We’ve searched high and low over the last few years to find you the BEST childbirth educator in NYC.
FPC is happy to announce that Birth Smarter is taking over our entire Wednesday evening education series! Starting this week, Ashley Brichter and her team at Birth Smarter will be in charge of bringing you all the education you need to prepare for an informed and empowered pregnancy and birth.
If you have taken Ashley’s 3-day Childbirth Prep course at FPC, you fully understand how excited we are for this change! Birth Smarter provides no nonsense education that leaves you feeling fully empowered for your parenting journey. If you haven’t interacted with her yet, we put together a few “Get to know Ashley” questions for you. Read on!
FPC: Tell us about yourself! Also, what’s your education and background?
Ashley: Right now I feel a lot like I’m living the instagram-worthy-working-mom-life. I have a five year-old and a two year-old, push a giant double stroller, and stress about them eating enough vegetables. For the last five years, I’ve taught childbirth classes on nights and weekends while primarily being at home with my kids. I knew I wanted to be a teacher since I was three years-old. Before babies, I went to Haverford College and studied Education and Political Science and though I thought I would commit to the life of a NYC Public School Teacher, I fell into working as a nanny and personal chef after graduating. I quickly became a postpartum doula, lactation counselor, birth doula and ultimately a childbirth educator. I am certified with CEA/MNY and Healthy Children, and trained with DONA International, Spinning Babies, Dream Birth Imagery, Lindsey Vestal for Pelvic Health and Wellness, Yiska Obadiah for Comforting Touch, Gina Kirby for Rebozo Techniques. I have taught for Birth Day Presence, Mount Sinai East, Fig Tree Childbirth, Bend and Bloom Yoga, and City Births, and wrote the curriculum for Birthly’s online classes. But, I was raised by two serial entrepreneurs and after putting in the hours for other people, I knew I needed to doing my own thing. Right now, I feel those nervous-excited feelings about growing Birth Smarter and working to change the narrative around pregnancy and parenting. Oh, also, I am born and raised in Manhattan, lived in Brooklyn after college and now live in Astoria, Queens.
FPC: Everyone that takes your courses LOVES the experience compared to other childbirth ed classes out there. What are you doing differently? What’s your secret?!
Ashley: Haha. There has been very good feedback lately… It’s so fun! But this is my greatest struggle as an educator and entrepreneur right now. I think there are a few differentiators. At the core of Birth Smarter classes is a unique way of thinking about childbirth. Instead of teaching the basics of “what to expect” or leaning in hard to “mental preparation” I present three essential physiological actions necessary for vaginal birth and then give expectant parents tools for improvising so they can feel empowered regardless of how their birth plays out. We also focus a lot on pelvic health and body literacy as it relates to birth! It’s a huge missing piece from other approaches. Also, I just figured out how to not be super boring…
FPC: What drives you to do this work?
Ashley: I want to change the world! In the cheesiest and most sincere way possible. It’s why I wanted to become a teacher in the more traditional sense of the word. Once I learned about birth, I realized that the beginning of life for newborns and the beginning of life for families has a huge implication for our future. Childbirth exists in a space where our healthcare system, employment practices, identity politics, and physical and mental health overlap. There is so much room for positive change!
FPC: What’s one thing you wish every mother (and partner) knew about childbirth or motherhood?
Ashley: I wish everyone knew that babies can be an impetus for building a better life as opposed to an interference. The way I see it we’re all sitting on a pregnant opportunity: when done well, preparing for birth and parenting invites folks to try on habits that can positively affect your physical fitness, mental health, and relationship!
Check out all of Birth Smarter’s offerings at FPC here: https://www.fpc-nyc.com/events/