More and more expecting parents are choosing one-day birthing classes over more traditional forms of instruction. All class formats have their pros and cons, and, regardless of their growing popularity, one-day classes are no different.
Pros and cons of one-day birthing classes
One-day birth classes provide an excellent alternative for families whose schedules aren’t conducive to taking a class that convenes once a week over the course of several weeks. One-day classes can help parents access the important information they need without having to compromise on meeting their existing obligations or turning to other sources that, while they offer convenience, may not be well-researched or accurate.
Compared to a birthing class that meets for a series of weekly, informative sessions, however, one-day classes may not allow students sufficient time to have all their questions answered. Moreover, one-day classes are often limited to providing an overview of the basics in order to make sure that all topics receive some coverage. Since intensive one-day classes pack a great deal of information into a short time, students are also at greater risk of not retaining the information being presented or fully understanding the lessons being taught.
Additionally, one-day classes don’t offer the great support network that tends to form between students, their instructor and each other as they spend several weeks together interacting with the same course materials.
How educators can best prepare to teach one-day classes
When preparing to teach a one-day birthing class, narrow down the number of topics you will cover. Concentrate on imparting essential knowledge. What must your expecting parents know about the birthing experience? Start with a list that covers all or most of these topics:
- Anatomy and physiology related to childbirth
- The normal progress of labor and birth
- Signs of labor and when to call the doctor or midwife
- Comfort/calming techniques
- How to make informed choices and be an advocate for oneself
- Pros and cons of all childbirth interventions, drugs, and protocols
- The early postpartum period
- Car seat safety
Be sure to budget sufficient Q&A time as well. Instead of holding one Q&A session at the end of the day, build in room for mini-Q&A sessions at the end of each topic. That way, you can ensure that you’re addressing concerns and clarifying information as you move through your condensed curriculum.
Even with the challenges presented by one-day birthing classes, they are certainly far better than no class at all — and necessary to offer if you want to serve parents-to-be who would otherwise not have the opportunity to benefit from in-person instruction.