By Ashley Benz, LCCE, IBCLC
This month's Brilliant Activities for Birth Educators offers some insight into how to utilize many of the Lamaze International online courses that are available to the public. The online courses can supplement what you offer as a childbirth educator to parents in your community. Educator Ashley Benz, LCCE, IBCLC offers some suggestions on how to connect your face to face activities with the online opportunities available. Do you already use these online resources? Might you consider incorporating the online classes in the future? Let us know in the comments section. We would love to hear from you. To read the entire Brilliant Activities for Birth Educators posts, click here. Sharon Muza, Science & Sensibility Community Manager
Many Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educators mistakenly believe that they are not able to use the online classes offered by Lamaze International to their benefit. In fact, these can be a great way to add value to your class, increase the number of families you reach and make your teaching easier. Many of us have lamented that even 12-14 hours with families is not enough time to truly prepare them. By using the classes before, during and after your class, you can increase participant satisfaction, value and information retention.
1. Use the Free Healthy Pregnancy Class As An Introduction
Liberally distribute the link to the free Labor Confidence with Lamaze class. This gives expectant families an idea of the type of evidence-based information you will be featuring in your class. The class is designed to be engaging, informational and “millennial friendly.” It also encourages parents to seek out a local in-person Lamaze class, like yours. When your students show up at your class they will already be introduced to topics like staying low risk and choosing a care provider who fits their needs. The more often people hear this, and from the more sources, the better!
2. Feature the Online Portal In Class
Many of our students are used to information at their fingertips. The Lamaze online class portal offers them the option to find information quickly and from a respected source. Whether this is for class preparation, review or just additional information, this resource is available to your students. This is also handy for those students who ask “Did I miss anything” during an absence. If you do not have the time for a private makeup class, you can remind them that the online class option is always there.
3. Direct Students with Specific Situations to the Add-On Classes
VBAC, Newborn Care and Sex During Pregnancy are all topics that you may find take more time than you have to offer in your classes. Rather than cutting short on information or printing yet another handout, send parents to the Lamaze online classes to take fun and informational online classes on these specific topics. For your parents who can’t get enough information, let them know that they can review Labor Pain Management, Breastfeeding and Parenting online too.
4. Roll the Online Classes Into Your Fee
Some LCCE educators decide that in order to maximize class time, they will have all parents sign up for the Best Sellers Bundle (Safe and Healthy Birth: Six Simple Steps, Labor Pain Management: Techniques for Comfort and Coping and Breastfeeding Basics: From Birth to Back to Work). Some will have families participate in the online classes prior to in-person class and some will have them reference it to review or expand their knowledge after class. Other educators include a supplemental course, such as Bringing Home Baby or Parenting Together: Starting Off Strong for additional teaching beyond what you have time to cover in person.
Each module has quizzes throughout so that parents can test their knowledge. They can bring their questions back to group class after completing the online class. The classes are designed to be a dynamic and engaging alternative to a traditional workbook option.
As you can see, there’s no one right way to use the Lamaze International online learning courses. If you haven’t checked out all of the offerings – head to the website and take a look. Play around in the free Prepared for Pregnancy class and see what the others offer, too. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
About Ashley Benz
Ashley Benz is a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, doula and lactation consultant in Louisville, KY. She is married to Mark and is the mother of four adorable children. You can reach Ashley through her website ashleybenz.com