As a parent educator till recently I would walk into a room filled with becoming parents and with knowledge, experience, my presence, my voice and my hands I would deliver good quality education mixed with the groups involvement, hands on as well as a slight twist of humour and a tinge of a German accent. Only recently I found myself walking into my bedroom to sit in front of a screen to teach Calmbirth to couples.
Here are a few insights what it means for me, and of course what it means for you as a becoming parent experiencing prenatal birth preparation classes through an online platform.
Initially I was hesitant as my computer and technology skills are those of a simple user but thankfully Zoom is a simple yet efficient platform that so far has collaborated well with me.
Couples are also hesitant at the beginning, when enquiring to book in I often get the question if they will still be getting the most out if it.
The answer is yes!
Prenatal parent education is essential for women and their families, improved birth outcomes and reduction of fear around birth and therefore more positive birth experiences and reduction in postnatal stress and depression are all well documented in research literature. Calmbirth is an evidence based, holistic approach filled with practical skills.
The transition to Zoom meant I had to revise my well established program. Some thinking, some organising and some replanning of my course content to adapt to the virtual classroom had to happen, as well as learning about the world of virtual meetings.
Especially the hands on components of this course needed to be modified by finding innovations like photos, posters and videos to help me and you work through massage, acupressure techniques, positioning and other self-comfort measures.
At the beginning of a Calmbirth Zoom class couples are sometimes again hesitant to connect with others, as the comfort of their own home can also mean the couples can easier avoid interaction.
But networking and connecting is an important aspect of prenatal education and thanks to Zoom’s function of the break out rooms couples can network and get to know each other more while working in small groups.
For each of my groups I also offer to create an online group so that coupes can stay in touch which is hugely beneficial in the current situation.
Zoom means you will be meeting me tucked away in the quietest corner of my house away from gardening neighbours, a rebelling toddler, a barking dog and my amazing wife that is usually very successfully keeping everyone quiet for the duration of my teaching.
So, even though you don’t get to meet me in person standing in front of you in a room, you actually get a little more of me as you get a snapshot of my home and my family/life.
The same applies to the other couples in the course as everyone is usually in the comfort of their own home in comfy pants on their couch.
Unexpectant but virtually it is a more personal experience.
The practice of the relaxation response will certainly get a whole more relaxing as we all know how comfortable our own couch is.
The early labour practices get more real as you are at home, the place you might also be when experiencing your first contractions.
Now more than ever we need to create a nurturing, positive home and it’s absolutely crucial to access good quality education while staying safe so that you can move confidently into the journey of parenting.
Please join me for my next Calmbirth ZOOM course for the North Shore Private Hospital on:
Saturday 2nd May 6-9pm
Sunday 3rd May – 6-9pm
Friday 8th May 6-9pm
Saturday 9th May 6-9pm
I will also be teaching Calmbirth at the John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle starting in June…so watch this space.