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Callie Corless                                                                                          

Comprehensive Childbirth Classes - Birth Doula Services                                 

Denton, TX

Callie provides childbirth classes in North Dallas and Flower Mound, TX and birth doula services in the Dallas - Fort Worth Metroplex. The Swaying Doula provides birth services for pregnant mothers and their families, as well as prenatal exercise and dance fitness to help pregnant mothers have a healthy pregnancy and prepare their bodies for labor, birth, and postpartum recovery.

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The Swaying Doula - birth, pregnancy, and breastfeeding information and natural birth classes in the Dallas Fort Worth Texas area including Flower Mound, Highland Village, Denton, Coppell, Lewisville, Grapevine, Irving, Plano, Frisco, and The Colony TX.

Filtering by Tag: Natural Birth

How to RELAX – Tips For Birth, Tips For the Mom Life!

Callie Corless

Relaxation for birth can lead to less pain, shorter labors, and a more satisfying birth experience. 

Relaxation for birth can lead to less pain, shorter labors, and a more satisfying birth experience. 

Relaxation comes in handy (read: IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY) for so many things related to parenthood – postpartum, colicky newborns, headstrong toddlers…

Anxious about birth

Whether you are pregnant with your first and preparing for your birth, or a busy mom of multiple children (or a human being...), relaxation is an important tool for life!

When I became a Birth Boot Camp Instructor, I discovered that relaxation would be a big part of the birth classes I teach in Denton, TX. I was a little wary at first since relaxation was not my strong suit. (Confession: I am the conductor of the anxiety train.) During my original training, and after practicing the relaxation exercises, I was sold on how effective and important relaxation was to a healthy, happy birth. But I still did NOT get it. How??!? I was determined to become a relaxation guru.

I went on a google frenzy, and here are a few quick relaxation tips I’ve picked up along the way:

Stop and B R E A T H E 

If you were to stop at any given time during the day, what would your breathing really be like? Slow and steady? Or shallow and irregular? I do breath checks throughout the day, and most of the time I notice I “catch” my breath and hold it. When I take in a deep breath, and slowly let it go, I notice my stress levels go down. My shoulders drop and relax, my jaw loosens. So much changes when we really BREATHE. Imagine how much easier birth could be if careful, intentional breathing became a habit. 

Don’t be afraid of scripts 

When I was pregnant with my first baby, I bought a book of a popular birthing method that included a CD of a birth script/relaxation. I was supposed to listen and practice regularly and then my baby was going to come into the world with a calm, peaceful, half-asleep mother(okay, I exaggerate, but you get the point). There was one problem; I could not stand the voice on the recording! Listening to this recording became a chore, and once I realized that it caused more agitation then relaxation, I needed to move onto something else. But before you give up on relaxations, consider this – sometimes you need to shop around. Keep trying until you find something you like! I sometimes peruse YouTube for meditations to help me fall asleep. Sometimes I start and stop a dozen before settling on one I like (What can I say? I’m picky about voices!). If you want some birth specific recordings to try, there are some great birth script downloads on the Birth Boot Camp website: I use these sometimes in class. You can purchase Birth Relaxations here
Another great option? Have your partner read them to you. A familiar voice might be just what you need.

Picture a river 

This is a trick I heard from a few different sources. Do you ever have a hard time falling asleep, because a thousand things suddenly come to mind? I often jolt up in bed at least once as I’m falling asleep because I forgot to put dinner in the fridge, or I didn’t send that email I’d been meaning to… so this trick is good for the anxiety ridden and busy minded.
Instead of fighting off thoughts and trying to "clear your mind", which doesn’t work very well, picture a river that floats by in front of you. When a thought comes, you simply imagine taking it and placing it in the river, and watch it float away. If it comes again, you just repeat. Place it in the river, watch it float away. The more you practice this, the more you create pathways for your brain to let go of thoughts quicker. Keep at it. It will get easier! 

Why Take A Natural Birth Class - Even If You're Planning on an Epidural

Callie Corless

Why take a natural birth class if I’m planning to have an epidural?

Short answer: Because you learn way more than how to have a natural birth.

When people ask me about the Birth Boot Camp Classes I teach in Flower Mound TX, they often say “oh, I don’t need a natural birth class. I’m getting an epidural.” Now this isn’t an anti-epidural post, just to be clear. I think everyone knows what is best for them, and I certainly wouldn't recommend you birth in a setting you aren't comfortable with. Birth doesn’t go so well if the mother is anxious or afraid.

What I do want to do is make sure you know that planning on an epidural doesn’t mean you won’t ever feel any pain. I also want to show you why investing in your birth is worthwhile. (And considering the benefits, the cost of a birth class is fairly minimal. For example, have you seen how much the average couple spends on a wedding? The amount we spend on preparing for our births pales in comparison.)
Birth Boot Camp gives couples the evidence and current information they can use to plan their birth, specifically tailored to what works for them.

You might not have thought of the following when planning your birth. Here are a few reasons a Birth Boot Camp class is a good idea; even if you plan to birth with medication.

Hot Spots

This isn't as fun as it sounds.

Sometimes when an epidural is placed women will have a spot that the medication doesn’t reach and they will feel contractions just in that location. In this case, you’ll need those comfort measures to rely on! 

It Might Be Awhile...

Even with an epidural early labor can last hours or even days. If you plan to birth in a hospital, this means you’ll have a lot of time trying to cope with contractions before pain medication is even an option. 

Think You're Guaranteed An Epidural? Not Quite.

I'd like to tell you about a good friend of mine(with her permission) who planned on an epidural for each of her births. Her last birth was so fast she delivered the baby soon after arriving at the hospital, with no time for an epidural. She was never planning to birth without pain medication(natural birth actually terrified her!), but it happened.
Another common occurrence is when the anesthesiologist is overwhelmed with other patients, and you are essentially "in line" for medication. I’ve seen moms who waited for an epidural for HOURS and didn’t know what to do in the meantime. Don’t get caught off guard! Taking a class is worth it.

Know Your Stuff

With any intervention, there are pros and cons to weigh. If you are planning on an epidural, you should find out how that works. What are the risks? Benefits? How is it placed? Our class covers common medications and interventions so you can make decisions about your care, fully informed. 

The Partner Needs Support Too!

Birth can be intense. Mom might be really focused during birth. Sometimes she is so focused she can’t voice what she wants and needs as well. The last thing we want is a partner who feels helpless. Helpless is no bueno. Birth Boot Camp gives partners lots of tools to use, and in class I pass out little card reminders for Dads to bring to the birth - a sort of cheat sheet for supporting mom, if you will. In class couples learn together, so they are on the same page as they plan their birth.

Fail To Plan, Plan To...Not Get What You Want

Birth Plan in Denton County TX

If you want something to go well, you wouldn’t just show up and wing it(see this post if you need a little help with your birth plan). You'd prepare ahead of time. That would help you to feel a little more ready, confident, and calm. (All of these are important for a safe, happy birth!) A childbirth class should prepare you so that if plans change or something comes up, you’ll know what to do because you’ve prepared for it, whether it’s a long labor, change of birth location, a necessary induction, or even a cesarean.

Birth Boot Camp Is NOT Your Mother's Birth Class

Callie Corless

When I was pregnant with my first baby, I was so excited to take a birth class. I signed up for the class at the hospital where I planned to have my baby, and it never even occurred to me that there were other options available.

I’m not going to say the class was terrible, because it wasn’t! Our teacher was very knowledgeable, she had a variety of props, some videos, pictures, etc. and the times we did have class discussion, it was often fairly engaging. The big downside was that I felt like everything I learned I already knew from the reading I had done (which was a lot!). After the birth of my baby, I felt like there wasn’t really anything I was able to draw from in class that contributed to my birth experience. It was a nice milestone during my pregnancy that I looked forward to and even enjoyed, but beyond that, there really wasn’t any value in it. We didn't practice anything, and how can you really expect to go into something you've never practiced, and expect to do it well? Most of the time, you will find that doesn't work out very well. Your birth class should provide you with much more, and that’s why I love Birth Boot Camp!

Why Birth Boot Camp is NOT Your Mother’s Birth Class

Modern curriculum for modern couples.

Some birth classes use manuals or materials that are outdated and could use a little freshening up. Birth Boot Camp is up to date, so you’re learning about the latest tools and information about interventions, exercise, newborn care, and more. Class also includes a full color 170 page manual(and a free breastfeeding video download!), so you are getting more out of it than just what you learn in class. When you consider what women were told about giving birth, feeding their babies, how to help babies sleep (and so on) 30 or so years ago, it’s easy to understand why having updated materials and information is definitely a must!  

Birth Boot Camp is for partners too

We are living in a wonderful age where we recognize that having dads and partners present for the birth can not only be helpful, it can help strengthen the bonds between you as a couple, as well as the bond between your baby and your partner. Unfortunately, a lot of partners enter the birth space feeling a bit unprepared! If you’ve ever wondered if there was a way your partner could learn the tools and information to feel confident being a support to you as you plan your birth that would be presented in a way that was engaging and memorable – Birth Boot Camp is the answer. 

Prepares you to birth in any setting

Some childbirth education focuses on birth in a certain setting. Birth Boot Camp provides the opportunity to discuss birth in multiple settings. Couples are able to learn about the benefits and drawbacks to each birth location. This can help you to feel more confident in the location you have chosen, or maybe even show you that you'd prefer to birth somewhere else. This is also helpful if plans change and you decide later on to switch providers or birth in a different location. You'll already know the ins and outs of a variety of settings, and you'll avoid the stress and worry of trying to cram in the education you need last minute. 

It’s about more than how you breathe

Birth Boot Camp covers a lot about relaxation(there are even relaxation scripts in your manual to keep with you) and what positions or things your partner/support person can do to help you cope with contractions and release tension. But a birth class needs to cover a lot more to prepare couples today to achieve the birth experience they want. 

In addition to relaxation, you’ll also learn about:

  1. Optimal nutrition during pregnancy
  2. Exercises to help you feel comfortable and prepare your body for birth
  3. Breastfeeding
  4. How to choose a provider
  5. Comfort positions/measures
  6. Avoiding unnecessary interventions
  7. How to handle different labor scenarios
  8. How to care for your baby
  9. Labor stages, birthing positions, and pushing
  10. Birth plans
  11. What you can do to reduce the risk of a cesarean
  12. A lot of helpful tools for your partner!

There are plenty more reasons why Birth Boot Camp can be a great class for you and your birth, but sometimes the statistics speak for themselves. Here are some outcomes from REAL couples like you who took Birth Boot Camp in 2015! 

Don't just hope for an AMAZING birth, 
prepare for one!

*At the time this blog post was written, the national average for cesarean birth is more than twice the percentage of Birth Boot Camp students who had cesareans births.

Callie teaches Birth Boot Camp Childbirth Classes and serves clients as a Birth Doula in Flower Mound and Denton County, TX. Some of her favorite things are birth, Brene Brown, her three precocious little girls, making new creations for her Etsy shop, and stashing treats in her closet for a rainy day. You can find her website at or contact her at