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Lamaze Toolkit for Childbirth Educators: A Valuable New Resource For Any Childbirth Educator

October 25th, 2012 by avatar

This is a big weekend for Lamaze International for many reasons.  The 2012 Innovative Learning Forum is happening starting tomorrow in Nashville, TN, and right now, childbirth professionals and those interested in improving maternity care for childbearing women are making their way to Nashville via plane, train and automobile to network, listen to a fantastic line up of keynote speakers, participate in interactive learning sessions taught by creative and dynamic presenters, shop and meet sponsors and exhibitors, enjoy good food, Nashville hospitality and socialize with men and women who share the belief that birth is normal.

If you are not able to join the party in Nashville, you do have the option of participating in the four general sessions presented by the keynote speakers through the virtual conference option.  Either way, there is an opportunity for expanding your knowledge and getting important new information about teaching pregnancy, birth, parenting and breastfeeding topics to expectant families.

New Resource for Educators

There is another exciting event happening at this weekend’s gathering.  Lamaze International unveils a brand new resource for childbirth educators; The Lamaze Toolkit for Childbirth Educators. If you are at the conference this weekend, you can preview this toolkit at the Lamaze booth and participate in a contest to be entered in a drawing for the Lamaze Six Healthy Birth Practices PowerPoint Presentation with Videos, a valuable part of the new toolkit.  (More info on the how to enter later in this post.)

The Lamaze Toolkit for Childbirth Educators (Toolkit) is a brand new 317 page workbook created by Debby Amis, RN, BSN, CD(DONA), LCCE, FACCE and Jeanne Green, CD(DONA), LCCE, FACCE.  Debby and Jeanne have both held leadership roles in Lamaze International for many years, as well as contribute to other birth related organizations.  Together, Debby and Jeanne are the owners and directors of The Family Way Publications and Childbirth Educator Programs.

I wanted to review this Toolkit and let you know some of the highlights, so that you can be sure to allow time to check it out yourself at the Lamaze booth at the Forum or online, and consider adding the Toolkit to your own personal teaching resources.  After purchasing, I was easily able to download an electronic version of the Toolkit to my laptop.  For the purpose of this review, I chose to print out the Toolkit for easy access using my substantial Lamaze/FedEx discount that I receive as a benefit of being a Lamaze member.  An educator could easily chose to keep the electronic version handy and just choose to print out any handouts that will be utilized in class.

What’s Inside

The Toolkit is divided into 8 sections, starting off with “Dynamic Childbirth Education.”  Immediately, ideas are jumping off the pages on different methods of curriculum development, the components of a great class and preparations you might want to consider even before your class begins. There is something for everyone, no matter if you are a right brained creative thinker or a left brained in-depth organizer.  I found several new ideas for opening my childbirth classes and was excited to give some new things a try the next time I teach.

The Toolkit follows along with The Lamaze Fundamentals for Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting with a section devoted to each one.  In each section, I found a list of selected materials and teaching aids that you might want to consider, along with information on where or how to acquire different items.  Teaching ideas, interactive learning methods, and active learning activities are so abundant throughout the book that it could be very easy to quickly choose a few favorites and immediately have a handful of ways to teach each topic you cover.  Another feature that I very much appreciated was the Lamaze web resources for each topic as well as other web links to useful pages, outstanding online videos and resources to share with class students.  In every section, the Lamaze principles that pregnancy and birth is normal, natural and healthy are apparent and the activities and teaching suggestions reinforce those principals while giving students confidence-building tools and ideas for pregnancy, birth and parenting.

Section V provides class outlines for all kinds of classes, including early pregnancy classes, series classes, and weekend classes, with a lesson plan for whatever your needs might be. Section VI: Resources provides suggestions for dozens of teaching aids and where to locate them for purchase if necessary. Sample presentation slides are outlined slide by slide, should you wish to supplement your class activities.  Lists of websites useful to childbirth educators are included, where no doubt you could get lost for days, mining the different sites for more useful and relevant information for you and your students.

Section VII: Handouts has an extensive collection of share-able handouts and worksheets loaded with fun activities, as well as examples of practical forms, such as sign in sheets, class evaluations, and review material for class participants.  Even items that you might email in advance of class or send as a follow-up to reinforce the material or facilitate discussions.  The 317 page Toolkit wraps up with Section VIII: References with the websites and research articles that support the preceding sections, should you wish to reference the original sources or seek more information.

There is an accompanying Lamaze Six Healthy Birth Practices PowerPoint Presentation with Videos included with the Toolkit.  This presentation is modifiable and includes over 80 colorful slides and embedded videos.  Or you may choose to purchase the PowerPoint Presentation alone for a reduced price.  The Lamaze Toolkit for Childbirth Educators (including PowerPoint and Videos) is $175 for Lamaze members and $350 for non-members.  Lamaze Six Healthy Birth Practices PowerPoint Presentation with Videos alone is $65/$140. These items are one-time purchases, and you do not need to purchase additional license for continued use.

No matter if you are a new educator, or one who has been teaching for years, I think you will be amazed at the sheer number of practical ideas, creative teaching methods, effective activities and course outlines that will be new to you and create excitement for you to mix things up with some of the Toolkit ideas.  I have just about 10 years of teaching childbirth classes under my belt and I found myself taking notes of new things I can’t wait to try!  You can teach an old dog new tricks.  I can only imagine how valuable a tool like this would have been when I was just starting out!  The days and days of work it would have saved me in preparing to teach my classes. Even now, I feel like it is fun for both students and myself, to mix things up, it keeps me on my toes and enjoying my work, and lets me offer fun and effective learning opportunities to the families I work with.  This Toolkit is a wonderful and fresh way to share the all the new messages, such as “Push For Your Baby” and others that Lamaze worked so hard to make just right!

I Am Lamaze Photo Contest- Win a Healthy Birth Practice Power Point presentation with videos

Lamaze Forum Attendees: show your pride! Share a photo of yourself at the conference via social media and you’ll have a chance to win a Healthy Birth Practice Power Point presentation with videos, just one of the resources in the brand new Lamaze Toolkit for Childbirth Educators. The full toolkit is a comprehensive online toolkit (312 pages), which offers interactive teaching strategies, ready-to-use handouts, class outlines, and an 88 slide complete PowerPoint presentation on the Lamaze Six Healthy Birth Practices with teaching notes, and a full range of teaching resources. The Lamaze Toolkit also includes access to the easy-to-use resources and an online community with a discussion forum for sharing tips with other educators. Be sure to stop by Lamaze booth #104/106 to take a “test drive!”! Retail value of the Power Point Presentation is $65 for members and $140 for non-members.

There are three ways you can be eligible to enter:
1. Twitter: tweet a photo of yourself at the Forum and tag @lamazeadvocates and #lamaze12 to be eligible
2. Facebook: Post a photo of yourself at the Forum and tag LamazeEducators or post your photo to our wall:
htttp://www.facebook.com/lamazeeducators.
3. Email a photo of yourself at the Forum to info@lamaze.org and we’ll post it to our Facebook album.

A winner will be chosen at random and announced on Sunday, October 28!

 

Added Bonus: Toolkit Forum
 There is an added bonus for anyone who purchases the Lamaze Toolkit for Childbirth Educators; Full access to a specialized forum on the Lamaze website, where you can interact with other community members who have also purchased this resource.  Have discussions, share ideas, successes and improvements you made, ask questions and learn how others are using this valuable tool.  Reach out and collaborate virtually with others who are also using the Toolkit in their classrooms.
If you are at the Innovative Learning Forum, stop by the Lamaze Booth and “test-drive” this new resource.  Remember to enter the drawing for the Lamaze Six Healthy Birth Practices PowerPoint Presentation with Videos during your stay in Nashville, to be awarded on Sunday, October 28th.  Or you can purchase the Toolkit here on the Lamaze site.  Once you have had a chance to take a peek, either at the booth or once you return home, let us know what you think and how your classes have changed using the resources available to you.

 

 

Book Reviews, Breastfeeding, Childbirth Education, Continuing Education, Evidence Based Medicine, Films about Childbirth, Films about Pregnancy, Healthy Birth Practices, Healthy Care Practices, informed Consent, Lamaze 2012 Annual Conference, Lamaze Method, Push for Your Baby, Uncategorized , , , , , , , , , ,

Book Review: Optimal Care in Childbirth: The Case for a Physiologic Approach Reviewed Through a Childbirth Educator’s Eyes

October 18th, 2012 by avatar

I had waited excitedly for the release of Henci Goer and Amy Romano’s new book for a long time and was delighted to receive it after it was published in May 2012. Optimal Care in Childbirth: The Case for a Physiologic Approach was a robust, updated successor to Henci’s previous book; Obstetric Myths Versus Research Realities which was a well used source on my office bookshelf.

Both authors have a long history with Lamaze International. Prior to her current position with Childbirth Connection, directing the Transforming Maternity Care Partnership, Amy launched Science & Sensibility, and provided a keen and critical eye when analyzing, reviewing and sharing research items with readers. Henci Goer has been the long time resident expert on the “Ask Henci” forum hosted by Lamaze International, providing and sharing resources on a wide variety of pregnancy and childbirth topics with consumers and professionals alike, as well as a regular contributor to this blog. Please read the full bios of Amy and Henci on their website, where you can find complete information on their work, background and other works that they have authored.

As the title clearly states, this book is about childbirth, and as such, you will not find information on pregnancy, breastfeeding or newborn topics. Nor is this the type of text that childbirth educators would hand out in class for consumers to use. This book is heavy with sources, study outcomes and insights into current obstetric practices. But, as a guide to best practice, the book becomes a great repository of information that allows consumers and professionals alike to learn and make decisions about care that can help keep birth as physiological as possible. The book focuses on what factors affect, both positively and negatively, birth, so that an optimal outcome can occur.

The authors define optimal outcomes as “the highest probability of spontaneous birth of a healthy baby to a healthy mother, who feels pleased with herself and her caregivers, ready for the challenges of motherhood, attached to her baby, and goes on to breastfeed successfully.”

The chapters are well organized, with the topic of cesareans starting things off. Cesarean rates have never been higher, and many of the topics that Goer and Romano discuss later in the book often have the unintended consequence of contributing to the skyrocketing cesarean rates in this country. I think it is an important topic and one that receives a thorough evaluation by the authors.

Each chapter starts off with “contradicting” quotes from researchers working in the field of obstetrics, and I have to say, that reading these at the beginning of each chapter was something I looked forward to, a nice added bonus and really made me pause and consider the different viewpoints and how they influence practice today. The lead in for chapter 12 on epidurals and spinals contains one of my favorites:

“There is no other circumstance in which it is considered acceptable for a person to experience untreated severe pain, amenable to safe interventions, while under a physician’s care.” ACOG 2006

“Epidural anaesthesia remains one of childbirth’s best exemplars of iatrogenesis. It is a wonderful intervention for managing labour complications, especially as an alternative to general anaesthetic for caesarean sections, but has significant side effects that constantly need weighing alongside benefits. Though its rising popularity almost grants it the status of normative practice on some [U.K.] maternity unites, it remains incompatable with physiological labour.” Walsh 2007

Each chapter begins with a wonderful perspective on each topic, sharing history and cultural practices so the reader can understand how standard protocols found in most birthing facilities have come to be, even when not backed up by research. I think it is critical to include this information, for if there is to be a shift to more evidence based care in the field of obstetrics, we need to be aware and acknowledge that some practices may have evolved for legal, cultural, social or policy reasons having nothing to do with sound research.

The authors ask and answer the very questions that I find myself asking out loud, helping the reader to understand why we continually observe care that is known to not improve outcomes. For example, when discussing electronic fetal monitoring, the question “Why does use of continuous EFM persist?” in normal low risk labors is asked (and thoroughly answered) with supporting references for further information.

Each chapter contains a brief summary of action steps that women can take to receive optimal care, along with the supporting research that backs up these steps. These lists are great talking points both for educators to integrate in their classrooms, but also for consumers to discuss with their health care providers and understand why their care might deviate from that supported by research.

The conclusion of each chapter has what the authors call a “mini-review” and neatly summarizes the important topic statements and provides (and references) outcomes of studies so that the reader can evaluate for himself or herself the validity of the research. Though these sections are called reviews, I found them to be a very helpful component of the book, when looking for solid sources.

At the end of each chapter, all of the sources referenced in that chapter are listed.

Henci Goer

I was very appreciative throughout the book, for the definitions that the authors provided when discussing a topic. It is important (and helpful) to know how terms are defined, so that the reader can best understand the discussion. For example, in one of the cesarean chapters, one can find a list of “rate” terms, so when “primaparous cesarean rate” is discussed, this term has already been explained.

Several places throughout the book, in various callout boxes, Goer and Romano discussed the selective language that health care providers use when talking about childbirth and presenting information to families. I found these small detours fascinating, as I am very interested in the language that HCPs use to discuss risk, procedures and events with their patients.

The last chapters of the book take a look at choice of birth location, what the ideal maternity care system might include and includes information on maternal mental health. The appendices speak to common “less than optimal” situations, such as the OP fetus in labor, meconium staining and other circumstances that frequently cause concern and labor interventions. Again, the authors include information on optimal care in these cases that can help.

It is clear from some of the phrasing, chapter titles and choice of words in some of the discussions, that the authors have a bias towards a childbirth process that unfolds in a natural and physiological manner. This language, while potentially off-putting to those who firmly believe in the medical model, is effective in causing the reader to consider standard practices that make no logical “sense”, and certainly, references are provided for further research should the reader wish to investigate further.

I must say that I very much enjoyed this book, and I will find it very useful in my doula and Lamaze childbirth education practice. It is the type of book that one thumbs through frequently, when asked a question by a student or client, or when helping a client to prepare to speak to their health care provider about best practices and birth preferences. I think that any birth professional would do well to have this book on their shelf and be able to refer to it when necessary. This book represents a significant amount of research and I find great comfort in knowing that all the resources and references supporting the statements made in the book are available for me to source myself.

Amy Romano

I look forward to the release of the e-book version of this title, expected this fall, for the Kindle, iPad and other tablets, so that I could have easy access from wherever I am. I would be delighted if the references and sources could be routinely updated as new research is released and published, so that I can use this guide for many years to come, confident that it reflects the newest and most valid research. I know that is a formidable task, but I would gladly pay a small subscription fee to have an updated version as often as necessary.

This book is available for purchase from both Amazon.com and the Optimal Care in Childbirth website. The book is on the expensive side, costing approximately $50.00, but very well may become the go-to source for evidenced based research on your office shelf, so worth the investment. If you choose to purchase from the book’s site, there are bulk and wholesale discounts available.  For purchases made from the book’s website, the authors are providing a 15% discount for our Science & Sensibility blog readers and conference attendees. Enter code UXJXI52F at checkout to receive the discount.

I hope that you are planning to attend the upcoming Lamaze International Innovative Learning Forum next week, where both Amy Romano and Henci Goer have been invited to speak. You will have an opportunity to meet these authors, ask them questions, purchase this book and hear their powerful presentations. As a General Session Speaker, Amy’s session will be available as part of the “Virtual Conference” option for those unable to attend the conference in person.

Have you read Optimal Care in Childbirth?  Are you using it already in your practice?  Please share your thoughts and comments in our comment section here on the blog.  I look forward to hearing your views. – SM

References

ACOG committee opinion. No. 339: Analgesia and cesarean delivery rates. Obstet Gynecol 206;107(6):1487-8.

Walsh D. Evidenced Based Care for Normal Labor and Birth. London: Routledge; 2007.

Book Reviews, Cesarean Birth, Childbirth Education, Epidural Analgesia, Fetal Monitoring, Healthcare Reform, informed Consent, Lamaze 2012 Annual Conference, Maternal Mental Health, Medical Interventions, New Research, Pain Management, Practice Guidelines, Research, Systematic Review, Transforming Maternity Care , , , , , , , , ,

Early Bird Prices for 2012 Lamaze Innovative Learning Forum Ends 9/24! Are You Registered?

September 18th, 2012 by avatar

 

The 2012 Lamaze Innovative Learning Forum is scheduled for October 26-28 in Nashville, TN and now is the time to sign up for this exciting learning and networking opportunity. This year’s conference theme is “Safe and Healthy Birth: The Music of Our Head, Heart and Hands” and Lamaze International is offering a new approach, which includes more opportunities for interaction among attendees with lower costs and less time away from work and family. Contact hours good for Lamaze, Nursing, ACNM, IBCLC re-certifications will be awarded for attendance at this continuing education event.

The internationally recognized General Session speakers include Ina May Gaskin, (Birth Works, Why Don’t More People in the U.S. Know it?), Dr. Jack Newman, (The First Hour),  Steven B. Frye, (Adult Learning and Conceptual Change: Putting Theory to Practice), and Abby Epstein, (The Accidental Birth Advocate).

In between general sessions, you will be treated to Interactive Learning Sessions, where the topics of Maternal Safety, Infant Safety and Evidenced Based Teaching and Practice will be highlighted in the categories of Head, Heart and Hands.  Leave these sessions full of ideas to take back with you and implement to make your classes, client relationships and professional knowledge more effective and useful to all.

Morning Learning Sessions, Exercise Sessions, Film and Poster Presentations and a full Exhibit Hall present additional opportunities to learn, shop, connect and participate in all the 2012 Lamaze Innovative Learning Forum has to offer.

The social event of the conference, “Papas and Mamas Sing For Healthy Birth” Benefit Concert is a partnership between Lamaze International and Attachment Parenting International to benefit and celebrate healthy birth scheduled for Saturday evening.  The concert will feature Grammy winner Delbert McClinton and The McCrary Sisters.

You can save $145 dollars on the forum registration fee if you register by Monday, September 24, 2012, when “early bird” registration closes. This represents significant savings and a great value for your continuing education and conference dollars.

Choose to attend the pre-Forum workshops and attend a Lamaze Childbirth Education Seminar facilitated by DUKE AHEC or the Lamaze Evidenced-Based Nursing Care: Labor Support Skills Workshop facilitated by Judith Lothian and take advantage of the bundled registration fee for the specialized workshops and the 2012 Forum, saving yourself $100 in the process.

Stay a few extra days in Nashville and treat yourself to a DONA International Birth Doula Workshop led by Patricia Predmore, DONA International Birth Doula Mentor. Attendance at this workshop and the Forum saves you $50 over purchasing the two registrations separately.

Click here to register for the conference and get “early bird” rates when you register to attend by September 24, 2012.  You can also connect with other Forum attendees to find a roommate or two to share in your hotel costs at the beautiful Sheraton Nashville Downtown Hotel and take advantage of the special Lamaze Forum room rate.  You do not want to miss the childbirth education event of the year.  Sign up now.

 

Babies, Childbirth Education, Conference Schedule, Continuing Education, Evidence Based Medicine, Films about Childbirth, Films about Pregnancy, Healthy Birth Practices, Healthy Care Practices, Lamaze 2012 Annual Conference, Newborns, Push for Your Baby, Uncategorized , , , , , , , , , , , , ,