September 30, 2020
Series: Brilliant Activities for Birth Educators - Making It Real during Virtual Classes
By: Sharon Muza, BS, LCCE, FACCE, CD/BDT(DONA), CLE | 0 Comments
This month’s Brilliant Activities for Birth Educators honors the continued necessity and continuation of virtual childbirth classes as the world fights against the COVID-19 pandemic. While there are many challenges associated with offering our classes virtually through a variety of software platforms, there are also some benefits that you may not have considered. Today, I share four ways you can use the home environment to enhance the learning experiences of the families in your classes. To see all the posts in the Brilliant Activities for Birth Educators series, follow this link.
When families take your classes virtually, they may be missing out on some learning activities that can only happen in person and with others. But I have found that I am able to spin the tables a bit and utilize some advantages that can only be created when the families are in their own homes during the class time.
Time for a nap
Early labor is typically a great time to rest and prepare for the work ahead. My childbirth classes include early on a guided relaxation to help pregnant people begin to understand and practice what it means to develop the muscle memory and mind/body connection that goes along with that rest. I make full use of the fact that their beds are easily accessible during our class time and when I lead a guided relaxation for them, I encourage utilizing their couch or bed for the best practice experience. Reality is, if they do any laboring at home, they will have access to this area, so let’s get used to using it now in a practice experience.
There are so many good reasons for someone to use the toilet as a great place to spend time during labor. The bathroom is private, people are used to relaxing their pelvic floor muscles on the toilet, and when sitting backwards on the toilet, that is a great upright, forward-leaning, open position (UFO). In this backwards position, it is also easy for support people to offer massage and counterpressure on the lower back and sacrum. I invite people to go into their bathroom and practice this position during class. (Cameras can stay out!) I want them to have both the physical and emotional experience of how inviting and helpful this location can be when labor is kicking up!
Everyone’s kitchen counters are the perfect place to practice some helpful labor positions. Standing upright, leaning over a pillow placed on the counter while rocking and moving the hips can really help a labor to progress. There is no reason why families cannot try this position in class right in their own kitchen. With full permission to ignore the sink full of dinner dishes, let’s practice what this position actually feels like it their own home, on their own pillow!
Tools you can use
Having full access to their home during class is a great time to send families on a “scavenger hunt” to find items that will help them in labor. Give them a few minutes and ask them to come back with five different items that will be helpful in labor. Their items must include a food/beverage, something for coping with back labor, something for the hard times of transition, something for comfort and one more thing of their choosing. Have a show and tell amongst all the class members.
As everyone works to stay safe and protect our communities from the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become necessary to move childbirth classes to the virtual setting for the time being. While there are some drawbacks to this situation, there are also some benefits that educators can use to their advantage during class time. These four ideas that you can use during virtual childbirth classes make use of the fact that families are in the location that they will be doing some laboring as they get ready to birth their baby. Helping them to see how many tools and locations are already easily accessible to them in their homes to support their labor is a gift that educators could not utilize if we were meeting in person. What are you doing to make use of the learning environment that families find themselves in while taking your virtual classes? Share in the comment section below.
TagsChildbirth education Brilliant Activities For Birth Educators Series: Brilliant Activities For Birth Educators Sharon Muza COVID-19 Virtual Childbirth Classes