The Mind in Labor:
Working with Pain in Childbirth

Childbirth can be a challenging experience that often involves physical pain and anxiety. How we use our minds to relate to that pain and anxiety can make a huge difference in our labor and delivery experience.

Based on the mind/body work at the pioneering Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Clinic founded by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD at the University of Massachusetts, this will be a weekend for looking deeply at pain and fear during childbirth and for cultivating tools to work with them in the process of giving birth. In this workshop, you will:

  • Practice various mind/body modalities for working with pain in childbirth
  • Experience using the breath as an anchor to the present moment
  • Tap into inner reservoirs of strength, confidence and courage
  • Learn how to be fully present to give assistance as a birth partner
  • Begin to cultivate the powerful tool of mindfulness and moment-to-moment awareness for the challenges of birthing and parenting

This workshop is an excellent complement to any childbirth education class, including refresher classes. It can also be helpful for those who anticipate a birth experience that needs special medical attention or who have had a difficult previous birth experience. This workshop allows you time to go deep into the mindfulness practices, and includes partner-based experiential exercises.

Fee: $360 per couple / $180 per single


2016 Dates (Friday – Sunday):

  • 1/29 – 1/31
  • 4/29 – 5/1
  • 10/14 – 10/16
  • 12/2 – 12/4

Friday: 6:45 pm – 9:45 pm
Saturday: 9:30 am – 4:30 pm
Sunday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

You may register online.
Questions? E-mail us or call 415-353-7718.

This program is presented in collaboration with the UCSF National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health.

Mind in Labor: Effects of Mind/Body Training on Childbirth Appraisals and Pain Medication Use During Labor

Photo: Michael O'Neal

Photo: Michael O’Neal

Participant Quotes:

“I feel much more confident that I can handle the pain of childbirth–and anything else that happens!”

“Everything I learned over the weekend is a useful life skill, not only for childbirth but for parenting too.”

“I’m much calmer about the birth and now really understand how to support my wife — and myself — through the experience.”

Should you need accommodation in order to apply to or participate in a program offered by the Osher Center, please contact the Osher Clinic Education Coordinator at or 415-353-7718.


Mindful Birthing – Programs for Mindful Family Living, founded and taught by Nancy Bardacke, Certified Nurse–Midwife and mindfulness teacher.

Great Expectations – all classes offered by UCSF Women’s Health Resource Center to help expecting mothers and their partners learn more about pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, and parenting.

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