Birth Empowerment Workshops for Family Advocates and Home Visitors

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Especially for Family Visitors*

The Birth Empowerment Workshop is a two day seminar designed for family visitors working with women and families during the perinatal period. Many populations receiving Early Head Start and other services are unaware that they may have choices when it comes to their birth. They are also less likely to attend childbirth classes or have much preparation for birth beyond what they see on television. This workshop is designed to offer many strategies for family visitors to choose from that will empower their clients in making choices that are right for them. It is also geared towards helping family visitors to teach coping skills to fathers, friends or other support people. Visitors do not have to have an interest in childbirth beyond a desire to improve the experience of their mothers and families.

The birth empowerment workshop is designed specifically for family visitors working with pregnant mothers and their families. Many mothers and families that visitors work with are not used to having choices in their medical care. However, research shows that participation in decision making is the most critical factor in birth satisfaction and confidence in parenting. Knowing how to sprinkle birth education for mothers and families during prenatal visits and having a variety of strategies to choose from in that process is the purpose of this workshop.

Attendees typically leave with over thirty new strategies to use with mothers and families by the end of the two days. An optional childbirth education day is recommended for staff unfamiliar with birth processes and hospital procedures. Past attendees’ satisfaction rating was 4.8 out of 5!

Objectives of the Birth Empowerment Workshop for Family Visitors:

  1. Describe the importance of the birth experience to the mother-baby-father dynamic in parenting.
  2. Recognize the significance of birth related events to parental bonding, sensitivity in parenting their infants, and thus attachment related outcomes.
  3. Explore ways that the family visitor can empower mothers prenatally in making birth related decisions.
  4. Give examples of typical hospital experiences for mothers who do not have doula support in the populations that Family Visitors are working with.
  5. Familiarize Visitors with the benefits of doula support and options in their location.
  6. Generate ideas with the mother about actions she or her support people may take in the hospital that help her to feel empowered and get her needs met.
  7. Anticipate the mother’s need for emotional support before, during, and after her birth experience and apply appropriate counseling techniques.
  8. Adapt typical labor support strategies so that Visitors can teach these strategies to families during the prenatal period.
  9. Assess the mother’s mental and emotional state and know when to refer for trauma related experiences due to the birth.

* We are aware that programs use a variety of terms to describe someone who provides support and education for families from pregnancy through the first years (home visitor, family advocate, etc). We chose the term used most often in our area.

This course contributes to these Children’s Trust Fund Core Competencies in the field of family support:

Competency Area 2. Dynamics of Family Relationships: Competency Area 3. Family Support and Parenting Education: Principles, Methods and Approaches: Competency Area 6. Diversity in Family Systems; and Competency Area 7. Relationships among Family, School, and Community.

It also adds to Manager Competency Area 1. Best practices in the field of family support and Manager Competency Area 7. Community advocacy and collaboration when working with or developing volunteer doula programs.

We specialize in adapting our workshop material to meet your organization’s needs. Please contact us so that we can discuss meeting your group’s objectives.

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