In the time of Covid, virtual experiences are becoming an expected reality. While the switch from in-person to online events hasn't been without its challenges, speakers and teachers around the world are holding successful and engaging talks, classes, and meetings, delivering valuable information and experiences to audiences everywhere. Childbirth classes, like those offered by Lamaze educators, are no exception!
In this post, you'll hear from Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educators (LCCE) in four locations across the world and find out how they are successfully delivering online/virtual Lamaze childbirth classes to families. The following are just four of the many, many Lamaze educators providing virtual classes throughout the world. To find a virtual Lamaze class that's right for you, check out our virtual class directory.
Virtual Classes - What Are they Like?
"After registering for the class, you receive confirmation of date, time and Zoom information. You will also receive a survey to ask about your expectations for the class, do an assessment about your nutrition status and discuss any history of pain, car accidents, or any mobility issues. I’ll also ask about previous births, birth trauma and other personal history which can impact your current pregnancy. Classes are held on two different days, 3 hours per class. We will have fun! It’s not stuffy or formal and you learn a lot. I use PowerPoint, I talk, I send out handouts, we watch videos, and we play games. Students also get a breastfeeding class, as I am also an IBCLC.
If you can’t afford classes, please reach out anyway. I founded a nonprofit Ready Set Push Inc. to provide Lamaze Childbirth classes for low income families as all families deserve to have equal access to resources even if they can’t afford it."
- Kiana Ayers, RN, IBCLC, LCCE. Mamas and Tatas Lactation Consults and Childbirth Classes, Jonesboro, GA, outside of Atlanta, United States.
"I have been offering online classes since April. I have been hosting them privately via Zoom video and typically offer a four-hour class and then a follow-up class near the estimated due date. The topics covered in my classes include labor and birth basics, including coping techniques and fetal positioning, as well as interventions, like inductions and c-sections. I help students build a personalized birth plan. We also cover postpartum, breastfeeding, and baby care.
The follow-up class is 1.5 to 2 hours long and we go over practical things like comfort measures and different positions for labor and birth. We also go over any questions prior to birth. By this time, students know the results of all their tests and we can tailor the session better to individual needs. I give students a comprehensive book that I created with all the course materials, which they find it to be very helpful, and can even bring it with them to their place of birth. I am very passionate about what I do and I hope that transfers into my practice."
-Maria Tamayo, CD(DONA), LCCE, SpBCPE. Lotus Mom, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
"Our Lamaze virtual classes involve working from mind to body to reach empowerment, so moms and their families can enjoy the whole process from pregnancy to parenthood and make informed decisions. Our approach is by learning, practicing, and experiencing the Lamaze techniques. We practice a lot of physical exercises, pregnancy comfort techniques, and beneficial habits to enhance a healthy pregnancy. Other activities include learning about the Lamaze Healthy Birth Practices, postures and ideas to cope with labor, as well as how to execute positive change management during postpartum. We combine world class methodologies such as Lamaze, Human Change Management and Planning to help pregnant families reach their goals.
We are located in Costa Rica, but we teach families in USA and Mexico as well. We teach both group and private virtual classes, which are available in Spanish or English using the Zoom App. We also provide access to interactive tools to reinforce the concepts being taught. As a result, pregnant families can keep learning and practicing in an ongoing way, from the comfort of their home, and using their own props."
-Nancy Bonilla, LCCE, HCMP. PregNAN, San Jose, Costa Rica.
"Like most Lamaze educators around the world, I am currently teaching my classes live and online. I am based in Melbourne, Australia and my regular, in-person course takes place over two consecutive weekends, 6 hours per day. I've found that the online class needs to be shorter, as our attention span is definitely shorter online than in person. Thankfully, I'm still able to cover the content I need to teach families.
My online classes comprise of 2 x 5-hour sessions, with two short breaks in the morning and afternoon, and a 30-minute lunch break. I use PowerPoint to clearly illustrate things like comfort measures and active labor positions while I also get up and demonstrate concepts on camera. In advance of the class, I mail a gift bag of activities (see above photo!), handouts and other goodies (including a Lamaze infant toy for baby!) so that the couples can participate in a variety of activities during the online class. I also get them to try and gather a few things from home, such as a long scarf which will enable them to try out some Rebozo techniques, a birth ball (if they have one), and even an orange wedge and a straw to demonstrate how important a good latch is for baby when getting breastfeeding off to a good start!
I have been very pleasantly surprised at how well virtual classes work and I have had some lovely feedback from clients. In the current absence of in-person classes, and with so many restrictions placed on birthing people in hospitals due to COVID-19, I feel that childbirth education has never been more important. In the face of skyrocketing perinatal anxiety and depression rates due to COVID-19, it's important for families to understand the incredible value of good evidence-based childbirth education to help prepare for birth and early parenting, especially in these unprecedented times."
-Tanya Cawthorne Strusberg, LCCE FACCE. Co-founder of Lamaze Australia. Director and co-founder of Birthright Birthwell, Victoria, Australia.
What Do Families Say About Virtual Childbirth Classes?
"One first-time mom who recently attended my classes was measuring larger for gestational age and was worried about a C-section, as her provider told her she would likely need one. I informed her that most women can and should be offered a trial of labor and due to back and hip pain she was experiencing she might benefit from myofascial release. She went to the appointment. She went into labor on her own at 40 weeks and 2 days. She only pushed for 19 minutes! She had no epidural or other interventions. She attributed much of her smooth birth story and easy breastfeeding journey with her classes and her willingness to follow through on recommendations."
- Kiana Ayers, RN, IBCLC, LCCE. Mamas and Tatas Lactation Consults and Childbirth Classes, Jonesboro, GA, outside of Atlanta.
"Totally recommended! Lamaze offers comfort, tranquility, and empowerment. Now I am more and more positive that I am going to be able to carry out the delivery of my baby in the best way possible with all the techniques that we have learned. I am going to prepare for that marathon of life we are undertaking in this moment. Thank you very much, Nancy, and all the professionals who shared their knowledge to help us prepare for our pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum.”
“We loved the way the course was approached. We learned a lot, and the extra material provided has been very enriching. We would have loved to do it in-site, but, in times of pandemic, taking this course was the best option! Nancy, along with her team, made it possible for us to do it virtually, and we were able to clear all our doubts!”
-Nancy Bonilla, LCCE, HCMP. PregNAN, San Jose, Costa Rica.
The Coronavirus pandemic has created many challenges. Preparing for childbirth with evidence-based instruction remains a vital need for families, perhaps even more so with the new obstacles to navigate. Lamaze virtual childbirth classes help families meet informational needs in a safe and engaging way. Sign up for a virtual childbirth class to help prepare and support you through your upcoming birth!
Lamaze Educator Bios
Kiana Ayers, RN, IBCLC, LCCE, has a passion for helping moms and babies with prenatal education to include childbirth classes and breastfeeding. She is wife and mother of four breastfed children. She started Mamas and Tatas in Jonesboro, GA, after having a desire to help women in her community with lactation. She quickly saw that the offering can be cost prohibitive for some families. She then started a nonprofit offering Lamaze childbirth education for low income families and is proud to announce the first class which will help eight families this September virtually. She is an active member of SELCA holding the position of treasurer, and she also teaches the 3rd session of Centering pregnancy at Southern Crescent OBGYN.
Maria Tamayo has worked with children and families for many years, following her passion in caring for others. She came to Toronto in 2011 and that is where she finally decided to fulfill her love for women, babies, and birth. With ample professional training and gentle spirit Maria, guides and supports her clients through their pregnancy, birth, and postpartum experience. Her work involves respecting and encouraging her client’s natural rhythms and needs. Her credentials include DONA Certified Birth Doula CD(DONA), Postpartum Doula, Certified Lamaze Childbirth Educator (LCCE), Spinning Babies® Certified Parent Educator (SpBCPE), Placenta Encapsulation, Prenatal yoga Instructor, Certified Maternity and Child Sleep Consultant, Trained in Rebozo Techniques, Trained in Acupressure Techniques for Pregnancy, Birth and Postpartum, and experience working with families with multiples. Learn more at Lotus Mom.
Nancy Bonilla, LCCE, HCMP, is Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator and Human Change Management Professional with more than 20 years of experience helping organizations to design and implement their challenging projects. Nancy established PregNAN (a blend of the words PREGnancy and NANcy). She reached her dream of becoming the first LCCE in Costa Rica. She had herself experienced the Lamaze journey as a pregnant woman 21 years ago and fell in love with the practice. She combines Planning and Human Change Management with Lamaze. Two internationally recognized approaches help families reach their new goals and embrace change in a positive and empowering way.
Tanya Cawthorne Strusberg, LCCE FACCE, is the co-founder of Lamaze Australia, the first international affiliate of Lamaze International, a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, doula, Lamaze program director and a Fellow of the Association of Certified Childbirth Educators (FACCE). Tanya is also currently serving as the President Elect of Lamaze International. She is a passionate advocate for evidence-based, woman-centered maternity care and is a prolific writer on all things related to birth and early parenting. Her articles have appeared in The Journal of Perinatal Education, Australian Midwifery News, Connecting the Dots, Interaction – the journal of the Childbirth and Parenting Educators Association of Australia (CAPEA), International Doula (magazine of DONA International), Empowering Birth Magazine and Rockstar Birth Magazine. Last, but by no means least, Tanya is also the mum of two beautiful children, her son Liev and daughter Amalia. Learn more at Birthright Birthwell.
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