Teaching difficult subjects in a childbirth class requires sensitivity and thoughtfulness. Various unexpected outcomes, including experiencing an unplanned cesarean, may cause parents and partners anxiety and fear. In my classes, I use visual aids that accurately and effectively demonstrate the surgical component of a cesarean in order to lower anxiety and increase understanding. One of my favorite tools is the “Play Dough Surgery – Cesarean Delivery” video on YouTube.
After learning all about a cesarean, as well as critical information on decision-making in labor and birth (which you can do, too, in a quality childbirth class!), I show parents this video:
While remarkably accurate, the surgery in the video is demonstrated simply by using play dough. After viewing the video as a group, I ask parents for thoughts on what they saw. After watching the video, consider what you think and how you feel. Do you understand the procedure a little better? Does it help relieve some anxiety? If not, why? What else do you feel you need to understand about cesarean?
The families I teach, in particular the ones who find the topic of a surgical birth hard to even think about, appreciate the accuracy, simplicity, and cleverness of this video demonstrating what happens during a cesarean. Their anxiety is reduced and they feel ready and able to continue to learn more about the topic and discuss what might be important to them should their baby need to be born by cesarean.
It’s not uncommon to hold a great deal of anxiety around the topic of cesarean birth. This short video makes use of a familiar (and playful) product and uses gentle humor to share what is happening during a cesarean surgery. Learning in this way can help remove some of the fear and help you feel more at ease when learning further about for cesarean.
About Sharon Muza
Sharon Muza, BS, CD/BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, LCE, has been an active perinatal professional since 2004, teaching Lamaze classes to thousands of families and doula-ing in Seattle, WA. Sharon is also a trainer of new birth doulas and childbirth educators. She blogs professionally on perinatal topics and is the community manager for Connecting the Dots, Lamaze International’s perinatal professional blog. Sharon enjoys facilitating discussion around best practice, current research and its practical application to maternal infant health and community standards. She also loves creating and delivering engaging and interactive learning sessions both in person and online. You can learn more about Sharon, on her website, SharonMuza.com.