November 30, 2021
Series: Brilliant Activities for Birth Educators - Reducing Anxiety around Cesarean Births
By: Sharon Muza, BS, LCCE, FACCE, CD/BDT(DONA), CLE | 0 Comments
This month’s Brilliant Activities for Birth Educators post provides a casual yet accurate option for sharing about the cesarean procedure in a non-threatening way. You can find the entire collated collection of all of the Brilliant Activities for Birth Educators series here, at no cost.
Talking about difficult subjects in a childbirth class requires both sensitivity and thoughtfulness. Various unexpected outcomes, including experiencing an unplanned cesarean, may cause anxiety and fear for both the pregnant person and their support or partner. Using visual aids that accurately and effectively demonstrate the surgical component of a cesarean can diffuse anxiety and make way for understanding. Using this video of a cesarean surgery, that is recreated using play-doh, is an effective way to present this topic without increasing (and quite likely decreasing) the anxiety that class members might feel around this topic.
“Play Dough Surgery - Cesarean Delivery” - YouTube Video
When to conduct this activity
I use video in class five of my eight-week series, when we talk about cesareans. The topic of cesarean benefits, risks and alternative (BRAIN) was presented the week before.
How long to allow for this activity
The topic of cesareans (reasons they are necessary, the procedure, recovery, preferences and choices) takes about 20 minutes.
How to conduct this activity
After we have talked about the reasons someone might have/need a cesarean, we watch this three minute video on how the procedure is done. I introduce the video by assuring the class that while remarkably accurate, the surgery is demonstrated simply by using play-dough. After viewing this as a group, I ask for questions and thoughts on what they saw. I also typically explain that despite being recreated in play-dough, the actual surgery was done fairly accurately. After showing this video, you should feel free to cover the other topics you would typically include to meet your cesarean birth learning objectives.
What families have to say about this activity
The families, in particular the ones who have found the topic of a surgical birth hard to even think about, appreciate the accuracy, simplicity and cleverness of this video demonstrating what happens during a cesarean. Their anxiety is reduced and they feel ready and able to continue to learn more about the topic and discuss what might be important to them should their baby be born by cesarean.
How might you modify this activity
If you are using a flipped classroom, you could invite families to watch this video before or after you cover the topic of cesareans. They could jot down their questions for discussion in class when you all come back together. Would you consider showing this video in class and use it to meet your cesarean birth learning objectives?
Some families hold a great deal of anxiety around the topic of cesarean birth. This short video makes use of a familiar product and some gentle humor to share what is happening during a cesarean surgery. Presented in this manner, the topic can be diffused and families will feel ready to learn and prepare should this be the outcome of their birth.
TagsChildbirth education Cesarean Birth Brilliant Activities For Birth Educators Series: Brilliant Activities For Birth Educators Sharon Muza Virtual Childbirth Classes Virtual Teaching