Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Why are you here?

A new educator on an awesome site All Doulas posted a question about how to deal with that partner who is pretty much coming to childbirth class because she made him. We all have had plenty of these type of attendees, I am sure. There are oodles of ways to deal with this and wanted to share a strategy that has been working for me and I just adapted it and used in a two day breastfeeding workshop I was leading.
For CB class, I have made up laminated signs and place them around the room and ask each person to go to the sign that is the closest to why they came - "she made me", "heard the snacks were great", "scared to death of birth", "heard Lamaze was the gold standard", "want to learn tips for an unmedicated birth", "want to learn everything I can about the epidural", "have no idea", etc etc etc. (I can add/subtract based on what I learn about them in the registration process) Then they generate a few points for their group "this is why we came and this is what we hope we get from the program." We generate a list on flipchart paper and use this input to "tweak" what we cover and how much time we spend on things....

Sunday, April 27, 2008

my amazing friend and mentor

We are all blessed by the people in our lives. I wanted to spotlight one person that has inspired me more, supported me more and I have laughed with more than I can measure and that is Mary Jo Podgurski. I knew who she was when I first became involved with Lamaze but we didn't get past the face/name recognition stage until we traveled to Russia together when we discovered we were kindred spirits - both only children, both committed to interactive teaching, both committed to pregnant and parenting teens (although she has had a much bigger impact in that realm) and both of us didn't sleep much! She was an awesome mentor - we became regular presenters together at conferences and joked about how we needed to set a goal and as soon as we co-presented enough times, we deserved a trip to a Caribbean Island!

It was through her mentoring that I got involved in Lamaze leadership and I was fortunate enough to follow in her HUGE shoes to become president.

We recently went to China together for the second time and jet lag was tough on us! We would IM and discover we were both awake and sneak around the hotel at 3 am to share a cup of tea!

So she is being honored in her town this week by the NAACP for her remarkable work in the community. Known as the "sex lady", she has touched more kids lives than anyone I know. She writes grants as often as the rest of us write emails to keep her program alive. She lives her passion 24/7. She reaches out to all. This article only describes a small part of her work but it captures the important stuff for anyone who works with teens: be real, be honest, education is part drama, and always respect and love them.

Hats off to you Mary Jo! To read the article go to Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Birthing stones in Hawaii

I have just returned from an awesome trip to Beijing China where Mary Jo Podgurski and I were honored to work with a group of 26 childbirth educators!

I am trying to ignore jet lag and getting caught up and wanted to share a couple pictures that my friend Ann Tumblin sent of her recent trip to Hawaii where she came up birthing stones.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Mark your calendar!

Photo by Jada Shapiro, Birth Day Presence www.birthdaypresence.net

I have heard through the birth buzz network that Debra Pascali-Bonaro's movie, Orgasmic Birth will be featured on an ABC 20/20 segment on May 16th for their special Mother's Day show. They are planning to use some clips from the film, Orgasmic
Birth, interview some of the women/couples in the film, Dr. Christiane Northrup and Ina May Gaskin, two of the "experts" in the documentary. Want to learn more about this film with the attention grabbing title? Go to Orgasmic Birth