highly qualified instructors leading specialty classes

Mary Gillett, BSW, MS CD(DONA)

Director of Education and Community Outreach, Doula

As a DONA certified doula who has been active in the “birth” world for about thirteen years, it is a pleasure to be able to combine my passions for educational development with low-intervention, family-centered birth. So many of us have said for years, “Greensboro needs a birth center,” and it has been a pleasure to be on this team during this exciting time.

My role is to ensure that relevant and quality education is offered to families and birth workers in our community. We love joining hands with some of the finest educators in and around Greensboro, and I especially love it when we can offer a selection of topics that may not be available in other settings.

I have a Bachelor’s of Social Work, a Master’s in Adult Education, and I have spent the bulk of my professional life as a Public Health Educator, including training, conference planning and curriculum development.

I am originally from Michigan, but I have been here for twenty-five years and have no intention of being that cold again! Thirty-eight years ago, I married my best friend, whom I met in church. We are enjoying empty nest travel and having our two married adult children pretty close by but not living under our roof. They and their spouses, our grand-daughter and our rescue dog and cats are our pride and joy. I love all water sports, but especially anything sailing or boating related. We spend as much time at the coast as we can get away with and I “might” have a problem binge watching HGTV, especially “Beach Front Bargain Hunt!”

Water birth Essentials

Laboring and giving birth in the water is a gentle form of comfort for both mom and baby. In this two-hour class we will separate fact from fiction, and learn about the equipment needed, the management of the pool, where to buy and rent equipment and how to use water most effectively in labor. Participants will receive a certificate at the end.

This class is offered for all participants at no cost. It is required for all MBC clients planning to labor or birth in the tub. To register contact instructor Mary Gillett at

✿Classes marked with a ✿ are offered at no charge to Magnolia Birth Center clients.

Erin Balkind

I am a Registered Cranialsacral Therapist and a Licensed Massage Therapist and have been practicing bodywork since 1996. In 2009 I received my Master’s in Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and completed a Prenatal and Perinatal Professional Training in 2016. Helping babies get a good start to life is my passion. I enjoy this class because it gives parents the information they need to have confidence in their baby’s ability from birth, which results in more confident babies and families as they move forward in life together.

Magical Hours: Attachment & Bonding at Birth

From bonding to breastfeeding, those first two hours make all the difference! So much happens at birth, from hormone surges to setting in as a family. Come discover just how important an uninterrupted two hours is for a family.

Class is $15 per couple. To register call instructor Erin Balkind at 336-209-4929.

Sarah Carter

I have enjoyed working with newborns for 11 years now. Around nine years ago I transitioned out of the medical setting and decided to support families as a childbirth instructor and doula! I have been a Bradley Method Instructor and Certified Birth Doula since 2009 and trained as a placenta encapsulator in 2012. I love seeing families feel empowered and confident during this special time in their lives!

Bradley Method Childbirth Class

Bradley Method is a natural childbirth series that focuses on giving mother and her partner access to information and be empowered to make decisions during her pregnancy and labor.  Classes will go over all the options for birth and couples will walk away feeling confident to make decisions they feel are best.  Our primary goal is healthy mom and baby.

To register contact instructor Sarah Carter at Cost is $325 per 10 week series. The next series starts January 6.

Christina Flaherty

I became a breastfeeding and childbirth educator after giving birth to my second son. My goal is to help women have the best, safest, and most rewarding birth and postpartum experience possible. I am a Certified Lactation Specialist offering classes as well as in-home breastfeeding support to new mothers.

First Weeks: Breastfeeding & Bonding

Second Thursdays 6-9pm

Get off to a great start on your breastfeeding journey in the first few hours and days at home. This three hour breastfeeding class will cover latch, physiology of milk production, how labor and birth can affect breastfeeding, and the benefits of a great breastfeeding relationship between mom and baby.

To register, contact instructor Christina Flaherty at Cost is $25 per couple (waived for MBC clients.)

Karen Hornfeck

As the mother of three children, I know first-hand that all labors are different. I used Hypnobirthing with all three of my labors and know that the techniques can help mothers birth peacefully and free of fear. I am grateful to have a chance to help families birth they way they want to and afterwards, utilizing HypnoMothering, help mothers learn to trust their own intuition as a parent and find support. A supportive community is a gift that every mother and baby deserve.


This comprehensive birth preparation series gives mother and their partners all the tools needed for a calm and peaceful birth. Using guided meditation, self-hypnosis and visualization, expectant mothers learn to break the fear-tension-pain cycle that often causes discomfort during labor or birth. Mothers are taught techniques to eliminate anxiety and promote deep relaxation. Five classes, each two and a half hours long, will combine instruction with hands-on practice. Students will receive a book, two relaxation CD’s and a script for at-home practice. Hypnobirthing was developed by Marie Mongan, a hypnotherapist and mother herself. It is the only birth preparation program developed by women, for women.

Cost is $275 per couple. Register with instructor Karen Hornfeck at Signup Genius

Dawn Leonard

After birthing my son at home in 2013, I felt called to work with other women to prepare for empowered birth. I hold E-RYT 200 and RPYT yoga teaching certificates; trained with DONA as a birth doula; and have Reiki Master attunements and a Reiki for Fertility, Pregnancy, Birth and Postpartum certificate. Through Sacred Rhythms, I combine my experiences in yoga, birth and energy work to facilitate other women into and through their experiences of motherhood. In July of 2018 I birthed my second son at home and I am deeply passionate about the powerful forces that can move through us as women when we become fully present to our bodies.

Prenatal Yoga

Wednesdays 6-7:30pm

In this class you will be invited to connect with your body and your baby to prepare for birth and motherhood. Expect to move with your breath and intention in a slow flowing practice with gentle opening, strengthening, breathing, visualization and relaxation techniques in preparation for an empowered and joyful birth.

Cost is $15 for drop-in, $50 for 4 classes or $100 for 8 classes. To register email Dawn at

Suronda Ricketts, RN, BSN, CCE

I am a certified childbirth instructor, trained doula and lactation educator. I bring twenty-plus years of nursing experience in maternal and child health into my classroom.  I love to have a fun, interactive class with lots of questions and discussion.  I believe the difference between  a positive and negative birth experience is your state of mind and labor support. We will work together to make sure everyone is well prepared not only for birth, but for bringing that little one home in those first weeks of life. I am married with one teenage daughter.

Your Best Birth

✿Your Best Birth is a four-week basic childbirth series for first-time expectant parents, or a great refresher for parents who have given birth before, but are striving for a more natural birth experience. While open to anyone, this series is tailored for those who are giving birth in a low intervention environment such as Magnolia Birth Center. Classes cover third trimester progression, the physiology of labor, relaxation and positioning techniques, as well as labor support for an unmedicated birth.

This childbirth series fills quickly and requires pre-registrations. Cost is $120 per couple (waived for MBC clients). An additional support person may attend if space allows. The series is four classes and students should plan to attend all four classes from the beginning of the month. To register contact Suronda Ricketts, RN, at or 336-669-5644.

Please wear comfortable clothes and bring a favorite pillow. No children please. NOTE – if you are planning to labor in the tub, you must also take the waterbirth class separately.

Hello Baby

✿Hello Baby! is an interactive hour and a half class covering the basics of caring for both newborn and mom in the important days following birth, as well as that all important fourth trimester. Class will cover newborn characteristics, baby and postpartum care for mom, and when to seek medical attention.

To register contact instructor Suronda Ricketts, RN, at or 336-669-5644. Cost is $30 per family unit (waived for MBC clients.)

Tag Woods

I am Tag Woods and I am the creator of Body Philosophy Massage and Bodywork for Women. I am certified in Fertility Massage, Prenatal Massage, Massage Birth Assistant (Doula), Newborn and Infant Massage and Instruction and Postpartum Massage. I share this work and knowledge to share my vision for honoring the birth journey. These unique and intimate courses are offered in Greensboro and Winston-Salem.

Nurturing the Pregnant Couple

Nurturing the Pregnant Couple is a three hour class focusing on massage techniques to benefit the expectant mother, her partner, and their baby. Students will learn nurturing and effective massage techniques, and give moms a pregnancy massage. Participants will also learn positions and acupressure points to assist in the labor process. Partners will receive “shiatsu” massage.

Cost is $45 per couple. Please do not bring children or additional family members. To register contact instructor Tag Woods at or call 336-992-6135.

Baby’s First Massage

Infant massage is a simple, research-based way to promote a nurturing connection in a time often stressful for both baby and family. It offers coping skills for common issues such as little sleep or irritated digestion. The process is a simple way parents can communicate with their babies through massage, increasing the bond and learning sensitive touch skills to create a strong family foundation of love, esteem and respect.

Cost is $18 per family. To register contact instructor Tag Woods at or call 336-992-6135.