Friday, May 23, 2014

What Do Beach Balls, Pool Noodles and HoolaHoops Have To Do with Childbirth Education Classes?

Summer of 2014 and the summer sales are going in just about every store!  Beach balls, pool noodles, hoola hoops, ping pong balls and balloons are cheaper than normal.  

But what do these items have to do with childbirth education classes?

These are very important teaching tools!

Beach balls - A fun way to review concepts learned during a class or series of classes involves an inflatable beach ball which can be tossed around the room from class member to class
member.  To prepare for this exercise, purchase a standard, inflatable beach ball.  With a permanent marker, write one activity on each colored panel. 

You, as the teacher, verbally give a scenario to the class.  Then toss the beach ball to one class member.  Whoever catches the ball reads the activity on the section facing him/her and responds.  If you are doing a review on labor and delivery, the actions on the ball may read:

  • Choose one “labor tool” that may benefit.
  • Demonstrate a position to use or suggest.
  • Name one emotional need mother might have at this time.
  • State one way to change the environment.
  • Identify a positive affirmation to say to mother.
  • Name one relaxation technique to try.

Once the person responds to the request or performs an action, he/she tosses the ball to someone else.  Each person who catches the ball responds to the request facing him, even if someone else already responded to that request.  There is more than one possible response for each.  When you feel the particular scenario has been addressed adequately, you can go on to another scenario and continue the review. 

Pool Noodle - Especially cheap at the END of summer, pool noodles can be cut equally in thirds to be used as lumbar support when discussing comfort on traveling or in demonstrating the knee press for pelvic bone relief.  They can even be used as a massage tool option.  (You'll want one for each expectant woman and her partner because they are porous and not easily disinfected.)

Hoola Hoops - The age-old child's toy does have an important place in childbirth education class!  During the Transition Phase, mothers have a limited range of concentration and focus. This range of focus can be demonstrated by using a hoola hoop.  While there are several sizes of hoola hoops available, select one that will enable you to be inside the hoola hoop with one other person.  This is a great way to demonstrate just how small the range of focus is for someone in Transition and how intimate this phase of labor can be!


anniemills said...

Thank you for the tips! Can you go into a little more detail on how you use pool noodles with the knee press?

Connie Livingston said...

With the pool noodles and knee press, place the pool noodle segment at the lumbar area on the back. This will get the mother to sit up straighter and thus the knee press will be more effective.