60 Tips for Healthy Birth – Resources for Students and Suggested Teaching Activities

February 12th, 2014 by avatar

GBWC buttonIf you are in any way familiar with Lamaze International, hopefully you are aware of the Six Healthy Birth Practices.  Many years ago, I fell in love with these nifty “guidelines” that supported and reinforced everything that I had been teaching in my childbirth classes. These six care practices promoting safe and healthy birth each have their own list of citations of research supporting each care practice and a short, but extremely informative video to go along with each one.  As it has been a few years since the Six Healthy Birth Practices was released, Lamaze International is in the process of updating the citation sheets to source the most current information.

I want to bring your attention to a fantastic resource guide on the Six Healthy Care Practices that Community Manager Cara Terreri put together on Giving Birth With Confidence,  the Lamaze blog for parents and expectant families.  Cara created the “Sixty Tips for Healthy Birth” series, and in six separate blog posts provides ten tips for each Birth Practice that highlights working toward a healthy birth practice that promotes physiological birth.

60 Tips for Healthy Birth – From Giving Birth With Confidence

Part 1: Let Labor Begin on Its Own

Part 2: Walk, Move Around and Change Positions Throughout Labor

Part 3: Bring a Loved One, Friend or Doula for Continuous Support

Part 4: Avoid Interventions that Are Not Medically Necessary

Part 5: Avoid Giving Birth on Your Back and Follow Your Body’s Urges to Push

Part 6: Keep Mother and Baby Together, It’s Best for Mother, Baby and Breastfeeding

Teaching Activities Using the Sixty Tips

childbirth ed classI have created several interactive teaching activities using Cara’s tips.  As each Healthy Birth Practice come up in your class, have the ten tips from the GBWC blog on strips of paper or small cards available to each family for individual work, or larger laminated cards for small group or whole class work.  Ask the families (or the class as a whole) to sort the cards into a logical order from easiest to hardest to accomplish.  They can indicate which tips have already been completed in their family and which ones might still be left to do.  If they completed the activity by individual family, facilitate a discussion as they share with the whole class.  If you conduct this activity as a whole class, this discussion will unfold naturally of course.  Alternately, they can sort the cards into the most important to least important for achieving this goal.  Or any other number of ways.

Families can build confidence that they have already successfully achieved several of the recommendations and identify things they still can do to support the type of birth they are planning.  They can also connect with other families, recognizing that everyone is working hard to be prepared.

Another way to use these tips in class is to provide the tips as a checklist and ask families to check off those that they have completed.  Ask families to challenge themselves to complete one of the items that they have not already done.  If it is a series class, you can check in at the end of the series and award a small prize to the family that has completed the largest number of tips.

A third suggestion is to ask students to add their own tips or create their own list for each Healthy Birth Practice.  Using newsprint, have one sheet for each Healthy Birth Practice, and break the class into groups, with each group working on one of the Practices, creating their own thoughts to go along with the 60 that Cara shared.

How do you see using the Sixty Tips for Healthy Birth in your childbirth classes?  Please share your ideas in our comments section so we can all learn and collaborate on great teaching ideas that help families have safer and healthier birth experiences.




Childbirth Education, Giving Birth with Confidence, Healthy Birth Practices, Healthy Care Practices, Maternity Care , , , , ,

  1. | #1

    This is a great collection of tips. I think that this should be a must read for every childbirth educator! I really appreciate the helpful information from S&S.

  2. | #2

    Thanks for sharing my tips, Sharon. And I love your coordinating teaching tips! I’m eager to hear how others use them.

  3. | #3

    I agree with Robin. This is a must read for childbirth educators.
    I am sad and concerned that couples are not attending traditional classes in the numbers that they used to,
    and that the “express” classes are so popular.
    Couples simply do not know what they do not know – and unknowingly facilitate our dysfunctional maternity care system as a result.
    I know this sounds harsh – but it is true!
    When I was teaching, the Six Healthy Birth Practices were always a handout and the book Giving Birth With Confidence was on my Recommended Reading List.

  4. | #4

    60 tips are great for CBEs to know, but 6 is enough to share as concepts with first time parents!! As CBEs become more knowledgeable it is easy to start overloading parents-to-be with information. Specific active implementation of tips that illustrate the 6 principles is more effective than teaching 60 concepts!

  5. | #5

    Thanks for your feedback, Ann — I couldn’t agree with you more! Which is why, if you look through the 60 tips, they are specific, action-oriented ways to achieve each of the 6 Healthy Birth Practices. The tips I’ve provided are not new concepts to learn, but rather a checklist to help women get on the best path to achieving each of the 6 Healthy Birth Practices.

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