When the pandemic caused face-to-face parent education to be paused in 2020 many soon-to-be parents were left wondering where to turn to for invaluable advice and information. The innovative maternity team at George Eliot Hospital (GEH) Trust saw this as an opportunity to pioneer a new way to offer support to parents by introducing a series of online parent education sessions, starting in August 2020.
Proving a huge success, the resourceful team have now delivered vital online education sessions to more than 2,000 parents, helping alleviate worries and providing valuable advice and support on everything pregnancy and birth related.
Claire Blackwood, Perinatal Education Midwife at GEH, explained the thought behind the sessions: “We knew that parents needed that extra level of information and support to allay any anxiety and the opportunity to ask questions about their pregnancy, labour and postnatal journey so we quickly decided to get these sessions up and running.
“Since August 2020 the classes have grown and developed with the vital input of the parents, and we are delighted to see their impact.
“Parent feedback and questions have helped us shape what topics the sessions cover including water birth, home birth, baby first aid and we are constantly adapting and introducing new sessions to support the needs of our families.
“Online sessions have been great as people can log in from wherever they are so they don’t miss out, partners who aren’t entitled to time off work to attend parenting classes have found this especially useful.
“Parents can ask questions by typing them into the chat box for the group to see or they can do them for only me to see so I can answer the question without everyone else knowing who asked.”
Parents have offered amazing feedback, one parent said: “Parenting sessions with Claire were a great help and definitely helps with anxiety pre baby. I love that my partner can join in from work and doesn’t miss out.”
Another shared how much of an impact it had on her anxiety: “I felt very reassured and safe while in hospital and actually enjoyed the birth on the day, which was something I never imagined possible. The care that I received means that this time around I am enjoying being a new mum.”
Sessions are currently being held monthly on:
- Home births
- Water birth
- Infant feeding
- Preparing for labour
- Labour and Birth
- Birth plans
- After the birth of your baby
- Baby Safety
- Dads and partners
Claire continued: “It is amazing to see the feedback we have had from our patients, it’s great to know they are having an impact and helping support parents during a key time in their lives.
“We will be continuing these sessions as a vital way for parents to find out more about their pregnancy and birth options.”
All sessions are bookable via https://www.eventbrite.com/cc/george-eliot-hospital-antenatal-education-197409.