Great Starts Instructor

Kim James

Classes Taught:
Full series
Labor & birth miniseries
Newborn care

Kim James owns and operates and is a DONA International and PALS Doulas certified birth doula as well as a certified DONA birth doula trainer working at the Simkin Center at Bastyr University.She is also an ICEA and Lamaze® International certified childbirth and sits on the Education Committee at Parent Trust/Great Starts. Kim also volunteers her time on the Lamaze® International membership committee and serves as Washington State DONA International Representative. She and her husband develop birth- and parenting-related Facebook applications including BirthWatch and BirthSmarts.

I do this work because I believe effective parenting is one of the best ways to improve the world, and parenting begins with pregnancy and birth. My greatest pleasure as a childbirth educator is watching women become confident, joyous and excited about the birth and early parenting of their children. I firmly believe in using any fear and anxiety we might have to examine our choices and beliefs, and find ways of birthing and parenting that are just right for us. When I think about the power of preparing for labor, birth, and parenthood, Maya Angelou sums it up best: “When you know better, you do better…”. I also believe happiness comes from achieving realistic expectations. My job is to help you learn the skills and become confident about achieving what is realistically possible during childbirth and the early parenting period.

Family, hobbies, etc.
I love a good comedy podcast and never miss an episode of Adam Carolla, The Sporkfull, TBTL and Stack of Dimes. In the summers, my family (husband, Patrick and children Elizabeth and Catherine) tries to sail as far north as we can get in a month. I’m an avid reader, knitter, bicyclist, and swimmer.

Favorite thing about teaching:
Listening to a family plan for their baby’s arrival and witnessing the “light bulb” moments when they connect their own dots and solve their own dilemmas, challenges and anxieties about birth and parenting. Sometimes that happens in the first class, but more often toward class 6-8. It’s the greatest reward of this work!

Four adjectives that best describe teaching style:
Non-judgmental, flexible, conversational, supportive (and, I’ve occasionally been told the class is fun and funny)

What she’d like students to know prior to class:
The most common feedback I hear at reunions is “Thank goodness we learned those coping skills! They we so helpful!” Dress for comfort and get ready for a lot of active, physical learning. Families often stay connected to each other for years after their childbirth class. Who knows? You may meet your new best friends in this class!

Most important thing for students to take away from class: 
Skills and confidence

What Kim hopes to be doing in 5 years:
I’d like to say I’ll be somewhere with palm trees wearing a coconut bra, but the reality is I’m already doing what I’d still like to be doing in 5-10 years: Helping families prepare for the arrival of their babes.

Student Quotes:
“Very knowledgeable, gave great examples & responded well to individual concerns & questions.”

“Kim makes the unknown fun to learn about! She fluently handles delicate topics with confidence and professional candor that draws even the quietest of class participants into discussion. She encourages questions and makes great use of teaching aids to hold your attention. Very objective and well-balanced in her presentation.”

“Extremely knowledgeable, easy-going and on topic. Took time to practice real skills for breathing, positioning, comfort through heat, touch, etc. Awesome!”

Instructor Website: