly

  • Thank you, Esther, for a great class. We had a great time and learned a lot. We thought of you when you were playing the woman in labor needing assistance and pillows. That played out for us to a 'T'. –Dennis

  • We couldn’t believe how many of the tools you exposed us to we ended up using! Things we never would have considered, made a big difference and helped Erin cope so well. Thank you for the insights! –Matt