Please feel free to email us at:
classes@empoweredbeginningsct.com

Classes & Groups

Childbirth Education

Childbirth, 4-Week Course

Childbirth, 4-Week Course

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Format: In-person at 3074 Whitney Ave, Bldg 2, Hamden, CT, 06418

Price: $250 per couple

Day & Time: Wednesdays at 6:30pm to 9:00pm 

Note: We suggest you sign up for a course that will start sometime after your 26th week and ends before your 37th week of pregnancy.

This in-person series is great for first-time parents and comes highly recommended by many local midwives and obstetricians for its empowering approach to childbirth. Our goal is to help each family become wise healthcare consumers and to partner with their OB providers for a safe birth using as few interventions as possible. Although the class strives to educate patients and their partners toward natural childbirth (i.e., unmedicated, intervention-free), classes are for prepared childbirth in the hospital, birth center, or home setting. The classes use a multidisciplinary approach, pulling information from resources such as Dr. Robert Bradley (of the Bradley method), the Lamaze Institute for Normal Birth, educator/doula Penny Simkin, and midwife Ina May Gaskin.

Topics Reviewed:

  • Physiology and changes in pregnancy
  • Normal progression of labor and birth
  • Relaxation and breathing techniques
  • Coping methods for labor and birth such as hydrotherapy, music, mental focus, and comforting positions
  • Analgesia and anesthesia options such as nitrous oxide and epidurals
  • Benefits and risks of medical interventions
  • The partner’s role during labor and birth
  • Postpartum care
  • Newborn care at the hospital

Childbirth, 2-Day Class

Childbirth, 2-Day Class

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Price: $150 per couple

Format: Online via Zoom

Day & Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30pm to 8:30pm

Note: We suggest you sign up for a course that will take place sometime between your 26th and 37th week of pregnancy.

This online 2-day mini-course is a modified version of the 4-week series that only focuses on labor and delivery. It is a good option for first-time parents unable to attend the 4-week series or those who will be attempting a VBAC for the first time (vaginal birth after cesarean). Pair this course with the in-person Advanced Coping Strategies class to get helpful hands-on instruction to complement what you learned online!

Topics Reviewed:

  • Physiology and progression of labor and birth
  • Relaxation and breathing techniques
  • Coping methods for labor and birth such as hydrotherapy, music, mental focus, and comforting positions
  • Analgesia and anesthesia options such as nitrous oxide and epidurals
  • Benefits and risks of medical interventions
  • The partner’s role during labor and birth

Childbirth, 1-Day Class

Childbirth, 1-Day Class

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Format: In-person at 3074 Whitney Ave, Bldg 2, Hamden, CT, 06418

Price: $120 per couple

Day & Time: Thursdays at 5:00pm or Saturdays at 9:00am

Note: We recommend taking this class anytime after your 26th week and before your 37th week of pregnancy.

This one-day class focuses on labor and delivery. It is a good option for first-time parents unable to attend the 4-week series and is an excellent refresher course for parents returning to the birth experience or those who will be attempting a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). Compared to the 4-week series, this class involves more direct, instructor-led teaching with fewer group exercises in order to conserve time.

Topics Reviewed:

  • Physiology and progression of labor and birth
  • Relaxation and breathing techniques
  • Coping methods for labor and birth such as hydrotherapy, music, mental focus, and comforting positions
  • Analgesia and anesthesia options such as nitrous oxide and epidurals
  • Benefits and risks of medical interventions
  • The partner’s role during labor and birth

Advanced Coping Strategies for Labor

Advanced Coping Strategies for Labor

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Format: In-person at 3074 Whitney Ave, Bldg 2, Hamden, CT, 06418

Price: $90 per couple

Day & Time: Thursdays from 6:30pm to 8:30pm

Note: his class is best when you are further along in your pregnancy, ideally between 32 and 38 weeks, and after you have completed a regular Childbirth course. There is no fee for this class if you have signed up for Ashley & Dawn’s Comprehensive Doula Package. Please use the voucher code provided in your doula services registration email when you check out.

This single session is intended for couples in their third trimester who have completed the 1-day, 2-day, or 4-week childbirth classes. It expands on intervention-free methods of labor management discussed in our prepared childbirth classes. Each couple will receive their own long woven wrap (similar to the Rebozo used by Mexican and Central American Indigenous birth workers) to practice hands-on comfort techniques and coping skills to ease pregnancy discomforts, manage pain during labor, and help bring the baby down into an optimal position for birth. Your partner or support person will learn skills to support you more effectively. This class does not cover general childbirth information. We strongly suggest taking one of our childbirth preparation classes (or one with another educator) prior to this class.

What to bring:

Bring along a yoga mat, towel, or small blanket for floor work. Dress comfortably in clothing that can accommodate a variety of positions.

Spinning Babies for Parents

Spinning Babies for Parents

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Format: In-person at 3074 Whitney Ave, Bldg 2, Hamden, CT, 06418

Price: $130 per couple

Day & Time: Tuesdays from 6:30pm to 8:30pm 

Note: This class is for expectant parents only, starting as early as 14 weeks gestation. The optimal time to take this class is 20 to 34 weeks gestation, though you may still benefit if you are further along. There is no fee for this class if you have signed up for Ashley & Dawn’s Comprehensive Doula Package. Please use the voucher code provided in your doula services registration email when you check out. 

Spinning Babies® for Parents is a single session class that highlights your baby’s active role in birth. During labor the baby needs to pass through the three levels of the pelvis. Learn techniques to help your pelvis and the muscles that support or restrict your pelvic levels. These techniques can help release tight ligaments and muscles which can pull and twist causing pelvic pain during pregnancy and discomfort during birth. Together, you and your birth partner can use these techniques before and during labor to help “make room for baby!” Spinning Babies reveal how the baby can find optimal positions for labor and make birth less painful!

Topics:

  • Learn about Spinning Babies Techniques
  • Belly mapping to tell the position of your baby
  • Daily Essential Activities
  • The Three Sisters of Balance and how they help birth muscles to relax and add comfort now to ease birth later.
  • Birth positions that open the pelvis that let the baby come through more easily
  • Bring your birth partner to learn how to help you in pregnancy for comfort in labor and birth

What to bring:

Bring along a yoga mat, towel, or small blanket for floor work. Dress comfortably in clothing that can accommodate a variety of positions.

Mindful Birth

Mindful Birth

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Format: Online via Zoom

Price: $50 per couple

Day & Time: Tuesdays, from 6:30pm to 8:00pm online

Note: This class does not cover general childbirth information such as interventions or coping strategies for labor. For that we recommend our 1-day, 2-day, or 4-week Childbirth class options.

This one-session online class will teach you practical skills to help prepare your mind for a positive labor and birth experience with mindfulness techniques, sports psychology, and the science behind labor hormones. Content from Gentlebirth® training is also included. 

Empowered Cesarean Birth Prep

Empowered Cesarean Birth Prep

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Format: In-person at 3074 Whitney Ave, Bldg 2, Hamden, CT, 06418

Price: $100 per couple

Date: Thursday, 6:00pm-9:00pm

This one session class covers everything you need to know to plan and prepare for a cesarean birth. This class is appropriate for someone either planning to have a cesarean or planning to have a vaginal birth who would like to have the information in case an unexpected cesarean should arise.

Topics Reviewed:

  • Reasons for cesarean births
  • How to prepare
  • What to expect when you arrive
  • What happens in the operating and recovery rooms
  • What to expect during recovery
  • Emotional aspects of a cesarean birth
  • How to mentally prepare for the birth
  • Calming techniques
  • Create a birth plan outline and affirmations
  • Your partner or support person’s role throughout

Infant Care

Breastfeeding Basics

Breastfeeding Basics

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Format: online via Zoom

Price: $50 per couple

Time & Day: (Online) Wednesday, 6:30pm to 8:00pm 

Note: This is a one-session, online course that covers all the essentials for breastfeeding. It is appropriate for those new to breastfeeding who are unable to attend the in-person version and those who need a refresher for their next baby. Partners are highly encouraged to tune in as well!

The online version of this class is included in EB Doulas Package 2 and Ashley & Dawn’s Comprehensive Doula Package. If you have signed up for doula services under one of these packages, there is no fee for this class. Please use the voucher code provided in your doula services registration email when you check out. 

Topics:

  • Benefits of breastfeeding
  • Getting a good latch
  • Positioning techniques
  • Establishing and maintaining your milk supply
  • Troubleshooting
  • Debunking myths and outdated advice
  • Pumping tips and tricks
  • How partners can help

Comprehensive Guide to Breastfeeding

Comprehensive Guide to Breastfeeding

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Format: In-person at 3074 Whitney Ave, Bldg 2, Hamden, CT, 06418

Price: $80 per couple

Time & Day: Saturday, 9:30-11:30

Note:

This is an in-person class that covers all the essentials for breastfeeding. Class includes hands-on activities with infant models to get a better feel for positioning as well as the opportunity to examine the equipment and supplies that will help you along the way. Partners are highly encouraged to attend!

Topics:

  • Benefits of breastfeeding
  • Getting a good latch
  • Positioning techniques including hands-on practice with infant models
  • Establishing and maintaining your milk supply
  • Troubleshooting
  • Debunking myths and outdated advice
  • Pumping tips and tricks including demonstrations of how the equipment is used
  • How partners can help

Infant Safety & CPR Class

Infant Safety

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Format: In-person at 3074 Whitney Ave, Bldg 2, Hamden, CT, 06418

Price: $80 per couple

Time & Day: Saturday from 9:30am to  11:30am

Note: This class is for educational purposes only and is not for CPR certification.

Keeping your new baby safe will be a top priority before he or she is even born. This one-session class reviews two important yet often overlooked topics – infant CPR and infant car seat safety. It can be taken before or after pregnancy, and is recommended for parents and any regular caregivers (grandparents, etc.). It is also appropriate for couples adopting a newborn baby. Bring your baby’s car seat with you to have it professionally installed by our certified child passenger safety technician at the end of class!

Topics:

  • Recognizing an infant needing emergent intervention
  • How to provide choking relief for an infant with an obstructed airway
  • How to perform CPR on an infant
  • Safe sleeping and protecting against SIDS
  • Car safety
  • Proper use of car seats and buckles
  • One-on-one help with installing your baby’s car seat

Newborn Care Class

Newborn Care Class

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Format: In-person at 3074 Whitney Ave, Bldg 2, Hamden, CT, 06418

Price: $80 per couple

Day & Time: Saturday, from 9:30am to 11:30am 

Note:

This one-session, in-person class reviews normal growth and development in infants from birth to 6 months of age. It is a fun, interactive class that will help reduce any anxiety you might be feeling. Activities include hands-on demonstrations and opportunities for practicing swaddling, diapering, and other infant care. This class may be taken during pregnancy or shortly after giving birth. It is also appropriate for couples adopting a newborn baby.

Topics:

  • Sleep habits
  • Feeding
  • Swaddling
  • Diapering
  • Baby wearing
  • Calming a crying baby
  • Family values clarification when facing unexpected challenges
  • Managing stress as new parents
  • Dispelling myths of early parenting

Babies Music Class: Music Folk

Babies Music Class: Music Folk

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Format: In-person at 3074 Whitney Ave, Bldg 2, Hamden, CT, 06418

Price: Please click here for price

Day & Time: Tuesday, from 10:00am to 11:00am

Note: Have you noticed that your baby can sing, or “coo” to you already but can’t speak yet? Studies show that they can match pitch as early as 2 weeks old. Try singing to them and listen for the sounds and reactions they make. Most parents don’t realize that their babies come into the world wired to make music. They are born ready to make music! 

In fact, “babies who participate in music classes with their parents/caregiver in the first year of life, smile more, communicate better and show earlier and more sophisticated brain responses to music” (Study from McMaster University). Not to mention all the other benefits by starting music as a baby. They develop so many skills; cognitive, social, emotional growth, language development, fine motor skills as they embark on their lifelong musical journey. This is such a wonderful activity to do with your baby to start to stimulate their brains and bodies and share the joy of music making and bonding with them as a baby. In this class we will not only learn music, but also some baby signs as well.

Parent Coaching

Parent Coaching

PLEASE COMPLETE THIS FORM TO BOOK

Format: Virtual

Price: $100 per couple

Day & Time: TBD, this will be decided with Ashley Minihan

Note: This is an in-person, private session

Your doula or pediatrician is a great source for advice after you have your baby, but some families are looking for a little bit more support. Through our Parent Coaching program, begin to anticipate your baby’s needs. Our Parent Coaches provide you with evidence-based infant and child development education, and partner with you to help navigate your way into parenthood. We will discuss sleeping, feeding, crying, discipline, typical and atypical development, and how to support your baby’s advancement through all of their growth stages. Parents can also monitor baby’s development through Ages and Stages screenings. Here you and your baby engage in activities that help track progress as well as be provided a referral for more in-depth assessment if there is concern.

Prenatal/Postpartum Health & Fitness

Hello First Trimester

Hello First Trimester

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Format: Online via Zoom

Price: $50 per couple

Day & Time: Thursdays at 6:30pm to 8:00pm

Note: Recommended before you reach 20 weeks.

This one-session, online class is appropriate for anyone needing support and information about what to expect during pregnancy. 

Topics:

  • Physical changes
  • Pregnancy comfort
  • Fetal development
  • Models of care and how to communicate with providers
  • What to expect at OB appointments and things to consider
  • How to enhance partner connection
  • Mental health
  • Nutrition & fitness
  • Warning signs
  • Support options

Birth Partner Massage

Birth Partner Massage

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Format: In-person at 3074 Whitney Ave, Bldg 2, Hamden, CT, 06418

Price: $100 per couple

Day & Time: Saturday from 2:00pm to 4:00pm

This hands-on class allows your partner or support person to learn how to be actively involved in easing the discomforts of pregnancy. Prenatal partner massage covers relevant anatomy, contraindications, techniques for relief of common pregnancy muscular discomforts, and massage ergonomics. We’ll also go into the best massage techniques for lower back pain, a common issue during pregnancy, so that you can unwind at home.

What to bring: Dress in comfortable clothing that can allow for a variety of positions. Please let us know before class of anything we should be aware of so we can offer modifications if necessary, or if you do not wish to be physically corrected.

Prenatal & Birth Prep Yoga

Prenatal & Birth Prep Yoga

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Format: In-person at 3074 Whitney Ave, Bldg 2, Hamden, CT, 06418

Price: $30 per class

Day & Time: Every other Sunday from 9:00am to 10:30am

Note: Connect with your ever-changing pregnant body with asana and restorative yoga. Practicing prenatal yoga is associated with a range of physical and mental health benefits, including boosting strength, flexibility, balance, and easing pregnancy-related discomforts. As important moderate exercise is during pregnancy, knowing how to rest deeply and rejuvenate is equally important. This class merges these two aspects to help prepare you for labor, delivery, and postpartum adjustment.

What to bring: Dress in comfortable clothing that can allow for a variety of positions. Bring your yoga mat, water, and a towel that can be folded to allow for comfortable sitting on the floor. If you have a high risk pregnancy or other special circumstances related to your health, consult with your OB provider to make sure this class is right for you. Please let us know before class of anything we should be aware of so we can offer modifications if necessary, or if you do not wish to be physically corrected.

Prenatal Yoga 5-Week Series

Prenatal Yoga 5-Week Series

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Format: In-person at 3074 Whitney Ave, Bldg 2, Hamden, CT, 06418

Price: $95 per series (5 classes)

Day & Time: Tuesday,  from 12:00 to 1:00pm

Note: You are welcome to sign up for more than one series if desired. Please let us know before class of anything we should be aware of so we can offer modifications if necessary, or if you do not wish to be physically corrected.

Connect with your ever-changing pregnant body with asana and restorative yoga in this 5-week series. Practicing prenatal yoga is associated with a range of physical and mental health benefits, including boosting strength, flexibility, balance, and easing pregnancy-related discomforts. As important moderate exercise is during pregnancy, knowing how to rest deeply and rejuvenate is equally important. This class merges these two aspects to help prepare you for labor, delivery, and postpartum adjustment.

What to bring: Dress in comfortable clothing that can allow for a variety of positions. Bring your yoga mat, water, and a towel that can be folded to allow for comfortable sitting on the floor. If you have a high risk pregnancy or other special circumstances related to your health, consult with your OB provider to make sure this class is right for you. 

Parent & Baby Yoga 5-Week Series

Parent & Baby Yoga 5-Week Series

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER 

Format: In-person at 3074 Whitney Ave, Bldg 2, Hamden, CT, 06418

Price: $95 per series (5 classes)

Day & Time: Tuesdays from 1:15pm to 2:15pm

Note: You are welcome to sign up for more than one series if desired. Please let us know before class of anything we should be aware of so we can offer modifications if necessary, or if you do not wish to be physically corrected.

Whether you are 6 weeks or 25 years postpartum, this class will help you! This 5-week series is designed to re-tone and reconnect to the pelvic floor and to create a stronger container in your core and back. We will undo the imprint of the pregnant body and re-introduce and re-center the body to its natural state. We will also work to counteract the repetitive positions from caring for your child. Join us to strengthen your body so that you move about in the world with more connection and awareness from within. These practices not only help us in our physical bodies, but also in our mental, spiritual, and emotional bodies, too!

What to bring: Dress in comfortable clothing that can allow for a variety of positions. Bring your yoga mat, water, and a towel that can be folded to allow for comfortable sitting on the floor. Classes can be taken with or without your baby present. 

Prenatal & Postpartum Group Fitness

Prenatal & Postpartum Group Fitness

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Format: In-person at 3074 Whitney Ave, Bldg 2, Hamden, CT, 06418

Price: $25 per class

Day & Time: Monday, from 6:00pm to 7:00pm

Note: Please let me know before class of anything we should be aware of so we can offer modifications if necessary, or if you do not wish to be physically corrected.

This small group class will offer a mix of movements with a focus on strength training for those in any stage of parenthood – preconception, pregnancy, or postpartum. Take the stress out of searching for the list of “safe” exercises or skipping out on your favorite moves. Your coach will take you through a heart-pumping, sweat-building workout that provides scaled options to build strength and confidence no matter where you are starting from.

Free Prenatal & Postpartum Support Groups

(FREE) Connect & Learn

(FREE) Connect & Learn

REGISTRATION IS NOT REQUIRED

Format: Online via Zoom

Price: FREE

Topic, Day & Time: Please Click Here to Review The Topic, Day &  Time 

Note: You must be a client of EB Doulas or Begin With Ashley  to participate in this group. The zoom link will be posted in our private facebook group.

A monthly zoom for all EB Doula clients prenatal and parenting with an educational presentation by a relevant speaker (pelvic floor pt, dog trainer to discuss baby and pets, chiropractor, naturopathic doctor, car seat tech, etc. We will also have Q&A at the end of each session.

(FREE) 4th Trimester Support Group

(FREE) 4th Trimester Support Group

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER:

Format: In-person at 3074 Whitney Ave, Bldg 2, Hamden, CT, 06418

Price: FREE

Day & Time: Wednesday,, 11:00am to 1:00pm

Note: hosted by New Life Doulas

Open to the public, community and support for new families.

(FREE) Latch & Weight Checks

(FREE) Latch & Weight Checks

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Format: In-person at 3074 Whitney Ave, Bldg 2, Hamden, CT, 06418

Price: FREE

Day & Time: Friday, 9am-12:30pm

Note: hosted by Milkin’ Melanin

Open to the public, community and support for new families.

(FREE) LGBTQIA+ Support Group

(FREE) LGBTQIA+ Support Group

REGISTRATION IS NOT REQUIRED

Format: In-person at 3074 Whitney Ave, Bldg 2, Hamden, CT, 06418

Price: FREE

Day & Time: Saturday, 2:00pm to 4:00pm (View our Calendar)

Note: Hosted by a queer peer.

Join other LGBTQIA+ families (preconception to 2 years old) for a social support group.

(FREE) Postpartum Support Group

(FREE) Postpartum Support Group

REGISTRATION IS NOT REQUIRED

Format: In-person at 3074 Whitney Ave, Bldg 2, Hamden, CT, 06418

Price: FREE

Day & Time: Friday, 11:00am to 1:00pm

Note: You must be a client of EB Doulas to participate in this group.

Create a connection with other new parents and facilitated by Ashley & Dawn from Begin with Ashley.

(FREE) Q&A With Your Local Doula

(FREE) Q&A With Your Local Doula

REGISTRATION IS NOT REQUIRED

Format: Virtual

Price: FREE

Day & Time: Monday, 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Note: You must be a patient of Begin With Ashley to participate in this group. The zoom link will be posted in our private facebook group.

Our Instructors

Ashley Minihan

15+ years of experience

  • CD(DONA), CLC, CPST, ICCE
  • Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician
  • Certified Lactation Counselor
  • Certified Childbirth Educator
  • Certified Spinning Babies® Parent Educator
  • DONA Certified Doula

Instructor for: Childbirth, Breastfeeding, Hello First Trimester, Mindful Birth, Spinning Babies, and Advanced Coping Strategies

Asha Evans
8+ years of experience
  • RN, LCCE, CLC
  • Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator
  • Lactation Counselor
  • Labor & Birth Nurse
Instructor for: Childbirth, Early Parenting, and Breastfeeding
Samantha Heenan

5+ years of experience

  • CD(DONA), CPST-I, CPES
  • Certified in Child Passenger Safety
  • Certified in Placenta Encapsulation
  • DONA Certified Doula

Instructor for: Infant Safety & CPR and Breastfeeding

Rebecca Greenberg

5+ years of experience

  • CD(DONA)
  • DONA Certified Doula

Instructor for: Early Parenting and 4th Trimester Support Group

Saskia Bergmans Smith
20+ years of experience

  • IAYT Certified Yoga Therapist
  • Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Instructor
  • 200-YTT (2004)
  • 500-YTT (2007)
Instructor for: Prenatal Yoga and Parent & Baby Yoga
Julie Robbins Birth Partner Massage Coaching
Julie Robbins
10+ years of experience
  • Licensed Massage Therapist
  • CEO, The Well for Women
Instructor for: Birth Partner Massage Coaching

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