“We’re looking for a childbirth class that is inclusive of trans people. We don’t want to walk in and have to educate the instructor all about trans stuff. We want them to already know about us and feel comfortable teaching us.”
This is what a recent couple told me during our first meeting together. They are trying to get pregnant, and wanted to meet with me to discuss the process and get support from a LGBTQ+ friendly doula. They identify as a gay couple, and Jamie*, the parent who will be carrying the baby, identifies as a transgender man. They are in the beginning stages of the pregnancy journey, and are looking into all their options when it comes to providers, birthing locations, and childbirth prep classes. As a transgender man, Jamie already knows that his pregnancy will be filled with challenges that cisgender people just don’t have to deal with, like educating pretty much every provider about what it means to be trans, how trans men can still get pregnant, and on and on. They are going into this with their eyes wide open, and want to find the providers who will help them along the journey with as much understanding, support, advocacy, and open-mindedness as possible.
I replied to their comment about wanting an inclusive childbirth prep class with some hesitation, “well, I know of some excellent childbirth educators, but you may still have to do some advocating and educating. I don’t know of any local childbirth prep classes that specifically cater to LGBTQ people.” I suggested they may want to do private classes, but those are usually more expensive, and money is a factor for this couple. I left the meeting feeling a bit discouraged, and wishing there were more birth-related services that specifically focus on trans and gender-nonconforming people.
A Childbirth Preparation Course for the Rest of Us
A few months ago I received an email from Sandra Londino, a certified nurse midwife in Ithaca, New York. She had seen my blog post about how to make your birth business more LGBTQ+ inclusive, and asked if I’d be willing to check out her new online childbirth prep course, The BirthRoot Classroom, and write a blog post about my thoughts. I immediately went to the course website and dug into the content, and watched the free preview of the Introduction Module of the course. My first reaction to the Introduction Module video was how clear, understandable and accessible all the information was. Sandra’s teaching style is thoughtful, friendly, and never feels rushed. The course is inclusive of LGBTQIA people, people of color, and single parents. Anyone and everyone can take this course and see themselves reflected in the content, which can’t be said for most of the childbirth prep classes out there.
Anyone and everyone can take this course and see themselves reflected in the content, which can’t be said for most of the childbirth prep classes out there.