Women Ask Wednesday: Where can I get good pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum and newborn education during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Happy Wednesday! I have been doing tele-health visits all week from home. A theme I noticed and pregnant women are desperate for some good pregnancy resources. At our own hospital, we cancelled our regular childbirth classes, but our breastfeeding class is still happening via Google HangOuts. Hopefully you still have some type of virtual class where ever you may be, but if not, there are a bunch of great resources online right at your fingertips. Or, maybe you live in a rural area without access to classes? Today’s post is for you.

I have been recommending these resources nonstop all week. (They’re great resources but I feel like a broken record…).


Share with Women handouts

These are hands down, my most frequently handed out, recommended, patient education materials. The handouts are drafted and published by the American College of Midwives. From gynecology, to pregnancy, to postpartum, to mental health – there’s an educational handout for patients to review and read themselves, or for providers to print off and hand out in the clinic.

The Writing a Birth Plan is one of my favorite to hand out to patients. Just an add on here: I don’t think every woman needs a birth plan; this handout has an extensive list on the backside of the many interventions that may occur during birth for the mama or the baby. It’s a good starting place for someone to start their own research about birth and babies!

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Books

I recommend these four books at least once a week. If I have a copy on my shelf, I lend them out as well!

I tend to only recommend 50% of the books on birth I read. For example, What to Expect When You’re Expecting is my least favorite book on pregnancy and birth…right behind Jenny McCarthy’s Belly Laughs. Read them both and promptly threw them in the goodwill box. If you’re in the market for some books (whether for yourself, or as a gift), check out the BOOKS page.


Online childbirth classes!

I talked to a mama about 28 weeks along for about 45 minutes on the phone the other day. She was in a program called CenteringPregnancy at our clinic and relied on the education provided in the program to prepare for pregnancy and birth. She asked what other (free) online resources were available for her to view. We did a little google and YouTube searching on the phone together and found this lovely lady out of Tuscon Medical Center. Most birth classes are similar and follow a similar curriculum. I think all first time mamas should be required to attend some type of childbirth class. I mostly feel this way because I’ve seen what it does for the mama that’s in labor or birth – a mama that is educated about the process is less fearful and more confident – those simple facts do wonders for helping a labor progress normally.

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Newborn care

This video was published by Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hospital. You may not birth at this hospital, but the general principles are almost identical at hospitals across the nation. The video covers what to expect after the birth, newborn vaccines, breastfeeding, safe sleeping and the Period of Purple Crying.

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The 5 S’s (from The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp)

Dr. Karp recommends the 5 S’s to help calm babies down: shushing or white noise, swaddling, side or stomach position, swinging or sucking. (We are team sound machine at our house; so much so that when our daughter moved out of our room with her sound machine, we had to buy another one for ourselves).

Watch this video on the 5 S’s:

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The Period of Purple Crying

A great video that is a mandatory watch on almost every postpartum unit before discharge home. The video covers expectations for newborn and infant crying after you are discharged home, as well as ways to soothe the baby!

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Other great resources…

From the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP): 2016 Recommendations for a Healthy Sleep Environment and Vitamin D Recommendations for Infants

Newborn screening by states

All things breastfeeding: Kellymom.com

For breastfeeding mamas: Proper Handling and Storage of Breastmilk

Car Seat Safety

Articles on Co-Sleeping: “Co-Sleeping: What’s It All About?” and “Why Babies Should Never Sleep Alone” (AAP, 2005)

Postpartum depression/anxiety: AfterThird, The Blue Dot Project and Postpartum Support International (also love this handout: Perinatal Mental Health Discussion Tool)


That’s a lot of education! If you’re going to tackle it all, break it into smaller parts. What other resources are you finding helping to do at home? Share your recommendations – book, website or video! Can’t wait to see what you all recommend.

Jamie

This page contains Amazon affiliate links for some recommended products. This means A Midwife Nation may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. All profits from affiliate links support A Midwife Nation’s mission to make midwifery the standard of care for women everywhere. Thank you in advance for the support and happy reading!

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