What is the Bhava Birth approach?
Fear + Pain Psychology
If you're expecting it's almost inevitable that you're also experiencing fear of pain or even birth itself. This course prioritizes these conversations, exploring fear and pain through the lens of psychology, mindfulness, and other Eastern teachings. Unlike other courses, Bhava Birth teaches participants how to give birth with fear—embracing the truth that fear is a neutral messenger that deserves to be invited into the birth space. However, fear left unchecked can take over and hijack birth. With practice, you can learn the compassionate skill of meeting your fear face to face, starting a conversation, and using its message to take action. Fear can become a powerful ally! Once you learn how to integreate fear it then has the power to shift your perception and experience of pain, leading to better emotional outcomes and better coping skills. This approach to childbirth preparation is both ancient and groundbreaking, weaving together Eastern mindfulness and Western psychology into the birth conversation.
Bhava Birth is committed to holistic preparation, which means looking at the WHOLE person—mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual. We do this through movement, breath, posture, art, emotional processing, hands-on comfort measures, and so much more. "Learning about birth" constitutes about 25% of the Bhava Birth curriculum, including stages of labor, anatomy, and what to expect. What, then, is the other 75%? As Jon Kabat-Zinn puts it—rebodying, or returning to ourselves and inhabiting our own physicality. Because our brains also play a huge role in effective birth, embodiment allows mind and body to work together, igniting our instinctive, primal, intuitive nature while pacifying our analytical brain. We cannot "think our way" through birth. Instead, we can learn to get out of our heads and into our bodies in order for birth to flow uninhibited.
For a long time birth trauma was largely the result of unwanted or unnecessary medical interventions. But did you know trauma can happen in births where there was little or no interventions, even with the best providers and care? We can experience disappointment, shame, feelings of "not good enough", or trauma based on unmet expectations, emotional triggers, relationships dynamics, and a host of other things. Mindfulness enables us to more fully experience birth (and life) without judgement, failed expectations, or suffering. It teaches us to be curious, open-minded, and prepared for the unexpected. It foster resilience, fortitude, and emotional stamina. It doesn't necessarily make birth easy or guarantee specific birth outcomes but it can shift our interpretations and perceptions allowing us to cope rather than suffer. It is a learnable tool or skillset that can bring peace and contentment on your birth journey because the only thing you can control is your response to what is.
Meditation is powerful complementary medicine, providing effective coping and processing tools for birthers experiencing anesthesia, cesarean, or other medical interventions. Meditation is equally effective when used AS medicine when no other form of pain control is used. More specifically, meditation:
- floods your body with helpful hormones such as serotonin, melatonin, DHEA and endorphins, all of which promote well-being, relaxation, longevity and vibrant health.
- soothes the brain patterns underlying pain. Over time, those changes take root and alter the structure of the brain itself, allowing you to no longer feel the pain of childbirth with the same intensity. Clinical trials have shown meditation to reduce pain by 57%, and up to 90% for more accomplished meditators.
- takes you into a place ABOVE your thoughts. Different from hypnosis, which drops you below your conscious thought and puts you into a state of suggestibility, meditation gives you power OVER your thoughts, helping you to achieve your highest level of consciousness and present-moment awareness. This means you don't have to "check out," feel "far away," or numb yourself in order to cope, but rather reinterpret pain by being completely present with it.
2 Day Couples Retreat
Highly interactive, delicious meals, and everything you need to feel inspired.
Monthly Live Online Classes
The learning continues long after the retreat in order to integrate all of your curriculum.
Online Course Option
For those far away or looking for a home-based option, consider the online course!
300+ Page Illustrated Manual
We cover all the childbirth basics PLUS all the things you didn't know you didn't know
Laminated Labor Guides
A visual guide for laboring positions and hands-on support that fits into any birth bag!
Client Portal Access
Stream yoga classes, guided meditations, breath practices, yoga chants, and birth provider interviews!
What will we learn and practice together?
- The Psychology of pain + fear | Coping techniques
- How to give birth with fear and why that matters
- Hands-on partner-supported comfort measures
- Emotional processing | Navigating past trauma
- Birth stories | Cultural and familial influences
- Mindset + Non-Attachment
- Guided meditations | Mindfulness practices
- Yoga chants and lullabies
- Breath awareness
- Rituals v. Goals | Birth altars
- Kundalini awakening | Perinatal mood disorders
- Yoga asana, living movement, rebodying
- Templates for birth and postpartum planning
- Stages of birth and what to expect
- Mandala + Labyrinth meditation art projects
- Community support
- Birth as a path of self-development | Rebirth
What does "bhava" mean?
This course takes its name from the Sanskrit word BHAVA, which means "becoming," and if spelled BHAVAH can also mean "to give birth." Buddhists define it as the growth we experience between each cycle of life, death, and rebirth.
Bhava is the GROWTH we experience in BIRTH
How you feel about your birthing experience matters and sets a tone for the rest of your life. Healthy babies are not enough—at Bhava Birth, we value healthy, thriving, and empowered birthers, too. Like a caterpillar in its chrysalis that emerges a butterfly, childbirth is an opportunity to discover your wings.
birthing is BECOMING the best version of YOU
This course is for you if one or more of the following apply:
I value collaborative care
I value holistic practices and modern medicine. I see how both models of care play a critical role in my birthing experiences. I am eager to find my ideal birth team that supports my vision and will advocate for my preferences.
Because of traumatic birth (and/or life) experiences, I am dealing with triggers, worries, and fears that are interfering with my ability to relax and feel ready to give birth. I'm worried about being triggered during labor or crashing again postpartum.
I want to be in the driver's seat of my life and my birthing experiences. I don't want to feel "checked out" anymore. I sense that birth has the potential to help me be more fully present and personally empowered but I don't quite know how to get there on my own.
I don't know how to balance my desire for a perfect birth with reality. I don't want to feel like a failure again if I don't get the birth experience I expected. Is there a way that I can love my birth and trust that I did my best no matter the outcomes? Can I truly be at peace with whatever unfolds?
I'm navigating past trauma
I'm learning to use my voice
I want to love my birth
Is this a "natural birth" course?
Yes, because all birth is natural and because we learn SO MANY coping tools. Just because someone chooses or requires medical interventions at some point in their labor and delivery does not make their birth unnatural. Plus, everyone benefits from learning pain-coping tools, regardless of what your birth plan may be. Beautiful, sacred, and transformative birth happens in every setting with every kind of intervention. Whether you're choosing a home birth, unmedicated hospital birth, an epidural supported birth, or planning for a medically necessary cesarean, we are committed to helping you navigate your birth. We don't define birth by a method our outcome. Birth is too big, too wild, and too important for labels. Instead, we see that the journey matters as much as the destination. It's important to passionately advocate for your birth preferences while also trusting the natural unfolding of your unique birth.
Birth is birth—no labels necessary.
How do I enroll?
Review the schedule below and hit the "enroll now" button!
For those not local to Utah, or who are not able to attend in person for any reason,
we invite you to learn more about the home-study/online course option.
2022 In-Person Retreats
$425 per couple
Friday 1 pm - 8:30 pm (dinner + dessert included)
Saturday 9 am - 4:30 pm (breakfast, lunch + snacks included)
- Lodging can be arranged at an additional fee
- Payment plans available
-Retreats held in Orem, Utah
$275 per couple
Includes ALL of the Bhava Birth curriculum
Online streaming content from your own device
Course manual mailed to your home upon enrollment
(No in-person retreat)
What's holding me back?
I'm not sure if this course will work or help me achieve my ideal birth
Your concern is a valid one. All of us wish we could guarantee specific birth outcomes. Perhaps you even experienced extreme let down when you didn't get the birth of your dreams. That's so hard. The fact that we can't control or guarantee outcomes is the very thing that makes birth wild and holy. Instead of preparing for perfection, Bhava Birth helps you prepare for the beautiful messiness of unscripted, uncharted, unpredictable birth. We acknowledge that the one thing you CAN control is your mindset. Come learn how.
Check out testimonials from others that have walked this path:
I'm not sure we can afford it.
You're not alone. If money is the only thing preventing you from embarking on this journey, please reach out. We don't want personal finances holding you back from taking the next step. Tell us about yourself and your unique circumstances. We are always willing to personalize a payment plan, and you can also inquire about our scholarship program for single parents and other individuals facing financial restraints You can also check out our prenatal resources, as well, where there is something for every budget. Don't leave empty handed!
Feel free to email us your questions and concerns. Don't put it off!
My partner isn't on board.
We get it. We know that partners can feel "dragged along" to "boring" birth classes. But we also know that birth changes everyone—not just the one giving birth. We feel that partners undergo their very own transformation—and society is not modeling for them what it looks like or how to prepare for it. We specifically design the retreat with both parties in mind eager for the whole family unit to feel uplifted and prepared. And by the end of our retreat, guess who often sings our praises the loudest? Partners. We hope we get the chance to dazzle your partner.
Be sure to check out these testimonials from birthers and partners alike: