Important FAQ

Important FAQ to assist the first-time mother (parents)

Class Location:   Currently online with a culminating, live Q&A session.


Q: Is “Prepared Childbirth” the same as “Natural Birth” (i.e., no medication)?

The classes prepare women for all types of births and with each form of medication (or none at all). All birth options are presented, so well-informed decisions can be made by the laboring woman, her birth partner and the medical professionals aiding the birth. The class is balanced in the presentation; no dogmas are stressed.

Q: Who presents the childbirth classes?

A private professional service, Birthing Basics, LLC has provided classroom and online education since 2008.  Many of our students have been personally recommended to take these classes by their primary obstetrician, friends who’ve taken classes and staff from several different doctors’ offices here in the Metropolitan DC area.

Q: What are the credentials of the instructors?

Lisa is an RNC-OB (certified RN in Inpatient Obstetrics). She is certified by International Childbirth Educators Association (ICEA), a professional organization that supports educators and health care professionals who believe in freedom to make decisions based on knowledge of alternatives in family-centered maternity and newborn care.  She also holds the certification for being an instructor for Basic, Intermediate and Advanced Electronic Fetal Monitoring (C-EFM).  Instructors must complete a demanding program, which includes testing for certification and continuing education to become certified as experts.  She is also a certified childbirth Doula through Prepared Childbirth Educators and continues to advocate for evidence-based maternity services here in the Washington DC metropolitan area.

Q: How does a labor partner help during birth?

The labor partner is extremely important during birth and actively participates, giving the laboring woman comfort and support. By taking these classes the partner is knowledgeable, able to help in decision-making and bonds closely with the mother and baby.

Q: At what point in pregnancy should the childbirth course/seminar be taken?

Ideally, the course should be started late in pregnancy (about one to three months before the due date; 28th – 32nd week (as late as the 36th week if needed, but there is a risk of delivering early) of pregnancy, but sooner is better than later), so the information and training are still fresh in mind when the time comes. If you are at risk for preterm birth, on bedrest, or have any high-risk factors, we recommend that classes should be taken as soon as the 24th week of pregnancy, no later than the 32nd week.  We recommend that you enroll early in your pregnancy since many classes fill well in advance.

Q: How do I get more information, register, and pay?

Class descriptions, syllabi, tuition, plus group, high risk and comfort measures class date(s) are listed on the web page; just click onregistration to register and pay.

Registration couldn’t be easier! Just get online; you can do everything over the internet–no paperwork!  You’re welcome to use PayPal, which accepts various credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, etc.) and bank accounts plus debit cards, Zelle, check/money order, mailed to Birthing Basics is also an option, but the registration isn’t complete until the check is received; payment is due at registration.  Venmo is also available and can be used for Comfort Kit purchases. To pay with an FSA/HSA card, please call 703-994-2044.   A letter of confirmation will then be mailed to you that confirms the date(s), times for each class.  Receipts and a certificate will be given on request.

Q: Does insurance cover the cost of childbirth classes?

Some health care insurance plans or health “flex spending accounts” do cover the tuition of taking childbirth classes. If you check with customer service for your insurance plan or benefits plan, you may find that you can file for reimbursement. If “Childbirth Education” benefits are included in your policy, the certificate of completion and receipt that we provide should suffice to submit for approval to repay all or part of your tuition.

Q: What if a class is rescheduled or cancelled?

Besides inclement weather, Illness, injury, emergency, or some other unforeseen circumstance may occur necessitating a class be rescheduled or cancelled.  While this is an extremely rare phenomena, it could happen.

Birthing Basics will attempt to make a decision as soon as possible once an issue arises, but there is no control over issues leading to this type of decision.  Birthing Basics will attempt to create a new make-up class date as close to the original class date as possible, and as the instructor’s schedule permits. The next alternative is students may reschedule into an alternate, already upcoming class date, if space is available; please contact Birthing Basics to reschedule for another class.

As a last resort, if no dates are amicable or available, a refund will be issued.

Q: What is the refund policy?

ALL CANCELLATIONS MUST BE MADE AND CONFIRMED 14 DAYS PRIOR TO CLASS START. Student cancellations prior to 14 days of the class start will receive a refund and are subject to a 20% cancellation fee. Student Cancellations within 14 days prior to the class start date are subject to no refund.

Q: What is the policy for attending make-up classes?

Depending on availability, you are welcome to make up a class in another group class. There is no extra charge, but you must call to reschedule your make-up class.  Re-scheduling/multiple re-scheduling’s, then a subsequent cancellation will be subject to no refund.

Q: Which size exercise-fitness-yoga-birthing ball should I buy?

Height is the biggest factor, but body type and size can play a factor.  The biggest thing is that you’re not sitting too low while on the ball, it’s harder to get up.  Below is a guide/rule of thumb.


Height                       Ball Size

5’0″ to 5’5″              Small: 55cm/22″

5’6″ to 5’11”            Medium: 65cm/26″

6’0″ to 6’3″              Large: 75cm/30″

Buy the Right Size Ball

The rule of thumb is that you want to be able to sit on your ball with your legs at a 90-degree angle or slightly more, but not less. Use these guidelines when you buy a fitness ball: If you are 4’11” – 5’4″, get a ball that is 55 cm. If you are 5’5″ – 5’11”, get a ball that is 65 cm.

Q: Birthing Basics vis-a-vis Lamaze.

I am certified with ICEA, which is the International Childbirth Educators Association. We are closely affiliated with Lamaze, but ICEA allows us creativity in teaching to incorporate different modalities where Lamaze sticks more closely with the Lamaze curriculum. I incorporate diverse techniques including Lamaze, Hypnobirthing breathing techniques, massage techniques (including Cook Counter Pressure, also featured in Spinning Babies), acupressure, and Spinning Babies… I discuss what you can do to facilitate the best birth outcome and provide the statistics to understand best what may lead to requiring anesthesia in the birth process. My classes are evidence-based since I’m still teaching nurses at George Washington University Hospital. I add to my curriculum as new research provides wisdom to birth practices.

Debra Flashenberg writes a great article about the main childbirth philosophies taught; this should help you gain deeper insight into what you are seeking for your own birth experience:

Understanding The Different Methods of Childbirth Education