Archive for the ‘Giving Birth with Confidence’ Category

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 , , , , ,

Seeking Real Life Stories from Women Who Have Experienced Pregnancy & Birth Complications

May 28th, 2013 by avatar

© http://flic.kr/p/3mcESR

Both expectant families and childbirth professionals alike would like nothing more than pregnancy and birth to remain uncomplicated and proceed normally. We can celebrate when that happens but we have a responsibility to also teach and share about some of the variations from normal that may come up during pregnancy and birth.

Cara Terreri, the Community Manager for Lamaze International’s parent blog, Giving Birth with Confidence, is looking for women’s input on pregnancy complications for a new series that she will be running in the coming months.

If you have had personal experience with one or more of the following (or know students, clients or patients who do) and would like to participate, please contact the blog manager, Cara Terreri at cterreri@lamaze.org

  • Preeclampsia/eclampsia & HELLP
  • Placental abruption/hemorrhage 
  • Placenta previa/accreta
  • Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR)
  • Incompetent/weakened cervix
  • Hyperemis Gravidarum
  • Preterm labor
I look forward to reading this upcoming series and sharing the stories with my students and clients.  Thank you for any help you might provide.

Giving Birth with Confidence, Lamaze International, News about Pregnancy, Patient Advocacy, Pre-eclampsia, Pregnancy Complications , , , , ,

Food for Thought! Covering Nutrition in Your Childbirth Classes

April 25th, 2013 by avatar

The topic of nutrition in pregnancy (and for breastfeeding moms) is an important one to cover, but may not get a lot of attention during your childbirth classes.  Women may also be “squeezing in” birth classes late in their third trimester, so the opportunity to make dietary changes during their pregnancy may not be feeling quite as “urgent” and they are very focused on preparing for labor and birth, as well as the postpartum period.  Hopefully, pregnant women are having an evidence based conversation about nutrition with their doctor or midwife during one of their early prenatals (or even better, during a preconception appointment, if they have had the opportunity to have one) at the start of their pregnancy.

Resources for Parents

Lamaze International’s “Giving Birth With Confidence” blog has several fantastic articles written by nutrition experts that you may want to review.  After reading these nutrition themed articles, you may very well want to consider sharing them with your class students as between class homework, highlighting them in a newsletter or just directing your students to the links.

Cara Terreri, the Community Manager at Giving Birth With Confidence states “Pregnant moms encounter so much conflicting advice on nutrition — from family, friends, doctors, the internet. First-time moms especially are known to stress over getting their nutrition just right. Educators can be an excellent resource to help moms find the most credible information.”

GBWC articles available include:

Choose My Plate

Additionally, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a very user-friendly, easy to read section on nutrition for pregnant and breastfeeding women in the “Choose My Plate” website.  Included in this section, is a “Daily Food Plan” personalized for each woman.  By creating a customized profile, using the SuperTracker tool,  a mother enters information, including her prepregnancy weight, her height and her due date.  The program creates a Daily Food Plan personalized for her pregnancy progress.  There is also a place to track foods eaten and the ability to produce reports to see how a mother is meeting suggested requirements.

I created a sample profile, as a pregnant woman, and found it very easy to move around and find useful information designed just for me. I suggest you take a few minutes to play around with it also, so you can share your experience with your classes.

Learning Activities

I teach nutrition in a variety of ways during my childbirth classes.  One of my favorite activities is to ask each family to bring in a food that is good for pregnant and breastfeeding women to eat.  We go around and have each family share what they brought, what nutrients, vitamins and benefits that item provides, how much makes up a single serving and finally I ask them to share their favorite way to eat it.

 I teaching method I use to share the nutritional needs of a pregnant or breastfeeding woman is to pass around my “lunch box” filled with laminated or plastic/fake food item.  Each family draws something from the lunch box and has a few minutes to look up information about that particular food, (see above) before sharing with the class.  I have some nutritional handouts and books in class and of course, the families all seem to have smart phones.

How do you teach nutrition?

Sharing nutritional information for pregnancy and breastfeeding is an important component of childbirth classes that often gets short shrift or overlooked all together.  If you are a childbirth educator, please share how YOU teach this important topic in your classes so that we all can create a diverse group of teaching tools to keep things lively for our students and ourselves.  If you are a provider, how do you talk about your client or patient’s nutritional needs during the childbearing year?  I look forward to reading your comments, suggestions and thoughts!  Thanks for participating.

Breastfeeding, Childbirth Education, Giving Birth with Confidence, Newborns, News about Pregnancy, Preconception Care , , , , ,

Getting the Most out of Your Hospital Tour; A Parent Webinar for You and Your Students

April 18th, 2013 by avatar

Taking the hospital tour is considered to be a right of passage for expectant parents choosing to birth in the hospital.  They gather together in a group, a bit nervous, a bit excited, following the tour guide, quietly tiptoeing through the labor and delivery unit, hearing and seeing women in labor, peeking into empty rooms, learning where to park and finding out about the amenities that the facility has to offer.  They smile slightly to themselves and begin to imagine themselves birthing in one of these very rooms in the not too distant future.

A few families may ask questions, inquiring about policies and what they are “allowed” to do once admitted.  In fact, some of these questions may come up in your classes or you may hear stories about what the students learned on their various tours.

Lamaze International is offering a Parent Webinar: Getting the Most out of Your Hospital Tour next Wednesday, April 24th. at 12 PM EST.  This one hour webinar is being presented by Allison Walsh, IBCLC, LCCE.  This engaging learning opportunity can help parents to prepare for their tour,  ask questions that count and really understand what they need to do to have an active, upright birth within the hospital setting.


I encourage childbirth educators to inform their students about this webinar opportunity and suggest your CBE families register now.  The webinar will be made available in recorded form in a timely fashion after the live presentation is completed.  As an educator, I see lots of opportunities to bring this webinar into your classroom for discussion, watch snippets of it throughout your series, or ask your students to do a fun role play, incorporating what they learned from the webinar.

Some CBEs and L&D nurses may be the tour guide at the hospital, and this webinar can help them to offer an effective and evidence based tour that thoroughly meets the need of participants.

Tweet about this opportunity, post it on Facebook and share with students and your community of pregnant families, encouraging them to register now!  By attending this free webinar, families will become more informed maternity care consumers and in a better position to “Push for Their Baby.”

The Lamaze Parent blog, Giving Birth With Confidence highlighted this webinar in a comprehensive blog post yesterday that you may also want to share with your families.

To learn more about the Parent Webinar: “Getting the Most out of Your Hospital Tour” and to register, please click here.  See you at the webinar!

Childbirth Education, Continuing Education, Evidence Based Medicine, Giving Birth with Confidence, Healthy Birth Practices, Healthy Care Practices, informed Consent, Maternity Care, Patient Advocacy, Push for Your Baby, Social Media, Webinars , , , , , ,

Lamaze Wants YOU! Board of Directors and Volunteers Being Recruited Now!

March 5th, 2013 by avatar

© Pixabay

Lamaze International is an organization that is led by a volunteer Board of Directors.  Tara Owens Shuler is our Board President.  Many women and men donate immeasurable hours, knowledge and skills by filling council and committee positions and stepping up to volunteer in so many facets of our organization.  All of these volunteers contribute to making Lamaze International the premier childbirth education  and advocacy organization for evidence based maternity care for mothers and babies here in North America and worldwide.

Lamaze is recognized as a leader in the childbirth community and we want to continue to offer families, educators and other birth professionals the top-notch workshops, trainings, classes, webinars, publications, resources and conferences that people expect from an organization of our caliber.  This can only be accomplished by your help!

Lamaze International is actively seeking men and women to fill  Board of Director positions beginning in the fall of 2013 as current directors’ terms are ending.  Do you have the skills, energy and ideas that we need?  Do you enjoy collaborating and thinking globally with others who are equally passionate about pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and parenting?  Are you ready to take on a leadership role in the Lamaze organization and contribute your expertise and skill set to making our organization even bigger and better and helping to improve maternity care?  If the idea of serving Lamaze in this way is of interest to you, then I encourage you to read more about the upcoming elections and considering submitting an application to be considered for the slate.

Board members serve for 4 years and participate in two in-person meetings a year, the first weekend in March and at the annual conference in the fall.  To learn more about the roles and responsibilities of board members, please read the Board job descriptions.  You may download a board candidate questionnaire and submit it before the application deadline of April 15th, 2013

The Board of Directors may be a big step and you may be hesitant.  Why not consider easing in to volunteer service with Lamaze by serving in another capacity, such as on one of the Lamaze International committees.  The following openings are available:

More information about these volunteer opportunities can be found on our Volunteer Opportunities page.  Lamaze International depends and relies on the wisdom, passion, skills and contributions of our members who step up and go the extra mile by volunteering for this dynamic organization.  What a wonderful way to be involved, learn about all the new and exciting things that Lamaze is doing, collaborate with other passionate members and make a real difference.  If you are new to the birth professional community, volunteering is a wonderful opportunity to learn and expand your network of colleagues.

I would love to hear what you are interested in?  Where do you see yourself getting involved?  How you can help Lamaze International grow and develop?  Share your thoughts in our comments section, check out the board and committee openings at the above links and get involved now!


Childbirth Education, Evidence Based Medicine, Giving Birth with Confidence, Guest Posts, Lamaze International, Lamaze News, Maternal Quality Improvement, Push for Your Baby, Science & Sensibility , , , , , ,