5 Things to Look for in a Childbirth Class
1. Class size- Many consider a small group size to be ideal. Smaller class sizes allow the educator to tailor the information more specifically to needs of the class participants, encourages more group participation and fosters a more open environment where participants feel free to ask questions. Additionally, participants are able to connect with others who are in a similar life-stage- many friendships have been born in the childbirth classroom! Dallas Birth Doula’s classes typically have between 4-6 couples per class.
2. Training of the educator- What is the educator’s training in childbirth education? Has he/she completed a childbirth education certification program? Has the educator completed any complimentary trainings such as doula certifications, parent education, infant/ newborn care, and/or child safety training? Does the educator stay up to date on the newest trends and research? Dallas Birth Doula’s parent educators are certified by Lamaze International, the most respected and recognized credential in childbirth education certification. Lamaze educators undergo a recertification process every 3 years which requires at least 25 hours of continuing education credit. Additionally, our educators have college degrees in either child development or nursing, have trained and certified as birth doulas, and regularly attend educational offerings to foster professional growth.
3. Curriculum- The highest quality childbirth education is based in evidenced-based practice. Evidence based practice (EBP) is the conscientious use of current best evidence in making decisions about patient care (Sackett, Straus, Richardson, Rosenberg, & Haynes, 2000). All of Dallas Birth Doula’s classes utilize an EBP approach- we look to the research to determine the foundation of our teachings. As established by Lamaze International, using this approach can help reduce the use of unnecessary interventions and improve overall outcomes for mothers and babies.
4. Convenience- Multi-week classes can be difficult to coordinate with busy schedules. Dallas Birth Doula clients overwhelming tell us that they appreciate the format of a one-day intensive class. Setting aside a single day allows participants to fully immerse themselves in the experience, get answers to all of their questions and ease any concerns without having to wait until the next class.
5. Hands-on practice- Although at first it may seem awkward to lie down on the floor of the classroom, practicing comfort measures is a key part of the preparation process. Learning a variety of relaxation strategies, positioning alternatives and touch techniques creates a comprehensive approach to coping during labor. All Dallas Birth Doula classes include practice sessions interspersed with the informational presentation. Our clients tell us they appreciate having the time to try out a variety of techniques.