Friday, December 31, 2010

"Move and the way will open"

One of my favorite non-birth bloggers/author/advocate/marketing inspiration for great presentations is Garr's posterous Of course he wasn't talking birth when he made this picture but it's so true. I encourage you to read his Presentation Zen website and his books.

I know I am sounding a bit like a groupie but he has changed the way I look at things.... (the picture is also taken at one of my favorite northwestern beaches, Cannon Beach, OR.)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Dance and move.

I love this clip = may all the women in labor be free to move!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A design review

Have I shared with you how frustrating the current trend is in webinars....poorly designed powerpoint slides with a voice reading them and adding a few comments. Are you like me and spend a lot of time with the webinar in the background while I check email or IMing or change the laundry? And then to get contact hours, you have to answer questions that you could have answered BEFORE the webinar? It feels like an insult. Wish they would send the questions first and if you can answer, you get the contact hour.

It's further bothersome when these low level educational programs are sponsored by education folks! The webinars that keep my attention are those that keep me engaged - a small "live" clip of the speaker; breaking up into small groups with a task that we complete and report back; use of things like polls, whiteboard sharing, handouts that I download before the webinar and complete in process, etc.

We should not be tolerating low quality!

Well now that that is off my chest, if you are in the position to design an online program, think about design! I found this tutorial to be helpful and thought having the application challenges to be an effective model. Remember this is a tutorial.

If the embed tool doesn't work right, go to the original blog post Visualology

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Creativity from a mom

I stumbled upon these pictures and was so impressed with the creativity demonstrated.
The creator writes:
"While my baby is taking her nap, I try to imagine her dream and capture it."

Maybe show the clip as people are arriving for the "life with baby class?"

Sunday, December 26, 2010

I love being ahead of the game.

People like to get together. We have been talking about Pecha Kucha for a few years!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

NOTHING to do with birth

For those of you who have attended a recent PfB workshop, you may remember how we end with a bit of magic - the coloring book or the energy ball. Often "magic" can make an experience memorable.

So I chuckled when I spotted this YouTube clip and it was titled something about science stunts for Christmas. Well I couldn't resist sharing them in this post scheduled for Christmas. And whether or not you observe Christmas, chances are you will have friends or family around this weekend and maybe you can wow them with a couple stunts! (If not, feel free to move on, birth related posts will be back tomorrow!

Friday, December 24, 2010

A sister program to Passion for Birth recently went to Kenya and offered a seminar. Great job!

Giving Birth-Lamaze Africa 2010 from Jennifer Carroll on Vimeo.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Websters Technique

Ever wondered what the Websters Technique looks like?

Do you cover this in a regular childbirth class?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

WHO code and the CBE

There is a new blogger at Lamaze's Science and Sensibility, Kimmelin Hull.   She has written about conflict of interest and where the line is drawn.  I encourage you to read it!

It brought an ever present question to my mind about where is the line drawn in regards to supporting the World Health Organization Code on marketing breastmilk substitutes.  As a childbirth educator, do you read EVERYTHING that you hand out or have available in your classroom?  Do you hand out magazines with formula ads?  How about materials sponsored by WHO code violators?

Or have you gone "green" and only refer people to on-line materials? 
(when I went to the WHO site, there was a lead article on Maternal health, go visit.)

How about a finer line - if a publication accepts money from formula ads, and wants you to write an article, is that "dirty" money?  Will you speak at/attend a conference when the exhibit hall has WHO code violators?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Oops a gremlin hit

A few moments ago, a half finished blog post sailed out of draft box and on to the blog.  How that happened, baffles me!  I will finish it and publish it later complete with links, etc. 

Aargh, it sometimes feels like my computer is inhabited by forces that just want to add stress! 

CB Class size

Is it important to limit the size of childbirth classes?
Lamaze is the only CBE certifying organization that I know that sets a standard for class size.   As I was searching the net, I found these pics. My best guess from other pics in the series there are about 60 people in this childbirth class.   My gut tells me that it's better to be smaller.  (At least they are smiling for the camera. )  What do you think the max size to be?  Does it matter? 

Monday, December 20, 2010


 While some childbirth educators are employed by hospitals, a growing number are working independently.  This comes from Australia:   Manifesto for women in business

Saturday, December 18, 2010

"Moxa" for breech babies

How much time do you spend in your childbirth class on ways to turn breech babies?

Friday, December 17, 2010

"Reflections on breastfeeding"

Now this could be a great discussion starter in CB class!

"Reflections of Breastfeeding"
Inspired by "Reflections of Motherhood"
Personalizing the Decision to Breastfeed
Mother to Mother ~ Family to Family
~A Multimedia Presentation~
By Doulas: Taemar Verbaarschot, Tara Jaskowiak, and Amy Mattes from Victoria BC Canada
Developed as a student project for The Breastfeeding Course for Health Care Providers
Thank- you to all the families to took part in the making of our project!
Thank- you to "Renee and Jeremy" who gave us permission to use their wonderful music :) Find their beautiful albums on itunes.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What we wish for every birthing woman



Tim Bays/Jana Stanfield/Matt Wilder
In Cahoots Music/Jana StanTunes/Wilderness Music (ASCAP)

I wish you strength,
To rise unafraid,
Like the morning sun,
Taking on the day,
Because when you shine,
You light up the place,
So I wish you strength.

I wish you faith,
That you’ll overcome,
Whatever you face,
Until your journey’s done,
Beyond any words,
As certain as grace,
I wish you faith.

I wish you could see,
The you that I see,
There at the edge of possibility,
I pray that you will find,
All that you need.

I wish you peace,
That comes from within,
A gentle release,
Of all that might have been,
Like the stillness that waits,
Between waking and sleep,
I wish you peace.

I wish you strength,
To rise unafraid,
Like the morning sun,
Taking on the day,
Because when you shine,
You light up the place,
So I wish you strength.

I wish you faith,
I wish you peace,
I wish you strength.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Low tech vs. high tech

In a previous post, I highlighted Passioneer Ann Tumblin trying to demonstrate how the birth simulator could be put in other positions than the typical on your back position.  Well a less costly model has been designed that assumes an upright position and was featured in the Washington Post. 

I love this model and hope she gets the funding to make it available around the world.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Report from the blog world: uncomfortable!

Weekly, I try to highlight some of the comments I read on blogs written by people who are attending childbirth classes.  This provides a unique insight! 

BLOG POST 1 by a partner:
The chair you sit in at this class really isn't the most comfortable in the world either. when its over with my rear end is so sore its hard to stand up, along with my back killing me as well.
If I hurt that bad afterward I can't even imagine how Sarah and all the other pregnant women there feel.

BLOG POST 2 by a partner
I was not really looking forward to sitting and lying on the floor for a long period of time so I decided to take our beach chairs. The Mrs didn't want me to take hers but I took them anyway. She wanted it as soon as we got to the class. If I had taken one I would have been on the floor. It even inspired others in the class to bring their own the next day. 

 Often times the environment where childbirth classes is less than ideal.  Space is so hard to reserve that often CBEs are happy just to have a roof and four walls and a floor.  There are a lot of comments on blogs about the environment.  The recent comments about the chairs reminded me of one teaching space that was designed for childbirth education classes!  This is from St. Elizabeth Regional Medical Center in Lincoln, Nebraska.  Passioneer Jan Madsen is the coordinator of the Perinatal Program there.  Everyone who takes their classes there knows that their comfort and safety are #1.  Recliners, gliders and even a large super sac  

What would bloggers say about their comfort in your teaching space? 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

How little we know about the OP baby

I found this post in my drafts and not sure why I never hit the publish button.  But I still want to highlight what Penny Simkin published in the March issue of Birth.

Penny wrote this in her Spring newsletter:

The Fetal Occiput Posterior Position: The State of the Science and Call for a New Perspective
..... After noting for a long time that there are many inconsistencies between our beliefs about the O.P. fetus and the findings reported in numerous recent scientific research reports as well as the clinical observations of many maternity care providers, I finally bit the bullet and conducted literature searches on many of these inconsistencies (some of you may have attended my conference presentations on the topic, "The O.P. Fetus: How Little We Know").
In this paper I review the literature on many common beliefs about the O.P. fetus: back pain in labor means the fetus is O.P.; turning a baby to O.A. before labor ensures an O.A. baby at birth; caregivers are skilled in detecting the O.P. fetus; etc.
I'm afraid my findings will either confirm what some of you think, relieve those of you who are as perplexed as I, and anger those of you who feel confident about preventing, detecting, and correcting an O.P. fetus.

To subscribe to Penny's newsletter go to the bottom of the Penny Simkin homepage.

Lamaze members don't forget that you can subscribe to BIRTH for about 1/2 price!  A great benefit.  And even without a sub you can access a free article.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Support after the class is over

How do you keep in touch when your childbirth education class is over?

Do you have a social network site so they can connect with each other?  Or do they have a yahoo e-mail group set up with you included?

Do you have auto-send newsletters set to go with reminders of what you focused on in class?  Maybe with affirmations or links to information that may be helpful to be reinforced or possiple post-partum resources?

Are you doing reunions after all the babies are born?  What's your favorite reunion activity/idea?

OR when they walk out the door after the last session, are you done?

Thursday, December 09, 2010

A new mind map tool

I have played with several mind map tools and I was less than enthusiastic when I first went to bubbl but what a treat when I got there!  This tool is super easy and it has a collaborative option.

Give it a spin - especially if you are like me, not a linear type thinker.  Use it for planning your course design...create a project plan...the sky is the limit!  You can even use it to gather questions from your childbirth class attendees before a session.

Let me know if you give it a try! 

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

New Doula video

I know the DONA release of this video is all over social media - but in case you missed it:

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

just a little inspiration....

Great Gals Trailer - Revisited! from Summer Pierre on Vimeo.

The author writes: As women, our lives are busy, chaotic, boring, quiet-you name it. But very few of us think we live amazing lives. Why not? Isn't it the only life we have? Why not make it great?

I have ordered her book but not read it, I just liked the video for a little inspiration.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Have a chuckle

For those of you who are creating logos and/or websites, watch this entertaining video about dealing with whitespace!  Just a little sarcastic!

Make My Logo Bigger

Sunday, December 05, 2010


From a blog:
Tomorrow night is our last class and we are supposed to bring food..however I have no clue what to bring! And I was wondering if anyone had any good suggestions!!! 

 There is never enough time in a childbirth class, so I suggest using snacks as yet another teaching moment - and guide folks to bring something high in calcium or fiber or folic acid.  Make it like Sesame Street - "tonight's snack is brought to you by Vitamin C."

I also came upon this tool that may be an asset to get people to sign up for snacks via the web vs the old fashioned paper and pencil!  Signup genius  

Saturday, December 04, 2010


 The subject line grabbed my attention:

Don't Get Swallowed Up When You Feel Fear

I subscribe to a newsletter for fear.less magazine.  I have picked up valuable perspectives and ideas in this whole realm of fear - which has such a huge impact on birth.

The author does on to say....

Cooler heads tend to prevail because they are not very cool at all - they are aflame with focus, thought and determination.
Fear is disorienting, and panic can scatterbrain you ....
The human mind is a loyal and effective companion once it is reigned in. Instead of feeling fear, it can be occupied with collecting information and using reason to deconstruct the fear. This really helps turn a paralyzing terror into an involving (but important) puzzle. ....
Next time something goes bump in the night, throw a pillow at it. Curiosity can be an effective substitute for courage.
Breathe deep and gather facts.

I love the last line - and so appropriate.  Breathe deep and gather facts. 

And while I was reading this month's issue, anothe quote by Robert Thurman leaped out at me:
“ We don’t want to totally avoid fear, because it is a healthy attempt to avoid suffering.”

So how do you address fear in your childbirth classes?

Friday, December 03, 2010

Fund raising idea for NICU

The parents group of the NICU at St. John's Mercy Medical Center in Saint Louis, MO have a great fund raising idea!  They are helping Santa out in sending out personalized letters - go to  Santa's Helpers  (Deadline is December 12 with the letters going out between the 16th and 18th.) 

They use the funds raised to provide assistance to NICU families -- from car seats, free books and gas cards to one-on-one talks and weekly parent support-group meetings.

What a good idea.  Hope you will support them - Santa can send letters to young and old!  

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Increase the number who attend CB classes!

Healthy People 2020

Today the new Healthy People 2020 health goals for the United States were released with strong support for breastfeeding and includes a developmental goal of
Increase the proportion of pregnant women who attend a series of prepared childbirth 

Marsha Walker  from NABA posted this about the breastfeeding goal changes:

Today the new Healthy People 2020 health goals for the United States were released with strong support for breastfeeding. The new target for breastfeeding initiation is 81.9% and three new goals have been added; increase the proportion of employers that have worksite lactation support programs, reduce the proportion of breastfed newborns who receive formula supplementation within the first 2 days of life, and increase the proportion of live births that occur in facilities that provide recommended care for lactating mothers and their babies (a big boost for the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative). The Healthy People initiative sets national objectives with a monitoring process to motivate action. In the last decade, preliminary analyses indicate that the country has either progressed toward or met 71 percent of its Healthy People targets. This is certainly true of breastfeeding initiation which met the 75% goal of Health People 2010. Now is the time to renew our efforts and use these goals as tools to improve the health of our mothers and babies.

This is great for breastfeeding, but lets go back to the childbirth education goal.   If you were queen for the day and had lots of control and influence, what strategies would you adopt to increase  the number of pregnant women who are taking childbirth classes?   

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

A great quote

"If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there." 

And do you see how this is applicable to birth?

PS When I was looking for the source of the quote - several options came up from it just being a proverb to being from Alice in Wonderland to being ina song written by George Harrison - your guess is as good as mine)