When you sign up for any Lamaze childbirth class, you can expect to learn thoroughly about labor, birth, and postpartum through the use of evidence-based resources and instruction. But that's pretty much where the similarities end. A Lamaze class can be taught in a group or privately; a Lamaze class can be covered in one day or over the course of several weeks; and a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator will use a variety of activities, visual aids, and teaching tools to demonstrate different concepts, tips, and techniques. In this new series, we'll be showing off some of the fun and unique tools our educators use in their classes. If you thought you knew all about Lamaze classes before, you might be surprised! The following teaching tool comes from Deena Blumenfeld, ERYT, RPYT, LCCE, who teaches Lamaze classes in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
What: A Stuffed, Smiley-Face Uterus and Placenta
Much of my Lamaze class, Confident Birthing, is dynamic lecture, group discussion and hands on practice of labor and pushing positions, massage and other comfort techniques. I do have, as you would expect, anatomical, life-like models of the uterus, placenta and fetus. It's helpful to see how the birth process works with a good visual demonstration.
However, I also have Una the uterus and Petra the placenta, from I Heart Guts. These fuzzy guys sit up front with me when I teach my Confident Birthing classes. And yes, my fetal model also has a name -- Sam, a gender neutral name for the gender neutral baby.
Why: In a childbirth class, we spend some of the time dealing with heavy topics. Talking about labor induction with my fuzzy uterus in hand softens the conversation and lightens an otherwise unpleasant discussion. Same thing goes when we talk about the birth of the placenta and managing potential postpartum hemorrhage (excessive bleeding after the birth of baby). It’s a bit less scary when the placenta is cute and smiles at you.
Humor and fun go a long way to lighten the mood when we discuss the not-so-pleasant topics in class. By addressing these topics directly, we help remove the fear and apprehension that many people have. Of course, my classes also discuss the amazing and exciting parts of childbirth, but my intention is to set realistic expectations by covering all possibilities in order to help build confidence in parents.
Deena Blumenfeld ERYT, RPYT, LCCE is a prenatal yoga instructor, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Lamaze Trainer and the owner and principal educator at Shining Light Prenatal Education in Pittsburgh, Pa. She is mom to two kiddos and loves guiding moms to a confident birth.