On Mondays we highlight our members so you can get to know the Island Birth Association community a little better! This Monday we meet Kim Graves, who teaches Birth Boot Camp classes and is a founding board member of Island Birth Association.
Tell us a little about yourself and your business.
I teach Birth Boot Camp childbirth education classes. I offer several different classes: a 10-week comprehensive & modern class, a natural birth refresher class, and very recently I started offering an early pregnancy class which concentrates on nutrition & exercise and choosing your provider and place of birth, and a sibling class that prepares older children to be at the births of their new baby brother or sister.
What attracted you to birth work?
I took a 12-week birth class with my first pregnancy and I ended up having an amazing natural hospital birth. I knew right then I wanted to teach childbirth education once my kids were a little older. When the time came, I shopped a lot for which company I wanted to certify with. I wanted something comprehensive. I think one, or several day classes are ok, but I really wanted something to encompass as much of pregnancy and birth as possible. I wanted something modern and up to date, and something evidence based. Birth Boot Camp was a brand new company at the time and I knew it was exactly what I was looking for, and I was excited to get in on the ground floor. The company is so full of passionate, intellegent, supportive women and I love that I can pass that energy on to my students.
How does your service help women and families?
One thing that really attracted me to Birth Boot Camp is that it's not a method. I don't teach one right or wrong way to give birth, but instead give my students tools to find what works best for them. We talk about pros & cons of so many aspects of birth so they can make informed decisions for their body and their baby. I truly believe women and families need more information so they can be empowered to make decisions to lead them to the birth THEY want, not what I or their friends or anyone else wants for them.
What's one thing you'd like us to know about you?
I grew up in Hawaii but wasn't introduced to military life until I met my husband. It's my role as military wife that attracted me most to Birth Boot Camp: the military theme that is more attractive to many men than the sometimes "touchy, feely" themes birth education uses; the ability for my students to do up to 4 classes online, so their deployed spouse can "attend" class too; and the option to do classes completely online so both mom & dad get the same educational experience. I've known countless women who have given birth without their husbands present, and I've done it once myself, so supporting that unique experience is something very important to me.