Remember the joys of live childbirth classes? In-person classes used to be the perfect place for first-time parents to:
- Learn from experienced educators
- Participate in hands-on demonstrations
- Socialize with other expectant parents
- Feel less anxious and more confident
Live childbirth classes were educational, challenging, and just plain fun. More importantly, they helped patients understand the entire process of labor and birth so they could make more informed decisions about their own care.
When the COVID-19 pandemic forced hospitals and birth centers to cancel in-person classes, organizations had to find other ways to educate expectant parents and their partners. The solution? Online childbirth classes.
A brief look back
Online birth and parenting classes have been around for a while. In fact, in many cases they were a lifeline for pregnant people who could not attend live classes but still needed essential childbirth education and support. For example:
- Pregnant people on full bedrest
- Busy working families with no spare time
- Patients in rural areas too far from a live class
If there’s a silver lining to COVID-related isolation and social distancing, it’s this: The pandemic has given online educators a clear mandate to make childbirth classes more comprehensive, feature-rich, and accessible than ever.
Let’s take a quick look at why online childbirth classes are so popular today — and how they will continue to add value for patients and educators even when it’s safe to hold live classes again.
Why patients love online classes
With just a device and an internet connection, it’s easy to log in and start learning. Or log out until you feel like logging in again. Some of the biggest benefits of online learning include:
- Safety. Distance learning from the comfort of home helps keep patients safe from exposure to the virus or other potential risks.
- Convenience. Patients with busy schedules can decide for themselves when they want to log in and work through class materials.
- Flexibility. Online classes make it easy for people with different learning styles to find, process, and retain information.
- Tools and Extras. Many class sites include interactive activities, games, videos, quizzes, and assessments that make learning more fun.
- Comprehensive. Medically accurate, up-to-date materials cover the same subjects as most in-person labor and birth classes.
- Resources. Downloadable tools and handouts, plus the ability to access class materials for up to a year, can be very helpful.
How online classes enrich live classes
Integrating online class access with the benefits of live classes has three key benefits for educators, lactation consultants, and other health care providers:
- Time and Focus. Having patients work through the online program gives them a basic understanding of labor and birth before they come to class. This allows instructors to use class time to focus on specific questions, topics, and activities that need to be taught in person.
- Reinforcement. Giving patients access to an online program that includes the same materials covered in live birth classes reinforces what they’ll learn in class. It also provides another resource to go back and review subjects that might not be completely clear the first time.
- Community. A downside of many online birth classes is the lack of a virtual community where patients can interact with other expectant parents — a huge benefit of live birth classes. With access to the same online course, patients in live classes can participate in educator-led discussions of specific topics and ask questions that can benefit the whole group.
At some point, hospitals and birth centers will begin scheduling live classes again. Telemedicine visits will go back to being prenatal office visits. Although we don’t yet know what the post-pandemic “new normal” will actually look like, we do know that online childbirth classes will continue to be a valuable resource for educators, lactation consultants, and other health professionals.
Have you seen our new online birth class?
At CCI, we’re always looking for the next innovative way to add more value for our hospitals, nurses, and educators. Our first CCI Childbirth Academy™ class covers “Labor and Birth” and we’re pleased to offer you free access for 7 days to take a closer look.
This exciting online class helps your pregnant patients learn about labor and birth from a friendly professional instructor, building their knowledge and confidence from the safety and comfort of home. Available at low cost to hospitals and birth centers, this professionally produced online class also offers organizations new revenue and branding opportunities.
Check out the new class page at learning-customizedinc.com or call 800.476.2253 for more information or to discuss pricing. We look forward to speaking with you!