The Lamaze International Strategic Framework 2014-2017 that resulted from in-depth strategic planning meetings held earlier this year with the Board of Director and Lamaze Management resulted in many forward thinking, comprehensive and courageous goals, including plans to “innovate education and expand to the childbearing years” by:
- reaching more women earlier and more frequently throughout childbearing years,
- expanding delivery methods for online education (e.g., virtual classes, Facetime consults, and mobile apps), and
- developing a strategy to broaden outreach at the electronic level and cultivate moms ‘up’ the ladder for more personalized services and training.
As part of fulfilling this mission, Lamaze International is pleased to announce that three online childbirth education classes are developed, online and open for business. The first class to go live was “Safe and Healthy Birth: Six Simple Steps,” a class designed to help families prepare for birth by presenting six simple practices shown to greatly improve birth outcomes for both mothers and babies. The next two were recently added – VBAC: Informed and Ready and Breastfeeding Basics: From Birth to Back to Work.
The online classes are presented in an interactive, engaging format with unlimited access for parents, so they can complete the class(es) at their own pace. The classes are meant to be used as an important beginning point in a families’ complete prenatal education. They provide vital information, and throughout the online course, families are encouraged to find a comprehensive in person Lamaze class in order receive a thorough preparation for childbirth. Parents are informed that to be fully prepared for labor, birth, breastfeeding, and postpartum, it’s important to attend a good quality childbirth course. There are links to the “Find a Lamaze Class” portion of the parent website.
The online classes can be accessed on a computer (desktop or laptop), tablet or smartphone and learning can take place at a convenient time and place for each individual family. There are interactive activities and discussion forums to connect with other participating families. Fun quizzes are spaced throughout the course to help with the retention of information.
Safe and Healthy Birth: Six Simple Steps
Knowledge is power! It’s our goal to help you prepare for one of the most important days of your life – baby’s birthday! This course presents six simple practices that research has shown to greatly improve birth outcomes for both mothers and babies. These practices have been developed by Lamaze International and are based on recommendations by the World Health Organization. Lamaze has simplified the scientific facts into six healthy birth practices to make it easy for you to choose the safest care, understand your options, and steer clear of care practices or unnecessary interventions that may not be the best for you and your baby.
After completing this course, learners will be able to:
- Discover how the Lamaze Six Healthy Birth Practices can simplify your labor and birth
- Find out how your care provider and support team can make a difference
- Learn about common medical interventions
- Alleviate fears and learn ways to manage pain
- Build your knowledge and confidence to make informed decisions
Breastfeeding Basics: From Birth to Back to Work
As comforting and healthy as breastfeeding can be, it is not always easy in the first few weeks while recovering from birth. If you find yourself struggling, know that hard work in the early weeks pays off as you and your baby learn to breastfeed. Having realistic expectations about how breastfeeding will go in the early weeks will help you to meet your breastfeeding goals. With the information in this class, you can prepare to get breastfeeding off to a great start and look forward to the many benefits that breastfeeding can provide to you and your baby.
After complete this class, learners will be able to:
- Recognize the Benefits of Breastfeeding to Mother and Baby
- Understand how milk supply works
- Learn about the mechanics of breastfeeding, latch and positioning
- Recognize good feeding and if baby is getting enough milk
- Manage nighttime breastfeeding
- Be prepared for what to do if there is a recommendation to supplement/pump
- Prepare for returning to work
VBAC: Informed and Ready
This class will help you understand the facts, benefits, and risks of all your delivery options including a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC), and set you up for the best chance of success. Prepare yourself and learn how to simplify your labor and birth by participating in this interactive online course.
After completing this class, learners will be able to:
- Understand the risks and benefits of both VBAC and repeat cesarean birth
- Recognize the qualities of a VBAC supportive health care provider
- Identify a strong support team for your VBAC birth
- Develop and practice coping and comfort techniques that will help during your VBAC labor
- Write a VBAC and cesarean birth plan that reflects your informed preferences
International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN) has collaborated with Lamaze International to offer all ICAN members a 15% discount on the VBAC class, to help them feel better prepared as they plan for their subsequent birth after a cesarean. To learn more about ICAN and become a member, in order to take advantage of this discount, follow the link to the “Join ICAN page.”
Additional courses planned include “Labor Pain Management: Techniques for Comfort and Coping” -scheduled to go live next month and an early pregnancy class in the early part of 2015.
Offering online classes serves to increase name recognition of the Lamaze International brand and create demand for in person Lamaze classes offered by LCCEs around the world. Programs like this position Lamaze as the leader in childbirth education. Additionally, families that do not have Lamaze educators in their community can take advantage of the evidence based information and skills offered in the classes. Educators can follow the class links above and sample all of the courses in a preview segment.