PARKERSBURG - With five children, Shawn Low has experienced child birth naturally and also with inductions and interventions.
After her experiences, Low said she wants to help other moms learn about their options as an instructor through the Birth Boot Camp.
"I have five children and with my first, a son, I had naturally in a hospital," she said. "With my next two, I turned to the medical side and had inductions with epidurals and had a bad time with it. With my fourth and fifth I decided to hire a doula (a nonmedical person who assists a woman before, during, or after childbirth, but not the same as a midwife) and take birth education classes."
Low said that was what led her to help others.
"That was what sparked my passion," she said. "I want other women to be empowered with education."
Low said women are not able to birth their babies the way they should.
At A Glance
* Shawn Low decided to become a natural child birth teacher after her own child birth experiences.
* Low had children with the natural method and using the medical side with induction and intervention.
* Low said she wanted area women to be empowered with knowledge about birth options.
* She will begin to offer classes at 7 p.m. April 18 in the McCarter Chiropractic Center at 4315 Emerson Ave.
According to the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the national caesarian rate is still at 30.5 percent despite government and private organizations stressing the importance of lowering the C-section rate. Also with the Mid - Ohio Valley's cesarean delivery, or C-section rate being around the national average, parents are increasingly looking for ways to avoid major abdominal surgery during the birth of their new baby.
Low said she believes some women are being led to believe by passing up natural child birth they can go back to their previous lives quickly.
"I think women by way of television or Hollywood they are shown they can go in, have their baby the day they want it and go back to normal lives," she said. "They don't realize everything involved in that. They are given medicine that inhibits them from breast feeding."
Low said passing up natural childbirth could be a contributing factor to a higher mortality rate for newborns.
"We should not have a high mortality rate in the United States, higher than third-world countries," she said. "With moms being inducted and also with caesarian because a lot of time with induction, the baby's heart rate drops, going through a lot of stress."
Low said many times a baby may be delivered before it is ready. However, Low added there are times when a caesarian delivery is needed for the health of the baby and mother.
"I believe moms can have an amazing birth," Low said. "I want to empower moms with education and to train them to have the birth that their bodies were meant to have."
Low said birth is like training for a marathon, so training with nutrition, exercise and learning different labor positions will give Moms the tools needed to accomplish her mission.
Low said to become an instructor with the Birth Boot Camp, she had to invest a year in study and research for her certification. She said he study included many books on natural birth, movies on the process and many workshops on the subject.
Low said the program is a new concept in the area and it is for the modern parent.
"It gives the couple accessible contemporary education," Low said. "The program attracts Dads and with the class they want to get involved with the birth."
Low said Birth Boot Camp attracted her because it also offers breast feeding help for new mothers.
"We have a three hour video we give them ," she said. "It answers all the questions they may have, things they can't find anywhere else - it's the Mom's bible so to speak."
Birth Boot Camp has very high standards for their program, candidates need to have had a natural unmedicated birth, breast feeds for at least one year and believe in the benefits that natural birthing offers. Low said they want their educators to have experienced natural childbirth, so they can be effective teachers.
Low said the parents-to-be will spend 10 weeks learning relaxation and comfort measures, the process of labor and birth, nutrition and exercise, breastfeeding and baby care through birth videos, interactive games, online resources, a full color workbook and a safe community of like-minded new parents.
Low said the class is designed to help determine where the baby will be delivered, cover chiropractic care and exercises before giving birth.
"That's why I like this set up," she said. "I get down on the floor with her, show her the exercises and show her how important it is to get her body in shape. We also get her in shape through nutrition."
Later she said the class will focus on relaxation methods for all stages of labor.
"We teach Dad he is here for support," he said. "He knows her best."
"In the last decade we have seen a turn toward families wanting to have more say in their birth," said Donna Ryan, founder and president of Birth Boot Camp. "The training and curriculum we provides our instructors gives them tools to help couples in their hometown have the amazing birth experience they desire. We area thrilled to welcome Shawn Low to the Birth Boot Camp family."
Low said when she tells people about the Birth Boot Camp and being an instructor, the reaction is generally positive.
"Moms are looking for natural child birth," she said. "I had a devastation and I was looking for a better way. I was more in tune with the person teaching it, it is really welcomed."