Thursday, March 31, 2011

Great teaching idea!

Thanks Jan Banther for sharing this awesome idea! And thanks to Shanon Miranda Pruden who posted it on the Puget Sound Birth Professionals Facebook group! 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How other cultures prevent post-partum depression

I found this article very thought provoking...thanks to Kathleen Kendall-Tackett.
She describes in more detail these standards for post-partum support:

1. Distinct Postpartum Period
2. Protective Measures Reflecting the New Mothers Vulnerability
3. Social Seclusion and Mandated Rest
4. Functional Assistance
5. Social Recognition of her New Role and Status
and then she shares what many women actually experience.

It's so important to spend time in a cb class helping identify the strengths of the cultures represented in your class and build on what post-partum traditions can be followed!  I sighed big time when I searched for images of postpartum support and the category was dominated by elastic wraps vs. pictures of women supporting new mothers. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Look at the energy and enthusiasm

I wanted to honor a group of new childbirth educators from a recent Passion for Birth workshop in Monterrey, Mexico!  Welcome to the family! 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

What a reource.

Janelle Durham, one of the most resourceful leaders in CBE, shared this interesting resource about making choices in childbirth.  Download the decision making pdf from the homepage and be prepared to be amazed, intrigued and maybe stimulated to work on a similar tool in your area of the world? 

Standing ovation to our friends in Queensland!  

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Right vs left brain

I found this article very thought provoking about the research on right and left brain and how little we really know. 

What are your thoughts?

In looking for an image, I found this blog which is now part of my Google Reader

Friday, March 25, 2011

Once again I am inspired

I have featured this amazing San Francisco program before but the founder was recently honored and it's worth putting the spotlight on the amazing things the Homeless Prenatal Program does. 

It certainly reflects what one person with a dream and a lot of hard work can do. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Penny Simkin is the most sharing person!

Penny Simkin amazes me in how much she shares and how much she inspires all of us.  I keep trying to figure out how she gets more than the 24 hours that the rest of us are limited by... she has to have more hours in the day for the books she writes, presentations she gives, research she reviews and critiques, movies she creates, childbirth classes she teaches, the births she attends, the women she sits with supporting them while they deal with birth trauma or the impact of earlier sexual abuse, the doulas she trains, the support she gives to local perinatal groups, the international travel she does and the columns she writes.  I am exhausted just writing this!

In her recent newsletter (I recommend signing up for it on her website)  she shares this clip (and others) from her comfort measures DVD. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Presenting well

 This has been in the "draft folder" for many months...but I think it's worth taking a look at the analysis of how a popular song by Timberlake follows the key points of making a presentation.

The art of presenting well

(intentionally small so you will go to the original blog to read)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

"Ignite" - a little different than a Pecha Kucha

I have discussed Pecha Kuchas (20 slides at 20 seconds each) before.  Now there is an adaptation called "Ignite" which is 15 slides for 15 seconds.

I found this You Tube video to be a good explanation. 

If Passion for Birth sponsored a contest, would you enter an Ignite Presentation? 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Reunion idea

There's a program for everything.  Here's an on-line tool where the typical baby pool/predictions can be done on-line.

But here is an adaptive idea to do in the last class and share at the reunion.  You can use a free tool like Survey monkey  to send out a "after the last class" questionaire.

Have each pair answer the following questions on the survey tool and give token prizes at the reunion to whomever gets the closest guess to reality: 
  • length of labor (define what to track)
  • how many cm when arrive at hospital/birth center or midwife arrives at home
  • before, on, or after due date
  • weight of baby
  • and more!
What other questions could you have them guestimate? 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

More blog comments

As a childbirth educator, one of the biggest challenges is juggling the needs of people in your class.... you will have people who have read everything under the sun and others who haven't done any self education.  You will have people who know what they want and others who have no idea.  Our challenge is to meet the needs of all.

Blogger 1: I've done tons of reading and research....if I have to go over the signs of pre-eclampsia again, I'll scream. I just wish more time was spent on things that are hard to learn from a book. I think I've read the pregnancy book I have at least 5 times cover-to-cover in the last few months!

Blogger 2: I'm a reader and there wasn't anything presented I hadn't already come across on my own, and the class was taught by a VERY pro-epidural RN so it was just a really bad fit for my goal of natural childbirth.

Blogger 3: My birthing class was fun. Our nurse was also a doula, so she helped a lot. She did inform us exactly what an epidural did and what could go wrong on all scenarios. It was helpful, because I did end up with an unplanned c-section. We did learn some awesome massage techniques for labor and the normal pregnancy aches and pains. 

Blogger 4: .... I learned that an epidural isn't just a shot, there's actually a little tube that sticks outta your back that keeps adding the anesthetic.  I always thought they gave you that shot in your spine and it was over with. hm... who knew?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Passion for Birth seminars are unique!

This YouTube clip about gum art is a bit bizarre but it is a reinforcement for a couple of the things that PfB has been utilizing for awhile.

We are all about what you "retain" from our workshops.  We now hand out your own tin of PfB silly putty and peppermint gum.  Why?  Fiddling with your hands increases retention as does chewing gum.  Make the gum peppermint and it's even more effective.

I went back and forth about including this video clip but it reinforces the trivia about retention and it highlights that there is an art form for everyone. 

How innovative was your CBE training?

Friday, March 18, 2011

With a little help from my friends

 I really like writing little snippets of information for childbirth educators on this blog.  Sometimes I am way ahead and have posts "post-dated" to publish weeks ahead.  Sometimes I spot an idea, start a draft and forget about it.  Recently I was going through the draft folder and found this:

3. Revive and broaden the reach of childbirth education through expanded models and innovative teaching modalities.
• Investigate the current role of formal childbirth education in women's decision making and the ways they obtain and use information about pregnancy and childbirth.
• Implement and evaluate several models of education for childbearing women:
• Independent, community-based education that fosters taking responsibility for informed maternity care decision making
• Peer education with “good birth ambassadors” serving as change agents in local communities
• Alternate media for childbirth education, such as web-based formats and podcasts.
• Seek reimbursement for childbirth education models of demonstrated effectiveness.
• Engage National Priorities Partnership (NPP) members in piloting the various educational strategies and implementing effective ones in fulfillment of their focus on better engaging patients and families in managing their health and making decisions about their care.

But in my haste, I hadn't captured where this was from.  I looked and looked on various sites like Healthy People and came up empty handed.  I put a call out to Debby Amis from the Family Way,  Robin Weiss from About.com and Sharon Muza from New Moon Birth, all web savvy and very resourceful types.  Within minutes I got a response from Sharon and she reminded me I could put what I was looking for in quotes and Google would search for the whole thing.  Sure enough it came up in the abstract on Women's Health Issues which identified Childbirth Connection and the Blueprint Implementation for Transforming Maternity Care. 

Am I the only one who didn't realize you could search for entire phrases, paragraphs, etc? 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Not birth related but a celebration

What can I say - I love surprises, I love dance, I love Australia, I love flashmobs, I love Riverdance.  Wish I had been there.  

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Post partum audio journey

This collection of thoughts, perspectives, reactions in many voices is worth taking the time to listen to.  It's very appropriately described as an "audio journey exploring the postpartum experience in contemporary American life."

Thin Air Media

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The kind of note I love to get

Often times I hear from new childbirth educators to-be that they really want to become childbirth educators to help women have the birth they want.  What is an additional benefit is the impact the information and skills may have on their own future pregnancies and births. 

This arrived this morning:
I took a PfB course last May.  I am now ready to take the exam. I'm looking forward to joining your ranks. I recently gave birth to my first, and I utilized everything I learned in Lamaze. We had planned a homebirth, but I developed preeclampsia and was able to have a beautiful vaginal birth... Had it not been for the education I received, I may have experienced a very different outcome.
Thanks for all that you do!

For those of you who had children after you trained to become a childbirth educator, did your workshop impact your birth?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Nice promo for midwives

Do you work in a setting where you have a group where some are under midwifery care and some ob care?  Do you discuss the different models of care? 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Positive blog post from a CB class attendee

I love finding positive blog entries about childbirth classes:

So, I just realized I didn't post about Lamaze class this past week. Well...I actually learned something. I learned how it doesn't matter what you say when you exhale (he, he, ha) it just matters that you make it a pattern so that you can focus on it. I also learned that my husband rubs backs really well, and I might have it do it more often. We were also taught positions that we can be in while in labor, and my favorite is sitting in front of the hubs leaning on him and breathing.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Nipple shields - update

Want an update on nipple shields?  Read up in the Breastfeeding Today magazine.

How much time do you spend on tools/tips in your breastfeeding section of your childbirth class? 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Looks like fun to me!

Here's an idea for you.   (This was posted on her Facebook page by one of our facilitators, Teresa Navarro in Mexico)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Does size matter?

I remember very clearly as a kid watching advertisements on TV and wondering, how so many detergent commercials could claim to be the best or the newest or the fastest.  And as I "cruise" childbirth organizations, for some it seems important to have similar  "claims."

Just a few from their websites:

"CAPPA is the largest childbirth organization in the world."

"Childbirth International is one of the fastest growing training organizations in the world."

"BrioBirth .com is also the number one website in traffic compared to any other childbirth education and certification website out there"

As consumers of these for-profit organizations, should we be asking for proof or do we just say, these are just typical claims we are so use to seeing in marketing materials?

Or maybe for the sake of fairness,  we just expect some clearer definitions.
What is meant by "largest" - budget? membership? attendance at educational offerings? Or everything?
What is meant by "fastest growing" - is that assessed annually? are other organizations sharing their numbers with the claimant?  If I have 10 members and increase by 5, that's a 50% growth.  If I have 3,000 members and increase by 1,000 that's 33%, so slower growing but hardly fair. 
What is meant by "in the world" - have all other training organizations been compared?
What tool is being used to assess "website traffic?"  There are so many tools out there and each will rank them differently and some organizations funnel all the traffic through one url while others have a diverse listing by the same organization - like Lamaze, Science and Sensibility and Giving Birth Confidence.    If we're talking childbirth education training some have centralized control and others have accredited training programs.  Is someone adding up all the traffic for an organization?

And probably the next claim will be on the number of Twitter followers or Facebook "likes" - and that is highly influenced whether the organization requires you to like them before you can see what they have posted or do they have their facebook page open for everyone to benefit from their posts, not holding the info "hostage" for a thumbs up click? Or is reasonable to ask someone to "like you" in exchange for making information accessible?

So what is your reaction when an organization claims size?  Is that even important? Do you take it at face value, must be true if they claimed it?  What determines if you "like" something on Facebook?

Is it important to be part of the "popular" group? Does size matter?

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Little tidbit

For those of you who have websites, blogs or post information to supplement your childbirth classes, here is a tidbit/suggestion I didn't know:

Write Less Copy: People read 25% slower online than offline, so you need to write less copy so they will read it.

This factoid comes from Use It 
I also found the information in his free download on Eyetracking Useability very interesting. The red is where the eyes stay alot and look at how many eyes drift away by the end. 

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Do you have these archetypes in your childbirth class?

At the PfB workshops we use the "Tater" Family when you talk about characters that may show up in a childbirth class. 

I enjoyed what Visuals Speaks did using Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. 

Have you had any of these folks in your classes?

Monday, March 07, 2011

Creating a positive birth experience (cesarean)

Sharon Muza from New Moon Birth shared this on her facebook page.  Time to include in our classes on cesarean birth!!

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Ah, juggling the needs of those who read, those who don't like right brain activities....

This is an excerpt from a discussion points to the juggling we all do to meet a wide range of learner's needs.  Luckily several of the responders suggested the logical thing - talk to the instructor!! 

"...Well I'm 2 weeks into my birthing class and I'm totally just not feeling it.  I read the book the instructor told me to prior to the class and now I'm just bored each week because she is just going over what's in the book. 
Since we are having our baby in a birthing center thus opting for an all natural birth I feel like I need really specific guidance on pain coping and what to expect during the process. 
I just don't want to paint anything, or create a birth Labyrinth...I want real life info!!!
Should I drop out?  It was so expensive I hear we can't sign up for another one.  Am I just expecting WAY too much from a birth class? I mean my husband and I have one night together a week because he is getting his MBA at night and working during the day and I’m opting for that day to be Birthing Class….Just not sure what to do! "

So we have to stress to people in our programs, if their needs aren't being met, talk to us!  I think all of us would rather think of ways to adjust, add, augment so that their needs are met vs. having a lot of negative talk out there in the social media arena .

Saturday, March 05, 2011

The REACHE conference

Friday was the annual REACHE conference - 150+ childbirth educators gathered in one place to hear a strong line up of presenters:  Michele Deck, Sheri Deveneny and Pam England.  I became part of REACHE a couple years ago and these conferences have been happening for years and years, completely organized by volunteers.
I appreciated talking with some of you who read this blog!   
This year, local photographer extraordinaire Patty Ramos, put together the closing slide show. 

Plans are already underway for 2012!  It would be great if there was a group like this in every state!  Are you so lucky?

Friday, March 04, 2011

smell the pizza

 An image worth considering:

Smell the Pizza, a mini-stress reducer:
“Breathe in slowly through your nose as if you’re savoring the smell of pizza, hold it for a few seconds, and breathe out slowly through your mouth,” she says.
I’ve never been able to get the relaxation breathing going. I was an abject failure at Lamaze. But the pizza metaphor works for me. To make it work, my friends say, you have to practice it at times when you’re not stressed out. You can’t expect these techniques to be effective when you’re under a lot of pressure if you’ve never tried them before."

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Just take some time and soak in what she shares

This is not as directly related to childbirth education as most of my posts but found this TedX talk in Houston to be very thought provoking (and I appreciated her use of slides!) 

Let her words soak in, ponder them and share if you see connections to the fear and vulnerability to birth.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Being sensitive and inclusive

 Posted on a blog written by an adoptive parent.  (A gentle reminder to watch out words)

A little vent about these birthing classes...

First, let me start off by saying I am so amazed that our Birth Mother wants me to be her labor coach and be there when this little one first enters the world. I am also very thankful to see her every week until the birth as we are attending birthing classes together.
And now my vent. :)  I'm so very frustrated about the woman teaching the classes.  She continues to refer to the support person as "dads" and gets all fluffy about things.  Every once in a while she'll look at us and say "support person."  Now I get it that maybe she has mostly had married couples expecting their first child in her classes but she's starting to make it awkward.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Another perspective

On the heels of yesterday's post about what a blogger dad felt about others in his class, I found this post also shared a possible piece of the puzzle to some partners' discomfort.

We had our first birthing class last night. It went well, and I learned how to decipher doctor-speak when they are tracking the progression of labor. I had a vague idea of some of the terminology, but other things were new to me. At least I'm learning something! I admit, though... I still scratch my head in confusion over the anatomy pictures showing how the baby goes through the birth canal and is delivered. I just cannot believe my body can actually do that. It doesn't compute.

My husband also took the birthing class in stride even though our classes are at the hospital where we're delivering and he has a fairly severe fear of hospitals. Not to mention that he's a smoker. So it's a bit stressful for him. But I thought he handled it okay. I'm hoping that the kazillion classes we attend between now and the delivery will desensitize him a bit so he can deal with a few days in the hospital. I try to tell him to think of the hospital as the place where we're bringing new life into the world instead of the place where sick and dying people hang out. Besides, no one likes going to hospitals. But we all do it. Suck it up, babe! :)

 So this made me pause and think...with the high percentage of people who smoke, should I talk about dealing with nicotine addiction while being a rock star support person?  Hmmm....when I first started teaching there was a smoking area in the hospital, next you had to go outside and now you have to go so many feet from the entrance and some places require you to go off campus... should we be more suggestive on how to deal with being in a stressful situation and dealing with nicotine addiction and providing continuous support?  And if the partner can't go without smoking, should I suggest packing nicotine gum and/or Frebreeze in the labor bag to go with the mouthwash for coffee breath? 
Just thinking while I type.  What are your thoughts?