the best birth book

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Becoming a Childbirth Educator

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the author

Maureen Stevens, MSN has over 30 years sharing the birth experience with women and their families in and out of the hospital setting both as a labor and delivery nurse, childbirth educator, and hospital staff educator.  In the 80s  Maureen began  writing her book for use in private childbirth classes and began traveling extensively in Europe examining women's alternative obstetrical practice.  Maureen spent two weeks observing labor, birth and postpartum practices in Pithiviers, France where Michel Odent pioneered his natural childbirth techniques and began a center for those who wished to change opinions and practices in childbirth.  In 1985 became certified in the “Relaxation Response” with Herbert Benson, MD through the Harvard School of Behavioral Medicine, Cambridge, Mass.

In 1990 she became a hospital childbirth educator and used her own book, The Best Birth Book, in her classroom, utilizing her past experience, what she had learned in Europe and from Dr. Benson along with William’s Obstetrics, Varney’s Midwifery, Oxford’s Human Labor and Birth, and Myles Textbook for Midwives .  She believed that birthing women could understand the birth process if it was presented in an understandable format and that they deserved some of same knowledge that their health care provider possessed.  She felt that if they understood the process, their fear would decrease and they would began to look forward to their birth with anticipation and joy.  From her experience with birthing mothers she noticed the importance of the emotional aspect of labor and birth, the incredible mind-body connection and the intricate role of these both meshed with neurohormonal balance.  Her classes grew and people came from far and wide and her book grew.

Maureen has taught prenatal and postpartum fitness, movement awareness, yoga, infant massage and water exercise.  Currently she trains childbirth educators and conducts labor support workshops for nurses and professionals, teaches private childbirth classes, and is the Educational Director for BIRTH WISDOM, a perinatal/ labor support training course.  Maureen is an adjunct professor in Maternal-Child Health in the BSN program at Azusa Pacific University and teaches clinical at UCI. Maureen has also been on the faculty at Saddleback College School of Nursing where she taught Nursing Care of the Family in Labor and Delivery, Labor and Delivery Clinical Internship, Antepartum High-Risk Nursing, and Postpartum Mother Baby Couplet Care Nursing.

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