Category Archives: Childbirth Education

Help – it Hurts! … Get Me The Complementary Therapies!

help it hurts

by Andrea Robertson Why does pain in labour scare us so much? Everywhere a pregnant woman turns she is confronted by messages that she will need “something” to help her get through the trials of labour. Trying to “suffer” the pain of contractions without assistance is being unnecessarily “brave” now that there are so many […]

Watch your Language

Watch your language

by Andrea Robertson Pregnant women are some of the most sensitive people you will ever meet. They are highly vulnerable and very suggestive, at a time when they are actively seeking information and support from a wide range of contacts. They listen to everyone and everything, read copiously, ask myriads of questions and are the […]

Prenatal education … time to lift our game

Prenatal education ... time to lift our game

by Andrea Robertson The most effective education occurs when people take an active part in the learning process. The old-style “talk and chalk” presentations that many of us remember from our school days are now recognised as inappropriate, especially for educating adults. Most of us learn best through active participation and getting involved, especially when […]

Working with the Young and Pregnant

Working with the Young and Pregnant

by Andrea Robertson Providing prenatal education programs for young women can be very rewarding. Many hospitals are now incorporating a program especially designed to appeal to this particular group and these can be successful and fun whilst providing a change in pace for the educators and a worthwhile community service. Before launching such a program […]

Getting What YOU Want From Prenatal Education …

Getting What YOU Want From Prenatal Education

by Andrea Robertson Over the past six months, as you have been reading these columns about pre-natal education, I wonder how many times you have thought “I would love to try these teaching strategies in my classes, but I don’t have the time”?  This is a constant complaint that I hear from educators –  there […]

Evaluating Your Prenatal Programs

Evaluating Your Prenatal Programs

by Andrea Robertson Evaluation is an essential part of any educational program. It is important to know if your efforts are worthwhile and that your goals are being achieved, not only as a measure of your skills as an educator, but also to prevent burn-out. There is nothing more likely to produce frustration and boredom as […]

Pregnancy and Birth are Sexy? You bet!

Pregnancy and Birth are Sexy

by Andrea Robertson Pregnancy and birth are very “sexy” topics. A pregnancy is a very obvious sign of a sexual activity but more than that, they demonstrate that a woman’s sexual cycle is in full bloom and that she is fulfilling her biological destiny to reproduce. It’s no wonder that sex and sexuality are integral themes of […]

Education for Informed Choice

Education for Informed Choice

by Andrea Robertson “Informed Choice” – the buzz words of the moment in maternity care circles! How often are women exhorted to make an “informed decision”? How many times do these words appear in policy documents and procedure manuals? The reality is that this concept, of parents making truly considered decisions about their care, is […]

Video Time!

Video time

by Andrea Robertson When this article was written videos were still being widely used. These days, DVDs have taken over. The same principles for their use applies. Using videos to enhance your prenatal education program is popular with parents. They are very comfortable with TV viewing and find it a familiar way to receive information. […]

When You’ve Got a Problem …

When you''ve got a problem

by Andrea Robertson Many years ago (mid 1980s) a Ministerial Review of the Maternity Services in NSW set out to define appropriate care for mothers and babies in this State. Working groups were formed between consumers and all the various health professionals working in the field and hearings were set up all over the State […]

Obstetric Interventions Explained

Obstetric Interventions Explained

by Andrea Robertson One of the most important functions fulfilled by prenatal education programs is to offer parents information about the many options and choices available to them during pregnancy and birth. In an age when “informed choice” are current buzz words and litigation is rampant, someone must ensure that parents are fully aware of […]

The Power of the Group

The Power of the Group

by Andrea Robertson For many couples today, having a baby can be a lonely experience. The trend towards smaller families and the isolation stemming from the lack of the extended family (or even a relative that lives nearby) means that many women and their partners find they know few people who are going through the […]

Get the Fathers Involved

Get the fathers involved

by Andrea Robertson Many midwives complain that fathers are “useless” in the labour ward – they sit and read the paper, hang about nervously getting in the way, or get agitated and upset and create anxiety for the labouring woman. Some hospitals still insist on antiquated rules such as “only one support person with the […]

“Just listen to your body …”

Just Listen to your body

by Andrea Robertson How many times have you heard this said (or said it yourself) to women during labour? We harbour this fond belief that women will know how to tune in to the rhythms and feelings within themselves during labour and birth and gently exhort them to “let yourself go” as the contractions build […]

Making it Real

Making it real

Childbirth educators should be realistic about what might happen during labour. One of the reasons parents come to prenatal education programmes is to find out ‘what birth is all about’. They want us to tell them what to expect so that they can be prepared for the events that lie ahead. They assume that knowledge […]