In our series for educators, we explore new ideas to help you branch out. Read on to be inspired about new strategies and topics to help you get creative.
Settling In with Baby Workshop
Many childbirth professionals are well-versed in variety of topics related to childbirth, breastfeeding and newborns, and they offer services that overlap these topics. To help you cross-promote and provide parents with a well-rounded education, consider offering a new introductory workshop.
A Settling In with Baby workshop provides an introduction to three key topics: postpartum recovery, newborn care and breastfeeding. The workshop can answer common questions about these topics and help parents identify areas where they could learn more. The options below can help you plan and explore ways to offer a fun and engaging class that can be beneficial to you and your clients.
Benefits for Parents
The transition to parenting can be hard, but preparation and support definitely help. Many parents learn about childbirth but don't give a lot of thought to postpartum recovery or caring for their newborn. Additionally, childbirth educators may not have enough time in their childbirth course to cover these topics thoroughly. The Settling In with Baby workshop provides a short introduction to these topics that help parents recognize where further education is needed, in order to line up their postpartum support in advance.
Benefits for the Educator/Business
In addition to helping parents, an introductory Settling In with Baby workshop can help you and your business:
- Boost enrollment in your longer, more detailed breastfeeding, newborn care or other classes.
- Learn about support services you offer in the postpartum period.
- Grow sales related to postpartum, newborns and breastfeeding goods or services for your facility or a partner business.
- Promote related resources in your community (support groups, health care professionals, lactation professionals, etc.).
Topics to Consider
An introductory workshop is not going to provide time for a long list of topics, so you will want to prioritize. Pick one or two areas per topic (postpartum, newborns and breastfeeding) and spend five or ten minutes on each. Use these ideas as a starting point:
- Preparing for a smooth postpartum recovery
- Normal feelings after giving birth
- Normal newborn behaviors
- Five things every newborn needs (love/comfort/holding, sleep, warmth, to be fed, to be dry/clean)
- Newborn appearance; babies may look different than you expect
- Soothing strategies
- Preparing your home for baby
- Hunger cues/newborn instincts
- Reasons to breastfeed (benefits)
- Why babies cry
- Essential newborn supplies
- Balancing work, life and baby
- Finding support after baby arrives (information on local resources such as lactation specialists, support groups, clinics, etc.)
Activities to Try
There are many fun activities that can be used to create an engaging and interactive workshop:
- Demonstrate and practice soothing techniques using newborn dolls
- Race to pack the diaper bag (fastest parent/couple wins a prize)
- Practice swaddling
- Do a scavenger hunt around the room for postpartum and newborn supplies (you can use real supplies or print images on cards)
- Play a trivia game or bingo, or do a quiz on newborns
Activities help parents connect more with you and each other. If your workshop is fun, parents will be more interested in signing up for more of your services.
Launching Your Class
There are many ways to format and market your new workshop. Identify your target market (i.e. parents in their second trimester who live/work in certain areas of your city) and focus your marketing to reach them. You can write blog articles, share information on social media, post fliers in local businesses and/or partner with health care providers to get the word out.
Some class formats to try:
- Offer a short (one hour) free or low-cost workshop that provides a sneak peek of your longer course(s). Be sure to collect contact information from attendees and let them know about other upcoming classes.
- Schedule the workshop during the lunch hour, a weekend morning or afternoon or before another event/class to maximize attendance.
- Volunteer to teach an underserved part of the community.
- Host an open house where you partner with people or organizations that can benefit all parties (newborn boutique, lactation consultants, pediatricians, local WIC office, etc.).
Use a creative title to draw people in:
- Preparing for Your Baby's Arrival
- The Fourth Trimester
- Welcoming Baby!
- When You Take Your Baby Home
- The First Six Weeks After Birth
- Postpartum Care for You and Your Baby
- You've Given Birth, Now What?
Provide incentives to encourage people to sign up:
- Offer door prizes and/or a grand prize drawing. Bingo, Jeopardy or other games can be played and prizes given to the winners.
- Offer a discount on other classes for parents who attend this workshop.
- Have samples of postpartum personal care items as well as newborn and breastfeeding supplies on hand so parents can browse.
Use these tools to help encourage learning and interaction in the class:
Parent take-home resources:
- Choose from a variety of parent handouts
- Settling In with Baby books
- Custom Branded Handouts for more marketing impact.
- Select a PowerPoint, poster set or interactive activities from a curriculum in our collection of instructor tools.