February 22, 2023
Series: Brilliant Activities for Birth Classes - Fun Icebreaker Questions for Childbirth Classes
By: Sharon Muza | 0 Comments
For this month’s Brilliant Activities for Birth Educators activity, we turn our attention to icebreakers. Merriam-Webster defines an icebreaker as “something that is done or said to get through the first difficulties in starting a conversation or discussion.” Using a short icebreaker is a quick way to start your perinatal classes in a fun, informal manner. Icebreakers serve several purposes; they provide an opportunity for class participants to find commonalities with others in the cohort, it lets everyone learn something unique about others, it sets the tone for your classes in general as fun and informative and it accommodates the stragglers before you begin introducing new content. Find all the past Brilliant Activities for Birth Educators here.
When to conduct the icebreaker
Using an icebreaker when the class comes together for the first time helps to calm the nerves and jitters that some people may feel when their birth class meets for the first time. Start off your class with one of the fun icebreakers below to put everyone at ease. If you are offering a series, consider starting each week with a different icebreaker, so that the community continues to grow.
How long to allow for this activity
Icebreakers should be short and sweet, so the facilitator can move on to the learning content. Plan for no longer than 10 minutes at the beginning of class to move through the icebreaker topic you have selected.
How to conduct this activity
Introduce the icebreaker topic to the class. You can have it written on the white board or a sheet of poster paper, or up on a slide in your slide deck or just verbally share what it is. Ask for a volunteer to go first. After they have answered, invite them to select another person/family to speak. If appropriate and depending on the question, each person in attendance can answer for themselves, or the family can answer as a unit.
If the icebreaker also serves the purpose of collecting resources, consider jotting down the answers to share back with the group after class. If you have a large group, and cycling through everyone will take more time than you feel you can allocate to this activity, break them into smaller subgroups and have them share their responses within their smaller circles.
Potential topic questions for your icebreakers
- How did you choose your doctor or midwife and birth location?
- What was the last question you asked your health care provider?
- What qualities do you possess that will make you a great parent?
- What qualities does your partner possess that will make them a great parent (if everyone is partnered in the class)?
- What was your favorite book as a child that you look forward to reading to your own child?
- How do you want to feel after you give birth?
- What is one word or phrase to describe the pregnancy experience so far?
- What is one thing you have done/changed so far because of being pregnant or your partner being pregnant?
- What is the last thing you read about pregnancy, birth or parenting?
- What is the best (or hardest) part of this pregnancy so far?
- Share the wackiest advice you have received on the topic of pregnancy, birth or parenting?
- After sharing with a partner (if partnered), who was the second person you told that you were pregnant?
- Invite everyone to share their name and the details they know about how/why they received that specific name.
- Ask each person (or family) to share two truths and a lie and the others in the class have to guess which is the lie.
- Share the last item purchased or acquired in preparation for the baby’s arrival.
How you can modify this activity
These questions can be asked for both in-person and virtual classes with opportunities to build community in either format. A modification to this activity might be to invite each family to “sponsor” the icebreaker each week by choosing the question for the week from a list of questions you share, providing structure to their selection.
What do families say about starting their childbirth class with an icebreaker?
Many people choose to take a childbirth class not only to receive information to help them feel prepared and confident for what’s ahead, but also to meet and connect with others who are going through shared experiences. Families have shared that they appreciate the opportunity to meet and learn about others in the class, and even identify a commonality upon which to potentially build a friendship. They also appreciate something light-hearted when many of the topics discussed can feel big, important and serious.
Do you use icebreakers in your childbirth classes? If you do not, what would make you reconsider this? If you do, what are some of your perennial favorites? Please share in the comments section below so we can all gain some new ideas to start our classes with. Also check out these other previous Brilliant Activities for Birth Educator icebreaker ideas.