After the hospital birth of her first daughter, Richfield native and current resident Erin Stertz-Follett decided she wanted the birth of her second to happen at home.
"I was inspired to do [a home birth] by my sister and others I knew who had done the same," Stertz-Follett explained to Richfield Patch. "[And] my husband and I took Lamaze classes to refresh ourselves, as our oldest had been born five years prior."
Stertz-Follett said the experience of her second daughter's birth and the recent death of her mother made her realize she wanted to help other women through this major life event and the idea for her new business, Flutterby Birth Services, was born.
"My home birth made me feel incredibly empowered—transformed, really—and I realized I wanted to help other women become as educated about birth as possible," she said. "It doesn't matter if they give birth in a hospital, birth center, or at home. Knowledge is power. Birth is transformative."
Flutterby features four-week classes for expectant parents and covers a broad spectrum of topics including having a healthy pregnancy, comfort measures for a shorter and less painful labor, the physiology of labor and birth, medical interventions, postpartum care and getting breastfeeding off to a good start.
Stertz-Follett studied journalism at the University of St. Thomas following her graduation from in 1995. Before her new venture, she worked in advertising and also spent years teaching and counseling job seekers who were receiving government assistance through various local nonprofits. Now, she is a Lamaze-trained childbirth educator.
Stertz-Follett said Flutterby is not just for those expecting couples doing home births. She said, simply, "childbirth education is for everyone."
"Lamaze is accredited and evidence-based; my motto is that I am not anti-pain meds in labor," she said. "I am anti-women not having the [information] they need to make informed decisions."
Classes begin July 15. Group classes will be held at Pearson’s Chiropractic in Edina, near Hwy 494 and France Avenue. Home classes are also available. For more information, visit Flutterby’s website or call 612-564-2442.