Kopa Birth® started in 2009 as in-person natural childbirth classes in Atlanta, GA. Since then, we’ve grown to feature services from a variety of birth professionals who are passionate about preparing women for a healthy pregnancy, unmedicated childbirth, and a smooth transition to parenthood. Kopa Birth® classes have helped over 20,000 moms & partners throughout the world, and we look forward to meeting you, too!
When I was pregnant with my first baby, I was a nursing student in the midst of my labor delivery rotations. Immersed in the study of the physiologic birth process, I was absolutely determined that I would have a natural childbirth! At the recommendation of my midwife, my husband, Seth, and I enrolled in a hypno-style birth class. My instructor had experienced a “pain free” hypno birth, and assured us that we could have a similar experience with enough practice. A pain-free birth sounded great to me! So Seth and I practiced guided imagery and deep relaxation daily. I felt prepared and excited!
A few months later, when labor finally began, I was relaxed and confident. But as active labor progressed and my contractions grew stronger and longer, I found it more and more difficult to focus on my relaxation scripts. And I felt discouraged and certain I was doing it all wrong because I wasn’t feeling the surges of pressure my instructor described…instead I was feeling PAIN. Over the course of the next several hours, I chose to have an epidural. My birth was safe and exciting, and it was a joy to have my baby. And yet I felt a tinge of frustration that despite my best efforts, I was very unprepared for the intensity of birth.
Fast-forward a few years, and I’m pregnant with baby #2. I again felt the desire to experience an unmedicated birth, but after studying the curriculum and philosophy of the most popular natural birth courses, none of them felt right to me. They were either too anti-medical, lacking in practical labor coping tools, or a bit too mystical for my taste. I wanted a course that fed both my emotional need for encouragement and my physical need for tangible tools.
I took my birth prep into my own hands and studied nursing textbooks and medical journals to better understand the birth process and evidenced-based practice for potential labor interventions. I studied natural birth books from authors like Penny Simkin, Ina May Gaskin, Dr. Robert Bradley, Carl Jones, and Grantly Dick-Read. I searched out old-school Lamaze DVDs from the library, and in conjuction with my nursing texts, I taught myself how to do patterned breathing techniques. While I continued to practice deep relaxation and guided imagery scripts, I also incorporated the best-practice in labor positions, pressure techniques, movement, and hydrotheraphy. THIS was the real preparation I needed.
Baby #2 was born 10 days after his due date following a pitocin induction. Due to his large size and posterior position, this birth was more challenging than my first, and I felt significant discomfort in my back. Yet despite it all, I felt more prepared, more confident, and less fearful. The pain was manageable, and after several hours of laboring, I experienced my first unmedicated hospital birth! I felt such a sense of strength, accomplishment, and pride in my body and my baby!
The natural hospital birth of baby #3 soon followed–another empowering life event–and my pregnant friends wanted to know all my secrets 🙂 I began teaching informal classes free-of-charge in my basement, and this kindled my passion for birth prep. Over time, I earned Lamaze Certification and alongside my nursing degree, I created my first formal childbirth course curriculum in 2009. Kopa Birth® began as private and group classes in Atlanta, GA. The classes were met with so much success that I took the course online in 2016.
Today, I have 7 children, ranging in age from 2 to 20, and have experienced 6 unmedicated hospital births. Professionally, I had the joy of helping over 20,000 couples prepare for their dream of a natural hospital birth! With feedback from our moms, the KOPA® PREPARED curriculum has been refined and improved over the years to become what it is today–a simple yet reliable framework to prepare your mind and body for a natural hospital birth.
Together, Seth and I have felt the thrill of positive pregnancy tests as well as the heartbreak of miscarriages. With some babies we were able to get pregnant easily, and with others we had as much as a 4-year gap in between. And each birth was different, too–like the unexpected epidural I had with my first, or the 6 unmedicated hospital births that followed. I’m compassionate with my mamas because I’ve been there, too…and I know that you’ve got a lot of questions.
…You can find me out jogging with my dog, cheering like “that mom” on the sidelines of a basketball game, sneaking in a date night at Aldi with Seth, or cooking a family dinner with my sisters.
I homeschool my kids, Scorpio, have run two marathons, 50/50 ESTJ and ISTJ, can’t ski or roller skate to save my life, and delight in moose tracks ice cream covered in peanut butter.
Seth is a dad of 7 with a BA from Brigham Young University and an MBA from Georgia Tech. He’s an expert at massaging, breathing with, and comforting his wife during labor. Seth manages technology, support, and generally keeping people happy at Kopa Birth®.
Tatum is the founder of Total Mommy Fitness and created the Prenatal Fitness program in the KOPA® PREPARED Plus course. She served in the army where she began her career fitness training. She has achieved personal training certifications from the National Academy of Sports Medicine, American Council on Exercise, Moms in Motion – SWA Fitness Education, and Maternal and Infant Nutrition – Nutrition Dimension. She went on to obtain a BS and MBA from TCU.
Rachel helped create the Kopa Birth® Relaxation Triggers class and is featured in the KOPA® PREPARED online birth course, as well. She received her BS in Rec Therapy and has worked with a wide range of clients, from troubled teens to laboring moms, teaching them the benefits of deep relaxation. Rachel is the mother of 6 and works as a labor and postpartum doula.
Bonnie helped create the Babywearing Basics class and is featured in the KOPA® PREPARED PLUS course. She is an accredited Master Babywearing Educator, certified through Babywearing International. She is also a mother and babywearing consultant in private practice. Bonnie’s mission is to help parents thrive in their role of caregiver, and she views babywearing as a tool to enable parents to both care for their newborn and accomplish the tasks of daily life.
Stephanie is the creator of the Kopa Birth® Meal Plans, and has worked as a hospital-based dietitian. She has a passion for nutrition, and has used food to help heal issues ranging from diabetes to ulcerative colitis. Stephanie is a natural-birthing mother of 6.