Meet Amy Brooks Murphy, founder and owner of Before and After the Birth
Amy Brooks Murphy has helped hundreds of parents and babies in Central Iowa over the last decade and a half through her work in childbirth education, community building and parent empowerment. Dr. LoRang and his wife, Abbie, have seen first-hand how her expertise, care and compassion can make a difference in the experience of preparing for and having a baby. Learn more about Amy’s passion and what is next for her in Des Moines.
Tell us a bit about before and after the birth, why you started it and how it’s evolved.
I’ve been educating and empowering pregnant and postpartum people for 15 years. Childbirth class topics include labor positions, relaxation, birth plans, mucous plugs, birth affirmations, postpartum care, the real reason women have breasts and so much more. Pregnancy is not an illness!
My postpartum playgroup meets every Tuesday morning at the Clive Public Library. Anyone with a little one is welcome and it’s okay if you’re running late. It’s free, relaxed, casual, safe and all good.
My placenta encapsulation service helps make life with a new baby as positive and powerful as possible.
I know from my own birth experiences that a woman’s body was designed to give birth spontaneously, vaginally and naturally. I have never felt more powerful as I did after the birth of all four of my children. My birth experiences taught me about patience, flexibility, perseverance, unconditional love and that I can do anything I set my mind to. My passion is spreading love and power to pregnant people.
What makes your approach different?
My motto is: “If you don’t know your options, you don’t have any.” I educate women and their partners to not only know their options, but to actively participate and take responsibility for the birth of their baby. We discuss the important questions like, “Is this procedure necessary?,” “What will this procedure tell us?” and “What is best for my baby?”
If you’re not prepared and something unexpected was to happen, you would always wonder ‘What if?’ What if you would have used a different care provider who understood your beliefs and goals? What if your partner would have known more ways to comfort and support you? What if you would have known more about your options? I help pregnant people make informed decisions and figure out what is best for their sweet families because I believe that knowledge is power.
How does your business help people?
After pregnant people take my class, I offer continued support at my weekly postpartum playgroup. Every week there is an opportunity to get breastfeeding support, ask questions, share concerns and celebrate accomplishments. Parents have the chance to see old friends from childbirth class and to make new friends, too. Many new parents are going through similar joys and challenges and getting together leads to great things. Perhaps most importantly, this weekly gathering helps remind parents that they are not alone.
What’s the one thing every mom/dad should know before having a kid? And after having a kid?
I like to remind pregnant people how lucky they are. There are so many people who would give anything to be in their situation. I also absolutely love helping women find their badass birthing warrior within.
After they have their baby, it’s important to take time to really get to know that fresh, teeny human. They might look like mom or dad, but they are their own little person and they will teach you and love you more than you ever thought possible.
What do you love about the Des Moines community?
I love Des Moines because there is room for people to follow their passion and do their own thing. I’m one of the only childbirth and postpartum educators in town, so I have the honor of hanging out with the coolest pregnant people ever!
In addition to childbirth classes and the postpartum playgroup, I facilitate an on-site mom’s support group at a local business. We meet over the lunch hour and talk about whatever is on everyone’s minds. I hope to offer this service to more businesses in our area. Working moms need this kind of connection and support.
Learn more about Before and After the Birth
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