Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Having a blast teaching Childbirth classes!

As soon as I posted the next entry below, I found an email from another educator who gave me permission to share how she felt teaching her class after attending the Passion for Birth training led by Barb Hotelling and Cathy Holland - see their group picture on the Nov 23, 2007 entry.

Here is what Holly Prater shared: (Read and sign up for a Passion for Birth seminar!)

Cathy and Barb,

Well I taught my first class last night since the PFB. What a blast!!!! Not to toot my own horn, but I had always thought my classes were "good" in the past. But I thought last night was amazing. It was difficult with 10 couples, but I re-arranged the room so we were all at one big table. It actually didn't leave room for me, but I moved around the room and it gave us excuses to get out of the seats more often than not. After all, EVERY eval states that the seats are VERY uncomfortable to sit in for 3 hours, so let's GET OUT OF THEM!

So, these people were moving around in different directions constantly. AND was I amazed at the conversations that came up from the participants!!!! I covered everything on the outline with out saying much. AND I never even opened up the power point!!!!!! I can't. I don't like it.

When I left I was flying HIGH!! What a blast.

Hope all is well.

I got there at 5:45 and left at 9:45. I had a lot of "setting up" to do! I re-arranged the room so that we were all sitting at one big table. It lead to some great discussion among the class as well as between the individuals. I think it was one of my best classes ever. I was being told at breaks that it was very informative and what was so cool is I did very little talking...the group did it. I just guided it so it was correct and pointed out the important points. How fun! I was so excited when I left. And everything on the outline was covered....BONUS.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Looking to be inspired?

Ann Tumblin is a dynamic trainer with Passion for Birth and will probably kill me for posting this picture of her! She is creating a video clip of how not to be "badgered" in labor - based on the popular Badger car sales ads in her area of North Carolina. (featured above in the You Tube clip and there are more - just search You Tube for Badger Car sales and you will have a giggle or two!)

Ann is on her way to train childbirth educators in Korea with a return layover doula training in Hawaii! Ah, the life. But Ann is inspirational as well as creative - as are all of the Passion for Birth trainers. None of us can shop at a dollar store without walking out with some unique gizmo/gadget to reinforce a topic in cbe training!

I asked permission to copy this from an email sent to me from a participant in a Passion for Birth seminar, led by Ann: (Want to have the same excitement and effectiveness as Karina? Sign up for a Passion for Birth seminar!)

On Jan 15, 2008, at 1:31 PM, Karina Starace wrote:

last night I taught my first "solo" Lamaze class. It's the first of a 6 week series. I have 12 couples in the class! Talk about Endorphins!! I walked out there on cloud nine. It was the best feeling in the world. It reminded me of the first birth I attended as a doula and how great it felt. I kept hearing your voice echoing in my head "get them involved" "get them out of their seats" "High Energy" and "dont forget your artichokes!!" I already got an email from one of the couples saying that after just one class they already feel more confident and reassured and they want to signup for the doula program at my hospital. I did the I like, I wish, I hope at the end I got the best feedback. I walked out of my first class so inspired and happy and I really do owe it all to you. Your teaching and guidance was so inspirational and motivating. I felt totaly prepared walking in last night. I am excited to take the test in April and become a LCCE. I know now more than ever that I am one lucky woman to have had you train me for both my doula and my Lamaze work. Thank you sooo much Ann, you are an incredible mentor and I am very gratefull. I will let you know how the rest of my series goes.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Pregtastic podcast about Lamaze

Thought I would share a new resource that I just discovered - it's pregtastic! It's a weekly podcast format that invites various experts and resources to the table (airwaves?) to talk with a panel of pregnant women. These women also share what is happening to them as they journey through their pregnancies.

Of course the one that caught my ear was about Lamaze. Gerri Ryan did a great job of explaining it's not all about the breathing, describing the acronym B.R.A.I.N. and how Lamaze is not a method but a philosophy and the six care practices that promote normal birth. You can go to itunes and search for Pregtastic - the download is free and there are 80 of them at least to choose from. Lamaze is focused on # 74. The first part of the session features an actor from "Under the Belly" and then a short check in with how the pregnant women on the panel are doing, a preview of the next podcast and Gerri starts after the 30 minute mark! Or you can go to the Pregtastic website and find the same episode. Pregtastic

But podcasts are a great media we as childbirth educators should probably consider and provide more - it can be downloaded and listened to when these pregnant women are on the go or listened to when they are multitasking on the computer!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Storing breastmilk and making baby food

I don't usually endorse commercial products but there are a few out there that I think Childbirth Educators should be aware of....and freshbaby is one of them! Their website is Fresh Baby

I was originally intrigued by their breastmilk storage trays pictured above which seems like an easy option and a good alternative to the storage bags. Cheryl at Freshbaby was nice enough to send me a sample box of the whole babyfood kit. I just finished watching the dvd and was quite impressed! It makes making your own baby food look healthy, easy and tasty! They are so thorough! The lidded cube trays are solid, the book is full of ideas and space to personalize, there is a laminated quick reference sheet and their personal, attentive "customer service" is superb! They do have info packs that are available to Childbirth Educators - so contact them if you are interested!

I am a strong advocate for NOT marketing within your class but I do think there is space to recommend things that will improve your baby's health! Sometimes it's useful to have a table of tips and tricks and have materials available for people to take if they are interested as opposed to handing something out to everyone. To me it feels better and less pushy....maybe it's the retired "Le Leche League leader in me...take what fits and works for you and leave the rest!"

Monday, January 07, 2008

Lamaze - pregnancy, birth & beyond

Like a breath of fresh air and inspiration, my shipment of the new Lamaze magazines - pregnancy, birth & beyond arrived on my doorstep! What a treat! Want to order your supply? Go to: Lamaze magazine

The pictures are great, there are limited ads (and no bottles, nipples, pacifiers, formula), the articles are written by names you will recognize (Debby Amis, Jeannete Crensahw, Charlotte De Vries, Ann Grauer, Barb Hotelling, Judy Lothian, Kathy McGrath, Polly Perez, Penny Simkin, and yours truly), available in Spanish and English and the price for educators? Complimentary!! Yea Lamaze!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

A fun evening with Juno

As some of you may know December and parts of January have been challenging - having to cancel an opportunity to speak at a Birth India conference due to a delayed passport/visa issue the drove me crazy and the nightmares of a non-refundable ticket; a weird, sudden and intense illness that made plane travel impossible to the UK with a follow up test that made waiting for the pathology report more stressful than I would have predicted (came back clear - whew!) and then realizing that my father-in-law's battle for his health was not going to be won and he was buried this things were challenging and crummy for the end of 07 and the beginning of 08 but hopefully the cloud has moved on. (Of course the mountain of paperwork/requests/orders/annual reports due is so high, I can't see over it to see the clear sky - yet!)

But I know you don't read this blog to hear about my trials and tribulations but I shared that in case you are waitng for something from me - it's on its way! (or will be very soon) But last night my 16 year old daughter and I went to see the movie "Juno" and had a very delightful time - (of course in true 16 year old style I think she was relieved it wasn't showing in our town and we had to go towards Seattle to see it....being seen going to the movies with your mother is so not cool at this age!)

I totally enjoyed watching it and the discussion afterwards - I highly recommend it - (of course we all would have done the birth scene differently but that wasn't the focus of the movie) I loved the conversations - I liked Juno's creative/independent and ultimately responsible view of the world...of course it felt too Hollywoodish at points but it was exactly the escape I needed last night - hope you get a chance to watch it!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Tina Cassidy welcomes new baby

Hopefully you have read the book "Birth: The Surprising History of How We Are Born" by Tina Cassidy. Some readers did question some of her choices on a personal level that resulted in a cesarean.

Now her blog has revealed that she just had another baby in December and she is not revealing the details as to how/where/with whom the recent birth happened - instead she is blogging starting at the very beginning. Should be an interesting read!

(Thanks to Robin Weiss for forwarding her blog with the announcement that she has welcomed a baby!) Tina Cassidy's blog

Dance for Shoulder Dystocia

Enjoy this dance about shoulder dystocia by midwifery students!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year and check out the Breastaurant!

I was just "im-ing" with Passion for Birth graduate Kirsten Rohl and she sent this link - Momsbreastaurant What a great service! Hope they make a go of it and that it spreads! I use to live in southern West Virginia and we had a huge 1 day event where these adrenaline junkies would jump with parachutes off this high bridge and hundreds of thousands would swarm our little town and area! The health center I worked with would always have a booth in the festival to provide rocking chairs and place for moms and babies to sit in the shade and nurse and be changed....We weren't so creative as to call it Breastaurant - but wouldn't it be great if that was available at every festival!