August 28, 2020

Northern Health launches virtual childbirth education classes

Northern Health has recently launched virtual childbirth education classes to support expecting mothers and families in our community during this time.

The pandemic has changed the way we work and we have had to implement new and creative ways to ensure we continue to provide the best possible care to our community.

Nicole Carlon, Director of Operations, Women’s and Children’s Services, is proud of her team and the way they have quickly adapted to the constantly changing situation and been able to respond to the needs of families.

“Unfortunately due to COVID-19, we aren’t able to run face to face classes anymore. To begin with, we had an option where families could access external content, however, we received feedback that they would have enjoyed being able to ask questions and be involved in a live situation, rather than watching a recording,” Nicole said.

“The childbirth education team took this feedback on board and, from this, started offering virtual live classes to better support patients and families,” Nicole added.  

The virtual classes include the same content as would be in the face to face classes, with our very experienced childbirth educator, Marie Treloar, running them.

“Preparing new parents for their birth and parenting journey has been challenging during the COVID-19 crisis due to the cessation of face to face childbirth and parenting classes. However, thanks to technology, providing education via live sessions has been very effective and rewarding. Families have felt empowered, equipped and supported during this time and feel more confident for the journey ahead,” Marie said.

The online classes have been running for just over three weeks and have already proved to be an outstanding success, with the team receiving “fantastic” feedback from patients and families.

One patient wrote, “Marie is a great presenter and you can tell she is very passionate about the topics discussed and helping women to have a calm and empowering birth experience.”

Other comments included:

“Really informative and gave us a better idea of things to include in our birth plan and different options available during labour.”

“Loved the class and the teacher was so helpful and knowledgeable – would definitely recommend this and so glad we did it!”

Along with these classes, the team are also running their Happy Mother’s, Happy Baby’s Group Sessions in the same format for Assyrian and Chaldean women in the community.

Nicole says expecting mothers are finding these particularly helpful as may be feeling isolated in the current situation.

“We understand how important it is for families to feel educated and empowered before they have their baby, and it’s great that we’ve found a platform where we can still achieve this,” Nicole said.

Currently, the virtual classes are running once a week, however, more classes will be offered should the demand increase.

Featured Image: Marie Treloar hosting a class