October 26, 2023
Series: Brilliant Activities for Birth Educators – "What Words Come to Mind When You Think about Labor?"
By: Sharon Muza, BS, CD/BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, CLE | 0 Comments
This month’s Brilliant Activities for Birth Educators’ teaching idea offers a fun opportunity for expectant families to consider and discuss what labor might be like for them. In addition to providing insight into their own expectations, it is an opportunity for a rich class discussion as well. Long time educator and author, Janelle Durham, originally shared this “Labor Words” idea on her website Transition to Parenthood. To find all of the Brilliant Activities for Birth Educator teaching ideas, follow this link.
A few people arrive for your childbirth class with some idea of what their birthing experience may be like, while others may have no idea what to expect. Often, family and friends, and even strangers, have shared what their own birthing experiences were like, and pregnant people today are trying to process all they have heard, all they have seen and their own internal thoughts in order to even begin to expect what might unfold.
Giving some consideration to their own expectations is a useful starting point for a productive class discussion about labor and birth, both independently for the pregnant person and their support, as well as for the class as a whole. Today’s activity can be done in an in person class or easily adapted to the virtual childbirth education classroom.
In person: A handout containing a large assortment of words that people might use to describe what childbirth might be like. You can make your own or find Janelle’s version here.
Virtual: Access to an embeddable word cloud generator. The more frequently a word is used, the larger the word becomes.
When should you do this activity
This could be done at several different points in your class. It might make a good icebreaker, or you could conduct this activity after families have learned about labor and birth, along with some comfort and coping techniques.
How long to allow for this activity
This activity can be completed in about 10 minutes.
How to conduct this activity
In person: Pass out a handout of your prepared list of words to each family. Ask them to circle the five words that they feel describes labor. After they have selected their words, facilitate a group discussion, asking the question “If your labor felt that way for you, what support would you need?”
Virtual: Invite families to enter five words that they think describes labor into the word cloud platform. Share the results. Identify some of the commonalities that were chosen. Facilitate a discussion about the support that would be needed if this were the situation.
What do parents say about this activity
Parents appreciate knowing that their expectations of what labor might be like are similar to others in the class. Additionally, there is an opportunity to consider what their individual needs might be if this is what they are anticipating.
How could you modify this activity
Ask pregnant people and support people to each select their own five words. Are there any similarities between pregnant and non-pregnant people? Encourage everyone to be thinking about what they might need during labor if they have these expectations.
Pregnant people may be coming to their childbirth class with some ideas of what labor and birth might be like. First identifying what their expectations are and then thinking through the tools and skills that can help them manage those expectations is a useful activity that can leave parents feeling more prepared and ready for the unique way that their labor experience may unfold.
TagsChildbirth education Brilliant Activities For Birth Educators Series: Brilliant Activities For Birth Educators Sharon Muza Virtual Teaching