“Thank you for EVERYTHING. I know that it was everything you taught us that allowed us to feel so empowered and prepared even admist the chaos of it all.”
– E & R (who welcomed their first baby after a very fast 6 hour labor).
“I think Samanda’s class is a must for anyone considering an out of hospital birth. She does a great job of integrating the informational/educational piece with the experiential/practicing piece. And throughout the class she keeps a dialogue going to encourage us to ask questions and explore feelings and concerns that come up. The biggest positive in the class is that Samanda becomes your personal resource. She truly cares for her students and will help them in any way she can.
My own labor was very long and slow due my baby being in a posterior position and her determination to stay that way. After many, many hours of back labor (plus no sleep and no food) I was finally pushing. I was not making much progress with my pushing and my daughter’s heart rate began decelerating after contractions. My midwife said it was time to go to the hospital. My daughter was born vaginally at the hospital about four hours later. Samanda’s homework exercises and her lessons on pain coping mechanisms and birthing positions helped me endure a long labor. Her class also devotes time to hospital transfer. She helped us realize that we shouldn’t fear a hospital transfer and that we can have positive birth experiences after a transfer. This was true for us!”
– Janelle and Colin
“My husband and I took the Birth and Beyond class knowing already that we would have a hospital birth. Samanda did a wonderful job of including us in a class that was oriented towards homebirths and making sure that all of our questions about our particular situation were discussed and answered. The way that the class surprised me the most was the way that my husband became absolutely enthralled with the birthing process. He was the most amazing labor partner, responding to questions while I was in labor such as, “why do you want to delay cord clamping” with confidence in his educated answers.
I have no doubt in my mind that it is because of Naturally Prepared that we had an absolutely perfect natural hospital birth. I spent 2 hours of my 10-hour labor in the hospital, I never put on a hospital gown, never put my feet in stirrups, had a hep-lock instead of an IV, delayed cord clamping for over one minute, nursed immediately after birth and was given an hour before they even weighed or measured her, which they did right next to my bed. They even allowed my husband to catch our baby. I know that this is because we asked the right questions in the right ways and had valid reasoning to back-up every wish.
I have never felt more empowered than I did during my labor and delivery. I knew my body, I knew my baby, and I had no doubt that my baby and I were made to go through birth together, and that we could do it without pain medication or labor enhancers.
Samanda continued to be a resource for us when our baby underwent treatment for jaundice and will continue to be a resource as she grows. We know that we can come to her with any question and she will be delighted to help us. She is truly passionate about her work and will make you even more passionate about your birth.”
-Joanna and Maic
“Although we had already experienced labor and delivery once before, we found the Naturally Prepared classes provided plenty of new information, as well as a good review of what we already knew. We learned a lot of new labor positions, additional pain-coping techniques, and got some great ideas from Samanda and our classmates regarding how to handle the birth experience as well as postpartum and becoming a family of four. We really appreciated the natural/home birth perspective. Since our previous birth experience had been a hospital induction, the Naturally Prepared class gave us more confidence and assurance in our choice to have a home birth.”
– Joan and Christian
“The Birth and Beyond classes are completely amazing! We took Samanda’s class while pregnant with our second child and they prepared us for all aspects of our homebirth. We were confident in our choice of a natural birth and these classes gave me the coping methods to do it. Not only did the classes prepare us for homebirth, but when our homebirth transferred to the hospital, we were able to confidently make decisions for my care as well as our daughter’s. Learning to advocate for ourselves was as empowering as our natural birth! Thank you Samanda for providing us with all the information we needed (including recipes for freezer meals and how to set that tub up) and for attending Lillian’s birth as our wonderful doula!”
– Jen and Eric
“Taking the Birth and Beyond class really got us prepared for our home birth. Because this was our first baby and birth class, we really didn’t know what to expect. After we attended our first class, we knew without a doubt that this was the class for us. Samanda was very welcoming and warm. She is very educated on the whole birth process, both in the home and in the hospital. She taught us everything from birth positions to freezer meals. She prepared us as a couple, reminding us that we still need to make time for each other when baby arrives. We even learned tips on how to set up the birthing pool (they came in very handy ;). We looked forward to class every Wednesday. I wish we could have had class every week until our baby was born! The best part about Naturally Prepared is that you are surrounded with like-minded people who fully support your decision to give birth naturally at home. In my opinion, that is the most important part. Samanda is the best!”
– Erin and Jordan
“My husband and I learned so much at our Naturally Prepared class, not only about labor and birth but about ourselves and each other too. It was great to focus on the many elements of birth – physical, mental, emotional, etc., and to be able to learn in a comfortable, personalized environment. We also had the opportunity to address our fears during the classes, as birth plans can certainly take unexpected turns like ours did. In the end our son wasn’t coming naturally and cesarean was our only option left, but I was able to utilize the many coping techniques we learned in class to make it through. Samanda is a fantastic instructor with a great personality that made us feel comfortable and welcome right from the beginning, a strong passion for what she does, and she clearly has a wide range of knowledge about the birthing process and so much to share and offer expecting couples. I would recommend her class to anyone!”
– Jami and Justin
“When we found out I was pregnant, a friend suggested home birth as an option. No one in our families had ever had a home birth so we had no clue what to expect. Once we found our midwife, she suggested Samanda and Naturally Prepared. After doing a little research I thought the class would be well worth the information and help my husband be on board with my decision. I am so glad I made the call! My husband and I attended both of Samanda’s classes (Beginning the Journey and Birth & Beyond). Samanda did an excellent job of guiding both sides (mom and dad) which gave us the opportunity to discuss what was important to each of us. The last class solidified our choice to home birth for my husband. When he got to hear other Naturally Prepared couples tell their birth stories, he came on board 100%. We are so happy we choose homebirth and Naturally Prepared for our birth class. Thank you, Samanda, for all your hard work.”
– Chris & Sarah W.
“‘We are so grateful for you (Samanda’s) guidance and support throughout our birth experience. You came just at a point when we were ready for a “new start”. Right then is when things got rolling. Your gentle guidance helped me to get into the best possible space. I look back and the rebozo on the bed, swaying with Jason, vocalizing, having a “cathartic moment” crying and doing the squat with the rebozo on the door were some of the many sacred memories I have from the experience. Thank you for going out of your way to make me feel nurtured and protected. As a TEAM we brought baby Jaden into the world. I can’t thank you enough!”
“The Naturally Prepared class was awesome! Each session was packed with helpful info, great discussions/Q&A time, and really beneficial exercises and ‘homework’. The small class size, comprehensive handouts, and Samanda’s great personality made it a pleasure to learn about natural birth options and practices. Then, when I went into preterm labor and ended up delivering at a local hospital, Samanda was gracious enough to fulfill our last-minute request to be our doula. She offered amazing support, and between that and the “what happens if I transfer?” session of the class, we were able to cope with the sudden departure from our planned-for birth experience. Then Samanda offered lots of invaluable postpartum support as we navigated the foreign waters of the NICU. With so much compassion and expertise, I’m so, so glad that we were able to work with her during our birth preparation and experience!”
– Kate and Jeff
“The labor was fairly fast… Kevin worked very hard and what we learned from the class made all the difference!”
– Emily & Kevin
“Naturally Prepared taught me to fully “be”, to fully be in each contraction, to fully be in each moment, to fully be however, wherever and doing whatever each breath needed me to be doing…”
“We worked with Samanda for the birth of our second child. Many people questioned our need of a doula for a second birth; we used one for our first in a different state). There are many reasons. My husband and I both agreed after our first birth that having a doula was the best decision we made, and we would never dream of going it alone for subsequent births. Samanda did not let us down. She was everything we were looking for.
For us, a doula is the calm in the midst of a storm. Every birth is different. Every birth tells it’s own story and thus just because you’ve done it once doesn’t mean you’re a pro. Samanda met with us before the birth going over the many choices we were going to have to make and during the birth was able to calmly remind us what we chose and why. She also met with our son and helped us with that tremendous adjustment! I could go on and on…our experience with Samanda was amazing and I would recommend her to anyone.”
– Emily Thole Stark
“If you are looking for either birth preparation classes or doula service, you won’t find a more passionate teacher or doula than Samanda Rossi. Thanks to her classes, I was prepared with freezer meals and birth wish letters when I unexpectedly had to be hospitalized at 35 weeks. I was on bedrest and she came to my bedside and taught the last class of the session to me individually in my hospital room. She held my hand as I cried and reassured me as she helped me think through my birthing options. My husband and I then hired her as a doula.
Once I started labor, an hour in, my midwife told me to go to the hospital due to unexpected bleeding. Samanda met us at the hospital and stayed with us for 24 hours through Xavier’s birthI really appreciated how she coached me through movements and techniques to keep labor going. She helped us think through our options and make decisions and talked to the medical staff so I could concentrate on labor and my husband could concentrate on being my comforting, helpful companion. She allowed him to have breaks, so I was never alone.
In the end, she was the only consistent practitioner I had from my third trimester through birth. After I got home from the hospital, her postpartum visits really helped me transition to my new role as a mother. She is an excellent listener and a great comfort. And the meal she brought us was absolutely delicious! I highly recommend Naturally Prepared for both birth preparation classes and doula service. Samanda loves to learn, loves her work, and is always seeking ways to improve her services.”
– Jana Giger
“After previously having a child at a hospital and going to Lamaze classes, I assumed I knew everything about birth I needed to know. I went to Samanda’s class be supportive of my wife, and assumed I was going to sit there and be bored. To my disbelief, I learned a tremendous amount of information. I used the information we learned to advocate for my wife which helped us reach the best case scenario for our unplanned hospital birth. The “birth bible”, (the binder Samanda gives you), is a wealth of knowledge. I highly recommend this class to any new parent, or a refresh for a parent again (even if you assume you know everything about birth).”
“My wife and I had our first baby in a hospital on the east coast, which was not a terrible experience, but it was not ideal. We had decided that we would have our next child at a birthing center with a midwife. When we moved to Missouri, which didn’t have birthing centers, and then got pregnant, I was very skeptical when my wife started talking about home birth.
I decided to support her since she was going to be doing almost all the work. We found a midwife, and then started talking about classes, which I was not thrilled about doing at all. To be honest, I pushed her to choose Naturally Prepared mainly because it had the least amount of sessions. Classes started and I decided I would go into it at least appearing to be supportive and optimistic. I quickly started to look forward to the classes and even still miss them today.
Naturally Prepared covered all of the right information, Samanda was very accommodating for all kinds of questions and situations, and it was great to hear stories of other parents in all kinds of scenarios. I can’t imagine how we could have been better prepared for a home birth or for giving birth in general.
Since our experience, I am now an outspoken advocate of home birth and a strong promoter of Naturally Prepared. Instead of being scared and nervous as we were with our first child, the information we learned allowed our experiences with our second to be some of the best memories of our lives.”
– Andrew Bolin
“Samanda was invaluable to us. Her support and strength are so comforting to a mom at such a vulnerable time. I am thankful she entered our lives and I am honest when I say I feel like she is a guardian angel to my family and I. Just knowing she is a phone call away makes me feel like a more confident mother.”
“The class was an invaluable resource for us in pregnancy, labor and the initial postpartum period. But more than anything, we are so grateful for Samanda’s support. Knowing she is there, that she sincerely cares and that we are connected with the incredible community of Naturally Prepared families.”
– Sarah and Sean
“I am so grateful that my midwife suggested “Naturally Prepared 4 Birth” as a class that would help me “know what to do” since I felt so unsure of the birth process and how to give birth. I had many anxieties after my first birth experience and Samanda’s class helped me work through my feelings and prepare for my VBAC. I am so grateful for the knowledge I learned and valuable practice that helped me to feel comfortable doing what felt natural for me during labor.
Because of this class and the skills my husband and I learned- my second labor and birth was such a positive experience. I learned that there are so many variations of “normal” and that my body IS capable of birthing this baby. I labored with broken water for just under 75 hours- but was never worried about how “long” it was taking. Because I had a toolbox (physically and mentally) of helpful laboring tools and techniques to help me embrace this life changing event, and the all encompassing realization that this is how my labor is supposed to be and I don’t need to compare it to anyone else’s story. I was made to do this, the environment is right and we did it!
Baby girl A was born in the water, a successful VBAC and was 8lbs 4oz. I knew it was healthier physically (for me and baby) to plan a vaginal birth but I was not prepared for how much healthier I would feel emotionally and spiritually, what a blessing it was to feel empowered and strong and capable. I know that the class prepared me to better have this experience.
Although we had our baby out of the hospital, we did end up admitted to the hospital for jaundice a few days later. Because of the skills I learned in Samanda’s class I was able to steadfastly, but politely make my wishes known and honored. It made a world of difference in our collaboration and in the care my daughter and I received. The overall tone of our hospital experience was a positive one this time.
I also took the Vaccines and Circumcision class offered through Halley. I was so glad to get so much information on these subjects and in such an organized manner. I also appreciated the ease and open conversation of the class. The knowledge we gained here not only answered many questions but allowed us to ask more questions and ultimately make our decisions easier to make.
My family and I will be forever grateful that we crossed paths with the “Naturally Prepared 4 Birth” team and the knowledge they have helped us find. I would highly recommend these classes to all families preparing for a baby.”
“If you live in the St. Louis or surrounding area and plan to have a natural childbirth, I highly recommend taking Birth and Beyond classes. I pretty much told Samanda from the beginning that I was scared to death of doing it all natural, but that I was determined to. I told her we wanted to feel confident and prepared and that’s exactly what her class did for us. Thank you again Samanda! Our midwife told Kyle they need to hire him on staff at the birth center, LOL. He was awesome and used a lot of what he learned to support me!”