January 30, 2021
Series: Brilliant Activities for Birth Educators - Show & Tell Is Not Just for Kindergarten Kids
By: Sharon Muza, BS, CD/BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, CLE | 0 Comments
Welcome to 2021 and the continuing global COVID-19 pandemic. For most of us, we are one month shy of a full year of conducting virtual childbirth classes. Hard to believe I just typed that statement, but it is true. I have tried to seize on the advantages that have come with having the families in my classes participating from the comfort of their homes and incorporate that opportunity into our class time together. This month’s Brilliant Activities for Birth Educators idea builds on that statement and offers you something fun and quick to do with your families no matter if you are meeting with them once or over a series of weeks. I hate to waste even a minute of learning time with the classes I teach, whether in person or virtual. “So much information, so little time” drives me to make every second count for the families who are getting ready to meet their babies! I ask families to bring an object from their home to class that they share virtually with others when we first start our time together. Read more to get some ideas on how you can do this too! You can find all the Brilliant Activities for Birth Educators posts here, for lots of creativity and ready to use teaching ideas to make your classes fun and exciting to teach and to take!
When to conduct this activity
I do this simple and quick activity at the beginning of every class whether we are meeting for a series, or just once. For my series classes, that meet eight times, the request changes every week, depending on the topics we are discussing. For all my one-day classes, of course, it is just that once. I start every class including this with introductions (one-day) or check-ins (series).
How to conduct this activity
In the pre-class email that gets sent to families in the class, I invite them to collect an object from their house to share at the start of class. For my on-day birth classes, I ask them to bring something to share that they will use for comfort and coping during labor. For my lactation classes, they bring something they will want near them every time they sit down to feed their babies. For newborn caring classes, they offer up the tool or product they think they won’'t be able to do without. For the series classes - the objects cover a lot of different ground as we move through the course material over time. See below for ideas. I ask both people, if they are partnered to bring something for themselves.
How much time does this take
This activity does not add much time to the regular introductions or check-ins that I do normally at the start of each class. The key is to tell folks to be efficient about sharing their object so we can keep things moving. I would add another five minutes to whatever you have allocated for that time. Sometimes, I need to reel things in if a family gets a bit off track.
The educator needs to have a prepared email that tells families what the theme is, and to make sure this goes out with enough time for folks to gather their object. Families need to just look around their home and find something that speaks to them and fits the theme.
Here are some ideas if you teach a series class. You can select something based on what topics you cover that session. I am confident you also have your own ideas on what could be gathered based on what you teach.
- An object that represents this pregnancy journey.
- An item that has made their pregnancy more comfortable.
- A food that is nutritious and helpful for growing a healthy baby.
- An item that represents a healthy pregnancy choice.
- Their favorite book/app/website on labor/birth.
- An object to use for comfort or coping during labor.
- Something to help with postpartum healing (emotional or physical).
- Their favorite item they have acquired for the baby so far.
- A special book they can’t wait to read to the baby.
- A food or drink good to consume during labor/birth.
- A baby carrier.
I gather any resources that are shared and collate them and include them in my post class communication so that everyone has a comprehensive list. Alternately, I ask them to add their object to the chat and then just copy that list at the end of the meeting to include. That way, all the favorite things that would be useful to others like books, apps, websites, pregnancy comfort help and so on is now a useful resource for all.
What do families say about this activity.
Participants really enjoy sharing what they brought. They also enjoy seeing how the things that partners and pregnant people bring varies from each other. They appreciate being exposed to new ideas, items and resources that they might not have been aware of before. Often many items are the same, and this builds community and connection that this process of welcoming a baby is similar for many. I like this activity because it helps me to get to know the families on an individual level, which is often harder during virtual classes. This activity also helps people to see that they already have many of the things they will want or need for labor/birth/parenting already in their homes.
Sharing relevant items appropriate for different parts of the pregnancy, birth and parenting journey is fun, quick and also an easy learning opportunity for all without much effort on the part of the instructor. Reinforcing information in this way is well worth the effort and time, (which is minimal) with some very positive results. Do you already do something like this in your classes? How might you modify this for the classes you teach? Let us know in the comments section below!
TagsChildbirth education Brilliant Activities For Birth Educators Series: Brilliant Activities For Birth Educators Sharon Muza COVID-19 Virtual Childbirth Classes