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By Jess Macinko
News Editor 

Tailored classes in childbirth available


Jess Macinko

BABY STEPS TO GIVING BIRTH: Kelly Martin, above, and Adria Dobiash are offering classes in childbirth.

Goldendale's expecting parents have a new resource for childbirth classes. This weekend, student midwives Kelly Martin and Adria Dobiash will be teaching the first in a series they plan to offer once a month.

The classes will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 25 and 26, at Highland Midwife Birth Services, 114 W. Main St., right between Comprehensive Mental Health and Programs for Peaceful Living. They are meant to be taken consecutively. "We're going to cover pretty much everything there is to cover with pregnancy, labor and birth," says Martin. Topics include anatomy and physiology, fetal development, breathing techniques, body positions and partner support.

Instruction will be tailored to meet each couple's needs, from parents who have never given birth to those who haven't had a baby in a while, from those planning to deliver in a hospital to those who choose home birth. Martin says the classes will accommodate a range of learning styles.

"Some people learn by doing, some learn by talking, and others would rather just be quiet in the corner. There's lots of different ways you can approach labor-I'm able to teach the appropriate method for what works best for [each couple]."

She also encourages both partners to attend. "We do a lot of hands on practice for [couples] to do together, so Dad's not a deer in the headlights wondering what to do."

A doula with 25 years' experience, Martin says it's apparent when couples have had childbirth education, because they have less fear and uncertainty about the process.

"Very few parents have actually seen a birth the first time they have a baby." Birth classes let first-time parents know what to expect, reduce anxiety, and generally lay the groundwork for a better birth experience.

"It's the hardest work you'll ever do," Dobiash says. "A human being is coming out of your body. But it doesn't have to be a scary experience."

Both Martin and Dobiash have taught childbirth classes in the past-Dobiash in Tacoma, Martin in Minnesota and Selah. Both attended Midwives College of Utah but didn't meet until they became students of Lorri Carr, owner of Highland Midwife Birth Services.

Carr speaks highly of Dobiash. "She's had a tremendous amount of training. The only thing she has left to do is some births, and then she'll be [a licensed midwife]." Dobiash's interest began with volunteering at hospitals. She hopes the birth classes will expand into more programs to serve community needs.

Martin is also on the path to licensure, and is currently finishing a B.S. in family social science from the University of Minnesota. She cites that degree, along with her years as a doula, as the motivation for teaching birth classes.

"I love the bonding of families, the growing relationships within families, and birth has a huge impact on YOUR development as a family as far as bonding goes."

Martin currently lives in Selah, where she operates Treasured Birth, LCC. She commutes to Goldendale to study with Carr and assist in deliveries.

Including both days, the classes cost $75. Martin wants the classes to be accessible to all families, and is open to negotiating a sliding pay scale on an individual basis.

The space can accommodate up to five couples. To sign up or for more information, call Kelly Martin at (952) 212-8634 or Adria Dobiash at (509) 767-7089.


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