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Pros and Cons of Props in Birthing Classes

Last post 10-14-2010 3:42 AM by worstfriend. 4 replies.
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  • 08-23-2010 4:10 PM

    Pros and Cons of Props in Birthing Classes

    Educators, do you use props of hospital "equipment" or "materials" in your classes?  For example, do you show an amnihook? an epidural kit or catheter? EFM straps?

    Do you think these kinds of things have any validity in a birthing class?  Why or why not?

    Susan
    Moderator

    I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult. --E.B. White
  • 10-05-2010 2:53 PM In reply to

    • Arwen
    • Top 200 Contributor
    • Joined on 10-05-2010
    • Posts 5

    Re: Pros and Cons of Props in Birthing Classes

    I have one or two, but I've never properly used them!

    I think it depends on your group/clients. Sometimes I find with mixed groups, the dads find this stuff fascinating or seeing it calms fears, but if I'm honest, I don't get it out as part of my planning.

    Personally I think that seeing this stuff can actually make women more anxious. I do have pictures of an epidural siting and one being sited, but I'm not sure that giving a group a physical epidural kit would make them more determined to avoid an epidural or just more anxious and stressed.

    What do others think?

    Student midwife (UK), doula and CBE and mama to three amazing kids!
    "Be the change you want to see in the world" Gandhi
  • 10-06-2010 7:00 PM In reply to

    Re: Pros and Cons of Props in Birthing Classes

    I'm glad you've weighed in on this because I thought perhaps I was the only one who thought this way.  I was actually attacked when I gave my opinion of this on another board and had to get myself off the boards because the threats and hateful emails I received from fellow educators were quite frightening and scary.

    Susan
    Moderator

    I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult. --E.B. White
  • 10-07-2010 12:04 AM In reply to

    • Arwen
    • Top 200 Contributor
    • Joined on 10-05-2010
    • Posts 5

    Re: Pros and Cons of Props in Birthing Classes

    Oh my goodness, how awful.

     

    Surely a good educator assesses the needs of those she serves and facilitates her classes accordingly. I teach for informed decision making. It's not my birth, thus not my place to influence or pass judgement on the choices of others, BUT, it is my place to ensure that my clients have all the information they need to make an educated and knowledgeable decision. Sometimes that may mean that to look at an amnihook is what they want to assist their decision, but often it's not, it's just being able to ask questions and get a non-biased opinion.

     

    I'm probably going to be slated now, but I don't think that you can necessarily change the world by hiding from women the types of things that can go on in labour, but equally, there is no need to dwell on it.

     

    Birth is a natural process, of that we all agree I'm sure, but just as beautiful trees in labour fall down or rivers burst their banks, so too do labours go off course occasionally, and sometimes there is just that need to have access to showing clients the things that may calm their fears in a safe surrounding such as a class rather than when they're labouring and an OB or midwife is telling them they "need" to have x done.

    Birth really is only as safe as life gets and we have to be real about it.

    Student midwife (UK), doula and CBE and mama to three amazing kids!
    "Be the change you want to see in the world" Gandhi
  • 10-14-2010 3:42 AM In reply to

    Re: Pros and Cons of Props in Birthing Classes

    i'm not a cbe, just a mother.

    i question the usefulness of seeing equipment.  it might look friendly, reassuring, alien, shocking, terrifying, depending on the woman.

    an amniohook resembles a crochet hook, this i know and could have known from looking.  however the proper use of the amniohook, the risks and benefits of AROM, what to do/say when one is offered/insisted upon, these are what will actually assist me in labour.

    any labour may go poorly or well.  to me there is little point in reassuring women who don't need CEFM with how friendly the straps are or terrifying those who do end up needing forceps with hoe scary the forceps and epis scissors look.

    information is what arms women, and just looking at an item can only give very surface, uninformed, emotional responses to the tools involved, and may colour the view of the task in a way which interferes with the labour and birth being as good as they possibly can be (which for some will be a wonderful spiritual journey and for others a skin-of-the-teeth-but-everyone-survived miracle).

    so to me i think the instinct to not bother too much with "they look like this" is a good one - it allows the focus to be on potential situations and how to navigate them and in doing so focuses on the more important elements in a good birth - how everyone FEELS and THINKS and DOES and not the very external bit of birth, how it looks.

    Me 32, DH 41, DD 2006, DD 2010, DS 2013
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