Heart & Hands Beginning Intensives
Elizabeth Davis, Director/Instructor
Heart & Hands Beginning Intensives were originally founded by Elizabeth Davis in 1982. The class was developed at the request of a group of birth assistants seeking to acquire practical midwifery skills. Over the years and by demand, the class evolved to include basic introductory information and emphasis on the intuitive, interpersonal skills essential to effective midwifery care.
The purpose of the Heart & Hands Beginning Intensives is to provide students with a strong and integrated foundation in the art and science of midwifery.
Heart & Hands Beginning Intensives are ideal for those interested in discovering their unique relationship to the art and practice of midwifery. Students in the health field, therapists, nutritionists, childbirth educators, doulas—anyone who desires to empower mothers/gestational parents and their supporters in the act of giving birth is welcome to attend.
The course is designed to accommodate students at various levels of sophistication. No prerequisites—beginners are always welcome!
“I appreciated being in a safe environment, and being given a chance to speak from the heart and be validated in my experiences.”
M.S. Winter 2021
Heart & Hands Beginning Intensives are available in virtual format , with coursework that encourages students to incorporate personal experience in their learning process. Students should be prepared to spend time every day on reading and other homework. However, with the group limited to 14 participants, close personal attention from the instructor facilitates rapid integration of midwifery theory and practice. We support each other’s work in an open, egalitarian fashion. At all times, Heart & Hands students are expected to interact with respect for diversity of culture, belief, and sexual orientation/gender identification.
“This course was also far more than just an educational course. It was a deeply spiritual process of transformation, not only for myself, but other students as well. In a short span, we bonded and made friendships that I hope will last throughout our life times.”
M.R. Winter 2021
Heart & Hands Beginning Intensives coursework is also available in correspondence format…please contact me for details.
- History and Politics of Midwifery
- Prenatal Care and Complications
- Counseling and Communication Skills
- Intuition, Boundaries in Caregiving, Healing the Healer
- Nutritional Counseling
- Sexuality in the Childbearing Cycle, Sexual Abuse Issues
- Facilitating Labor and Supporting Physiologic Birth
- Labor Complications and Transport
- Perineal Assessment and Repair
- Newborn Complications and Neonatal Testing
- Postpartum Care, Breastfeeding, and Emotional Adjustments
- Homeopathy and Herbs in Pregnancy and Birt
- State Licensure and National Certification (CPM)
“I found the course itself to be easy to navigate. I felt that I was given all the necessary texts and instructions to succeed. The reference material you sent out was extremely helpful, as it helped me stay organized and on track. It also gave me a tool to use for self-accountability in that the homework assignments were listed for each class.”
L.N. Winter 2021
Skills demonstrations are made of taking blood pressure, assessing fundal height, fetal palpation and heart auscultation, pelvic and cervical examination, and intramuscular injections. Also demonstrated are techniques for assessing fetal position by internal exam, how to read a fetal monitor (in case of transport), hand maneuvers for assisting birth, special techniques for handling shoulder dystocia, posterior arrest, and retained placenta (including manual removal), and basic skills for assisting breech birth. We practice suturing as a group at the final meeting.
“The moments of learning skills always came after a lesson’s prefaced reading, and then a visual demonstration. I felt the readings come alive as I understood we were entering a space of sacredness and wisdom. These experiences have been the most powerful of the course, and I give great thanks for them.”
L.S. Fall 2021
Heart & Hands Beginning Intensives meet eight weekend days. Tuition is $1775, non-refundable/non-transferable and payable in advance. All BIPOC students qualify for a 10% discount, with tuition of $1600, same terms as above.
To register, please send payment in check or money order made out to Elizabeth Davis, to 3201 Burnside Rd, Sebastopol, CA 95472, along with a brief, birth-related bio, your email, and phone number. Upon receipt, I will email a confirmation letter with all the details, including required texts and their cost. As the start date approaches, I will email a PDF of course reference materials.
If you must miss a class, you can make it up in any subsequent series (space permitting) at a charge of $100, payable in advance.
Upon completion of the beginning course, students may enroll in the virtual Advanced Intensives, which cost $725, also payable in advance .
Questions? firstname.lastname@example.org (707) 695-6520 NOTE: Payment plans are available by special arrangement: contact me for details.
‘I feel incredibly fortunate to be learning from you, and that you make yourself accessible to student-midwives. I don’t take lightly your years of experience that being with women brings, the groundwork and contributions you’ve made to midwifery in the US, and the wisdom you carry from all your roles in this lifetime. Thank you for continuing to teach!”
L.A. Fall 2020
Students seeking further instruction may wish to enroll in the National Midwifery Institute, Inc. (a MEAC accredited program also recognized by the CA Medical Board) that incorporates the Heart & Hands Beginning Intensives. Those who enroll in NMI receive full credit for previously completed Heart & Hands coursework, and all tuition paid Elizabeth Davis is deducted from the initial down payment.
Academic credit for the Heart & Hands Beginning Intensives has also been granted by National College of Midwifery and Midwives College of Utah (by portfolio process). For students applying to these or other midwifery programs, letters of recommendation/class syllabus are available on request.
Additionally, this course covers core curriculum and many basic skills of Midwife Assistant Training.
“I was at three births in a 24 hour period this week and applied my knowledge from this course to assist the attending midwives. It felt so good to assist them in a way I never could before taking this course.”
A.S. Spring 2021
ELIZABETH DAVIS, CPM, BA has been a midwife, educator, and reproductive health care specialist for over 40 years.
She served as Pacific Regional Representative and the Education Committee chair for the Midwives Alliance of North America, President of Midwifery Education Accreditation Council, and consultant to the State of California’s Alternative Birthing Methods Study. She spearheaded the development of the NARM CPM process, calling the first meeting with participation from over 40 states. She holds a degree in Holistic Maternity Care, and is NARM certified. She is co-founder of the National Midwifery Institute, Inc.
Her books include:
Orgasmic Birth: Your Guide to a Safe, Satisfying and Pleasurable Birth Experience
Heart & Hands: A Midwife’s Guide to Pregnancy and Birth (now in its 5th edition)
The Rhythms of Women’s Desire: How Female Sexuality Unfolds at Every Stage of Life
The Women’s Wheel of Life