Five New Posters!

Five New Posters!

Just in time for you to give yourself some new gifts this holiday season, we have five brand new posters ready to go! Take a look, along with all the updates and changes to our poster collection:
Read more
Meeting Expectant Parents Where They Are

Meeting Expectant Parents Where They Are

Some expectant parents are eager to know everything about pregnancy, birth and beyond and actively seek information from all sorts of sources. Other parents having a baby may not realize how much there is to learn, or they may simply be uninterested. Sometimes parents are busy with other areas of life, and/or believe they will learn what they need to know as they go. Regardless of where they are starting their journey of learning, all parents benefit from being prepared for the changes pregnancy can bring and becoming informed about the process they will go through during labor and birth. 

As an educator, doula or health care provider, you can...

Read more
New Posters

New Posters

We are happy to share some exciting news! We have four new posters available to help you inform parents about healthy pregnancy, comfort measures and postpartum expectations. A new sleek design, eye-catching photos and practical information, make these high-quality visual aids unlike anything else available! 
Read more
Steps for Creating a Curriculum

Steps for Creating a Curriculum

Ask most experienced educators and they will likely tell you that a curriculum is an essential tool for any course. The curriculum provides a "big picture" of your overall goals and then helps you identify the practical steps to reach those goals, such as choosing the specific topics and teaching strategies. 
Read more
Aussies, buy local!

Aussies, buy local!

We are thrilled to announce that Australian customers can now purchase many of our teaching resources from a local source! birthwell birthright stocks many of our items
Read more

International Customers

Learn more about international ordering!
Read more

Reading Levels for Products

We recently calculated the reading levels for many of our products using the SMOG Readability Index. You can find reading levels in the product descriptions on our website.

We welcome your feedback on our products, including the needs of your clients for materials with different reading levels. We can also customize our products in bulk to more precisely fit your needs. Please contact us with questions or comments at info@plumtreebaby.com. 

 

Read more
Anatomy Lessons Needed!

Anatomy Lessons Needed!

We were a bit shocked to read that a recent study found half of young women (age 26 to 35 years) were unable to locate a vagina on a diagram. We knew from experience teaching childbirth classes and with doula clients, that some moms and dads-to-be can be confused about the location of some anatomical parts and we often get questions like "can you see the cervix dilating?"

 

We knew that the unique anatomical changes of pregnancy are not often well understood prior to taking a  childbirth class, but this article made us realize we can't take for granted that parents understand even basic anatomy and that it helps to use simple illustrations and words to cover this information before we go further into pregnancy anatomy, stages of labor and birth.

Read more
Are cartoons a good teaching tool?

Are cartoons a good teaching tool?

Cartoons are fun. We watched them as children, we laugh at them on Pinterest and maybe we even still enjoy reading them in the newspaper. However, fun illustrations and cartoons show up in the materials we use as childbirth educators, doulas and health care professionals, and we wonder if this is the best place for them. Perhaps smiley faces and line drawings can serve to show labor in a gentler way or to be lighthearted about serious subjects, but when the reality of labor begins or in the first few days with a newborn, did these cartoons do enough to prepare mothers and fathers for their real life experiences, or did they minimize the intensity of it all? Will parents relate to these graphics in the same way that they would to photos and videos of real people?
Read more
Getting Organized

Getting Organized

tips for getting organized teaching cbe childbirthIf you are like us, you probably struggle with keeping all of your class information, activities and handouts organized. You probably spend a good deal of time preparing for class each week and wish there was an easier way. We have some tips to help you streamline your preparation and save yourself time.

Lesson Plans

Whether you are a season childbirth educator or a newbie, it is important to have up-to-date lesson plans to help you stay organized, evaluate your course content and keep on task. Be sure to write up detailed lesson plans for each class in your course series. For each class, list the topics you will discuss, the key points for the topic and include the time each topic should take. When you are first starting out, you may find it helpful to write word for word what you would like to say and then practice the timing and flow. More experienced educators probably just need a bullet point or two for each topic. For each class lesson plan, include the visual aids, handouts and activities you will need for that class. (See our Lesson Plans Made Easy Webinar replay for more tips.) Having all of this information in an electronic format will make it easier to make changes to the class as you get feedback and gain experience. You can print a copy and use it as a reference during class to help keep you on task, but it is often better to “wing it” rather than read word for word from your lesson plans. If you are struggling with creating your lesson plans, we can help. We include sample lesson plans and tips for creating your own lesson plans in our Childbirth Curriculum or Instructor's Guide. Here is a preview of a class lesson plan:

Files

If you haven’t done so already, create names for each class in your series/course. It could be simple, such as “week 1”, “week 2”, and “week 3” or more descriptive, such as “Healthy Pregnancy”, “Stages of Labor” and “Breastfeeding.” This will make it easier to find and organize your course materials. Create a folder on your computer for each class and/or label a file folder, binder tabs, box or other filing device with each class name. In each folder, add the class handouts, activities, and descriptive lesson plans that you will use for that week.

Handouts

Often Childbirth Educators purchase or find free handouts online that they give to their students. These resources can be a great supplement to your course. To save time, purchase or make enough copies for several courses, paper clip them together and put them in the appropriate class folder. If you are making copies of handouts created by other people, be sure you are following the copyright permissions for each document you copy. “Copyright is a form of legal protection automatically provided to the authors of ‘original works of authorship,’ including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works.” Unless permission for copying and distributing is explicitly given, you are infringing on the copyright owner’s rights by copying and distributing their work and you could get into legal trouble. If permission is given, the document or website often includes a clause such as “You may copy and distribute this document, but may not alter it’s content.” If in doubt, contact the owner to ask permission or find a different resource to use. For more information, visit the website of the US Coypright Office.

Less is More?

In the beginning, we were eager to give our students as much information as possible. We would print copies of everything we owned related to childbirth education, but then we realized that couples are being bombarded by information (from us, their friends/family and the web) and what they value most is help boiling it all down. Now we are selective about what we give as handouts, share online or discuss in class. We focus more on helping couples become good decision-makers, rather than overloading them with all of the potential topics they might want to make decisions about and we have less paperwork to to boot!

Have a (Good) Website 

It is so easy to create a simple website (and be sure to follow our tips for making a useful website) . Besides, being a great marketing tool, your website can be a hub of communication with your students outside of class (and/or use social media in the same manner). Create a page or a Facebook group and post weekly reminders, homework, resources or other information you want to share. Students can check in here to learn more about topics you discuss in class and it will save you a ton of time. It will also save paper and allow the students to choose the content they wish to read.

Every 3 to 6 months, it is wise to go through your folders, clear out the unused materials, and delete or modify content that is no longer useful or is outdated. It feels great to have an organized system for classes and it will save you a ton of time and energy. We would love to hear your tips for staying organized. Add your comments below and be sure to pin the image at the top to Pinterest so you don't forget this next year!

Copyright 2013 © All Rights Reserved

Plumtree Baby, LLC

Read more
Getting started as a Childbirth Educator

Getting started as a Childbirth Educator

Becoming a childbirth educator is an exciting and rewarding path, but not necessarily a straightforward one. Unless you work for a hospital or an organization which provides you with training requirements, a curriculum and materials, it is easy to become overwhelmed with the different career paths available to you, or you may not know even where to begin.
Read more