Central Street Farmhouse in Bangor is offering a natural childbirthing class this September for parents-to-be, and owner Betsy Lundy hopes it kicks off a series of classes focusing on topics from infant care to family planning.

Lundy, who co-owns the home brewing store and the adjoining Maine Cloth Diaper Company with her husband, said classes were always part of the store’s business plan. And while it took a few years and a lot of planning, she’s excited to see them come to fruition.

“I’ve been quietly working on curriculum in the background, finding like-minded birth professionals who wanted to work with me. I’m really excited because on some levels this has always been the end game for us,” she said.

Lundy hopes the classes will help parents have a positive birth and postpartum experience.

“A lot of moms come through the store who are looking for ways to improve their chances at a natural birth, and a lot of that has to do with education,” she said of the upcoming September class.

The store has long supported breastfeeding and natural parenting practices such as baby wearing and co-sleeping. Most recently, the store started a dads support group that meets once a month. Most of the other classes tentatively planned follow the natural parenting theme, but Lundy said it’s more about giving people information than influencing them one way or the other.

“I want people to be prepared for any kind of birth, but really armed with what they need to know,” she said.

Other classes she hopes to hold in the next few months include natural family planning, infant care, baby sign language and one called “You’re pregnant, so now what” for soon-to-be or newly pregnant couples.

The natural childbirth class, which will run four weeks, will be capped at five mothers-to-be and their support persons. It will be taught by Laura Donnelly, a certified professional midwife, birth doula and certified lactation counselor. Topics will include staying healthy to help reduce the chance of having a high-risk pregnancy, the physiology of birth, stages of labor and creating a birth plan, among others.

The cost is $185. To register, visit www.maineclothdiaper.com/Natural-Childbirth.html or call the store at 992-4454.

Natalie Feulner

Natalie Feulner is a journalist and “semi-crunchy” cloth diapering momma to a rambunctious toddler named after a county in California. She drinks too much tea and loves to climb rocks but not at the...