Here’s Why Over 2,400 Families Have Chosen Classes with Mindful Birth NY
These uniquely experiential classes prepare families to work with labor and approach parenting as a team. Includes mindfulness-based stress reduction for pregnancy, birth, and parenting; hands-on prep for labor; practicalities for a connected start to life with baby, and skills for navigating the long game of parenting. Classes are taught by Mary Esther Malloy, one of NYC’s most experienced educators and doulas. Check out Mary Esther’s article on why mindfulness for labor.
You will learn by doing
Learning about labor is excellent, but you and your partner will learn by doing in these uniquely experiential classes. Unlike many childbirth classes, this is not a powerpoint experience. We devote substantial time to:
- practicing body scans and breathing techniques,
- honing pain-coping skills, and
- running massage clinics and labor rehearsals.
This approach translates to labor, we are told over and over by parents who’ve taken this class and by doulas, midwives and doctors who’ve cared for couples from these classes.
Labor support matters
Mindful Birth classes offer partners a rounded preparation for the intense work of supporting a woman through labor. This includes:
- a deep mind-body understanding of how birth works,
- practical ways to assist a laboring woman through the different phases of labor and any challenges that might arise,
- hands-on practice with massage,
- tips on preparing for a home or hospital birth.
It’s not all about the birth!
This course is about more than just the big day. In addition to breastfeeding and baby care basics, you will explore:
- Ways to nurture emotional well-being to reduce the likelihood of postpartum depression or anxiety
- Communication strategies to fortify your partnership for parenting
- Mindfulness practices that have been shown to help parents be more available for attachment to their children
- Plus, rich opportunities to form community with other new families
Click Here to See What the Comprehensive Childbirth Series Includes
Stress Relief for PREGNANCY
Hands-on prep for LABOR
Building a labor-coping mindset
Breathing and pain-coping practices as well as mind-focusing exercises that help mothers work with the intensity of labor (and any challenges that may arise)
Massage and labor positions that increase the mother’s comfort and assist the baby into straightforward positions for birth
Partner massage and touch for labor
Labor support essentials
Strategies for hospital, birth center and home births, including how to work with the unexpected
Your post-birth recovery and the stuff no one tells you
And for the long game of PARENTING
Baby care in the 4th trimester (including E.C., babywearing basics, nighttime parenting, missing microbes and more fun stuff to know about)
Ways to nurture emotional well-being to reduce the likelihood of postpartum depression or anxiety
Communication strategies to fortify your partnership for parenting
Community with other new families
* Due to time constraints, the weekend intensive focuses primarily on labor prep. For those taking a weekend intensive, I sometimes offer my Babies, Breastfeeding and Parenting as a separate add-on session. Please ask if you are interested.
Labor is a true mind-body experience. And this mindfulness-based course offers a true mind-body preparation. Whether you take the comprehensive series or the weekend intensive, you’ll have audio tracks to download for home meditation and yoga, and weekly activities that encourage greater presence in daily life.
We will explore the body scan and breath awareness and other pain- and stress-coping techniques as foundational for working with the intensity of labor. These research-backed tools are important as well for navigating the changes that come with the transition to parenthood. For this course, please plan on daily practice!
Schedule and Fees
A note about fees: Hour for hour, the comprehensive series is one of the most economical options. In addition to high-quality childbirth prep, this class folds in breastfeeding, baby care, prenatal yoga, stress reduction and partner communication tools that – trust me – you are going to need at 3 am when you have a hungry baby.
We reserve two reduced-fee spots per series for families who otherwise could not afford this class. Please apply for financial assistance by emailing me at email@example.com. You are most welcome here!
Mindfulness is more than relaxation.
We use the focused mind, calm body and open heart as springboards to greater insight into how you might work skillfully with labor and parent with presence.
Calm and Connection. Backed by science.
- Women and their partners who participate in mindfulness-based childbirth preparation are experiencing higher levels of calm, contentment and positive emotion as they approach and work through labor. (Duncan 2010)
- Research by Richard Davidson at the University of Wisconsin is examining the impact of mindfulness training during pregnancy on the brains of babies, exploring to what degree such experiences in utero might epigenetically predispose a baby toward calm and connection.
- Women and their partners who continue to practice see a reduction in stress and anxiety that has been shown to hold into the first years of parenting. (Kantrowitz-Gordon et al. 2018)
- Further research is demonstrating that parents in mindful birth courses are more available for attachment to their babies, a cornerstone of health and well-being for anyone starting out in life!
Why might you want to get a handle on worry and stress during pregnancy in a Mindful Birth class? Not all stress is bad, but high levels in pregnancy have been linked to a range of things we’d rather avoid, including early or late labors and elevated blood pressure. Additionally, your gestating baby’s development is in part regulated by hormones and neurotransmitters that can be altered by excess stress.
Mindful Birth is for anyone who wants to slow down during pregnancy and explore time-tested tools to cope well at this important time of life.
A Note from Mary Esther Malloy about Childbirth Classes
Welcome to Mindful Birth! If you would like additional information about classes, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 347.276.2819 (and please text if you miss me).
I highly recommend the comprehensive 8-week series, if at all possible. If you have to miss a session or two, it’s not a problem. Let me know and I can give you options for making up the missed classes.
The intensives – also wonderful – primarily focus on labor. For those taking the weekend intensive, Babies, Newborn Care, and Parenting are usually available as a separate add-on. Please ask!
No matter which course you take, these classes offer practical, hands-on preparation for women and birth partners who are looking to work with labor and approach parenting as a team. The goal is for you and your partner to feel calm, well-prepared, and connected as you get ready for your child’s birth and the changes coming to your lives with parenthood.
Please check out my latest article on mindfulness and labor.
I bring sixteen years of experience (first as a Bradley educator and now as a Mindfulness-based Childbirth and Parenting educator) to an intimate setting that welcomes families birthing at home, in birth centers and hospitals.
Couples devote extra time to birth preparation with a Mindful Birth class and find that having a host of strategies makes it time well spent, no matter the course of their labors. We can’t tell you how often we hear couples tell us how they wish the class were longer, that they will miss their time with other expectant families!
I’ve been teaching this childbirth class live online now for 2.5 years and will stay with this format for now because it is working beautifully. Community is strong and classes are as participatory as ever. This is a special kind of birth (and parenting!) class that I’ve had the pleasure of teaching since 2005. Live online has lent itself to a new and different kind of intimacy. We hope you will join us.
- Families are appreciating doing our movement and mediation practices and running labor rehearsals in the place where they will do at least a good chunk of labor: the comforts of home.
- We set up weekly “practice partners” calls (or in-person visits) between families who would like to participate. Friendships are forming and groups are hanging tight after the series ends well into parenthood.
- Families are enjoying the ease of making up missed classes by way of recordings. And the further along in the pregnancy, the more grateful families are to be spared the hassles of commuting.
- When babies are born before the course is over, our newest, smallest members are able to come to class! This has been a source of amazing richness both for the families who’ve given birth, and those who are still pregnant.
- We read Nancy Bardacke’s Mindful Birthing and participants have access to a library of supplemental materials I’ve built up during the online phase of this class. You can go through these birth and parenting materials at your own pace, including the guided meditations and home labor rehearsal practices.
See you in class!
Mary Esther Malloy, MA
About the teachers
Mary Esther has taught childbirth classes to over 2,400 families in NYC since 2005. A mother of three, she is a certified Bradley instructor and a trained Mindfulness teacher (MBCP with Nancy Bardacke). She is also an active DONA-trained doula who has attended the births of over 600 babies. Additionally, she has facilitated parenting support groups since 2002 when her oldest son was born – and they are still going strong! Mary Esther holds a B.A. from Oberlin College and an M.A. in anthropology from New York University, and publishes regularly about birth and parenting.
Mary Esther is thrilled to occasionally collaborate with the wonderful Kristy Zadrozny, founder of Expecting(nyc).
I just want to tell you how much we are enjoying the mindfulness birthing classes. We walk away from each session feeling both calm and more prepared, and more importantly, more connected to each other as partners. This has been one of the most positive things we've done during this pregnancy, and in actuality, this whole past year.
- Erin and Yohann
Your wonderful birth class back in 2020 is still one of my fondest memories of my entire pregnancy experience. We learned so much about so many things - well beyond just labor and birth - and continue to use tools from your class to navigate parenting, our relationship, external stresses, and on and on. Such an incredible experience!
I took Mary Esther's 8-week intensive birth class, and found it so helpful and informative that I ended up asking her to work with me as my doula. Luckily, she said yes! Up until then, I had been approaching the birth of my first child with fear and apprehension—so much of the discussion I had previously experienced around birth cultivated those feelings—and I had been unsure of what I wanted or what to expect of myself. That is, until Mary Esther entered my life. With her by my side, I was able to let go of unnecessary expectations and release my fear. I had an incredible birth experience. I was able to be present for it. I was able to use mindfulness to guide me through the hardest moments. And I was prepared—both emotionally and physically—to meet my child. So much of this life-changing moment is impossible to put into words, but I remain forever grateful for Mary Esther's courage, strength and calming presence during birth. Without her there, I have no doubt I would have had an entirely different experience. Later, I joined her mother's group, which was a lifeline during my first few weeks of motherhood. There, I found a community of women who were able to be vulnerable, kind, and open, all thanks to Mary Esther's guidance and remarkable leadership. Here was a space where I could find myself again. Mary Esther was able to connect the work one does to prepare for birth with the work that inevitably follows in being a mother. To work with Mary Esther is to work with the best. How fortunate for all of us that she exists.
- Thessaly La Force
Mary Esther is a terrific teacher and great communicator, and her classes are essential for parents. I’m a psychotherapist who has learned about developmental neuroscience, and I am very impressed that Mary Esther’s teaching is supported by evidence from important infant research - which demonstrates that the emotional attunement between caretaker and baby, and the child’s internal sense of secure attachment are crucial to healthy psychological and neurological growth. The benefits of growth-promoting relational experiences for an infant right from the start cannot be underestimated, and this is just what Mary Esther promotes through her work with Mindful Birth. Her approach to birth, breastfeeding, and care taking are grounded in ideas that promote close connections and healthy intimacy for baby and caretaker. Every baby should be so lucky as to have a parent who takes these classes.
- Jeremy Pollet, LCSW
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Looking for More Info on Pregnancy, Labor, Birthing, Breastfeeding, Parenting and Other Topics? The Journal of Mary Esther Malloy has you covered!
In addition to teaching childbirth classes, running parenting groups, attending births and raising her three children, Mary Esther publishes regularly about birth and parenting.