Sep 14, 2016

The Importance of In-person Childbirth Classes

With the popularity of digital learning and online courses these days, you may find yourself dealing with new challenges when it comes to engaging your students during childbirth classes.

How often should a childbirth class meet in order to be effective while also accommodating the needs and schedules of your students? How should you advise parents who want to take a DIY approach to childbirth education? What are some ways you can keep students engaged during class?

It’s OK if you don’t have all the answers. Here are some tips for dealing with these emerging challenges.

How often should childbirth classes meet?

Classes aimed at educating parents on the topics of labor, delivery, and postpartum issues usually meet for 1.5 to 2 hours a week for five to eight weeks during the final trimester of pregnancy. This class schedule is more often practical than intensive all-day or weekend-long classes, as it provides the opportunity to review the material and allows for the repetition of concepts to aid in understanding and retention.

Weekly classes also provide time for partners to reflect between sessions and prepare questions for the following class. They also foster close relationships with the teacher and fellow students.

In addition to offering courses that take place among several weeks, more condensed full-day or weekend options should still be available for those whose schedules simply don’t permit a weekly commitment.

Explaining benefits of in-person classes

For parents who aren’t quite sold on the benefits of live childbirth classes or who’re considering taking a DIY approach, below are some key facts you can share that may convince them of the advantages of taking your classes.

Live childbirth classes:

  • Enable expectant parents to discuss their fears about labor and birth with the instructor, as well as with other couples who share similar concerns.
  • Create a special bond between partners. The expectant woman’s significant other gains a better understanding of what she’s going through and learns how best to provide support.
  • Provide the opportunity to tour the birthing facility and learn about routine practices, such as electronic fetal monitoring.

Engaging students 

As more and more people are turning to digital sources to quickly and easily obtain information, you may find that today’s students are difficult to engage during class. Below are a few recommendations for holding your students’ attention.

  • Experiment with different teaching methods such as lectures, hands-on activities, use of technology, and demos.
  • Provide the opportunity for students to share and explain concepts to one another. This will solidify their learning and enable you to gauge their level of understanding about different topics.
  • Empower students to ask questions, be part of the discussion, and be comfortable expressing concerns, opinions, or issues.
  • Avoid providing too much information and overwhelming students. With everyone plagued by information overload nowadays, it’s important to focus on covering the fundamentals while also addressing the specific needs and concerns of your students.

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