July 16, 2019
Series: The Six Trumps –– Birth Class Ideas for “Movement Trumps Sitting”
By: Sharon Muza, BS, CD/BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, CLE | 1 Comments
Sharon Bowman, Training from the Back of the Room, is one of the great master teachers of activities and engaged learning. Sharon often shares her theory: “Six Trumps: The
Stick.” I thought it would be appropriate to run a short mini-series of posts on activities and ideas for each of the “trumps” so you can consider incorporating and/or increasing all six areas of learning into your classes for better retention.
Movement Trumps Sitting
Just recently I read a great blog post from another amazing educator, Jennifer Gonzales, Cult of Pedagogy –– “To Boost Learning, Just Add Movement” which spoke to the Bowman “trump” of movement trumps sitting. Recognizing the importance of movement to enhance learning is critical, and it is easy to get complacent about not doing this enough when teaching childbirth classes. Reading the Gonzales blog gave me pause to reflect how much movement am I really including in my classes? Here are five easy ways to pull movement into the activities you offer expectant families.
Stations in your childbirth classroom are a great way to get people up and moving. They can be used for labor positions, breastfeeding positions, pregnancy exercises, pushing positions or newborn caring. You decide. Invite people to move through your stations, trying each one and discussing with partners or support people how they might modify things to work for them.
Make It Real
Some years ago, educator Kim James wrote a post about using the hospital’s “Easy Street” space which is typically used for OT/PT for patients working on recovering body function, during her childbirth classes. What a great idea to hold a practice labor in a place that looks just like the home or driveway! I recall Kyndal May, another longtime educator, takes people outside during her realistic labor simulations. Think about what is available to you where you teach? A parking lot, long hallway to labor and delivery, or the hospital lobby? All these places might very well be where your students end up laboring. So, get out of the classroom and make it real.
Babywearing for Everyone
Through the generous donations of my local Buy Nothing group, I have collected enough Moby Wraps for everyone to use their own when we talk about babywearing. Nothing makes it more real than having the entire class (pregnant and not pregnant) going through the motions of putting a doll or stuffed animal into their very own wrap in class. In fact, I encourage them to wear (or hold) their “baby” during the entire newborn class to really feel what it is like to hold a baby for a few hours non-stop. I have weighted 8-pound dolls that make the experience quite realistic.
Start each and every class with a few minutes of prenatal exercise. Do some Kegels, practice a few pelvic tilts and work in a few “cat cows” or other favorites. Doing a few minutes of short physical activity gets oxygen flowing to the brain, helps develop muscle memory for these important positions/exercises and reminds families that they should be doing them regularly on their own.
A Scavenger Hunt
Regardless of your teaching environment, you can invite folks to follow clues that you provide either digitally or in print to reinforce what they need to remember. Send them to a bathroom with the clue: "This place needs to be visited every thirty to sixty minutes during an unmedicated labor." Then when they get to a designated bathroom, they can receive information about why emptying their bladder is important and how they can use a toilet to help labor progress, such as sitting on it backward. Send them to a snack table, kitchen or fridge by encouraging them to "go to the place where you can find nourishment" and make sure they remember to eat and drink during their labors. Once there, ask them to make a list of snacks and beverages they might like or even provide samples of a “labor-ade” and healthy snacks. Keep the hunt going by sending them to other locations that reinforce what you want them to recall in labor.
There are many great ways to get your childbirth class members up and moving when they are with you. These five ideas are just a start. Incorporating more movement into your classes supports learning and reinforces key points. What do you do in your classes to get the families up and out of their seats? Share in the comments below and look for the next post in the series where we will discuss another one of the “trumps.”
TagsChildbirth education Sharon Bowman Cult of Pedagogy Sharon Muza Six Trumps of Learning Jennifer Gonzales Series: Six Trumps